Farhat Hashmi

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Farhat Hashmi
Native name فرحت ہاشمی
Born Farhat Hashmi
(1957-12-22) December 22, 1957 (age 59)
Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Occupation Islamic scholar

Farhat Hashmi (Urdu: فرحت ہاشمی‎) (born December 22, 1957) is an Islamic scholar from Pakistan[1][2] She was formerly a lecturer and assistant professor at the Faculty of Usul-al-Din at International Islamic University, Islamabad.[3] Hashmi founded Al-Huda Institute in Mississauga (Toronto area), Ontario, Canada, in 2004[4] as an extension of Al-Huda International, which she had founded in Pakistan in 1994.[5]

Early life[edit]

Farhat Hashmi was born in Sargodha, Punjab to the family of Abdur Rehman Hashmi, a Muslim scholar.[3] She received her masters degree in Arabic at the Punjab University, Lahore, and was married shortly afterwards to Idrees Zubair, a fellow Islamic scholar. Together, the couple achievhed their PhD in Hadeeth Sciences at the University of Glasgow.[6][7][8] Hashmi taught at the International Islamic University Islamabad,[9] while also conducting informal religious study circles for women in Islamabad.


Hashmi preaches on wide variety of topics which range from spirituality to healthy living. [10]

During a sermon when asked by a woman what a wife should do if her husband was unwilling to help her destitute parents, Hashmi promptly quoted An-Nisa, 34 (Chapter Al Nisa, verse 34) of the Quran, arguing that the wife should comply with her husband's wishes, "no matter what, as he was her divinely appointed imam."[1]

Hashmi has preached that Muslim women should let their husbands marry a second time so “other sisters can also benefit”. This saves men from having a non-marital relationship, which is forbidden according to the Quran.[1]

Hashmi has also preached that women have several rights over men and similarly men have several obligations towards women.[11] Hashmi preaches that it is the responsibility of men to financially provide for their wives and women should not be forced to work for a living. [12]

According to Hashmi, women can touch and recite the Quran during their menstrual periods, wearing gloves (either when learning Quran from a teacher or teaching Quran to others), traditionally considered by some to be prohibited.[13][14] Other scholars are supportive of her views. [15]

Hashmi encourages her followers, mostly well-to-do Pakistani women, to interpret the Qur'an for themselves supporting their views with strong evidence, but her critics argue that "Hashmi's talks center around personal and family development, rather than community service," instead of using their knowledge to improve their social conditions.[16]

Hashmi's supporters on the other hand call her preaching a "women’s empowerment program" which teaches them "humility, peace and submission" to God. Moroever, “natural calamities relief and disaster management, digging wells in drought-stricken areas of Pakistan, [and] stipends and food provision to widows and orphans,” are a part of her school’s social welfare program as stated on her institute's website. [17][18]

Hashmi has been labelled as a feminist and criticized for her liberal interpretation of the Quran by more conservative male scholars. Hashmi is for “interpretation on all issues,” related to Islam, including today’s human rights’ issues concerning women, though reinterpretation must be “within the parameters of the Quran.” [19]

Media reception[edit]

One Canadian newspaper criticized her for being elitist and observed that the "moderate Muslims of Canada call her Wahhabi because of her unbending doctrines."[2] Raheel Raza, writing in American Thinker on 8 November 2008, stated that she "is known for promoting a very conservative Islamic ideology that is based on Wahhabism. She is in favor of Sharia in Canada."[20] However, she is against the Taliban, citing her own example as having traveled overseas to attain a Ph. D, something the Taliban views as inappropriate for women. [21]

Hashmi has also been featured in the yearly publication of "The Muslim 500 - The 500 Most Influential Muslims."[22]


  1. ^ a b c "Farhat Hashmi operating in Canada". Daily Times. Washington. May 6, 2005. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Editorial: ‘Pakistani factor’ in Canada terrorism
  3. ^ a b Dr Farhat Hashmi - At a glance
  4. ^ "4 female students who went to Syria to join ISIS attended Mississauga school". CBC News. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Courtney Bender, Wendy Cadge, Peggy Levitt, David Smilde, Religion on the Edge: De-centering and Re-centering the Sociology of Religion, p 170. ISBN 0199986991
  6. ^ Akbar S Ahmed, Tamara Sonn, The SAGE Handbook of Islamic Studies, p 220. ISBN 1446264521
  7. ^ John L. Esposito, The Future of Islam, p 125. ISBN 019974596X
  8. ^ http://www.idreeszubair.com/about/
  9. ^ Farhat Hashmi told to leave Canada Archived April 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ https://www.farhathashmi.com/assorted-section/?giml-id=440
  11. ^ https://www.farhathashmi.com/articles-section/women-and-family/how-to-be-a-successful-husband/
  12. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL_4h29scSc
  13. ^ (Pakistan) Daily Times, March 17, 2001
  14. ^ "A controversial role model for Pakistani women" in South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (SAMAJ) by Faiza Mushtaq in issue 4, 2010
  15. ^ https://islamqa.info/en/152742
  16. ^ "Awakening Islam", in Fort Worth Weekly by Shomial Ahmad on 15 April 2009
  17. ^ https://www.farhathashmi.com/profile-section/local-students/
  18. ^ https://www.alhudapk.com/social-welfare.html
  19. ^ https://www.farhathashmi.com/profile-section/local-students/
  20. ^ The Islamist Role in the 2008 Canadian Elections
  21. ^ http://www.muslimlinkpaper.com/index.php/community-news/community-news/2281-local-students-of-farhat-hashmi-defend-movement-against-accusations.html
  22. ^ "Hashmi, Dr Farhat | The Muslim 500". themuslim500.com. Retrieved 2015-10-12. 

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