|Biographical detail : ||Egypt’s leading female Islamic writer and scholar.
Aisha Abdul-Rahman was a women’s rights advocate; her excellent study of the women in the life of the Prophet (PBUH) is a case in point. She authored some 40 books on Islamic scripture apart from novels, short-story anthologies and innumerable research papers, magazine articles and newspaper columns.
Aisha enjoyed a 60-year career as a columnist, starting from 1937 when she joined Al-Ahram, best known Arabic daily. She adopted a subtle style: she didn’t join women’s groups or take part in feminist marches, yet her writing and lectures in support of sexual equality enlightened many young Egyptian women in their struggle. She was in harmony with the early Egyptian feminist movement that reached a political peak during the 1919 revolution against the British military presence in Egypt and against the Ottoman influence.
Aisha Abdul-Rahman used her pen name, Bint el Shate (child of the shore), her birthplace was the shore of Dammietta, and she was a household name. Aisha “would stripe classical works to the bone before adding contemporary flesh to present a subtle feminist message of equality and role model”.
Aisha, in her last published interview, called for the revaluation of Egypt’s feminist movement, accusing it of “wasting its energy on a war against the other sex.” She often covered her head with a scarf, yet didn’t encourage other women to do so. Instead she advocated choice for the individual, unusually among Islamic writers who so often follow totalitarian concept that Islam is not just a faith but also a way of life.