My Feudal Lord




"There is a fantasy of a feudal lord as an exotic, tall, dark and handsome man, with flashing eyes and traces of quick-tempered gypsy blood. Images of him parrying thrusts with the fiercest od swordsmen and riding off into the sunset on his black steed set the pubescent heart aflutter. He is seen as a passionate ladies' man and something of a rough diamond, the archetypal male chauvinist who forces a woman to love him despite hei treatment of her.

But the fantasy is far from reality, and my country of Pakistan must face up to reality if it is ever to grow and prosper.

When I decided to write this book, I was aware of the perils of exposing the details of my private life to a male-dominated Muslim society. But I had to cast aside my personal consideration in favor of the greater good. There is a deep rooted deficiency in the feudal value system; it must be diagnosed before it is treated."

Tehmina Durrani



An Extraordinairy Story...
Born into one of Pakistan's most influential families, Tehmina durrani was raised in the privileged milieu of Lahore high society. Like all women of her rank, she was expected to marry prosperous Muslim from a respectable family, bear him many children, and lead a sheltered life of leisure.

Her marriage to Mustafa Khar, one of Pakistan's most eminent political figures , soon turned into a nightmare. Violently possessive and pathologically jealous, Mustafa Khar succeeded in cutting her off from the outside world. For fourteen years, Tehmina suffered alone, in silence.

When she decided to rebel, the price she paid was extremely high: as a Muslim woman seeking divorce, she signed away all financial support, lost the custody of her four children, and found herself alienated from her friends and disowned by her parents.

When this book was first published it shook Pakistani society to its foundations. Here at last was someone who had succeeded in reconciling her faith in Islam with her ardent belief in women's rights. Tehmina Durrani's story provides extraordinary insights into the vulnerable position of women caught in the complex web of Muslim society.


'A young plant is breaking through the hard crust of the earth.'

Sunday Times



"My blunt autobiography, which interestingly coined the expression, Feudal Lord, was published in 1991. Because of the proximity to the diverse aspects of the experience, My Feudal Lord was perhaps the most authentic insight into the archaic feudal attitude that has dominated the political configuration in Pakistan since its inception. Although writing it succeeded in reconciling my faith in Islam with my ardent belief in the paramount principles laid down for Muslim women, there was a heavy price to pay for the human ‘freedom' my religion granted me. Both my maternal and paternal families disowned my five children and myself for thirteen long years. The punishment confirmed that whilst the nature of the book, might have been one of the pioneering efforts to demolish the silence of Muslim women since the 14th century, even in the twenty-first century My Feudal Lord was a book before it's time. From which fact it is evident that every time a Muslim woman will dare to cross the line of fear to claim ‘liberty', it will be at the high expense of losing and hurting the people she loves. But that is a common consequence of all rebellions, revolts and revolutions that attempt to break the status quo.
My Feudal Lord was translated in 39 languages and became an International Bestseller."

Tehmina Durrani


What They Say...

Media


"Another famous writer I met and was enchanted by was none other than the author of the sensational My Feudal Lord."

Shobhaa De




'Riveting…one of the many remarkable qualities of Durrani's story is her total frankness…she emerges as a woman to be admired'

The Age – Melbourne