Aisha al-Ba‘uniyya (c.1456–1517) was one of the greatest women mystics in Islamic history. A Sufi master and an Arab poet, her religious writings were extensive by any standard and extraordinary for her time. In medieval Islam a number of women were respected scholars and teachers, but they rarely composed works of their own. Aisha al-Ba‘uniyya, however, was prolific. She composed over twenty works, and likely wrote more Arabic prose and poetry than any other Muslim woman prior to the twentieth century.
The first full-scale biography of al-Ba‘uniyya in the English language, this volume provides a rare glimpse into the life and writings of a medieval Muslim woman in her own words. Homerin presents her work in the wider context of late-medieval Islamic spirituality, examining the influence of figures such as Ibn al-‘Arabi, al-Busiri and Ibn al-Farid, and emphasising the role of the person of the Prophet Muhammad in her spirituality. Aisha al-Ba‘uniyya is a fascinating introduction to a figure described by a sixteenth-century biographer as ‘one of the marvels of her age’.