Women's History
Book Reviews


The Forgotten Queens of Islam
Fatima Mernissi, translated by Mary Jo Lakeland, University of Minnesota Press, l993

This Moroccan author gives us not only fascinating stories about the lives of largely ignored female leaders, but does so within the context of Islamic beliefs about women's place in the public sphere. Of particular interest is the analysis of the meaning of Caliph and Queen, and the criteria of sovereignty in Islam. The queens discussed range from those who ruled "behind the throne," to those, like the Arab Queen Arwa of Yemen, who held great power, to the most numerous - the sultanas of Persia and India.

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