Research Paper and Essay

Pakistan literature, that is, the literature of Pakistan, is a distinct literature that gradually came to be defined after Pakistan gained nationhood status in 1947, emerging out of literary traditions of the Indian subcontinent. The shared tradition of Urdu literature and English literature of British India was inherited by the new state. Over a period a body of literature unique to Pakistan has emerged in nearly all major Pakistani languages, including Urdu, English, Punjabi, Balochi, Pushto and Sindhi. Pakistani English writing has had some readership in the country.
From 1980’s Pakistani English literature began to receive national and official recognition, when the Pakistan Academy of Letters included works originally written English in its annual literary awards. The topic ‘ Repersentation of Muslim Woman through Pakistan fiction novelists’ leads to describe every aspect of Muslim Woman’s life whether she lives in Islamic country or any other country. There are many fiction novels written by Pakistani Writers available on Muslim Woman such as Zohra by Zeenuth Futehally; Rummana Futehally Denby,Fall of Imam by Nawal Sa?dawi,Does my head look big in this?
y Randa Abdel-Fattah,Amina by Mohammed Umar,Mpas for lost lovers byNadeem Aslam,Things I never told my mother byUm Daoud, The girl in the tangerine scarf by Mohja Khaf, My name is Salma by Fadia Fariq, The writing on my forehead by Nafisa Haji, Marriage on the street corner of Tehran by Shahram Nadia, Sunlight on a broken coloumn by Attia Hosain, Dear prophet-A Woman’s story, Awife for my son by Ali Ghanem and Size of a mustard seed by Umm Juwayriyah, in which authors have described different situations of Muslim Women dealing in their lives.

The aim of my paper is to discusss the way in which various representations of Muslim Women are constructed in Pakistan English novels through Pakistan novelist. This paper construct the Muslim women as universal, ahistorical, and undifference category who become essentialized through the uniqueness of their difference. Literature Review: The literature discussing Muslim Women in online context, similarly to that on Muslim Women ‘offline’ , seems to be focused on head and face covering, adding to the existing bodies of themes some new ones, notably reflections on islamic dress from marketing and fashion design perspectives.
POOL writes that “ Heavy black hijab dominates the representations of Muslim Women internationally. ” Result: Muslim women in all over the world possess all the capabilities to cope up with everyday life , though she is being exploid in some islamic country but she has the power to deal with every evil with strength and courage. Research methodology: Paradigms I have used for my research is qualitative. Tools from which I have gathered my source are iternet- wikkipedia,Amazon. com, Desistore internet service, University of Texas press, Bookclubs and Clearmart.
Method of my study is document analysis. Discussuion: The representation of muslim woman begins to become a more generic gendered difference largely uncomplicated by religious or racial difference. Muslim womem are depicted through same referents as European women with little textual difference or as, Khaf puts it, with “their Muslim-ness hovering in the background” is punctuated by certain shifts in the Muslim women sexuality. For example , she becomes less of a passive object of male desire and, in some scenario , recuperates some control over her sexuality’s development.
According to Kahf the “traditional myths of Islam warned or went into latency during this period because the forces producing them( e. g. ,the church) has stalled”. During this curious lull”, she argues, “older myths of islam cut off from their sources, mulate, transform and seems to float randomly, while emerging new myths are still vague and unsteady”. Following the work of Mohj Kahf , I argue that the politics of representing Muslim Women has been tied to the material and ideological conditions characterizing the relationships between “the west” and islamic societies.
Drawing upon the work of Fdir Faqir , we can become aware of the courage of the Muslim Woman in his novel “MY NAME IS salma”. It is the story which throws light on the inequalities and the dangers faced by Muslim Woman in some cultures when they have a child before marriage. The novel reveals the story of Muslim girl ‘salma’ who when become pregnant before marriage in her small village in LEVANT, her her innocent days swimming in the spring are gone forever. She is swept into prison for her own protection . To the sounds of her screams , her new born baby snatched away .
In the middle of the most English of towns , EXETER, she learns good manners from her landlady and settles down with an Englishman . But deep in her heart the cries of her baby daughter still echo. When she bear them no longer , she goes back to her village to find her. It is the journey that will change anything- and nothing . Slipping between the olive groves of the LEVANT and then rain-sticked pavements of EXETER, MY NAME IS SALMA is a searing portrayal of a Muslim woman’s courage into the face of insurmountable odds.
DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? is the story of 16-year-old Amal, an Australian-Palestinian who struggles with standard high school drama, in the context of being a Muslim girl who has recently adopted the hijab. So, before anything, masha’Allah! Muslim teenage girls are finally represented in young adult/teen fiction. Not as terrorists. Not as child brides. Instead, they’re average high school girls. Author Randa Abdel-Fattah takes this responsibility seriously and she tries to tackle every issue facing Muslim teen girls.
