Queens and Prophets

Pages: 288
Subject: History, Middle East
Imprint: Oneworld

Queens and Prophets

The Making of Late Antique Arabia

Emran El-Badawi

A paradigm-shifting examination of female power in pre-Islamic Arabia
9780861544455 (3 Nov 2022)
RRP £25.00 / US$35.00

The Book

Arab women in the pre-modern world were marginalised figures - or so it is popularly assumed. Between the intervention of the Rome and the emergence of Islam, there were, in fact, female nobles who ruled independently, conducting trade and making war. They also influenced the most important holy men of their time.

Empress Zenobia and queen Mavia supported Paul of Samosata and Moses of Sinai, bishops declared heretics by the Roman church. The teachings of these men survived under their queens and set in motion seismic debates that would fracture the early churches and lay the groundwork for the rise of Islam. In Mecca, lady Khadijah used her wealth and political influence to marry a younger man against the wishes of dissenting noblemen. Her husband, who often confided in her and sought her counsel, was the prophet Muhammad.

Long overdue, Queens and Prophets is a landmark exploration of the legacy of female power in late antique Arabia.

Additional Information

Subject History, Middle East
Pages 288
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Emran El-Badawi is Program Director and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Houston. He is the author of The Qur'an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions and co-editor of Communities of the Qur'an, which is also published by Oneworld. He has contributed to numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor and ARTE.