Women as Imams discusses debates drawn from scholars of the formative period of Islam who engaged with the issue of female prayer leadership. Calderini critically analyses their arguments, puts them into their historical context, and, for the first time, tracks down how they have informed current views on female imams (prayer leadership). In presenting the variety of opinions discussed in the past by Sunni, Shi'i and Sufis scholars, this book uncovers how these sources are, at present, being used selectively, depending on modern agendas and biases. This ground-breaking book interrogates the cases of women who are reported to have led prayer in the past. It then analyses the voices of current women imams, many of whom engage with those women of the past to validate their own roles in the present and so pave the way for the future.