The woman who pulled the baby Moses out of the river Nile appears in many the most ancient and classical sources of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. She has been translated repeatedly to become whatever a given epoch needs her to become. She has been the figure of a surrogate mother who intercedes on behalf of endangered children. She has been a symbol of purification by water and conversion to new ways of life. She has been a martyr at the hands of an evil tyrant, and most recently, she has been kindling for feminist readings of Islam. This paper is a history of this woman’s re-invention and renaming over time, as she moved from the deep past, through the Jewish and Islamic scriptures and various hagiographies, and finally into our own day.
Wife of Pharaoh, Qur’ān, Tafsīr, Āsiya, Qur’ānic Women, Hagiography
Copyright © 2013 by George Archer
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"A Short History of a “Perfect Woman:” The translations of the “Wife of Pharoah” Before, Through, and Beyond the Qur’ānic Milieu,"
Mathal: Vol. 3
, Article 2.
Available at: http://ir.uiowa.edu/mathal/vol3/iss1/2