The Muslim Youth Movement Gender Desk commemorated and celebrated the life of the late Shamima Shaikh, one of South Africa’s most prominent Muslim gender rights’ activists.
The Inaugural Shamima Shaikh Commemorative Lecture was held at the Constitutional Hill, Women’s Jail at 1 Kotze Street , Johannesburg , at 1.30pm on 20th September.
Shamima passed away at her home in Mayfair Johannesburg on 08th January after suffering a relapse of cancer.
Shamima through her commitment to Islam, believed it was imperative to speak out and act against all kinds of injustices, especially racial and gender discrimination. As a proponent for gender justice within the South African Muslim community.Shamima championed the causes of women’s access and inclusion in sacred spaces, a just Muslim Personal Law and promoted, through her own example, women’s leadership and scholarship.
In commemorating her life, the memorial lecture, set to take place annually, will provide a platform for much-needed discourse on critical issues in the struggle for gender justice in Muslim communities.
There were many tributes from former comrades, family members, activists, and spoken word artists. The lecture was delivered by Professor Kecia Ali, and was titled “Muslim Feminism, Islamic Law, and the Quest for Gender Justice”.
Kecia Ali is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University. Her books include Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence (Oneworld 2006), Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam (Harvard 2010), Imam Shafi‘i: Scholar and Saint (Oneworld 2011) and The Lives of Muhammad (Harvard 2014), about modern biographies of Islam’s prophet. She co-edited the revised edition of A Guide for Women in Religion (Palgrave 2014). Ali received her Ph.D. from Duke University and held research and teaching fellowships at Brandeis University and Harvard Divinity School before joining the BU faculty in 2006. She is active in the American Academy of Religion and is the president of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.