Sultana (title)
The term Sultana is an Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic title
Royal and noble ranks
Traditional rank amongst European royalty, peers, and nobility is rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and between geographic regions , the following is a reasonably comprehensive list that provides information on both general ranks and specific differences.-...

 reserved for a few Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 women rulers in history. It is sometimes mistaken for the title of the chief wife of a Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...



The most famous Sultana was Razia Sultana of India.
In the former kingdom of Touggourt
Touggourt is a city in Ouargla Province, Algeria, built around an oasis in the Sahara. It is notable for its date trees. It was formerly surrounded by a moat, which the French filled up. The surrounding oasis is very fertile. From Touggourt a road 61 miles long leads across the desert north-east...

 (now part of Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

) there was one sultana: Aïsha.

In Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

, Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, there were five Sultanas who ruled:
  • Sultana Seri Ratu Nihrasyiah Rawangsa Khadiyu of Pase (1400-1427)
  • Sultana Seri Ratu Ta'jul Alam Syafiatuddin Syah of Aceh (1641-1675) - daughter of Sultan Iskandar Muda the Great, and wife of Sultan Iskandar Tani. She spoke 6 languages, Aceh
    Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

    nese, Malay
    Malay language
    Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

    , Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    , Dutch
    Dutch language
    Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

    , Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    , and Persian
    Persian language
    Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

  • Sultana Seri Ratu Nurul Alam Naqiatuddin Syah of Aceh (1675-1678) - goddaughter of Sultana Safiatudin.
  • Sultana Seri Ratu Zakiatuddin Inayat Syah (1678-1688) - goddaughter of Sultana Safiatuddin.
  • Sultana Seri Ratu Kamalat Syah (1688-1699) - goddaughter of Sultana Safiatuddin. Replaced by her husband, under pressure from the Mufti of Mecca
    Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...



In medieval Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Shajar al-Durr, a former slave of Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 origin, ascended the throne in 1250, thereby becoming the only Muslim woman to rule a country in North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and Western Asia. Although several sources assert that she took the title of sultana, The Cambridge History of Islam disputes the claim, stating that "a feminine form, sultana, does not exist in Arabic: the title sulṭān appears on Shajar al-Durr's only extant coin."

Between 1914 and 1922, monarchs of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty
Muhammad Ali Dynasty
The Muhammad Ali Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of Egypt and Sudan, from the 19th to the mid-20th Century. It is named after its progenitor, Muhammad Ali Pasha, regarded as the founder of modern Egypt. It was also more formally known as the Alawiyya Dynasty...

 used the title of Sultan of Egypt
Sultan of Egypt
Sultan of Egypt was the status held by the rulers of Egypt after the establishment of the Ayyubid Dynasty of Saladin in 1174 until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. Though the extent of the Egyptian Sultanate ebbed and flowed, it generally included Sham and Hejaz, with the consequence that the...

, and their wives were legally styled as sultanas. Two women held the title of sultana during the short-lived Sultanate of Egypt: Melek Tourhan
Melek Tourhan
Melek Hassan Tourhan was the second wife of Sultan Hussein Kamel of Egypt. After her husband ascended the throne in 1914, she became known as Sultana Melek .-Biography:...

, the wife of Sultan Hussein Kamel, and Nazli Sabri
Nazli Sabri
Nazli Sabri , was the Queen consort of Egypt, as the second wife of King Fuad.-Early life:...

, the wife of Sultan Fuad I
Fuad I of Egypt
Fuad I was the Sultan and later King of Egypt and Sudan, Sovereign of Nubia, Kordofan, and Darfur. The ninth ruler of Egypt and Sudan from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, he became Sultan of Egypt and Sudan in 1917, succeeding his elder brother Sultan Hussein Kamel...

. Nazli Sabri became Queen
Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...

 following the establishment of the Kingdom of Egypt
Kingdom of Egypt
The Kingdom of Egypt was the first modern Egyptian state, lasting from 1922 to 1953. The Kingdom was created in 1922 when the British government unilaterally ended its protectorate over Egypt, in place since 1914. Sultan Fuad I became the first king of the new state...

in 1922, and it is with the latter title that she is almost always associated. Melek Tourhan, on the other hand, legally retained the title of sultana even after Egypt became a kingdom, and is often referred to simply as Sultana Melek.
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