Muslim Women Gather In South Asia

Heavenly Ornaments

I asked Zahra if she knew the book Heavenly Ornaments. She was incredulous, of course she did!!! She told me how her aunt would regularly gather the women in her Muslim neighbourhood to read and discuss this book. As a little girl Zahra played as she listened in. Now as an adult she’s part of her own discussion group. There are thousands of similar book groups for women around the world.

“It’s the most famous book, such an important book, written especially for women.”

Bahishti Zewar, or Heavenly Ornaments, was written in North India in the early twentieth century. It is a practical guidebook for Muslim women on how to lead religious and moral lives. When it was written the rise of non-Islamic influences, including Christianity, concerned Muslim leaders so much they wanted women to have religious understanding, to teach their children and protect their families’ religious identity.

Muslim women and their children | Image by Juliana Cunha via Flickr, Creative Commons

A century later it is one of the most widely printed books in South Asia and studied by many Sunni Muslim women around the world. It is often given to a bride on her wedding day, along with a copy of the Quran. In parts of the UK, groups of teenage Muslim girls meet to study Heavenly Ornaments twice a week. They will study it repeatedly into adulthood, regularly discussing together how to apply its teaching about family life.

See also  Pray for Kolkata, India

How to Pray

  1. Pray for these devotees of “Heavenly Ornaments” to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, like a pearl of great price (Matt 13:46).
  2. Pray these women will have opportunities to also search Scripture and see that ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ (Ps 119:105).
  3. Pray for Muslim women raising the next generation, to have wisdom and courage to guide them into the future, knowing they are loved by their Heavenly Father and precious in His sight.
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One comment

  1. Conocer sus costumbres es sumamente importante, sobre todo para quienes Dios ha tenido a bien darnos la hermosa carga de interceder por su conversión. Oramos por ellas

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