About Fatima al-Fihri
Fatima al-Fihri embodies the true meaning of radical change agent. She was an amazing individual to have ever existed and her legacy continues to bring about change to this day. She would be the perfect woman to sit on the Council for Change considering all that she’s done to help her community and other people.
Fatima al-Fihri was the daughter of a wealthy businessman, Mohammed al-Fihri. The family, Fatima, her father, and her sister, Mariam, travelled from Qairawan, present day Tunisia, to Morocco. Later on in her life, Fatima experienced the death of her father. Due to this unfortunate event, she and her sister were able to inherit a large amount of money. Instead of indulging in material items like most would, Fatima decided to use her resources to build a university in Fes, Morocco. The University of al Qarawiyyin was founded in 859, becoming the world’s first academic university that offered a degree. During the entire preparation of the school, Fatima fasted to get closer to Allah, thus showing her dedication and hope for her vision.
Why does she deserve to be on the council? It’s quite simple. Fatima had wealth and she could have had more, but instead of using it selfishly, she invested in a project that would benefit many people in the world, and what better way to do so than to build a university? Without Fatima al-Fihri, schools would only go up to a certain grade and people wouldn’t be able to further their education. Because of her, many people, including myself, are able to pursue their education and are guaranteed a degree upon the completion of their schooling. Many individuals should look up to a woman like Fatima because she sacrificed her time and resources for a single community, which eventually benefited the entire world. In addition, she showed that women are more than just objects that can easily be disposed of; they’re just as smart and should not be underestimated because they’re capable of so much more.
The university that Fatima founded, al Qarawiyyin, had many advantages of its own long after she was gone. Fatima must have been knowledgable about the location of Fes beforehand because based on the location in which the university was situated in, al Qarawiyyin was able to receive scholars from not only those in Northern Africa, but also individuals from Europe. The individuals that attended the university were able to gain knowledge and certain skills and apply it to the world. For instance, the Muslim scholars learned how to draw and create maps. The Europeans would later use those same maps to explore the world. Fatima was the catalyst that started this movement.
In a day in today, Fatima al-Fihri would turn her nose up in disgust and awe about the social problems that are present. One issue being the main concern today is the discontinuance of schools and the firing of teachers. It appears as though society isn’t invested in education as much as it used to be. Fatima al-Fihri would have a problem with this. She was all about the community and wanting people to thrive and prosper, and though her actions, it was clear that she placed education, or just any kind of knowledge gaining, on a pedestal. Therefore, getting rid of schools, or combining schools into one, would be equivalent to a slap in the face to Fatima. To try to uphold her vision so that many people would have access to an education, Fatima would devout her time to having more schools and any other forms of educational facilities set up. Moreover, based on her religion, providing for the community would be a way to become one with Allah, which she wouldn’t have a problem doing again. Fatima would be thrilled to repeat the process.
Considering the commendable effort that she has done and would continue to do for the community if she were still here, Fatima al-Fihri would be just the right representative on the Council for Change.