Shamima was an extraordinary human being

In knowing her as a friend and organisational colleague there were many aspects of her personality that moved me very deeply: her passionate commitment and idealism which translated into a continuous activism for social justice, her constant transgression of religious and cultural traditions in critically constructive ways, her fundamental refusal to be taken as a second-class Muslim because of being a woman, her openness in engaging even the thorniest aspects of the women's struggle and her capacity to extend sisterhood to women very different in beliefs from herself, her wonderful laughter, generosity and hospitality (Shamima and Na'eem's home was an "open-house", always full of people talking, eating, laughing, arguing), her inexhaustible energy in both juggling motherhood, work, numerous political commitments and an active social life.

All of these things are what defined Shamima, but most distinctive for me were her incredible qualities of courage and spunkiness and it is with a multitude of both that she faced her meeting with Allah - she never faltered in the face of death, remaining true to her life commitments to the every end. Even in her death she made this manifest - she requested that her janaza prayers be lead by a woman. Very few of us can, at the age of 37, be able to stand before our Creator and be sure that we have fulfilled our vicegerency in this world with the totality of who we are. I believe that Shamima will be able to do so.

Dearest Sister Shamima, aluta continua. Go with the knowledge that you have touched this temporal world in the profoundest way. Salaam-u-alaykum wa rahmat-ul-allah wa barakatu.

Sa'diyya Shaikh



Shamima's Commemoration


On behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, I wish to join our thoughts and prayers to yours at the commemoration of the passing of such a noble and brave lady. Her going is a great loss to South Africa but still moreso to the Muslim Community because of her work as a champion for Human Rights and Gender Equity.

Our sympathy and prayers are with her family and friends as well as the Muslim Community and we pray that Allah may bless and console them and inspire many to emulate her heroic example so that her spirit may be a living inspiration to all.

Sr Michael Doran

Secretary of the Department for Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue
Johnson Mkhabela (Mr)



As Salaam-alaikum

I was deeply touched and saddened to hear of the passing away of Sister Shamima a short while ago. I received a distressed call from my niece Shehnaaz.

We would like to convey our condolences to the family of Shamima, and all of you at The Voice.

May Allah grant her high stages in Jannah, forgive her and shower Blessings on her grave.

To you at The Voice, you have been most favoured and fortunate to have known her, learnt from her and spent time with her. She will undoubtedly be a great loss to you.

My niece and I were fortunate to have met her only on one occasion. Despite her ill-health, her warmth, enthusiasm and energy were overwhelming. After hearing her on The Voice, her views, her strengths and passion for Islam, we were determined to meet her. I cannot explain enough in words the impact she has made on us. For me as a progressive Muslim woman, I was inspired and energised by Shamima’s vigour and conviction and recommitted myself to my religious values, behaviour and actions.

She has had a direct impact on giving sound direction to my life. May Allah reward her for that. I aspire to have her understanding and passion for the Qur’an and Islam in general.

My niece has taken a serious interest in the station after having met Shamima, whom she regards as a role model.

Although we have lost her, Shamima’s memory and spirit will live on within us and in our duas, and she will remain an inspiration to us.


Haseena Rawat




I just returned to South Africa a few days ago after several weeks away only to learn about Shamima's passing. I feel a sense of great sadness for her absence and for the struggles ahead for you and the kids. Rarely have I known a couple so clearly committed to each other and to a particular vision of living and work. What you actualised in your love and camaraderie far exceeds that which most couples can expect to experience in longer lifetimes.

Her dedication to ensuring the vitality of our din, without arrogance and with honesty, will continue to be a resource for us all. I am sure that with the suffering and emptiness that will surround you will also be the innumerable manifestations of the ways your life has been enriched by this love, by her and that knowing her, loving her has prepared you to take on new challenges and unanticipated pathways where you will continue to call upon her and to know her. My dearest brother, whatever I can, I extend to you, and may Allah be a reaffirmation for you of all that is abiding and strong.

Dr AbdouMaliq Simone

School for Public and Development Management
University of the Witwatersrand





I am deeply moved by the two obituaries which reflect the strength of Shamima as believer, as woman, as mother, leader and revolutionary, both in life and in death. The way she passed on inspires me and I am sure so many others in a country painfully struggling to emerge from its shackles of the past, and a community as painfully battling to define its role and identity within this larger struggle.

