Fahmida Riaz – Biography & Literary Works

Fahmida Riaz was a progressive Urdu writer, poet, novelist, human rights activist, and feminist of Pakistan. She is an established short story writer who penned three volumes of excellent stories. She translated the works of Shaikh Ayaz, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, and Divan e Shams Tabriz into Urdu.

Fahmida was Born on 28 July 1946 in Meerut, India, and got their education in Hyderabad, Sindh. Apart from her literary works, she was doing something magical for women’s rights in society. After completing her education in London, she joined the front desk of top Urdu writers.

Introducing Feminist and Progressive writer Fahmida Riaz.

Early Life:

Fahmida Riaz was born in a literary family in Meerut, UP, India. Her father, Riaz Ud Din Ahmad, was a great educationist who brought reforms to the educational system of Sindh. After the death of her father, her mother was brought up. She was fond of learning languages, and she did it perfectly. Soon afterward, she joined Radio Pakistan for livelihood.

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During her stay in the United Kingdom, Fahmida Riaz stepped into the marriage, which not lasted long, and got divorced. To live an easy life, she joined BBC there in the UK. On her return to Pakistan, she engaged in a second marriage with Zafar Ali Ujan, from which she has two children.


Fahmida Riaz authored Godavari, Khana e Aabo O Gil, Khatt e Marmuz, Pathar Ki Zuban, and Badan Dareeda. But, after the publication of Badan Darida, she stuck into controversies. She was accused of using sensual and erotic expressions in her writings.

She penned more than 15 books of poetry and short stories. For all time, Fahmida Riaz suffered a lot from controversies due to the Art of taboo for women. Nevertheless, she was raised on the horizon of success and never felt downtrodden.

Progressive Activism:

Publication house ‘Awaz’ was the mainstream platform where Fahnmida sought her future. This Awaz Publication grabbed the attention of the masses due to freedom of speech. When her poetry collection “Apna Jurm Sabit Hai” appeared then, problems knocked on their door.

She, along with her husband charged with several cases of sedition under section 124-A of the Pakistan Penal Code. Her husband Zafar, a leftist political worker, was sacked into prison, and the publication shut down.

Stalwart Against Zia Ul Haq Oppression:

During Zia Ul Haq’s dictatorship, Fahmida Riaz remained active for her progressive moment. She openly opposed the Zia regime, which brought her life in danger. Until she stopped writing against Zia, she did not find peace at home. Several cases against her were put to charge for her bravery and active role.


Meanwhile, Fahmida Riaz and her husband, Zafar Ali Ujan, were there in Jail, and one of her fans got her bail. After release from prison, she and her two children left Pakistan for India in exile.

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The then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, at the request of Amrita Pritam, allowed political asylum to Fahmida Riaz. Soon afterward, her husband joined her in Dehli, where they spent seven (7) years in exile.


After Zia Ul Haq’s incidental death, she returned to Pakistan, where fans warmly welcomed her. On 21 November 2018, Pakistan’s iconic poet Fahmida Riaz died in Lahore at 73.


Due to her excellent services for Urdu literature, she received several awards and nominations;

  • Sheikh Ayaz Award for literature – Poetry
  • Sitara e Imtiaz in 2010
  • Presidential Pride of Performance Award for Literature – Poetry
  • Al Muftah Award
  • Hemmet Hellman Award – By Human Rights Watch

Literary Works & Writings of Fahmida Riaz:

Besides their excellent writings and books, Fahmida Riaz also authored numerous collections of poetry volumes. When she was 15, she wrote her first poem, published in Ahmad Nadim Qasmi’s Funoon. At the age of 22, she wrote her first poetry collection.

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In short, Fahmida Riaz was the writer of women’s rights. She was aggressive against social issues. In this article, our valued fans can read about the famous poet Fahmida Riaz and her life, literary works, biography, and books.

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