Umm al-Darda al-Kubra (Arabic: أم الدرداء الكبرى) was a companion of prophet Muhammad. She was a prominent jurist during the 7th century in Damascus. She lectured in the male section of the mosque. As an orphan child, under the sponsorship of Abu Darda, Umm al-Darda prayed shoulder to shoulder with men — a practice which is very rarely seen today — and issued a fatwa, which is still used today allowing women to pray in the same position as men.
One of her students, ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān, was the 5th Umayyad caliph. He studied fiqh under Umm al-Darda The 14th-century Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun states, "ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwan is one of the greatest Arab and Muslim Caliphs. He followed in the footsteps of ʿUmar ibn al-Khattab, the Commander of the Believers, in regulating state affairs."
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