Fadl Ashsha'ira (d.871) was a poetess of the Abbasid Period (750-1258). She was born in Yamama, Bahrain, and was raised in Basra, Iraq. She was sold by her brothers to a leading court secretary, who in turn, gave her to the Khalif Mutawakkil (821-861). She became one of the court's entertaining poets. According to the bibliographer Ibn Annadim (d. 1047) she had a diwan (collection of poems) of twenty pages. The following poem was written in response to the poet Abu Dhulaf (d.840) who hinted in a poem of his own that she was not a virgin and he preferred virgins, whom he compared to unpierced pearls:
إن المطية لا يلذ ركوبها
ما لم تذلل بالز مام و تركب
و الدر ليس بنافع أربابه
حتى يؤلف للنظام بمثقب
Riding beasts are no joy to ride until they're bridled and mounted.
So pearls are useless unless they're pierced and threaded.
(Source: Classical Poems by Arab Women - Abdullah Al Udhari)