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The images of Fāṭimah in Muslim biographical literature

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Fāṭimah
  • D. 632 Or 3 -- In Literature.
  • Shiite Literature -- History And Criticism
  • Literature


In the Islamic tradition, as in other religious traditions, female saints are relatively few and not much scholarly attention has been given to them. Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, is one such example. It is, however, a point of interest in her case is that in the twentieth century she has captured the attention of writers of Muslim religious literature to such an extent that there now exist at least eleven fairly recent biographies of her in Urdu, English, Arabic and Persian. This is remarkable, given that the earliest sources of Islamic history contain only a minimal amount of information on her. These modern biographies present Fatimah in a manner which interweaves historical information with hagiographic accounts, thus reinforcing her status as a saint.

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