Biography & Career Of Fauzia Mubarak Ali
Biography & Career Of Fauzia Mubarak Ali
Fauzia Mubarak Ali is a human rights activist and the wife of the famous musician Cat Stevens, who later changed his name to Yusuf Islam.
She is the founder of the Human Rights Advocates Association (HRAA), which works to ensure social justice is a regular occurrence in Pakistan.
She has been campaigning for women’s rights, democracy, social discrimination, and peace in Pakistan and countries around the Middle East.
She is also a devout Muslim who follows the teachings of Islam and a supportive and loving partner to Yusuf Islam, who credits her for helping him rediscover his faith and music.
Early Life & Education
Fauzia Mubarak Ali, currently 65 as of 2023, was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 24, 1958.
She is the daughter of Mubarak Ali and Zainab Ali, who were well-educated and progressive-minded. She grew up in a middle-class family that valued education and culture.
She attended St. Joseph’s Convent School in Karachi, where she excelled in academics and extracurricular activities.
From a young age, she was passionate about literature, poetry, and social issues. She also learned to speak Urdu, English, Arabic, and Persian fluently.
She moved to Lahore to pursue higher education at Kinnaird College for Women, one of Pakistan’s oldest and most prestigious women’s colleges.
She graduated with a B.A. in Urdu Literature in 1979 and won several awards and scholarships for her academic performance and literary contributions.
She was also active in student politics and social movements, advocating for women’s rights, democracy, and secularism in Pakistan.
She received a scholarship to study at the University of Columbia in New York, where she enrolled in a Master’s degree program in Comparative Literature in 1980.
She continued to pursue her interest in literature, culture, and politics and wrote her thesis on the role of women in Islamic societies.
She also participated in various cultural and religious events and organizations and met people from different backgrounds and faiths.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali met Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, in 1981 at a lecture on Islam at the Islamic Center of New York.
Yusuf Islam was a famous British singer-songwriter who had converted to Islam in 1977 and abandoned his musical career. He was looking for a Muslim wife who could help him grow in his faith and share his vision of serving humanity.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali was impressed by his sincerity, humility, and dedication to Islam and agreed to marry him after a brief courtship. They had a traditional Islamic wedding ceremony in London in 1982.
The couple moved to London, where they started a family and a charitable foundation called Small Kindness, which supports orphans, refugees, and victims of war and natural disasters worldwide.
They also established the Islamia Schools Trust, which runs several Islamic schools in London.
They have five children: Hassana Islam, Maymanah Islam, Asmara Eve, Amina Yusuf, and Muhammad Islam (Yoriyos Adamos). Their children are involved in various artistic, educational, and humanitarian endeavours.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali has been a loyal and supportive wife to Yusuf Islam, who resumed his musical career in 2006 after a long hiatus.
She encouraged him to use his talent and fame to spread the message of peace, love, and harmony through his songs.
She also accompanied him on tours and concerts and collaborated on some of his projects. She has been his source of inspiration, strength, and comfort throughout their marriage.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali is a human rights activist who has dedicated her life to fighting for social justice, especially for women, children, and minorities in Pakistan and the Middle East.
She is the founder and president of the Human Rights Advocates Association (HRAA), a non-governmental organization that promotes and protects human rights, democracy, and peace in Pakistan.
She has been involved in various campaigns and initiatives, such as:
Raising awareness and providing legal aid to victims of domestic violence, honour killings, acid attacks, forced marriages, and sexual abuse. Educating and empowering women and girls through literacy, vocational, and leadership programs.
Advocating for the reform of discriminatory laws and policies that violate the rights of women, religious minorities, and ethnic groups.
Lobbying for the ratification and implementation of international human rights treaties and conventions by the Pakistani government.
Organizing and participating in protests, rallies, seminars, workshops, and conferences on human rights issues. Networking and collaborating with other human rights organizations, civil society groups, media outlets, and international agencies.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali has also been active in the regional and global human rights scene and has represented Pakistan and HRAA in various forums and platforms, such as:
The United Nations Human Rights Council, where she has delivered statements and reports on the human rights situation in Pakistan and other countries.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, where she has advocated for the promotion of human rights and democracy within the Islamic world.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative, where she has joined other Nobel Peace Prize laureates and women leaders in supporting women’s rights and peace movements worldwide.
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, where she has been a member of the executive committee and the coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa region.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali has received several awards and honours for her human rights work, such as:
The International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Department of State in 2010 recognizes women who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advancing women’s rights and empowerment.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Award from the King Center in Atlanta in 2012 honours individuals and organizations that have significantly contributed to advancing human rights and social justice.
The Human Rights Defender Award from Amnesty International in 2014 honours individuals and groups with outstanding commitment and courage in defending and promoting human rights.
The Woman of the Year Award from Glamour Magazine in 2016 celebrates women who have made a difference in the world through their achievements and influence.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali has an estimated net worth of $3 million, which she has earned from her human rights work and her husband’s musical career.
She has also donated much of her wealth to charitable causes and organizations, such as Small Kindness, Islamia Schools Trust, HRAA, and others.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali has faced controversy and criticism for her human rights work and marriage to Yusuf Islam. Some of the challenges and difficulties she has encountered are:
She has received threats and harassment from extremist groups and individuals who oppose her views and activities on human rights, women’s rights, and democracy.
She has also been arrested and detained several times by the Pakistani authorities for her involvement in protests and campaigns.
She has been accused of being a traitor and a spy by some nationalist and conservative elements in Pakistan, who question her loyalty and patriotism.
They also claim that she is working for foreign agendas and interests and that she is trying to undermine the Islamic identity and values of Pakistan.
She has been criticized by some feminist and secular groups in Pakistan and the West, who argue that she is compromising and conforming to the patriarchal and oppressive norms of Islam.
They also question her choice of marrying Yusuf Islam, who they perceive as a fundamentalist and a fanatic. They also doubt her sincerity and credibility as a human rights activist and accuse her of being a hypocrite and a token.
She has been misunderstood and misrepresented by media outlets and public figures, who have distorted and sensationalized her statements and actions on human rights issues.
They have also spread false and misleading information about her background and biography, portraying her as a controversial and divisive figure.
Fauzia Mubarak Ali has responded to these controversies and criticisms with dignity and grace and has maintained her integrity and conviction.
She has also clarified and corrected the misconceptions and misinformation about her and her work and has defended her rights and beliefs.
She has also expressed her hope and optimism for a better, more peaceful world and has appealed for dialogue and understanding among different groups and communities.