Twenty-five years have elapsed since the initial publication of Ruth Roded’s Women in Islamic Biographical Collections: From Ibn Saʿd to Who’s Who (1994), here republished largely unchanged. Following close on the heels of Nikki Keddie and Beth Baron’s (1991) anthology Women in Middle Eastern History and Leila Ahmed’s (1992) germinal Women and Gender in Islam, Roded’s survey of an understudied genre became an essential resource for scholars interested in Muslim women and gender in what the author refers to as “Islamic culture” or “Islamic society.”

Roded frames her project with the awareness that “the image of women in Islamic history—in the popular mind, among some scholars, and among Muslims themselves—often falls into one of two extreme views. One view holds that women were downtrodden in Islamic society, and the other that Islam granted...

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