Many historical writings indicate that Muslim women were involved in both religious and intellectual life.
Numerous women specialized in grammar, poetry, and the Prophet's sayings.
One example is Fatma, daughter of Abbas Shikha of Rebat (convent) Al-Baghdadia, named "The Lady of her times" by the historian Al-Makrizi, who described her as having great intellect and wisdom.
Other women were known by reciting the Prophet's sayings from the Bukhari book in gatherings that took place at the Citadel.
Many intellectuals of the Mamluk period were taught and certified by famous women, Muslim scholars at the time. A historian named Al-Sakhawy describes how many students crowded to listen to Anas, daughter of Abd Al-Karim. In his book, "The Golden Light in the Elite of the Ninth Century," he includes over a thousand biographies about women that lived during that century (Ninth Century Hijri, Fifteenth Century AD).
Before that, during the Wallah age, Sayeda Nafisa, a descendant of the Prophet, gave religious lessons in her house and was a great woman loved by the Egyptian population.
One of the most famous women of Egyptian Islamic history is Lady Meskah, a slave to Sultan Al-Nasir Mohammad Ibn Qala'un. She raised him and played a major role in the social life of the time. Lady Meskah established a mosque and taught Islamic knowledge and wisdom in the area of Sayeda Zeinab.
Lady Khawand Toghay was a slave to Al-Nasir Mohammad Ibn Qala'un. He freed her and made her his wife. She was a great beauty and a kind-hearted woman who attended to all her slaves' needs. She was the mother of Prince Anook and her greatness continued even after the death of Al-Nasir Mohammad Ibn Qala'un. Khawand Toghay built a khanqa, a monastery or Sufi convent. This khanqa, had houses linked to it where Sufis lived and received their education. She arranged the presence of prayer readers at her son's grave in Madrassa (school) of Al-Nasseriya in Al-Nahassin area. She also donated money so that bread could be given to the poor.
Another famous woman of the Mamluk period is Khawand Baraka, mother of Sultan Shaaban and wife of Prince Iljay Al-Yusufi. She enjoyed greatness and high status. The school of Umm Al-Sultan Shaaban, which was built for her, is a great building with a public fountain which is located near the Citadel. She also arranged for lessons of the Shafii and Hanafi religious rites to be taught there. She was buried there along with her son Al-Ashraf Shaaban.