Columnist for “Gender Jihad”
Sheeba Aslam Fehmi is a writer for Hans, one of India’s most respectable Hindi literary monthly magazines. They have been featuring her column “Gender Jihad” since 2009. Sheeba is one of India’s only Islamic feminist writers and one of the few Indian Muslim women scholars who writes on Islam. Sheeba grew up in a home with politically active parents. She would often find herself watching documentaries while other children were engrossed in Bollywood movies. Sheeba’s defining experience as an aspiring activist occurred when her parents divorced. Although her mother was a very educated woman, she was unaware of the many rights that Muslim women have in Islam. Sheeba believes that her lack of knowledge placed her at a disadvantage during this difficult time. To Sheeba, her mother’s story is the story of many women in patriarchal societies in the Middle East and South Asia where many religious leaders are often charged with subverting the teachings of Islam to justify their own ends. Sheeba therefore decided to deepen her own understanding of the Quran in order to better articulate the equality of Muslim women and men in Islam. In pursuit of this goal, Sheeba completed her M. Phil. at the Centre for Political Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. She wrote a dissertation entitled ‘Human Rights and Multiculturalism: A Study of Legal Cases Involving Muslim Women.’ Presently, she is a doctoral candidate at the same university. The focus of her work is on the absence of a visible Muslim women’s movement in post-1947 India. 1  Sheeba Aslam Fehmi on Islamic Feminism.  ibid.