Perhaps the most pivotal female in Ferengi history — not because she is Quark and Rom's widowed mother, but because of her impact on feminist reforms on Ferenginar via Grand Nagus Zek, her lover since 2373. Whether earning profit or wearing clothes, her push for gender equality came out in the open with a charge of illegal profit-making by the FCA in 2371, later waived with confession (and a secret stash still earning income). Her son Quark had been cited for improper supervision, since she'd built a fortune in investments from his monthly three-bar stipend of gold-pressed latinum.

She and Zek first met when she helped him recover his game at the Global Tongo Championships, and it set the tone for her secret support of his lagging financial acumen that helped ignite the modern Ferengi financial boom. She was briefly kidnapped by the Dominion in 2374 while returning from a lobelift on Vulcan and then freed in a prisoner exchange engineered by her sons. Later that year she received an artificial replacement heart from Dr. Bashir on DS9, following her coronary collapse during Zek's brief removal as nagus by the FCA over the feminist reforms she had finally seen enacted.

The daughter of Adred, Ishka was always closer to her younger son Rom, who called her "Moogie." She was estranged from Quark for years after the death of her husband and their father, Keldar, due to Quark's perception that her behavior put him in the grave too soon and held him back. But she loved Keldar despite outclassing him in business, and the FCA encounter allowed her and Quark to reach an understanding.