Karimunnesa Khanam Chaudhurani

Karimunnesa Khanam Chaudhurani (1855 – 6 September 1926) was a Bengali poet, social worker, and patron of literature.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Karimunnesa was born in 1855 in the Pairaband Pargana zamindar family in Rangpur, Bengal Presidency, British Raj. Her father was Zahiruddin Muhammad Abu Ali Saber and her mother was Rahatunnesa Sabera Chaudhurani. Her younger sister was Begum Rokeya. Her family were conservative Muslims, who made her Purdah and limited her education to reading the Quran. She memorised Persian verses by listening in on her brothers lessons. She learned English and Bengali through her own effort. She was married to Abdul Hakim Khan Ghuznavi of the Zamidar Family in Delduar, Tangail when she was 14. She was widowed with two sons when she was 23.[2][3]


Karimunnesa made sure her children were given a Western education. She had her children's schooling done in Kolkata. She sent Abdul Karim Ghaznavi, her eldest son to England when he was 13. Her second son, Abdul Halim Ghaznavi , studied at St. Xavier's College. Her sons would go on to become important and influential politicians in Bengal. She supported Begum Rokeya in her desire to study Bengali and Literature. Karimunnesa wrote her owns poems; her poems were about nature. She published two books, Manas Bikaxh and Duhkha Tarangini. She patronized the fortnightly magazine Ahmadi, which was published by Abdul Hamid Khan Yusufzai. Ahmadi campaigned for Hindu-Muslim unity, the first Muslim magazine to do so. From 1884 to 1892 she served the estate manager od Delduar Estate. In 1885 Mir Mushara dedicated is book Bisad Sindhu to her. Begum Rokeya's book Motichur (Vol II) was dedicated to her as well. She learned Arabic at 67.[2][4]


Karimunnesa died on 6 September 1926.[2]


  1. ^ Hossain, Anowar (2003). Muslim women's struggle for freedom in colonial Bengal: (1873-1940). Progressive Publishers. p. 266. ISBN 9788180640308.
  2. ^ a b c Salam, Muhammad Abdus. "Chaudhurani, Karimunnesa Khanam". Banglapedia. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  3. ^ The Journal of the Institute of Bangladesh Studies. Institute of Bangladesh Studies, University of Rajshahi. 1990. pp. 57–58.
  4. ^ Hussain, Sahanara. "The Role of Bengali Women in the 19th and 20th Centuries" (PDF). unesdoc.unesco.org. Retrieved 8 November 2017.