It’s understandable that Abdel-Fattah would have a lot to achieve in a book like this. She takes on the hijab (the decision to go from non-hijabi to full-time hijabi, the reactions, the consequences), the image of Islam in the context of modern-day terrorism, boys and dating, culture vs. Islam, sexism within the Muslim community, racism, Islamophobia, prayer and wudu, fasting, and being the lone Muslim in an upper-class Australian prep school. She’s a Muslim teenager and she watches Sex in the City. She has a mad crush on her classmate Adam, showing that Muslims are in fact not asexual!
It’s interesting to see how Abdel-Fattah handles the conflicting forces within Amal: she is intensely attracted to Adam (from forearm lust to his personality), but she does not believe any romantic relationship is appropriate outside marriage. Unfortunately, the hundred books about Muslim teenagers do not exist. Does My Head Look Big in This? is what we have, the only book to cover so many issues of Western Muslim teenagers. And, despite its flaws, the book succeeds in one of its very important goals: normalizing Muslim girls. Here is Amal.
She’s not a “fanatic,” she’s not a terrorist, and she doesn’t lead a life of misery and abuse. She’s just a teenage girl, dealing with standard high school problems — but she navigates them her own Islamic way. Drawing upon the wrork of UM DAOUD, with her years of living and working among Muslims, we get the realistic picture of life for Muslim women. This time, in THINGS I NEVER TOLD MY MOTHER“she illustrate the life of thousands of Muslim women who live in more secular Muslim countries and the struggle they face between Western influences on their societies and what little they know of islam.
Things I Never Told My Mother is a story set in the North African country of Tunisia. Deception has become a way of life for Iman. Ignored in her early years by her career-minded parents, the sudden intrusion of her mother into her life pushes Iman to become something she never imagined. Though Muslim, her loose lifestyle leads her into many dangerous encounters with the opposite sex. When true love does finally come her way, she finds herself incapable of returning it, perhaps losing forever the best opportunity to escape her mother’s reach. Desperation leads to desperate measures and even a reanalysis of her own faith.
Could God love her? This is the question Iman asks herself as she things back over all the things she never told her mother. This book brings us face-to-face with a side of Islam many of us do not realize is there–secular Islam. Yet, many Muslim live in areas that allow a freedom that sometimes causes them to swing from the very conservative norms of the religion to a lifestyle that looks virtually nothing like what we would consider normal for the average Muslim. The author writes in such a realistic way that I was instantly drawn into the plight of the women.
This novel reveals that the Muslim community is much more complex than the stereo-typical terrorist version portrayed in the media. Things I never told my mother will do much to increase the reader’s understanding the Muslim world. It was a fascinating exploration into the lives of women in the Muslim culture. This book shows the secular Muslim lifestyle and a young woman who lives it, until she comes in contact with people with a living faith. The author has lived among these people and understands their varied lifestyles. This book is for older youth and adults, as there are sexual situations.
These situations are important to the understanding of the culture and lifestyle. The size of a mustard seed by Umm Juwayriyah , is a story of being a Muslim in the city, in America here and now: the struggles, the joys, the sorrows, the complexities. It’s very realistic, and hard to believe that it’s a fictional account! The characters are well-rounded, complex, and multicultural. Sullivan ushers in a new era of fiction–urban Islamic fiction–with this tale about Jameelah, a 27-year-old Muslim woman born to what appears to be one of the inner-city’s stronger blended American-Muslim families.
She works as a hair stylist with her two best friends in the city’s only Muslim women’s owned and operated hair salon, Covered Pearls. On appearance and material possessions alone Jameelah seems to be doing big things; she has a loving family, owns a fly car, she has her own apartment and she’s not too far off from getting her second degree. What most don’t know is that she is one traffic jam away from losing control of her life. Being a single Muslim woman isn’t easy plus post 9/11 stresses still seem to haunt her. Jameelah prays for a change, but what will she do if change actually comes?
When a prominent Imam proposes marriage to Jameelah she feels as if it’s the blessing that she has been waiting for from Allah. She knows marrying him will change her life, but when an unexpected family crisis erupts and secrets are exposed, Jameelah is forced to make hard choices and put her complete faith in the only One unable to break it. The author has made the characters stunningly realistic, and has given them the ability to draw you into their plights and dilemmas. Not only do we have Jameelah, the main voice of the story, we also have her sister, Khadijah, their younger brother Adam, and a lovely young Muslim convert named Shevon.
