ʿAlima Bint al-Huda, Women's Advocate

Joyce Wiley

in The Most Learned of the Shiʿa

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195137996
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849055 | DOI:
ʿAlima Bint al-Huda, Women's Advocate

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This chapter focuses on Bint al-Huda, Baqir al-Sadr's sister, who led the movement to educate and uplift Iraqi Shi'pi women. Educated at home by her brother, Bint al-Huda devoted her life to the education and uplifting of her Shi'i sisters, relying on Qur'anic support for ideas of gender equality. She explored ways to reach her audience that her male colleagues would probably not have even considered. To illustrate her vision of the ideal Islamic life, she wrote novels that deplored both subservience to men and Western values. Though Ayatollah Khu'i ruled that women could not be mujtahids, he still funded her religious school for girls in Najaf, suggesting that she was able to work effectively with the ulama—even the most conservative among them. However, she was far less successful in her dealings with the Ba'thist government. On April 8, 1980, Saddam Hussein's government executed both Bint al-Huda and her illustrious brother.

Keywords: Shiʿism; Shi'pi women; Iraqi women; gender equality; education

Chapter.  6802 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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