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DID YOU KNOW ?

Ismat

The monthly periodical ‘Ismat’ is the only Urdu-language magazine which completed 100 years of publication. Beginning in 1908, from Delhi, the magazine turned out to be a pivotal way-post in bringing to light the issues concerning women. Its editor, Allama Rashid Al-Khairi, dedicated his life to the magazine as a campaign for the education and awareness of women. For the magazine, Rashid left his government job, did away with his ancestral property, and sold his wife’s jewelry and belongings brought forward as dowry by his daughter-in-law. The magazine's office caught fire several times, but it still prevailed. It included articles on topics ranging from domestic issues to global politics. After Allama’s death, his son Raziq Al-Khairi went to Pakistan and continued its publication. After his death, his wife Amna Nazli became the editor and then his children took over the responsibility. In its early days, the magazine produced an array of women writers, including Nazr Sajjad Haider, Sughra Humayun, Atiya Faizi, and Hijab Imtiyaz Ali. Raziq al-Khairi's book, Ismat Ki Kahani, includes several interesting insights about the magazine. He writes, ‘Ismat faced financial difficulties, but the rule about advertisements was that only those advertisements would be published which a decent daughter could read in front of her father and a decent sister in front of her brother.’