Regardless of social rank and religion, whether Christian, Jew or Muslim, Arab women in the Middle Ages played an important role in the functioning of society. This book is a rare journey into their daily lives, their private spaces, and public roles. We are introduced into the women's sanctuaries, their homes and what occurs within its realm--marriage and contraception, childbirth and childcare, culinary traditions, body and beauty rituals--providing rare insight into the rites and rituals prevalent among the different communities of the time. Drawing from the Islamic traditions, as well as legal documents, historical sources, and popular chronicles of the time, Guthrie's book is an informative study of an area which remains relatively unexplored.
'A useful survey on Arab (mostly Muslim) women's lives in past centuries.' RJAS 'Of greatest use to educators and lecturers looking for diverse and entertaining details of various aspects of medieval Near Eastern social life.' International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 'Reveals a broad understanding of the subject.' Mesa Bulletin 'Often lively and entertaining... enlightening.' Burlington Magazine