Muslim Women: Past and Present

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Throughout the ages, from the earliest days of Islam to contemporary times today, Muslim women have been and continue to be active leaders in their communities and countries across the world. This directory is a growing archive of leading Muslim women scholars, activists, writers, politicians, artists, religious and spiritual leaders, civil society leaders and more. Please contribute to this archive by suggesting Muslim women to be featured through our recommendation form.

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Sheeba Aslam Fehmi

My reading of the Quran leads me to believe that Islam stands for justice, that God, as described in the Quran, is Perfect Justice. I can find no verse in the Quran that is anti-women. From this it necessarily follows that Islam cannot be anti-women.

– Sheeba Aslam Fehmi2

photo of Sheeba Aslam Fehmi

Known For: Columnist for “Gender Jihad”
Country: India

About

Since 2008, Sheeba Aslam Fehmi has been active in the Campaign against deteriorating Female sex ratio, Feticide and Infanticide in Gwalior-Chambal region of Central India. She is also a writer for Hans, one of India’s most respectable Hindi literary monthly magazines.  Hans has feature Sheeba’s 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 Qur’an 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.’ The topic of her doctoral dissertation is Muslim Women’s Movement in Minority-Majority Context: Comparing India and Egypt.

 

[1] Sheeba Aslam Fehmi on Islamic Feminism.
[2] ibid.

More Information

Hans Monthly

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This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women by their Country. We are actively building the archive of Muslim women leaders from the past, as well as from today, and we would welcome your recommendations of women to feature. Please complete our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.
This search feature will enable you to find Muslim women leaders by entering the keyword(s) of your choice. If you cannot find a particular woman that you are looking for, please let us know by completing our “Recommend Muslim Women” form and check the site again in the near future as we actively expand this section of the portal with your suggestions.