The oldest academic degree-granting university existing today founded by muslim woman in Fes, Morocco
Twelve hundred years ago, a young, wealthy and well educated woman named Fatima Al-Fihiyya (also known as Fatima Al-Fihri) inherited a big fortune from her businessman father. Her interest was neither in shoes or handbags, nor in any celebrity lifestyle, neither to woe a man for marriage, nor in any of the stereotypes that are usually associated with women. Fatima had a vision that was cultivated and allowed to grow because of the Islamic society she lived in and encouraged her. Her vision did not remain a dream but was accomplished and the results can still be seen today. In 859 CE, Fatima Al-Fihriyya founded the oldest academic degree-granting university existing today, the University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco.
The Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Africa and the oldest true university in the world. Al-Qarawiyyin is the perfect example of how Islam combines the spiritual with education and that Islam is not separate from life’s affairs. This is not only an example of how education and religion merge in this small corner of the globe, but it sheds light on the esteemed role that women played in the Islamic community - an aspect of Islam that is often misunderstood.
Note: There are older universities founded on the world from times of Babylonia, Greece, Syria, Arabia, India and China - but, they can not apply as the oldest ones - since they do not exist today anymore.
Oldest Universities in the World:
1. University of Al-Karaouine - Morocco
2. Al-Azhar University - Egypt
3. Nizamiyya - Iraq
4. University of Bologna - Italy
5. University of Paris - France
Artwork and partial text credit: Nayzak.