Bint al-Huda al-Sadr

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Bint al-Huda al-Sadr
Politico-cultural activist
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Full NameAl-Sayyida Amina al-Sadr
Well-known AsBint al-Huda al-Sadr, Shahidat al-Sadr
Religious AffiliationTwelver Shi'a
LineageAl Sadr
Well-known RelativesAyatollah al-Sayyid Haydar al-Sadr (father), al-Sayyid Isma'il al-Sadr (brotehr) and the martyr al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (brotehr)
Place of BirthKadhimiya
Place of ResidenceKadhimiya
Cause of
She was executed by Saddam
Burial PlaceNajaf
Era20th century
WorksLaytani kuntu 'a'lam, 'Imra'atan wa rajul, ...
ActivitiesWriting articles for al-Adwa' magazine, in charge of al-Zahra' schools, ...

Amina al-Sadr (Arabic: آمنة الصدر), known as Bint al-Hudā (Arabic: بنت الهدی) and Shahīdat al-Sadr, (b. 1357/1938-9 d. 1400/1980) was a writer and a politico-cultural activist in Iraq. She was in charge of al-Zahra' schools in Najaf and Kazimayn. Writing articles for al-Adwa' magazine, holding religious sessions at home, writing religious stories and composing poems were among her cultural and religious activities.

Following her protest for arresting her brother and her speech in the holy shrine of Imam Ali (a), which led to public demonstrations in different cities and countries, she was imprisoned and then executed by the Ba'ath Regime.


Sayyida Amina al-Sadr was born in Kadhimiya in 1357/1938-9. She was the daughter of Ayatollah al-Sayyid Haydar al-Sadr. Her mother was the sister of Ayatollah Muhammad Rida Al Yasin. Al-Sayyid Isma'il al-Sadr and the martyr Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr are her brothers.[1] She lost her father when she was two years old. She learned reading and writing at home and then began to learn Arabic syntax (nahw), logic (mantiq), jurisprudence and [[[principles of jurisprudence]]. She was mentored by Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, al-Shaykh Zuhayr al-Hassun and Umm Ali al-Hassun.[2]

Family tree of al-Sadr Family
Muhammad'Abd al-KarimMuhammad 'AliMirza Ja'farMusa al-SadrHadi al-Sadr al-Kazimayni'Isa al-Sadr
Al-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr
Abu Ja'far Khadim al-Shari'aAbu l-HasanHusaynIsma'ilAqa Mujtahid
HaydarMuhammad JawadMuhammad MahdiSadr al-DinMuhammad Jawad
Isma'ilBint al-HudaMuhammad BaqirAbu l-HasanMuhammad Ja'farMuhammad Sadiqal-Sayyida Baygum Agha al-Sadr al-'Amili
HaydarHasanJa'farSalamMuhammad MahdiMuhammadMa'suma Baygum
Muqtada al-SadrSayyid Muhammad Husayni Bihishti
Imam Musa SadrRida'Ali
HamidSadr al-DinIbn 'Ali

Propagating Activities

Religious Sessions in Houses and the al-Adwa' Magazine

Having realized the important role of women in religious activities, she held regular religious sessions in her house or other people's for spreading Islamic beliefs.[3] She wrote articles in al-Adwa' magazine for Iraqi and basically Arab girls and women. Her writings in the magazine were more about following Islamic teachings and denial of western role models and symbols in the Islamic society.[4]

Superintendence of al-Zahra' Schools

Al-Zahra' schools belonged to Jam'iyyat al-Sunduq al-Khayri al-Islami (Association of Islamic Charitable Fund). These schools were built with the aim of increasing Islamic awareness in children in some Iraqi cities such as: Basra, Diwaniyya, Hillah, Najaf, Kadhimiyya and Baghdad. The central office of these schools was located in Baghdad. Other than conventional subjects, Shahida Bint al-Huda added two other courses to the curriculum of the schools. She also hired teachers who observed Islamic principles at schools.[5]

In 1386/1966-7, Bint al-Huda became the superintendent of the branches of these schools in Najaf and Kadhimayn while she was the manager of another religious school in Najaf. Thus she had dedicated her week between these schools. After office hours, she instructed the teachers with different training approaches and spent the afternoons on answering the questions of university students. In 1392/1972-3 Iraqi government pronounced a directive on the necessity of joining al-Zahra' school to the Ministry of Education. After that, Bint al-Huda stopped maintaining her position as the superintendent of the schools even though the official invitations form government for her to continue her job at these schools did not change her decision.[6] In response to a question about the cause of quitting her job, she said: "I used to give my entire time working in God's cause. But now, when the government wants me to hand over the responsibility to the Ministry of Education it does no longer justify me being here."

