Female Islamic Saints

SI MAHMOUD SAADI †

Si Mahmoud Saadi

Si Mahmoud Saadi (1877–1904) born Isabelle Eberhardt, was a German and American Swiss national and mystic of the Qadiri order. From childhood, Mahmoud was a prolific writer, whose literature was published posthumously. As a child, Mahmoud used the pen-name Nicolas Podolinsky, and over time, came to dress as a man, leading many to describe them as having lived a “male persona.” Mahmoud moved with their mother to Algeria and snubbed colonial French society, instead aligning with the Maghreb against French colonisation, converting to Islam, and being initiated into the Qadiri order, drawing the ire and attention of authorities. Mahmoud lived in the margins between genders and cultures, having a controversially licentious lifestyle, associating with impoverished Arab men, and in essence, living and fraternizing as a Muslim man.

Not necessarily considered a saint.

EuropeQadiri OrderSufiAuthorMystic.