Your own role as soulmate right up to the end, your own strength in dealing with the challenges on the many levels throughout this period, your unwavering commitment to the values and ideal you shared, your celebration of life and acceptance of death right to the end, for me not only strengthens my faith, but compels one to reflect more deeply about life itself and the many dark corners which we tend to evade all the time.

Thank you for the opportunity for having shared a brief moment in your life and relationship. I feel enriched by them. I make dua not only for Shamima but also for you. May Allah grant her Jannah and you the strength to continue the work which both of you and the many other Islamic comrades valued so highly.

My warmest greetings and salaams.


Ashiek Manie
Head: Information Highway & Governance Strategy
Technology Strategy Division



On behalf of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of our sister in the struggle, Shamima Shaikh.

Shamima was known to us as a valiant fighter in the struggle for freedom for women. When this world loses one of its fighters, we remain at a loss. But we take solace in the words of the Qur'an which says "Say not of those that die in the path of God that they are dead. No! They live on." The one way that we can make sure that Shamima's spirit does continue to live on is by making sure that the work she started is never allowed to die. The struggle for liberation of woman is far from over! So let us today rededicate ourselves to continue where she left off. Let us make sure that the goals that she strived for are fulfilled and her dreams are realised.

May the men and women of her community and all of Africa never cease the fight against injustice and oppression. And so may the spirit of Shamima prevail.

Patricia de Lille

Member of Parliament



Dear Brother Naeem

On my return from abroad I was shocked to learn of the sad loss of our dear sister Shamima. Please accept my deepest condolences on your sad loss. Sister Shamima was undoubtedly a rare gem in our midst and her relentless and courageous struggle for the oppressed people of this country and for the rights of Muslim women will be missed by all progressive minded people of our land. Our hearts go out to you and your children in your hour of grief and pray that ALLAH keep you and your family well.

With lots of Salaams

Ebrahim Ebrahim
ANC Member of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa



Dear Naeem

It was sad to learn of the death of your dear wife, Shamima. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Keep strong.

Yours sincerely

A M Kathrada
Cabinet Secretary



LETTERS                                  Mail & Guardian January 23, 1998

It filled my heart with deep sadness to read Farid Esack's very moving obituary to Shamima Shaikh. This is such a tragic loss, not only to her family, but also to our country and to all humanity: that this fighter for gender equality has died so young.

What she has accomplished in her short life is absolutely astounding. One is convinced that many more will follow her brave and dedicated path. In these days of affirmative action in our country, one notices more and more people -- men and women -- are getting involved in the urgent issue of gender equality.

Longfellow's words are very appropriate here: "There is a Reaper, whose name is Death, and, with his sickle keen, He reaps the bearded grain at a breath, and the flowers that grow between."

Maureen Auerbach, Berea




Please tell Shamima:

I love her deeply and that she had made a profound impact on me as a person. I feel privileged to live in her time. I pray for her comfort.


Dr Ebrahim Moosa

Senior Lecturer
Dept of Religious Studies
University of Cape Town



Dear brother Na'eem,

Assalamu Alaikum.

Our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. May God bestow His grace and mercy on sister Shamima. We recently became aware of Shamima and her unfortunate passing in an article that was posted on the web about her life and her tremendous contribution to the cause of women's equality in South Africa. We, as well as many other women to whom we forwarded the article, were unbelievably inspired by her courage and her accomplishments. We regret that we did not have the opportunity to know about her sooner or meet with her...

In peace

Nahid Ansari
Muslim Women's League




Please accept from me and all of us at Yfm our heartfelt condolences at Shamima's death. Long live her spirit!


Dirk Hartford



Assalamualikum wr.

Innalillahi wa inna ilahi raji oon..

Respected brother Naeem,

It grieves me to know about the passing away of your beloved wife. Shocking as the event maybe, nevertheless we can only praise Allah swt for His Infinite Wisdom and abiding grace which keeps us strong ever in face of such trying circumstances.

Let me share your grief for the great loss with prayer for Allah's Guidance and Blessings for the departed soul, May she rest in peace in the sacred atmosphere of Jannah.

Innallaha ma as sakirin.


Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman
Angkatan Bela Islamia Malaysia (Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia)



Dearest Naeem,

This is just a short note to say that you have been in my thoughts for the last couple of days since I heard about Shamima's passing away. I remembered with fondness the night I spent with you when you told me about her health. I regret so very much that I did not get a chance to visit you both in your home before now. Please know that there are many of us whose thoughts of love and kindness are with you and your children now. I hope you will be able to take thanks and comfort from knowing that you had the privilege of sharing your life with a most remarkable woman. I will be attending the commemoration service on Saturday.


