Al-hurra

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Al-hurra or al hurra (etymologically: 'Free Woman') was an Arabic title historically often given to, or used to referred to, women who exercised power or had a position of power or high status.

In a harem, the title al-hurra was often used to refer to a legal wife of aristocratic birth, to distinguish her status from that of the concubine bought at the slave market, who was referred to as jarya,[1] and used to describe a Muslim aristocratic woman who was "free" in the sense that she was not a slave;[1] it is related to the style Sayyida (Mistress or lady), the feminine word of sayyid (Master or Lord).[1] However, while the title Al-hurra was given to women as an alternative to the titles malika (Queen), Sultana (female sultan) and Sitt, (Lady), there was no exact male equivalent to the title of al-hurra.[1]

The title Al-hurra was often granted to women who wielded political power, but did not necessarily mean they were sovereigns: Alam al-Malika and Sayyida al Hurra, for example, bore this title. Both had political offices; not as sovereigns, but as political adviser and governor respectively.[1]

Noted title holders[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Mernissi, Fatima; Mary Jo Lakeland (2003). The forgotten queens of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-579868-5.
  • Mernissi, Fatima; Mary Jo Lakeland (2003). The forgotten queens of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-579868-5.