Sufi Women of South Asia

Veiled Friends of God


In Sufi Women of South Asia. Veiled Friends of God, the first biographical compendium of hundred and forty-one women, from the eleventh to the twentieth century, Tahera Aftab fills a serious gap in the existing scholarship regarding the historical presence of women in Islam and brings women to the centre of the expanding literature on Sufism. The book’s translated excerpts from the original Farsi and Urdu sources that were never put together create a much-needed English-language source base on Sufism and Muslim women. The book questions the spurious religious and cultural traditions that patronise gender inequalities in Muslim societies and convincingly proves that these pious women were exemplars of Islamic piety who as true spiritual masters avoided its public display.

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Tahera Aftab, Ph.D. (1986) in History, University of Karachi, is Professor of History and Founding Director of Women's Studies (retired) at the University of Karachi, Pakistan. She has also taught at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg (PA, USA) She is the Founding Editor and publisher of Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies: Alam-e-Niswan and has published monographs and articles on south Asia, including Inscribing South Asian Muslim Women: An Annotated Bibliography & Research Guide (Brill, 2007) and A Story of Days Gone by: A Translation of Bītī Kahānī: An Autobiography of Princess Shahr Bano Begam of Pataudi (OUP, 2012).
Note on Transliterations
List of Abbreviations
Glossary of Selected Sufi Terms

Section A: Setting the Scene
Section B: The Sufi Texts: From Imagination to the Inscribed Word
Section C: The Sufi Gaze: Perception of Women by the Male Sufis
Section D: The Sufi Gaze: The Sufi Perception of Family and Familial Responsibilities
Section E: The Sufi Gaze: Interaction with Maid Servants and Women of Ill-repute
Section F: Women’s Presence in The Sufi Silsilas
Section G: The Sufi Lodges: Fencing the Sacred and The Profane
Section H: Sufi Shrines: Manifesting the Deceased Sufi

Section A. Narratives of Sufi Women According to the Time Period
Section B: Biographical Notices of Sufi Women According to Their Specific Status
Section C Biographical Notices of Women Sufis Based on Oral Traditions Collected by Visiting their Shrines
Section D: Sufi Women Identified by Names Only

All interested in Sufi women's lives, Islam in South Asia and Muslim women. It is extremely valuable for researchers, scholars, and students. An extremely useful addition for all academic libraries and research institutes.
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