Hadeeth scholarship first came to Egypt in the first century. Perhaps the best woman scholar to come to Egypt was the righteous and noble Nafeesah.
Ibn Katheer says:
‘She was a wealthy lady, did a lot of favours to the people, especially those paralysed, those with severe illness, and to all other ill people.
She was a devout, ascetic, and of abundant virtue.
‘It is narrated that when Imaam Shaafi’ee came to Egypt, he called upon her and heard hadeeth from her, and when he died, his funeral was carried to her and she prayed over him in her house.’ (Al-Yafi’ee, Miraat al-Jinaan, ii.43.)
Ibn al-‘Imaad says:
‘Her connections: al-Shaafi’ee receiving hadeeth from her being carried to her house after [his] death are the greatest [signs] of her merits.
This could not have been without popularity, fame, honour and respect among the people.’ (Ibn Al-‘Emaad, Shadharaat al-Dhahab, ii. 21.)
She died in 208AH.