Female scholar Shaykha Bahiyyah bint Hāshim al-Quṭbiyyah al-Filāliyyah, known to be one of this generation’s most inspirational Islamic leaders, passed earlier this week at the age of 108.
At only 14 years old, Shaykha Bahiyyah had already memorized the entire Quran, as well as studied Islamic sciences alongside various scholars of her region. At 18, she made hajj and also studied with scholars of the Hijaz.
In 1955, she chose to enroll as a the only woman student at the renowned Zaytunah University in Tunisia. After graduating five years later, she returned home to her country of Morocco.
Shaykhah Bahiyyah’s determination to pursue Islamic teachings was evident through an extensive list of teachers and disciplines. She studied tafsir, fiqh texts, the sciences of hadith, history and more throughout her career.
Born in Meknes, Shaykhah Bahiyyah grew up submerged in a life of poverty, rather than fame and fortune. Until her discovery by Shaykh Hasan Ali al-Kattani and Shaykh Muhammad Daniel Muhajir, many were unaware of her existence. Since then, students have traveled from afar to meet Shaykah Bahiyyah and benefit from her astonishing memory of the Quran and other Islamic texts.
Muslims who desired to meet with Shaykah Bahiyyah would always find her at the Great Masjid of Meknes, where she was known to be praying. She would regularly fast on Mondays and Thursdays, and always made dikhr.
Towards the end of her life, she was struck with illness and could no longer physically make the journey to the masjid. However, her home remained open to any students who wished to visit and hear comforting passages from the Quran and Sunnah.
Just a few days before her passing, she was witnessed correcting the names of narrators and words of hadith of the Muwatta from her memory.
“Definitely Allah has taken what belongs to Him. He has given us what belongs to Him. He has stipulated a time for everyone (which He does not chance by impatience or plan). Have patience and hope for reward.” (Bukhari)
May Allah grant her the highest ranks of Jannah.