Women’s History Month Feature: Asma Sayeed

Published: March 28, 2023

Asma Sayeed, associate professor in the department of Near Eastern languages and cultures and director of Islamic studies, is charting a course for UCLA’s #IslamicStudies program — the oldest in the country: https://ucla.in/3J7yhcm Sayeed is inspired by Muslim scholar and poet Nana Asma’u.

“One woman who has inspired me is Nana Asma’u (1793-1864), a northern Nigerian Muslim religious scholar and poet who wrote on topics of law, politics, history, the Quran and Muslim piety,” Sayeed says. “She was a daughter of Uthman dan Fodio (d. 1817), the founder of the Sokoto caliphate and a leader of the anti-colonial resistance movement in Nigeria.

“I am passionate about teaching about Nana Asma’u because she was a leading West African Muslim female scholar who has influenced Muslim women globally to seek education, be creative and embrace leadership, even in the face of severe hardship and oppression,” Sayeed shares.

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