sister-hood is an award-winning digital magazine spotlighting the diverse voices of women of Muslim heritage.

Clickbait...and hate

Decency

Welcome to sister-hood

Experiences

Virgin desires

In conservative societies in the MENA region there are a whole set of tools devoted to keeping a girl a ‘virgin’ – not just sexually, but in all aspects of life. Young girls must not open their eyes to anything…

Continue reading
Opinions

Gratitude and patience

I look back at the past few months. As COVID-19 with its little crown staged its coup d’état and took over our lives, there was talk of a resurgence of inwardness, of spirituality, of solace through holy scriptures.  Social media…

Continue reading
Opinions

The whirling women of Istanbul

Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving, It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even though you have broken your vows a thousand times, Come, and come yet again. – Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi,…

Continue reading
Poetry

Spaces

The only space women are allowed  Is two-finger wide.  The colours are red, must always be red. Hands crawling out of the floors, Penises hanging on the walls, Always erect  To penetrate & impregnate.  A man’s pride and a woman’s shame. …

Continue reading
Experiences

Guilty prayers

When I was nine years old I naively committed to praying namaz five times a day. This  commitment quickly transitioned from a choice to a responsibility. My motivation for prayer turned from childish excitement to guilt from missing a prayer….

Continue reading
Opinions

Uyghur Muslims need our help

Horrific details of human rights violations against Uyghur Muslim have been surfacing within a world already struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. There are horrifying reports from Xinjiang hospitals of late-stage pregnancies aborted and new-born babies killed in order to reduce…

Continue reading
Poetry

From my lips to your ears

To tell you, would be a lie— that I’m okay.  Holding it together in dovetail, like love and hate. Only I can’t remember the last time someone came by with an unconcealed smile. These days it’s WhatsApp and Zoom, Not…

Continue reading
Opinions

Empire and guilt

Having documented hundreds of narratives on divisions, separations, migrations, growth and lifestyles in Pakistan with the global oral history project The 1947 Partition Archive, over the course of several years, I’m now embarking on a series of essays on colonial…

Continue reading
Opinions

Goodnight children everywhere

We’ve finished reading together. ‘Can you please brush your teeth and get into your pyjamas? When you’re done I will come and tuck you in,’ I tell her. So begins the night time routine at my family home, in a…

Continue reading
Opinions

The echoes of Ahlam’s scream

On July 18, Jordanians started circulating a video clip on social media of anguished female screams with a still photo of a woman lying on a street at night. The video soon became very widely shared. Many people claimed that…

Continue reading
Poetry

Equanimity

with a day comes another day, one misery placed against another misery, a betrayal and then the second betrayal,           from one hurt inches out the other hurt thus my commeasuring life: when it hits shame nips and gnaws at me…

Continue reading
Interviews

Nazir Afzal on life, loss and COVID-19

I spoke to Nazir Afzal shortly after the release of his much-awaited memoir and after his older brother’s passing from COVID-19, both occurring almost simultaneously in the midst of a global pandemic. Nazir Afzal, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the…

Continue reading
Inspirations

Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe 1947-2020

What was most important was that no person inside our place stole, fought, or killed. So long as that was true, I treated the wives and daughters of every warlord. – Hawa Abdi Hawa Abdi was a Somali physician, peace…

Continue reading
Poetry

Opening up

They told you to stay Told you, Inna ma’al usri yusra With every hardship, Comes ease Black eyes, Bruised skin, Busted lips, Broken teeth They told you to stay Told you, Inna ma’al usri yusra With every hardship, Comes ease…

Continue reading