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Another Time, Another Place: Memories of a Trip to Europe

Farogh Farrokhazad
Europe (Original Language: Persian)

Extracted from Words, Not Swords: Iran Women Writers and the Freedom of Movement (Syracuse University Press, 2011).


As I put pen to paper to jot down my recollections of the fourteen months I spent in Europe, I feel a …

With Pure Virtue’s Hand

‘A’isha Taymur
Egypt (Original Language: Arabic)

With pure virtue’s hand I guard the might of my hijāb

and with faultless self-shielding, among my peers I rise

With my thoughts taking fire and my gift for sharp critique

I have brought my poet’s skills to new and …

Kashf al-Asrar [The Unveiling of Secrets]

Ruzbihan Baqli
Shiraz, Iran (Original Language: Persian)


  • Explaining Past Experience
  • I was fifteen years old when the beginnings of these secrets occurred in my heart. I am now fifty-five; how shall I explain to you the secrets of my unveilings, and my subtle witnessings, …

    How I learned to Read and Write

    Bibi Ashraf
    Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Urdu)

    The original essay appeared in two instalments in Tehzib-e Niswan (Lahore) (23 and 30 March 1899).  It was then published with a biographical introduction by the journal’s editor, Muhammadi Begum, in a book entitled Hayat-e Ashraf (Lahore: Imambara Sayyida Mubarak …

    A Pilgrimage to the House of God and a Journey to the Land of the Beloved

    Fatima Begum
    Mecca, Arabia (Original Language: Urdu)

    Munis al-Arvah

    Jahanara Begum
    Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Persian)

    Know that, after the performance of religious duties, requirements, and the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, this weak woman who hopes for salvation regards no action as nobler than the remembrance of the spiritual states and stations of the revered …

    Some Reminiscences of Kashmir

    Atiya Fyzee
    London, England (Original Language: )

    A journey from Bombay to Kashmir via Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Amritsar, and Lahore affords, especially to a Purdahnasheen, all the new experiences that she may wish, and reveals many of India’s varied interests, ancient and modern. Among the latter, …


    Atiya Fyzee
    Janjira, India (Original Language: English)


    9th May [18]98



    First of all I will beg the reader’s pardon, especially dear ma’s (as she prefers Urdu) for writing in English. I tried in Hindustani but the “kulum” proved a …


    Nazr Sajjad Haidar
    Dehradun, India (Original Language: Urdu)


    26 May 1912: Today was the most important day of life. When I woke up in the morning to offer my prayers, I saw a different atmosphere in the house. My elder female relatives were busy in arrangements …

    Risalah Sahibiya

    Jahanara Begum
    Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Persian)

    Extract from Risala-i-Sahibiyah (1640)

    Translated by Sunil Sharma


    Since my twentieth year I have had a sincere resolution and firm belief in the … order of the masters of Chisht (may their secrets be sanctified) and the ring of …