This is a broad study of the efforts at modern education for Muslim women, especially with reference to the Aligarh Movement and the initiatives inspired by it in other parts of UP, namely Lucknow, Allahabad, Rampur and Agra. The role of Muslim leaders, both male and female, the nature of the problems they encountered and the manner in which they countered them is the major thrust of this study. In the process we are introduced to the major debates on women and education during the course of late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century.
The author breaks many stereotypes as we learn that it was the more traditional among the Muslim leadership, rather than the ‘modernisers’, who pioneered women’s education and that Muslim women themselves played a major role in nurturing the first institutions under their personal care.
Based on an extensive range of primary sources and contemporary writings in English, Urdu, Hindi and Persian, this is a definitive work in many ways, gives food for thought on developments other than its main theme and will be useful to those concerned with women’s studies, social reform, education and modernity in colonial India, particularly with reference to Muslims.
1. Muslim Women’s Education in the Nineteenth Century: A Study of the Traditionalist Attitudes
2. Efforts for the Education of Muslim Women, 1857-1885
3. Aligarh Movement and Muslim Women’s Education, 1875-1902
4. Female Education Section: Early Discussions, 1896-1904
5. A School for Muslim Girls at Aligarh
6. From Female Normal School to Muhammadan Girls’ School, 1906-1910
7. A Degree College Managed by the University
8. Establishment of Schools by Other Indigenous Efforts: Lucknow, Allahabad, Rampur and Agra.
Cover photo: Papa Mian (Sheikh Abdullah, 1864-1965) and Waheed Jahan Begum (1884-1939), founders of the first school for Muslim girls in Aligarh. Back cover: Carriage used to bring girls to school, accompanied by a female escort. (1923)