Muslim Preachers and Teachers
A group of men came to Rabi'a in order to test her. They said: 'Virtues and special gifts have been bestowed on men, not women. The crown of nobility has been placed on the heads of men, and the belt of generosity has been tied around their waists. The gift of prophesy has never descended on any woman. What can you boast of?' Rabi'a replied: 'I shall not dispute what you say. Yet women are less prone to pride, egoism and self-worship; they are less liable to think highly of themselves. And they do not so readily exploit others for their own pleasure.'
From "366 Readings From Islam," translated by Robert Van der Weyer. Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. Used with permission of John Hunt Publishing, United Kingdom.