With much love,

Kumi Naidoo
Executive Director
South African National NGO Coalition



Dear Mr Jeenah,

I have just read Dr Esack's eulogy of your late wife in the MSANEWS, and was very impressed to learn about her, her activity and her courage. Her struggles reminded me very much of the struggles that I and my friends have, as Orthodox Jewish women. It is very encouraging to learn about the existence and actions of Muslim women in this direction.

I hope you will have the strength to pass these difficult times, and continue raising your sons, with the teachings and memory of their brave mother. May Allah send you His consolation.

Dvori Ross




Dear Na'eem Jeenah

Greetings from Manila. My name is Chat Garcia Ramilo and I work for ISIS International-Manila. My organisation is an active member of the APC women's program and I am on the WCW email conference. Yesterday Marie Helene posted a tribute to Shamima on the conference. While I do not know Shamima personally, I was moved and inspired by the tribute that showed her strength both in life and in death.

I am writing to ask if we could print the tribute in our magazine, Women in Action. I think it will be equally inspiring to share her story with other women. Would it also be possible to have a photo of Shamima?

In doing this, we hope we can contribute to keeping Shamima’s spirit living on.




Thank you for posting this, Marie-Helene. I never had the honour of meeting Shamima, but her husband Na’eem worked at Sangonet and we met him during the APC council meeting in South Africa. At that time they had decided to stop doing chemotherapy and radiation because it was so painful for Shamima. I had no idea of the level of work and commitment that Shamima had achieved.

Thank you for sharing this.

Erika Smith

Programa de Apoyo a las Redes de Mujeres



From: Anne Murray

Thank you so much for sending the story of Shamima. I appreciated it for many reasons. I will be sharing it with others. Thank you so very much again.





Heartfelt condolences on the passing on of our sister Shamima. We never met but we shared similar goals in the struggle for the emancipation of women and a just society.

Strength to family, friends and comrades.


Aluta Continua

Maria Van Driel
SAMWU (South African Municipal Workers Union) Head Office



Thank you, Farid, for your memorial piece about Shamima Shaikh, whom I had never heard about. I found it very moving and inspiring. She was clearly a wonderful, living example of how we all can be. I am printing it off and passing it round the office.

Yours in friendship,

Peter Willis

Environmental Monitoring Group



Dear Farid Esack

Thank you for sharing this obituary with so many of us.

I (allow me to say a male Christian) found it inspiring and deeply moving.


Stiaan van der Merwe



Dear Naeem

Assalaamu 'Alaykum

Iinnaa lillaahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji'oon

We were saddened to hear of your loss. May the Almighty shower her with His mercy & forgiveness and reward her with Paradise. May He also grant you sabr and compensate you with what is best for you in this world and the Hereafter.

Abu-Bakr Asmal



Nuran 'ala nur

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un.




Dear Na'eem

I receive today the very sad new about the passing away of your wife. Please receive here my warm compassion and expression of sorrow for the loss affecting you and your children. I pray that she will rest in peace and that you will find the way to overcome this hardship.

With warm regards

Marie Helene Mottin-Sylla
SYNFEV - Synergie Genre et Developpement - Synergy Gender and Development
ENDA - Environnement et Developpement du Tiers Monde - Environment and Development in the Third World
Dakar, Senegal



And thank God for Shamima. She is already in my classes. She continues to inspire. And humble. Her gifts are innumerable and expanding. Thank you.

Tamara Sonn

Professor and Graduate Director
Department of Religious Studies
University of South Florida



Dear Na'eem,

Having known Shamima, I really feel sad! I did not know. I feel sorry for you and the kids, please accept my condolences. Reading the obituary I have the impression that she is standing right in front of me. We shall all pray for her tonight.


Moussa Fall
Dakar, Senegal



Dear Na'eem

It is with sadness that I received the news of Shamima's passing on. Although we did not maintain contact, I have continued to think of you both and was happy when I saw Shamima on TV, heard her on the radio or read about her work in the newspapers. I recently saw Dr Digby in Cape Town and wondered how she was doing, since it was you who recommended him to me. When I think of my mother, I also remember with gratitude the effort you both made to come and recite at her khatam. So although we do not maintain regular contact, you have been, and continue to be, in my thoughts.

