Blasphemy is Tehmina Durrani’s novel about the exploitation at the hands of her husband. Many describe the novel to be about “religious” exploitation, however. Tehmina Durrani is a Pakistani author, artist, and activist on women’s and children’s rights. Her first book, “My Feudal Lord”. Book Review: Blasphemy by Tehmina Durrani. Set in South Pakistan, BLASPHEMY – the novel is inspired by a true story of a young girl trapped in the cruelest.
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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. A Deconstruction of Religious Hypocrisy. A Deconstruction of Religious Hypocrisy Dr. Khar was hlasphemy of the founders of the Pakistan People’s Party and Tehmina was his eighth wife. Khar was jailed by the Zia regime and after his release, they were separated. She is an illustrious controversial writer catapulted to fame with the publication of her autobiography, My Feudal Lord, Blaspnemy won Italy’s prestigious Marissa Bellasario Prize and has been translated into twenty two languages.
In this book, she has written about her trauma and torture during her life with her husband, Gulam Mustafa Khar.
Angry and courageous in outlook, the novel places Durrani among the foremost writers of the Indian sub-continent. This novel has been lauded throughout the world for her courage. Durrani is the gehmina woman in the Islamic World who has openly shown the misuse of religion by some Muslim clergy.
She has shown that how people twist religious sayings for their benefit. Hence she fears threatened from Muslim fundamentalist on this. The novel has been lauded because it takes a lot of courage to deconstruct and expose the myths that fetter women in suffocating life.
An extract from the book reveals the whole story: To me, my husband was my son’s murderer. He was also my daughter’s molester. He was Bhai’s destroyer, Amma Sain’s tormentor. He had humbled Ma, exploited the people.
He was the rapist of orphans and the fiend that fed on the weak.
But over and above all this, a man closest to Allah, the one who could reach Him and save us. The novel, Blasphemy, is a tragic story of the beautiful Heer, who was married to Pir Sain at the age of fifteen.
Pir Sain was dazzled by her beauty when he saw her with her mother, who came as a victim of circumstances to seek his blessings. Although being much older than her, he married Heer and made her second wife. People have different notions regarding, polygamy in Islam which Holy Quran endorses up to the limit of four wives per man.
The Prophet, of course, lived at a time when continual warfare produced large numbers of widows, who were left with little or no provision noevl themselves and their children. In these circumstances, polygamy was encouraged as an act of charity.
Needless to say, the widows are not necessarily young women, but usually mothers of many children, who came as part of the deal. Polygamy is no longer blasphwmy, for various good reasons. Pir married her because he was fascinated by her beauty but never loved her. He onvel her his slave and forced her do those deeds which she never dreamt of.
She followed her like a mute spectator but he never respected her individuality and never loved her.
Unsynchronized Thoughts Book Review: Blasphemy
Throughout her life she has been humiliated, rejected by her husband. He forced her to be involved in many of misdeeds including the rapes of orphans. Love’s absence ailed me. I could not imagine loving my husband. Nor had he ever thought of me as a human being, let alone a woman. For no reason had he ever softened towards me, I had stirred him that little. He enjoyed a high status in the society being the centre of respect and attention and never suffered on any ground.
As Yazid, the tyrant of Karbala, never suffered even from a headache, people believed that he was blessed by Allah. But that was a misinterpretation. In reality, Allah had abandoned him completely. He wanted nothing to do with him. The Holy Quran states that: Moreover, if a husband wishes to take a second wife, he should not do so if the marriage will be to the detriment of the first.
Living with Peer, she loses her dignity, her freedom, even her humanity till she comes to a resolution to expose the evil-man to the world. And she does this though she herself is ruined in this process. She being a weak, fragile woman challenges the supremacy of Pir. As the lines from the novel indicates: Pir Sain was a symbol of munafiqat. I was a soldier. This was a jehad.
Living in purdah she made up her mind to fight against the age-old conventions and norms prevalent in the society in the name of religion. As she herself says: From behind it no call for help could be heard. An abandoned species was trapped in a forbidden world. Everything corrupt happened under the shroud, when it was off a faceless and nameless woman appeared.
People have different opinions, views and logic regarding it. So, in a way all the rules and regulations regarding veiling of the women, polygamy or any such were because of the need of the time, which has no relevance in the present time. Women of that age were weak, fragile creature so they needed protection but novvel women are capable enough to defend themselves. Blasphemy is a realist novel set up in Pakistan reflecting the struggle of protagonist in the hands of his husband, who is a hypocrite.
Although Heer is the most important female character in the novel but there some other minor female characters which are of great importance. Cheel is one such character in the novel which plays a pivotal role in motivating Heer in her attempt to fight with Pir.
In the beginning Heer thought her to be an arrogant and blqsphemy person but later on it was she who was a great support of Heer in her struggle for justice as she herself was a noveo of Pir Sain. She has depicted protagonist Heer blasphemt a victim of socio-religious customs and traditions based on the patriarchal constructs existing in the Indian sub-continent including India and Pakistan.
A wife who has no individuality as she has turned into a mute spectator to all the sufferings inflicted upon her by her male counterpart. Her courage is being robbed due to respective belief imposed upon her by the society and she is unable to fight against injustice and bring positive change in her life.
But later on we see that she dares to fight against all odds and adverse situations. Through Heer, Durrani has provided an insight into the life of a woman bound in a traditionally orchestrated institutional discourses and practices that maintain the regulation of wife. Not only this but in Heer she has also depicted the desire of a woman who wants to break free from the conservative, rigid social and religious rules and conventions of the society which subjugates her.
She has raised a voice of a house-wife who has strived to free herself from the age old norms and conventions. A society which completely believes in the commodification of women at all blasphhemy.
She dares to challenges the objectification and domestic violence inflicted on women and how they can resist patriarchal power and improve their position within the institutions of oppression.
For this they have adopt strategies to counter patriarchal values and contradict the marital assumptions responsible for their affliction. Any woman belonging to any section of the society including the most marginalized and subaltern can improve her status and can challenge the so-called male supremacy if she wishes because she has capability and ability to do so.
This implies to all the women irrespective of any ethnic group. The jovel of truth leaves a bitter taste in those readers who want women to be dominated by Islam’s misinterpreted clauses. The truth is not always sweet. The presence of autobiographical elements makes it intense. Eventually learning to manoeuvre their fights onto his territory she writes: The change in me was slow but sure. I was no longer the timid, docile, self-effacing little girl that he married. I was becoming a woman.
I felt that I had to be heard in order for him to realise when he was wrong. I obeyed whatever he would impose on me but there was now a difference. It seemed that I performed under duress. I had developed a look which conveyed defiance and disagreement. Mustafa was caught on the wrong foot. He had to reassess his strategy durranl evolve new tactics to cope with my diffidence.
It is she who had been courageous enough to follow these confrontations in her life and the all these works are inspired by the struggle and hardships of her own life. She was so fed up with her husband that she even fought physically with him on some occasions.
There are some incidents narrated by her in the book when equally leveled blasphemt husband in aggression and behavior which Gulam Mustafa Khar never thought before. She has tolerated many physical assault by him earlier by once when he tried to beat her by pulling her by the hair and swings her around as he use to before using his favourite threat to break every bone in her body, she attack him back by flinging at him the utensil full of steaming food that she was cooking on the stove.
Feeling humiliated and also burnt he raises his hand again to beat her but realizing this she pushed him back and threatened to kill him by the knife in her hand. As she says in her own words, There was power and conviction in my tone.
The days of appeasement were over. I had declared war.
She was a mute spectator of all his domestic violence which he inflicted even in the presence of servants, and irrespective of the opinions of her friends and relatives.