Female Sufi Saints and Disciples: Women in the life of Jalāl al-dīn Rūmī
Ashk P. Dahlén
Woman is a ray of God.
She is not just the earthly beloved;
she is creative, not created.Rumi
In the same way as Christianity has been formed by women mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila, female spirituality has lefts its mark on the history of Sufism. Rābi‛a al-‛Adawiyya (d. 801), who is usually regarded as the first love-mystic in Islam, is associated with Sufism more than any other woman. In addition to her, there are numerous women who have traveled on the Sufi path and who have been venerated as saints. Abū ‛Abd al-RaÎmān Sulamī (d. 1021) mentions some eighty female Sufis from the two first centuries of Islam in his work Dhikr al-niswa al-muta‛abidāt al-Òūfiyyāt (On Female Sufi Devotees).