I pray that the endurance which Shamima faced, which you shared as her husband and which your children had to experience has not been in vain. I believe, and I'm sure you do too, that the ability to endure through adversity is the challenge which life presents us. My prayer, therefore, is for your (and your children’s) continued ability to face those challenges with your characteristic strength and character. I also pray that the blessings of the Almighty shine upon Shamima's soul and that what she lived for continues to inspire us.

Best Wishes

Ashraf Adam



Dear Naeem

Our heartfelt condolences for the loss of your dear wife. Farid had often spoken to us about her and her strength and courage. We will pray for the progress of her soul tonight.

Novin & Juliet Doostdar

Oneworld Publications
Oxford, England



Dear bro. Naeem

Assalaamu alaikum wrt.wbt.

I just received the very sad news of the demise of our beloved sister Shamima.

While her demise may be a great loss to you, it will be an even greater loss to the ummah, since she has always been very active in so many projects. Hence at this time, we can only pray that Allah, in His infinite Mercy, grant her Jannah. Please accept my deepest condolences, and please convey same to her family.


Your brother in Islam

Shamsoodien and family
International Islamic University – Malaysia



My very dear Na'eem

I was deeply saddened by news of the passing of Shamima. I will of course never know your and the kids' pain and grief. But Shamima was a tremendous fighter and seems to have taken everything in the greatest of spirit. I wish I had seen more of you and her, especially as the fantastic partnership you were and will always be. We pray so that you and Minhaj and Shir’a go well during these trying times.

"Due is to Allah that which He has taken away and His is whatever he has given. With Him, everything has an appointed term; so have patience and seek reward from Him."

Dr Shamil Jeppie

Department of History
University of Cape Town



Brother Naeem Jeenah

A Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

I have just returned from abroad to learn of the sad passing away of your beloved wife, Shamima. I personally believe that we have lost a great mujahida, and a thinker and strategist of the Islamists. The Ummah, especially in South Africa, will be poorer at her untimely death.

We pray that Almighty Allah will grant her Jannatul Firdaus in the Akhira.

Yours in Islam

Dr Ebrahim Dada
Islamic Da’wah Movement of South Africa



Thank you for sharing this beautiful message. As an African-American living in South Africa, I have found peace and joy in many people from different backgrounds and cultures here. Although I did not know this lovely spirit that God loaned our world, I am encouraged by her legacy. The struggle for equality requires leadership and sacrifice; she appears not only to have achieved these two objectives, but also was able to keep her family together. May God Rest Her Soul, Let Her Spirit Live On...

Douglas Motusi Guy



Dear Naeem

It was with great sorrow that I came across a cross-posting which you wrote on the demise of your wife, Shamima. I was very moved by your obituary and I know you and your sons will miss her immensely. I just wanted to pass my condolences to you and to let you know that I understand what you are going through and it is extremely difficult. One may think that one can prepare oneself but you never can for this kind of eventuality. My prayers are with you and your children at this very difficult time.

Sincere Regards

Thandi Mbvundula
Epsilon & Omega




Please accept our deepest condolences on the sad departure of Shamima from the life of this world to the eternal life. May Allah grant her Jannatul firdose and may He grant the family sabr.

I am sure that the movement is going to feel the loss of her contribution.


Zeinoul, Amina Cajee and family
Lenasia, South Africa



My heart felt condolences go out to you and your family over the loss of your wife, Mrs Shamima Sheikh. From what we have read about her, she seemed to have a zest and fighting spirit in her so lacking in many women today.

May Allah bless her and give her Jannat. AMEEN

Mohammed and Aisha Chishty

United Arab Emirates.



Hi Na'eem,

Anriette forwarded to me Shamima's obituary. I am deeply saddened by your loss. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.


Jeff Cochrane
Washington, USA



Dear Na'eem,

I read with deep regrets the passing away of your wife, in the last posting to the Africanlink-l list by Jeff Cochrane.

From Cameroon, I wish to send you and your sons my condolences, as well as prayers for God's Guidance and protection, now and in the years to come.

May Her soul rest in Perfect Peace.


Derek Ajesam Asoh




Dear Na'eem:

I read the news from Jeff Cochrane's e-mail message. I am VERY sorry to know about. I wish you all the courage necessary.

Koffi Kouakou

EIS Program
World Bank



Dear Na'eem,

I learnt about you beloved wife through Farid's message.

As a Muslim man I am deeply saddened by her physical departure from this world. Souls like hers contribute to the well-being and enlightenment of men and women alike, Muslims or non-Muslims alike.

