Muslim Women, Reform and Princely Patronage

Nawab Sultan Jahan Begam of Bhopal

By Siobhan Lambert-Hurley

© 2007 – Routledge

260 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415544511
pub: 2009-04-21
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415401920
pub: 2006-12-19
US Dollars$168.00

About the Book

This is a new and engaging examination of the emergence of a Muslim women’s movement in India. The state of Bhopal, a Muslim principality in central India, was ruled by a succession of female rulers throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, most notably the last Begam of Bhopal, Nawab Sultan Jahan Begam.

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley puts forward the importance for early Muslim female activists to balance continuity and innovation. By operating within the framework of Islam, these women built on traditional norms in order to introduce incremental change in terms of veiling, female education, marriage, motherhood and women's political rights. For the first time, this book analyzes the role of the ‘daughters of reform', the first generation of Muslim women who contributed to the reformist discourse, particularly at the regional level.

Based on numerous primary sources in Urdu, including the tracts, books, reports, letters and journal articles of Sultan Jahan Begam and the other women of Bhopal along with official records such as the reports of early organizations and institutions in the Bhopal State, the author sheds light on an important part of India’s history.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Models and Inheritances 2. State and Society 3. Scholars and Schools 4. Veiling and Seclusion 5. Medicine and Motherhood 6. Rights and Duties. Conclusions

About the Author

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley is Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Nottingham Trent University. Her research focuses on women, gender and Islam in South Asia with a particular emphasis on education, social and political organizations, the culture of travel, missionaries, and personal narratives. Her other publications include Rhetoric and Reality: Gender and the Colonial Experience in South Asia (co-edited with Avril A. Powell) (2006).

About the Series

Royal Asiatic Society Books

The Royal Asiatic Society was founded in 1823 ‘for the investigation of subjects connected with, and for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to, Asia’. Informed by these goals, the policy of the Society’s Editorial Board is to make available in appropriate formats the results of original research in the humanities and social sciences having to do with Asia, defined in the broadest geographical and cultural sense and up to the present day.

Editorial Board:
Professor Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK (Chair); Professor Tim Barrett, SOAS, University of London, UK; Dr Evrim Binbaş, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK; Professor Anna Contadini, SOAS, University of London, UK; Professor Michael Feener, National University of Singapore; Dr Gordon Johnson, University of Cambridge, UK; Professor David Morgan, University of Wisconsin–Madison, US; Dr. BMC Brend; Dr. R. Llewellyn Jones MBE

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Islam / General
RELIGION / Islam / History
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies