Volume 2016, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2218-7480
  • EISSN:


Islam is no exception to the commonplace that women seem to have played a minor role in the elaboration and transmission of spiritual doctrine in the three monotheistic religions. But as a result of widespread ignorance of the history of Islam, even amongst believers themselves, it is often somewhat hastily upheld that the position of Islam has always been radically misogynist, as if women had never been given the slightest prominence in its history. And yet, as this article demonstrates, the role played by women, or the position they have often acquired with difficulty, has not followed a smooth course throughout nearly fifteen centuries of Islamic history.The aim of this paper is to study the position of women in a specific context: that of the spiritual masters and mystics of Islam who, for purposes of simplification, can be grouped under the generic term of Sufis. This study will be limited chronologically to medieval times, and in particular to the pivotal period of the tenth century, even if there will be cause to mention women who lived earlier or later. Finally, focus will be placed on religious practices and teaching work, and consequently on the mission of spiritual transmission which these women undertook throughout their lives.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Women, Islam, Sufism
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