In her life she has acted for the cause of good. The respect women rightly deserve to pray beside their brothers, fathers, sons or husbands is a simple and yet powerful right that all women should possess. It is a sad commentary on Muslims that there are not enough men and woman who do not see the grave injustice caused by such practices.

She will live in the hearts of people not only by name but by her action.

My prayers for her departed soul, and for your family!

Karim-Aly S Kassam

Theme School in Northern Planning and Development Studies
Arctic Institute of North America
University of Calgary



Dear Na'eem,

I hope you will remember me, and this message will not disturb your days as it came from a stranger... Mo and Marie Helene from Enda told us (the APC women's programme) about your wife.

I remember you talking about her and your work together, explaining to me things about Muslim religion and traditions. I remember how bright were your eyes talking about her, and I hope that brightness will not disappear. I hope you will preserve it in your heart and in your life as the best way to remember her...

All my love and support are with you and your family, and don't doubt to write to me just if you need some stranger to listen...

Sylvia Cadena




As salaam alikum Br Na'eem:

I have just read the posting on the MSA News (USA & Canada) by Dr Farid Esack about the tragic loss of your wife, the late sister Shamima Shaikh. Inna lillahi wa'inna ilayhe raje'oon.

I was moved by what I read of the struggle conducted by Sr Shamima to release the ummah from the shackles of unIslamic cultural practices that are oppressing Muslims all over the world. Her example should be an inspiration to generations of Muslims - male and female. I will do what I can to circulate Dr Essack's moving obituary to as wide an audience as possible so that her example may be known.

May Allah grant to you, your children and your family sabr and strength in the face of your immense loss. We pray that a place of high honour is reserved in Jannat for departed Sr Shamima.

Was salaam.

Mohamed Bhabha. 
Oakville, On.



Dear Na'eem,

Assalamu Alaikum,

May Allah help you in these difficult times and for the loss of your dear wife Shamima. And may he give you in Minhaj and Shir'ah the strength to stand and raise them in the manner mom wanted them to be.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.




Assalamu Alaikum wa rehmatullah,

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon.

We in the USA did not know her. It is sad to learn about people and their contribution only after they pass away. But thank you for your obituary. It indeed inspired me to learn more about her.

What will be the best contribution to her memory but to share her writings with others? What goes on in the South African Muslim community is hardly known here in the US. I think English speaking Muslim minority communities need to share their thoughts and experience with each other.

I know almost all the editors of Muslim magazines here in the US and am also in contact with sister's groups who might be partners in struggle with sister Shamima. If you send me the material, I promise I will share with you.


Abdul Malik Mujahid



Dear Na’eem

Because our paths had not crossed for some time I only heard of Shamima’s passing after it happened. I would have wished to attend the memorial service had I known of it. The moving tribute in the Mail & Guardian and the Sunday Independent prompted me to write to you.

I did know of her illness – that much our contacts had taught me. But I did not know her well, nor of her wonderful work of which I have now learnt at least a little. I am sure her example and memory will inspire many others, and not only women, to continue the struggle for gender equality.

Let me end by again expressing my profound sympathy with you and your children and family, and the hope that you will derive some consolation from the many tributes paid to Shamima. It is a Jewish custom, at a time of death, to wish the mourners "Long Life". So I wish you "Long Life".

Sincerely Yours

Franz Auerbach
Jewish Board of Deputies &
World Conference on Religion and Peace



As Salaamu Alaikum

It is fitting that at this moment Brothers and Sisters have gathered to commemorate the passing over and celebrating the life of a personality that has made a great contribution in the debates around Muslim issues in South Africa.

It is a pity that some of us, myself in particular, cannot be with you at this moment, due to some constraints. But be assured that we are together in spirit . May Allah reward Shamima generously and grant her Jannah. Insha Allah.

By her successor

Simphiwe Sesanti
Al Qalam




I seek refuge from Allah against a cursed devil, peace be upon Nabi (saw) and his progeny.

I write about the person who was not only a Muslim activist but a visionary in the struggle against colonialism and any form of injustice perpetrated by anyone, whether Muslim or non-Muslim in this country. As it is a human thinking to pause a little and think about the past in events like this, let me remind us what this woman has done for me and my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters in the Free State. She visited my region not for material gain but because she was concerned about the growth of the Muslims in this part of the region. They left Johannesburg as a family to Bloemfontein and most unfortunately they were involved in a car accident. Most of us will recall how they suffered from injuries for our spritual development and how they tried to uplift us as a nation in the region.

