Zubayda bint Ja’far ibn Mansur

(d 831)

Zubayda was the daughter of the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur and cousin and wife of Harun al-Rashid. She sponsored mosques, hostelries and schools and supported the building of wells, reservoirs and pools to provided water for pilgrims on the road from Kufa to
Mecca and Medina. The road was named after her, darb Zubayda.

She lived at the time when Baghdad and the Abbasid caliphate were at its height of opulence. It is said that she “ornamented her shoes with precious stones. ... At her table, the fist lady of the land would tolerate no vessels but those of gold and silver studded with gems.”

Reference: Philip K. Hitti, “Capital Cities of Arab Islam”, University of Minnesota, 1973.