"The women saints ... certainly represent the greatest height to which Muslim womanhood has attained, an in the reverence accorded them by Muslim men and the examle which they offer to Muslim women lies a real hope for the attainment of a higher standard, religious and social, for Muslim women of today."
So writes Margaret Smith in this fascinating and scholarly work on Rabi'a of Basra, the early Muslim saint and trye mystic who died in the year 801. A complete biography of this woman of unique personality did not appear until Dr. Smith, a distinguished scholar of sufism, published this authoritative account of her life and teachings. Discussing the place of Rabi'a in Islamic tradition, Dr. Smith also offers a survey of the female saints and mystics of the Muslim world, providing an unusual insight into women's impressive contribution to the rich heritage of Islam.
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