Follow Jameelah as she struggles with her personal demons of attitude, family obligations and the single life. Learn about the struggles of a young Muslim convert named Shevon whose family does not accept her chosen faith. Understand what it means to be a Muslim in a post 9/11 world. A fictional story about a young Muslim woman facing everyday life and spiritual challenges in her Muslim community in Central Massachusetts. This bookit opened a window for many of the non-Muslims in our group into the ways that Islam infuses everyday life for Muslims. Marriage on the street corners of Tehran by Nadia shahram
Although fiction, this book is a real eye-opener to how pervasive the discrimination of women is in the modern-day culture of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The author creatively uses the format of a novel as a vehicle to tell the true stories of women who have lived the harsh reality of a society and culture that demonizes and oppresses females. The shock of reading about modern men and women following the practices of sixth- century tribal Persia in the modern city of today’s Tehran will make you realize how little we average American readers know about the everyday lives of ordinary Iranian girls and women.
The ancient practice of “siggeh” allowed men to contract marriage with multiple women – a practice originally intended to provide male protection to widows and children who otherwise couldn’t support themselves. This novel exposes how “siggeh” is now widely used by men simply as a man’s way to legally “marry” multiple women and have sex with them at his will – it is, in fact, a legal and religiously-sanctioned form of prostitution. The heart of the novel is the story of Ateesh, a strong, thoughtful and proud young woman, who struggles to find some modicum of independence in an overwhelmingly male-dominated society.
Her father marries her off at the age of twelve to an older man she has never met, and she finds herself degraded, abused and isolated in the home of her husband. She finds the courage to escape and flees back to her home, but then finds herself rejected by her father and responsible for her own future. With limited options as a young, unmarried woman, she eventually turns to the practice of temporary marriage (“siggeh”), in which she contracts herself as a “temporary bride” to different men, and in this way is able to support herself and even save some of the money she earns to put herself through school.
What is so amazing is that this practice of “temporary marriage” is practiced openly and legally in this Islamic society, allowing married men to contract with “temporary brides” whenever they want in order to legally have sex outside of marriage — shocking, in a society where adultery is itself punishable by stoning to death. In the course of the book, the author explores many other practices that oppress and harm women in these societies, including blood money and honor killings.
This novel is not only an interesting, thought-provoking story, but is also a moving exposition of the more positive aesthetic aspects of the Islamic culture, especially their beautiful gardens and dramatic poetry and music. The novel is an easy read but do not be fooled, Nadia Shahram deals with complex cultural, religious, and legal issues pertaining to Muslim women. The novel,ZOHRA BY Zeenuth Futehally, is first published in 1951, is set in Hyderabad in the early part of the twentieth century.
It is the story of a young high-class Muslum woman, who is forced to marry and thus put aside her natural inclination to read and write and lead an independent life. Zohra, whose emotional growth and development mirrors the development of the Indian national consciousness. Zohra is forced to marry against her wishes at the age of eighteen at the cost of her creative inclinations. What follows is her increasing distance from her husband who does not share her creative interests and her friendship and love for her brother-in-law Hamid, who is very much the face of modern India.
Zohra subjugates her desire for Hamid in the face of her sense of inviolable duty, and finally escapes the social conventions that bind her, but only through the ultimate tragedy – death. What makes this novel valuable is the rich depiction of the way of life of Zeenuth Futehally’s native Hyderabad, as well as her compassionate understanding of how women were restricted by the wishes of their parents and husbands. It evokes a period of civicunrest that preceded Indian independence. Fictionalized account of a true story of a Muslim woman, victim of disguised evils in Islamic society.
AMINA by Mohammed Umar is the dramatic story of the efforts of the heroine and her friends to bring about change in the social conditions of women in Nigeria addresses pressing political issues which rarely appear in fiction – the legal status of Muslim women, the limitations imposed on them by traditional and religious conventions, the restrictions on their economic activities, the effects of a corrupt patriarchal system on the society at large and women in particular, the humiliations visited on women as a result of unquestioned male power in personal relationships – from a woman’s point of view.
Ingeniously conceived and deftly written, this is a story about the emancipation of women in Nigeria from within. Not simply a social document, it engages the reader’s sympathy through its portrayal of the attractive and believable woman after whom it is titled–Amina. Amina is a timely novel, and the execution of the narrative is so convincingly crafted that parallels with the historical legendary life of the 16th century Hausa ruler and famous warrior Queen Amina of Zazzau seem unavoidable. The novel leaves you feeling that there is hope for change in Nigeria.
The Fall of the Imam by Nawal Sa?dawi is surrounded by a coterie of ministers, the Imam rules over an imaginary earthly kingdom. Bint Allah is the Daughter of God, a beautiful illegitimate girl. She is falsely accused by the Imam of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. Then, during the annual Victory Holiday, the Imam himself is killed. The story of each of these deaths is told repeatedly, as this powerful and poetic novel reveals the underlying hypocrisy of any male-dominated religious state, and the insufferable predicament of women in a society that must ultimately self-destruct.