Hopefully Na'eem is not going to abandon the dream they had as a family, for today I proudly stand as a liberated Muslim and the president of the Muslim Youth Movement out of what I learned from that couple.

There are other regions that need your help in this country; keep up the good work. Her role is not going to be easily forgotten by the MYM as an organisation and its National Executive. We recall all the projects she ran for this movement as an executive member and as an individual. As a visionary she led the MYM in championing the women’s struggle in this country, leaving the men of knowledge shivering with fear as women took over their positions in the masjids both in the so-called Indian and African areas.

She was challenged several times by the media and articulated our positions as an organisation quite well, even if sometimes it meant discrediting her as an individual. The MYM again became vocal on the Muslim Personal Law Board because of the effort she made in representing the organisation. She also put Al-Qalam at the top as editor of the paper. The radio station called The Voice could not get off the ground if Shamima was not part of the process that led to its establishment.

The MYM was even more honored when this strong young woman came to the ITP in KwaZulu-Natal at a critical stage for her last year. She was a real soldier in the path of Allah willing to sacrifice even the last of her breath for us all. No one will replace this gallant fighter and we pray that Allah grants her Jannah.

Ma assalaam

Salman Letlatsa
(President - Muslim Youth Movement of South Africa)



The ITP women

The dawn left the sky on that Saturday morning

And the birds stretched their wings in praise of Allah the almighty

Trees swaying in all directions confirming His greatness

I saw the worshipers coming out of the holy house

Blessed were the children of Africa at the ITP

As they drink from the new Zam Zam in the lips of Issa

There in front of me moved the women

So beautiful like the blue African sky

Tiktenkie singing courage in the hearts of the cowards

Women in Africa as beautiful as they were

As much strong as the machines of the far West

Women and virgins of my country

I saw them coming

In hijabs the cloth of the wise old

All I could say was "Ya Allah! Ya Allah!"

So difficult to understand the creation

And the wisdom behind the making of a woman

Among them all I noticed Maletsatsi

The maiden so beautiful and strong

Still on her wheelchair but smiling

Allah has given men gifts of life

The name was never rich in English

It symbolised hope in the speech of my people

Shamima, Maletsatsi, Shamima, Maletsatsi

I wish I will not forget the ITP

from Salman Letlatsa

Dedicated to Shamima Shaikh



What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited

It cannot cripple love,

It cannot shatter hope,

It cannot corrode faith,

It cannot destroy peace,

It cannot kill friendship,

It cannot suppress memories

It cannot silence courage,

It cannot invade the soul,

It cannot steal eternal life,

It cannot conquer the spirit



Date: 98/02/23

Time: 04:27:07

Oh my God. I came to read about WOMEN in ISLAM and you tell me she died of breast cancer. I had both removced at 35 (I am 44) so I offer something other than American cliches. I will provide technical information for her family (adults) or "kid translations" for her children and younger relatives at no charge. They are living with it so let them have the best facts.

Thank you. Carol Jane Buechler This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Date: 98/04/05

Time: 03:18:38

Dear Brother Naeem

Peace and blessings of God be to you

I recently received this advertisement for a website on your recently departed wife. I recall passing over it a long time ago, and being impressed, but not having the time to go through it more.

God willing, she will become an even greater light of inspiration for those Muslims who are still battling for gender equity in Islam, without actually leaving the din. For if anything, Islam will aid them in their struggle.

I shall, for my part, continue to write on the issue, and hope to enlighten our people regarding women and their individual rights. For we can always find just principles in the Quran, and in Islam.

I hope you are not too sad about your wife's departure. For she has not really left us, but merely struck a match that lights us all. She has left the trials of this life, and now goes to her reward with her Lord.

May God be pleased with the Muslima.

Peace and strength to you

Hisham Zoubeir


Belfast Islamic News Network

(Support BICNews, a project of news and enlightenment)

"A journey begins with the first step. A quest begins with the first dream. And the best dreams were always based on reality."



Date: 98/05/07

Time: 04:39:50

What a Woman! What a Muslim!


