The Abbasid period is known as a time during which women’s public roles became more restricted in the Muslim population (umma). With the conquest of Sasanian and Byzantine lands, Arabs incorporated ideals of cloistering females and eliminating them from political life, with many ramifications in women’s daily lives. Moreover, strong patriarchal urges already ran through Arabian society, as the Qur’anic verses banning female infanticide testify. These verses, composed upon the death of a daughter, demonstrate the bittersweet public position of women in Abbasid society.

Source: Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.


To Abu Hassan I offer condolences.
At times of disaster and catastrophe
God multiplies rewards for the patient.
To be patient in misery
Is equivalent to giving thanks for a gift.
Among the blessings of God undoubtedly
Is the preservation of sons
And the death of daughters.