Writing Stories and Composing Poems

Bint al-Huda al-Sadr wearing Ihram clothing during hajj pilgrimage.

With the intention of attracting a wider audience to her words, Bint al-Huda started writing so that women from different countries could find a way to understand Islamic thoughts through reading her works.[7] Main themes of her stories include issues such as: Family, Islamic work, difficulties of working women, mockery, beauty, doing make-up, hijab and so forth.[8] She also composed poems with the same aim about these subjects.

The following are some of her books:

  • Laytani kuntu 'a'lam (I wish I knew)
  • 'Imra'atan wa rajul (two women and one man)
  • Sira' ma'a waqi' al-hayat (struggle with reality of life)
  • Liqa' fi l-mustashfa (visiting at hospital)
  • Al-Zulm (the oppression)
  • Al-Mar'a ma' al-Nabi (s) (women in the Prophet (s) viewpoint)
  • Al-Bahitha 'an al-haqiqa (the [female] researcher of the truth)
  • Butulat al-mar'at al-muslima (heroism of the Muslim woman)
  • Al-Fadila tantasir (virtue will win)
  • Al-Khala al-da'i'a (the aunt is lost)
  • Kalima wa da'wa (one word, one propagation)
  • Dikrayat 'ala tilal makka (memories on the hills of Mecca)
  • Zilal taht al-shams (a shadow under the sun)
  • Al-Majmu'a al-qasasiyya al-kamila (the collection of stories)

Political Activities and Martyrdom

Bint al-Huda al-Sadr took the lead in the women's Islamic movement in Iraq. She decided to go on her brother's path in this regard. Some important political events that happened during her life were: arresting Shahid al-Sadr in the hospital of Kufa in 1392/1972, arresting many people of Islamic Iraqi cadres and execution of five of them in 1394/1974 and the uprising in Najaf in 1397/1977 in which several youth were accused, later executed, for violating the law and provoking people to rebellion. After this event Shahid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was summoned to Baghdad for not condemning these activities against the government.[9]

On Rajab 17, 1399/ June 13, 1979, Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was arrested because of his political activities. Bint al-Huda delivered a speech in the holy shrine of Imam Ali (a) and told the people that their Marja' was arrested. Her speech resulted in demonstration of the people of Najaf and the release of al-Shahid al-Sadr. When the news was made public, people in Baghdad, Kadhimiyya, Fuhud, Nu'maniyya, Samawa, Lebanon, Bahrain and Iran held protests supporting al-Shahid al-Sadr. Having witnessed these protests, the government of Iraq put the family of Sadr under house arrest, and finally imprisoned al-Shahid al-Sadr and her sister on Jumada I 19, 1400/April 5, 1980.[10]

Amina and Muhammad Baqir were executed three days later on Jumada I 22, 1400/April 8, 1980.[11] The attack on al-Dujayl in 1402/1982, which was the biggest guerrilla attack organized by al-Hizb al-Da'wa for the assassination of Saddam, was named after Bint al-Huda.[12]


  1. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 74.
  2. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 74-75.
  3. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 75.
  4. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 76-77.
  5. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 78.
  6. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 78.
  7. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 79.
  8. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 80.
  9. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 88.
  10. Ḥasūn, Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt, p. 88-89.
  11. Nuʿmānī, Sālhāyi ranj, p. 302.
  12. Wiley, Nihḍat-i Islāmī-yi shīʿayān-i Irāq, p. 112.


  • Ḥasūn, Muḥammad and Mashkūr, Umm ʿAlī. Aʿlām al-nisāʾ al-muʾmināt. 11th edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Uswa, 1411 AH.
  • Wiley, Joyce N. Nihḍat-i Islāmī-yi shīʿayān-i Irāq. Translated to Farsi by Mahwash Ghulāmī. Tehran: Iṭṭilāʿāt, 1373 Sh.