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Fatimah bint Sad AlKhayr was a Muhaddithah during the 6th century Hijri. She was born around 520 Hijri to a well-educated family. Her father was a muhaddith, faqih and a very righteous man. Her family was living in Valencia and traveled all the way to China, where she was born. Throughout his travels, her father studied with teachers in Baghdad, Isfahan, Hamadan, and many other cities. He was adamant that his daughters and son attend hadith classes and he traveled with them to learn from many different teachers. He also taught them himself.

When they were staying in Isfahan, Fatima was taught by the main hadith narrator of her time, Fatimah Al Juzdaniyah. In Baghdad, her teachers included Abu Al Qasem Hibatullah ibn Mohammed ibn Husayn, Abu Al Qasem Zahir ibn Tahir Al Shahhami, Abu Ghalib Ahmad ibn Al Hasan ibn Al Banna, and many other scholars who had traveled to the capital. At a very young age, Fatima had mastered a long list of books.

She married Zayd alDin Abu AlHasan Ali Ibrahim ibn Naja, who was one of her father’s students, and moved with him to Damuscus and then to Cairo. Most of her teaching career was based in these two cities and many scholars traveled there to study with her. Her husband was also a scholar and was of noble character. He was the secretary to Nur alDin who was the ruler in Damascus at the time and was said to be held in high esteem with Salah AlDin Al Ayoubi.

Even though she had great wealth from both her father and husband, she was not distracted by that wealth and remained humble and pious. Her husband, who passed away a year before her, died poor, maybe from giving away his wealth to charity throughout his lifetime. Fatimah remained active in her career as a teacher to the end and the list of her famous students is endless. She passed away in Cairo in the year 600 Hijri at that age of 78. She is buried below a mountain called Muqattam.

 

Nadwī, Muḥammad Akram Al-. Al-Muḥaddithāt: The Women Scholars in Islam. Oxford [etc.: Interface Publications, 2007. Print.

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