William, Mary, and Islam.

I went to see my friend, Jamila, or Jamie as I call her. She is a well- renowned history professor; her field is religious history. 

In the early seventies, Jamie left Egypt and came to the United States to study history at Berkeley. After completing her studies, Jamie decided to stay here in the U.S to further advance her research. We met through a mutual friend and we managed to stay in touch.

" I am heading to the College of William and Mary in Virginia. I have been invited to present," Jamie said

" Wonderful! What are you going to talk about?" I asked. 

Jamie looked at me and said, "  The usual. You know the financial rights of women in Islam including the right to inherent. I presented this topic many times. You know, I was never asked to talk about women’s rights to rule according to Islam." Jaime said. 

" What? the right of women to rule in Islam? Seriously? Women have no right to rule in Islam. A woman can't be a judge or a president," I said

" Yes. But...,"  Jamie said.

" But what?" I asked.

"As you know, Islam has  two main sects Sunnis and Shiites," Jamie said.

" Yes, I know. But, both sects don't allow women to rule. Isn't that the case?" I asked.

" Not really! I think women have every right to rule in Islam" Jamie said.

"How so?"  I asked.

" You see,  Sunnis feel that Mohammed’s rightful heir is his disciple  “Abu Baker,” while Shiites believe that his cousin and son-in-law “Ali” is his rightful heir. I believe neither one of these two men is the rightful heir," Jamie said.

" Now, wait a minute. Are you saying that the rightful heir is a woman? That is interesting. But who is she?" I asked.

" She is  “Fatima” Mohammed's daughter. She is his rightful heir," Jamie said.


                                                               Fatima's Hand: A Gift from Jamie 

" But aren't women oppressed in Islam?" I asked.

" You see, I think denying Fatima's right to govern resulted in oppressing women,not the other way around," Jamie explained. 

"Jamie, your theory is intriguing! But, how did you come to these conclusions?" I asked.

" You see, each version of Islam insists that their male candidate was the closest to Mohammed. Thus, " he" is the rightful heir. Both Sunni and Shiite scholars present hundreds of Mohammed’s sayings to prove that he preferred this heir over the other. But Mohammed expressed who was the closest candidate to him, the one he endorsed as being part of him," Jamie explained 

" Who was that candidate and what did Mohammed say?" I asked

" Fatima was the candidate. Mohammed described her as 'being  part of him' and 'he is part of her.' Mohammed didn't describe any of the other two male  candidates as they are part of him.  Thus, Fatima had a special place in her father's congregation."  Jamie explained. 

" How so?" I said 

" You see, Fatima supported her father's mission. She was there for him when everyone else was against him. She stood by his side after her mother died. I truly believe that Fatima is Mohammed’s rightful heir. " Jamie said.

" Why didn't she rule then?" I asked. 

" Fatima was denied her right to rule because a tribal society stood against her. You see, early Islamic teachings didn't oppress women, but the tribal community, where Islam was taught, oppressed women.  Can you imagine tribal-men being told what to do by a woman? Of course, they rejected the idea, denied her, and oppressed her gender. Thus, no woman would even think about it," Jaime elaborated. 

" But why no-one claimed 'her throne'?" I asked.  

Actually, they did. Have you heard of the Fatimids? They ruled Egypt and other parts of the Middle East from 908  until 1187 AD. They claimed that they were entitled to rule because they were descended from Fatima." Jamie explained.

" Jamie, I think you should talk about it. The true heir of Islam is a woman!What topic can be more fascinating than that? " I said.
" I think my views are too liberal. I will stick to my conservative views," Jamie said.

" Okay! Let's pack your bag. What are you going to bring me back from there?" I asked.


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