The 5th-century martyrdom of St Suzanne, who chose the beauty of the soul over corporeal desires, is monumentally portrayed on the mid-13th-century tympanum at Mouzon. Despite being a remote event for the contemporary beholders, and indeed hardly mentioned in the later sources, her memory remained alive through the presence of the local female recluses living inside the church, and through documentation in the chronicles. In this paper I shall discuss how the practices of such women not only commemorated St Suzanne’s chastity but also echoed her choices.
The role of women in Islamic states as the wife or the mother of the ruler has long been a controversial topic for discussions which arose from the status of women in Islam. We face the memory of prominent women in many different areas such as architecture or charity activities as well as historical letters or court records. In this paper, the role of women in the Medieval Islam will be discussed by focusing upon important figures such as Hatice bnt Huwaylid and Aisha bnt Abu Bakr (wives of Prophet Muhammad), Hayzuran bnt. Atâ Mawlâ Abîhi (mother of Abbasid caliph Haron ar-Rashid), Nilüfer and Hüma Valide Sultans (mothers of famous Ottoman Sultans). The talk will be developed around the question of whether these women are politically and economically effective behind their man who was the ruler in this era. Additionally, the question whether the living memory of women helps modern women to be an active figure in trade or government, within the borders of Islamic rules, will be discussed in this study.
Hatice bnt Huwaylid has been regarded as a good example for the place of women in financial life. In early Islamic sources, it is reported that she was a merchant who worked on a kind of partnership with businessmen after the death of her husband. Her partnership with Muhammad (SAW) was based on a contract in which she contributed her money and Muhammad (SAW) contributed his work (before their marriage, around 590s CE). Such an example is known and used for a well-known term in Islamic finance which is mudaraba. But this example bears in mind some questions about the place and role of women in finance as well as the social stature of them at the beginning of the medieval period in Arabian Peninsula. The aim of this talk is to discuss these questions by focusing on the example the partnership of Hatice bnt Huwaylid and Prophet Muhammed.