Fahmida Riaz – Biography & Literary Works

Fahmida Riaz was a progressive Urdu writer, poet, novelist, human right 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 theĀ education from Hyderabad, Sindh. Apart from her literary works, she was doing something really magical for the rights of women in society. After completing her education from London, she joined the front desk of top Urdu writers.

Introducing Feminist and Progressive writer Fahmida Riaz.

Early Life:

Fahmida Riaz born in a literary family of Meerut, UP, India. Her father Riaz Ud Din Ahmad was a great educationist who brought reforms in the educational system of Sindh. After the death of her father, her mother 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 at the United Kingdom, Fahmida Riaz stepped into theĀ 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 the 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 raised on the horizons 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 masses due to freedom of speech. When her poetry collection “Apna Jurm Sabit Hai” appeared then, problems knock their door.

She along with her husband charged with several cases of sedition under the section 124-A of Pakistan Penal Code. Her husband Zafar who was a leftist political worker sacked into prison and 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 Zia regime which brought her life into danger. Until she stopped writing against Zia, she did not find peace at home. A number of 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, one of her fans got her bail. After release from prison, she along with her two children left Pakistan for India as an 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 also joined her in Dehli where they spent seven (7) years in exile.


After the incidental death of Zia Ul Haq, she came back to Pakistan where she was warmly welcomed by fans. On 21 November 2018, Pakistan’s iconic poet Fahmida Riaz passed away in Lahore at the age of 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 there excellent writings and books, Fahmida Riaz also authored numerous collection of poetry volumes. When she was of 15, she wrote her first poem which 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 rights. She was aggressive in nature against social issues. In this article, our valued fans can read about famous poet Fahmida Riaz and her life, literary works, biography, and books.


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