A Life Dedicated to Learning and the Arts

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley and Sunil Sharma

in Atiya's Journeys

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780198068334
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080441 | DOI:
A Life Dedicated to Learning and the Arts

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Atiya Fyzee is not been a popular figure in the literary or historical canon, which is somewhat surprising considering that she belonged to the prominent Tyabji clan of Bombay. Atiya’s claim to fame rests on two fronts: her ‘friendships’ with renowned Muslim intellectuals of the time, particularly Maulana Shibli Numani and Muhammad Iqbal, and her involvement in the network of ‘secluded scholars’ that were the earliest generation of Muslim women in India to found modern girls’ schools and contribute to Urdu women’s journals. This chapter provides a biographical overview of Atiya’s life, focusing on her dedication to learning and the arts within the context of her extended family, changing gender relations, and Muslim reform in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century South Asia. It also tackles her marriage to Samuel Rahamin in 1912 and their collaboration in fields such as music and dance.

Keywords: Atiya Fyzee; Maulana Shibli Numani; Muhammad Iqbal; Samuel Rahamin; Tyabji clan; Muslim women; arts; gender relations; music; Urdu women’s journals

Chapter.  11574 words.  Illustrated.

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