Muslim midwives: The craft of birthing in the premodern middle east

Avner Giladi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This book reconstructs the role of midwives in medieval to early modern Islamic history through a careful reading of a wide range of classical and medieval Arabic sources. The author casts the midwife's social status in premodern Islam as a privileged position from which she could mediate between male authority in patriarchal society and female reproductive power within the family. This study also takes a broader historical view of midwifery in the Middle East by examining the tensions between learned medicine (male) and popular, medico-religious practices (female) from early Islam into the Ottoman period and addressing the confrontation between traditional midwifery and Western obstetrics in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages195
ISBN (Electronic)9781107286238
ISBN (Print)9781107054219
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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