Khawla Nakata Kaori, the First Japanese Female Muslim Scholar

Khawla Nakata Kaori may not be known in the Muslim world at large, but her contributions to Islam in Japan and the Muslim community especially, cannot be understated. I, for one, personally benefited from her works and ideas, and the many who knew her were touched by her personality and intellectual grace. A dedicated Muslima to the promotion of ‘Ilm, she continued this effort up until her very last breath. It is my hope that Muslims around the world receive the opportunity to learn about another scholar of ours who often gets very little attention due to the obscurity surrounding Islam’s presence in East Asia. Continue reading Khawla Nakata Kaori, the First Japanese Female Muslim Scholar

The Male-Only Panel Fallacy

The issue of male-only panels is a new one. Outrage often seems manufactured: Muslim women are not “represented” in conferences, scholarly circles, panels, public events, speaking engagements, etc. This is considered a big problem, as it clearly serves as evidence of systematic misogyny, and Muslims will never progress unless it is resolved via a quota system of integrated avenues — or so goes traditional wisdom. Continue reading The Male-Only Panel Fallacy

Reflections and Advice From a Female Scholar

In 2011, I graduated as a female scholar (Alimah) alongside my 12 classmates. After completing the six year program at a traditional Dar-ul-Uloom (school for higher Islamic sciences), we returned to our hometowns, each pursuing our own unique path: some of us began to teach in the communities right away, some furthered their academic studies while others got married and started families, etc.  Continue reading Reflections and Advice From a Female Scholar