(Mother of Moulana Sayyid Abul Hasan ‘Ali Nadwi [rahimahumallah] – Part Three)

The mother of Moulana Abul Hasan (rahimahullah), Khairun Nisaa (rahimahallah), was raised in a family in which the education of the womenfolk was very carefully controlled and was not allowed to exceed a certain level. In this regard, reading, writing and education beyond the basics were not approved of for the women of the family. Rather, their education would be limited to learning the relevant, necessary masaa-il (rulings) of Deen and matters which would assist them in running a home and attending to domestic affairs. Additionally, the kitaabs (books) of such ‘Ulama in whom the family felt confidence, were to some degree included in the syllabus.

In fact, for the girls of the family, learning to write was actually discouraged to some extent, and some of the pious elders of the family were very strict in this regard. They would explain their stance and motive saying, “If girls learn to write, they may begin writing to strange men.” However, due to the outstanding piety of Khairun Nisaa (rahimahallah), a special concession was made for her to learn to write. She was thereafter blessed by Allah Ta‘ala to use this talent of hers in a very noble cause – to author beneficial and excellent books.

While strict control was exercised regarding education and writing, certain skills and talents which are prized within a woman were encouraged and imparted to them at a very advanced level. One of these skills is the ability to sew. Khairun Nisaa (rahimahallah) had an inherent talent for sewing and embroidery. In fact, she was so skilled that her sewing seemed to be that of a professional seamstress, and such was her flair that she would regularly create new patterns and designs.


1. Our Deen does not advocate that a woman should remain illiterate. However, it is extremely necessary that we recognize the dangers of literacy and modern education and put measures into place that will save ourselves and our children, both male and female, from falling prey to them. A simple example is that of novels. How many young people have had a complete summersault in their thinking and behaviour after reading certain novels? Likewise, how many boys and girls have fallen into an illicit relationship via WhatsApp, Instagram or other similar communication platforms? Many of these ills and harms stem from the lack of careful monitoring and control by the parents who wish to empower their children, but fail to recognize the associated dangers.

2. If a woman is a talented seamstress, baker, chef, etc. she will be good for herself and good for others as well. If the need ever arises, she will even be able to earn a livelihood with respect from the confines of her home. Furthermore, she will be occupied and productive and will never be driven by boredom to occupy herself in activities that are harmful to her Deen and imaan.