Fatima Al-Fihri: The Mother of Moroccan Intellectuals

 Source: Morocco World News

Morocco’s history is full of figures who contributed to changing the course of humanity. Throughout time, Moroccans have influenced the fields of science, geography, philosophy, religion, education and more.

One such figure is Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihriya (also known as Fatima al-Fihri) who was born from humble beginnings in A.D. 800 in modern-day Tunisia. Al-Fihri is credited with founding Al Quaraouiyine mosque, library, and university in Fez with her own money in A.D. 859, naming the ground-breaking educational institution after her hometown of Qayrawan.

The world’s first university and the first educational institution to award degrees, Al Quaraouiyine is one of the most influential and impressive in history, particularly given the state of societies in the 9th century, as well as the place of women in those societies.

For a North African Muslim woman to establish such an institution, which she opened to people of all ages, social classes, and faiths, is testament to her exceptional vision for her society and her innovative mindset for the ways in which education could be transformed.

Fatima al Fihri

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