How many women are mentioned in the Qur'an?

  • Only one woman—Mary, the mother of Jesus—is directly mentioned by name in the Quran.
  • Approximately 24 other virtuous women are discussed in the Quran—pious women who dedicated their lives to Allah—but instead of naming women by their first names, the Quran calls them by their family references—an Arab tradition at the time. 


Prominent Women in the Quran

The most prominent women discussed in the Quran include the following:


  1. Mariam: Mariam is also known as Mary, the mother of the Jesus. She is the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran. Her story is told in many different verses, and the 19th chapter of the Quran is also named for her. Mariam stands for virtuosity and purity and holds an esteemed position in the Quran—a  woman “above the women of all the worlds.” Mary is still revered by many Muslim women in the Islamic world.
  2. Hawwa: Hawwa is referred to in the Quran as the spouse of Adam, and they were both created directly by God. The name “Hawaa” stands for human equality. Hawaa represents repentance and gives hope to all who sin and think they cannot make amends. In English, Hawaa is known as “Eve.” (Quran 4:1)
  3. Sara: In Islamic tradition, Sara is the wife of the Prophet Abraham (Hazrat Ibrahim)—she has a very small role in the Quran. In her older years, she was approached by angels and told that she would give birth to a son, and that son turned out to be Isaac. (Quran 11:71-72)
  4. Hajirah: Also known as Hajar in English, Hajirah was the younger and second wife of the Prophet Abraham, and she gave birth to the Prophet Ismail. During the annual pilgrimage (Hajj), Muslims re-enact her desperate search for water in the valley near Mecca, replicating her sacrifice when she and her baby were left in the valley of Mecca for the sake of Allah. (Quran 2:158)
  5. Asiya: In the Quran, Asiya is described as the wife of Pharoah. She represents virtue and is considered one of the four ladies of heaven. She died a martyr’s death at the hands of her tyrannical husband. Asiya became a foster mother to Moses after his rescue as an infant. She protected Moses and stood up for him in front of her husband. (Quran 66:11)

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