Date: 98/06/14

Time: 03:51:11

"Our Sustainer! and grant us what Thou hast promised us by Thy messengers; and disgrace us not on the day of resurrection; surely Thou dost not fail to perform the promise. So their Sustainer accepted their prayer: That I will not waste the work of a worker among you, whether be male or female, the one of you being from the other; they, therefore, who fled and were turned out of their homes and persecuted in My way and who fought and were slain, I will most certainly cover their evil deeds, and I will most certainly make them enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; a reward from Allah, and with Allah is yet better reward." Quran 3/194-195---

Insha-Allah, all good works and efforts of Shamima Shaikh will be rewarded many times over. Let us pray that all Muslim women realize their status given by the Qur'an to be co-equal in all aspects of 'deen', as stated by this verse:

"Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember Allah much and the women who remember-- Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward." Quran 33/35.

It is high time we opened up the Qur'an and find the reality of Allah about womens rights instead of listening to conflicting views from falliable sources.

Kashif A Shehzada

Director, Quranic Islam in Cyberspace


Date: 6/19/98

Time: 11:41:36 PM

This is a lovely memorial. I hope you and the children are doing well.

Best wishes, Jeff Cochrane USA


Date: 7/14/98

Time: 3:55:26 PM

"Unmoved mover" that was Ms Shamima Shaik. I have yet to meet a strong and principled women like her. We thank Allah for permitting Ms Sheik to influence our lives positively during her life in this world. May Allah give her abundance in the hereafter, better than what she had in this world, and overlook all her shortcomings. Furthermore may Allah raise another soldier from the women folk who will continue the struggle against ignorance like Shamima. She was one of the first Indian women who, wittingly or unwittingly, was never bothered by my skin pigmantation, that is something by which I'll always remember her.

Thank you very much

Ebrahim Thembisa Fakude


Date: 7/16/98

Time: 3:25:51 PM

The founding member of the Muslim Broadcasting Trust ... my co host on the very contraversial show "Our Voices - 95.4fm stereo" ... a pillar of strength ...

A women ... who will never be forgotten . .

I remember her ... for the strength she gave me to continue her struggle ... may I never fail her!!

... I only hope that Islamic women ... take up her cource and truly run with it ..

Not only will they fine a fullfilment in this running ... but also will find TRUE ISLAM ... where the sexes would find a space common .. and equality natural...

Basit ...................


Date: 7/22/98

Time: 6:34:55 AM


Shamimah Shaik, was an inspiring figure to the Islamic Nation. May her efforts long live!

Insha-Allah other females get the hidayet and courage to carry on from where she left of.

My condolence and dua's to her beloved ones.

Fatima and Zeenat(CyberGal)


Date: 8/14/98

Time: 6:31:14 AM

Months after her passing I cry anew for the loss of a comrade and friend with whom no clarification or justification was ever required

farid esack


Date: 8/20/98

Time: 12:57:26 PM

Months after her passing we still remember our sister Shamima.. May Allah grant her Janaah ...A sister we will never forget...

Hoosein Ismail and Family.(Cape Town)




Time: 1:24:19 PM

Dearest Uncle Na'eem

There is so much i feel, but i dont quite know how to say it. Unfortunately, i did not have the honour and privilege of meeting Shamima. One has to admit that while browsing this website, one cannot stop the tears from rolling down one's face.

oh! how great it is for Shir'a and Minhaj to have had a mother such as her... The love and bond that you and Shamima had is one that we all dream about, but seldom find....

All that is left to say is that i make dua to Allah that he grant you and your sons the strength and courage to continue with your lives and Insha'Allah Shamima will be eternally happy in JAnnatul Firdous

Love Salma Mayet


Date: 6/8/99

Time: 5:39:43 PM

18 months after... The sun still shines... Shamima has a left a mark that will not be erased, alhamdulillah!


Date: 6/8/99

Time: 5:46:28 PM

A truly Inspiring woman and human being. May she rest in Allah's shade


Date: 15/01/2004

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE HADITH WHERE THE FOLLOWING IS QUOTED FROM. ARE THERE ANY REFERENCES OR SOURCES FROM WHICH TEH FOLLOWING IS QUOTED: She quotes two examples of Islamic history where women have led prayers. In Mecca, women and men pray together during Haj, the annual pilgrimage. A woman led the funeral prayers for Imam Shafi'i (a respected Muslim scholar) and "the other was a case of an elderly women whom the Prophet Muhammad used to visit. The male servant used to give the adhan (call to prayer) while the woman used to lead the prayer," says Shaikh


Date: 20/05/2004

Salaam Brother Na'eem I must confess that I ended up on this site by accident. Although I didn't know Shamima personally,from what I see here I think that she was a very blessed and brave woman and sister and that she enriched a lot of people's lives. May Allah forgive her all her sins and grant her paradise, Insha Allah. Thandile Kona