In the preface to The Fall of the Imam, Saadawi explains that the text comes out of her experience in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East during a period of ten years before the novel appeared in 1987. She speaks of her many conversations with victims of Arab culture, such as the Iranian woman whose “little girl” was raped by her jailers, and the Sudanese woman who accompanied Saadawi on a visit to the “Association for People with Amputated Hands,” where she saw many of those who had been punished under Muslim law, called “Shariat.
Confronting the horrors of what men can do to men, but also what they can do to women and children, Saadawi constructed a fantasy narrative of a girl called Bint Allah, who is stoned to death for fornication, as well as crimes against God and the State–God and the State being virtually synonymous with those in power. The decision to employ fantasy as the means of representing the horrors of a repressive State entailed some risk for Saadawi in her efforts at bearing witness to atrocities against women.
Ali Ghalem’s A Wife for my Son is a sensitive account not only of how the traditional constraints of hierarchical marriage affect an intelligent, independent young woman, but also of how economic exile into a “post-colonial” society stifle the ambitions and the personality of a young husband. “Western” readers are mostly unfamiliar with the details of how marriage and family lives work in North Africa, and may be surprised at the modernity and subtlety with which the author presents his themes.
A young, well-educated, woman is suddenly — and apparently without reason — converted into a bride-to-be in a conventional arranged marriage. In a patriarchal society like that of contemporary Algeria, this means not only submission to her husband’s desires and neglect, but also a radical shift away from her beloved home to that of her new in-laws. Fatiha chafes under the discrimination and even dislike she encounters in her new environment, especially since her husband has gone back to seek work in France and left her “alone. ”
Hocine understands that e, too, is alienated by custom and by distance, but he does not have the sensitivity nor the education, nor the modernity, to characterize his loneliness in the way his young wife does. Ali Ghalem carefully and patiently describes a young woman’s maturing in hostile circumstances which she is, finally, able to alter and re-create into a a network of support and even pleasure and fun. In the end, it is the young men, isolated from their customs, food and language in a hostile and discriminatory environment, who have the greatest difficulties in maintaining their customs, their personality, their birthright.
This is an unusually sensitive and informative account of how inflexible gender roles affect a young generation and of the innate strengths, particularly of the young women, which can bend those roles into fulfilment and even comfort. Blasphemy promises to generate the same degree of excitement as her first book. Set in South Pakistan, Blasphemy is an enticing novel by Tehmina Durrani. Angry and courageous in outlook, it establishes Ms. Durrani among the foremost writers of the Subcontinent.
Inspired by a true story, Blasphemy is a searing study of evil, an uncompromising look at the distortion of Islam by predatory religious leaders. In prose of great power and intensity, the author tells the tragic story of the beautiful Heer, brutalized and corrupted by Pir Sain, the man of God, her Husband. Blasphemy depicts the struggle of a Muslim Woman against all that is contrary to what Islam stands for. It is an amalgamation of fact and fiction, blending to disguise and protect the victims of a horrible human tragedy, while exposing the powerful religious imposters who prey on a wretched and powerless people.
A shocking tale of cruelty, sex and violence. In order to find a cure for any disease its imperative that you detect it early, isolate it and then try and cure it. It is in this regard that credit should go to Ms. Durrani for getting to the root of a disease that has been rampant in many of the urban and rural areas of Pakistan. Blasphemy is a tale that demands concentrated effort from its readers to try and rid the country of the menace of female abuse. It gives a horrific account of how the custodians of religon are using their ‘special knowledge’ to exploit the lliterate masses.
The central character, Heer, is one such victim of this form of designed oppression by the antagonist Pir Sain. It’s her exceptional beauty that catches Pir Sain’s eyes at first. After abusing her body on the night of their marriage, Pir Sain sets out to control her mind and soul as Heer is forcibly adapted to a life alien to her and unbearable to any human being. Blasphemy is a tale where day after day the body keeps surrendering and the soul keeps rebelling as Heer searches for a moment of peace.
Through Heer’s experience the author brings out a blasphemous way of life, unknown to the layman, practiced not only by Pir Sain but also by his followers. Pir Sain’s abstinence from going to his wife during Ramadan is the action of any orthodox Muslim. His beating of Heer for missing her prayers further secures his image in front of the extremists. But then there is his demand that Heer aborts their child so he may satisfy his carnal desires, demands immediate retribution. Despite all his vices, he is holy and almost divine by his followers.
Blasphemy is a tale where Heer exposes the evils of these ‘holy-men’ – first to herself and then to us. CONCLUSION: The evolving muslim women archetype has undergone several transmutations. Her textual presence has emvodied and symbolized the political , economic, cultured and ideological relations between Europe and the Muslim world at a particular historical momonts. Muslim woman have been represented discursively as products of both the male and feminist gaze within the context of varying relations power and domination.

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