May 16, 2017

Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihri Al-Quraysh was an Arab Muslim woman who is credited for founding The University of Al Quaraouiyine  in Fes, Morocco in 859 CE. The madrasa she founded is still in operation today as the University of Qarawiyyin. It is the oldest continually operating educational institution in the world and is sometimes referred to as the world's oldest university, though it did not officially become a university until the 1950s. The mosque is also still in operation, and is one of the largest in North Africa. Al-Fihri was the daughter of a wealthy merchant, and had been educated. The family was part of a large migration to Fes from the town of Qayrawan (in modern Tunisia), and so the town lent its name to the mosque and madrassa. Mariam, Fatima's sister, was the sponsor of the Al-Andalus mosque, also in Fes. Both were part of a larger tradition of women founding mosques. Al-Fihri founded one of the world's oldest libraries in the University of Qarawiyyin. The library recently underwent restoration and reopened to the public in May 2016. The library's collection of over 4000 manuscripts includes a 9th century Qur'an and the earliest collection of hadiths.

Source: Wikipedia