Date: 08/07/2004

Salaams What a truly touching & inspiring story...I hope more muslim women have the opportunity to have a look @ this website. As much as i fear Naeem & his children miss their wife & mother, i truly believe that no matter what they go thru' , Allah (S.W.T) & Shamima wiill guide for the rest of their lives. Na'eem, I thank you for informing me about this website...If @least 1 person is touched & changed,for the better as i have been,by Shamima's story then it will have truly served its purpose. I make du'aa for Na'eem his family & for Allah (S.W.T) to grant her Jannah. Insha Allah.Aameen

Salaams Naseeba (Stoutte_Kabouter)


Date: 09/09/2004

na'im as-salaamu-alaikum wa rahmat'ullah wa'bara'kaatu'hu i just happened upon this site and became so inspired that i was thinking of suitable people to refer it to, when i happened upon the news of shamina's passing and ... and tears flowed ... those of us living abroad were never aware of let alone informed of such a stalwart woman of substance and courage within the muslim community back home. in hindsight, i may have met her in her early years (1970-73) at MYM in newtown/fordsburg (ala m.s. laher) or in the bookshop behind jummah masjid in durban. let's hope that shamima's life's work will be a source of inspiration for thinking muslim woman and those who seriously question their lives and roles in society - throughout africa and beyond ... in'sha'allah ... it seems that in her untimely/premature passing she has left a legacy for many to delve into, cherish and cleave to ... with honour and pride for mshe led by example. sub-han'allah

was-salaam sharif (washington, DC - USA)


Date: 27/10/2004

Thanks for the useful site. Keep up the good work. God bless you and keep you. -John-


Date: 30/10/2004

I just can't express in words what a great site this is! Wonderful qks job whoever is running things.


Date: 06 Jan 2005

what a pity that 10 years after shamima took the men of mayfair(and south africa)- by the beard and demanded the right to pray in a mosque, the theology and public of South Africa remain as conservative and illogocical as ever. Women are still not allowed in the majority of mosques in SA and as for having a voice - well thats only if its a harmonious malody of the male tenor. zaheera


Date: 13 Jan 2005

we love your website


Date: 05-Apr-2005

I had the pleasure of knowing Shamima at UDW and was most saddened to hear of her passing away. I read "Journey to discovery" and never forgot the spirit of Shamima. I came across the website by chance and read every word on it. As a professional muslim woman, I identify with Shamima's challenges and use her as my inspiration. Her life was short but so totally fulfilled. We pass our days unknowingly with no moral or social goals but with the pursuit of material things. . The example that Shamima left for us in her lifetime is inspiring and I pray that her children have a wonderful and happy future. It can't be easy raising two young children without a mother and I feel for them but I am sure Shamima has left an indelible mark on their young lives. May allah make it easy for her family.

Tahera Mather Director- Drumbeat Media and Communications


Date: 29-Apr-2005

Salam - impressed with your articles May the all mighty be with you all Salamu Alaikum Ahmed Saudi arabia


Date: 08-Sep-2005

I really enjoyed my visit. A great site


Date: 10-Sep-2005

Love this web, I'll be back soon to checek it again, Joshua Odin


Date: 10-Nov-2005

Very good site! I like it! I just wanted to pass on a note to let you know what a great job you have done with this site..Thanks!


Date: 13-Nov-2005

i really enjoyed reading articles in this websit. my Allah bless her soul and bless those she had left behind. you know lucky her that they had a mother like that ,,,and really lucky that one that had her as a wife..


Date: 19-Mar-2006

Althoug I learnt about this woman recently, I am not away from the ideas that she carried out. This 'Proggressive Mulsim women' issue is very similiar to greenpeace or feminist movements in the west. they are not paradimg-funder in nature, but operates within a general structure called modernisation. that is the POWER of modernisation that even the people who oppose it works within it, as if they are fighting for more freedom or liberty. they will produce nothing but noise and confusion islamic world. I believe Allah will judge them. Question is simple, how can i trust someone`s comments on Islam who even does not wear headscarf? I believe without putting our house in order, we are just making noise to affect others. even if we do, it will be temporary. May Allah forgive her and award her janna Mehmet OZKAN Postgraduate Student University of Johannesburg South Africa

Journey of Discovery:
A South African Hajj

by Shamima Shaikh and
Na'eem Jeenah


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