My Books


‘Hassim’s book is a valuable contribution to research on gender relations and social control. A must-read for all gender and cultural studies enthusiasts.’ KZN Literary Tourism

‘The point, made so cogently by scholars like Abu-Lughod, Barlas and Hassim, that the Qur’an and the Prophetic model do not endorse these values and practices that diminish the autonomy and self-reflexivity of the woman, should be fully appreciated. We cannot let a misappropriation of the Qur’an or the Prophetic model be an instrument of social injustice.’ Brunei Times

‘Heart-wrenching and beautifully crafted short stories and poems about racism, poverty, xenophobia, women and child abuse, hope and forgiveness are in essence the gist of Belly of Fire.’ The Sowetan

‘It is just as well that this little volume has a sturdy hard cover to contain the powerful utterances within … The stories and poems in this book speak their truths plainly and fearlessly. For once, at least in this collection, the voiceless are given a voice.’ Janet van Eeden, LitNet

Praise for SoPhia:

‘Harrowing, yet written with fire and poetry, this is an intriguing novel written by sociologist, Hassim.’ — Cape Times

SoPhia is not a romance, it is a love story about self-realisation and engaged humanity,‘ Daily Sun

‘A tribute to activism against abuse … Hassim’s talent as a writer is evident in SoPhia,‘ Sunday Times Extra

The story of abuse is written in many ways, but SoPhia looks at the hope and compassion required to alter the cycle of abuse,‘ Times Live

This is a book that reminds us that we have to stand together in the fight against injustice,‘ The Post

SoPhia’s subject matter gets tongues wagging,‘ Sunday Times

‘Hassim’s latest offering is a compelling look at domestic violence within the South African Indian community and comes at a time when media debate is focussed on violence against women; it opens the discussion on abuse, patriarchy and shifting notions of femininity and masculinity,’ Sunday Tribune

‘To make sense of the ugly, the author depicts powerful scenes that victims of domestic violence are all too familiar with,‘ The Witness


About Shafinaaz

Shafinaaz Hassim is a sociologist based in Johannesburg. She is the author of Daughters are Diamonds: Honour, Shame & Seclusion -- A South African Perspective (2007), Memoirs for Kimya (2009), and the critically acclaimed novel on domestic violence SoPhia (2012). She is also the editor of the Belly of Fire anthologies for social change series, which was launched in 2011. Her research focuses on biographical narrative in the interplay between personal and political spaces and she writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has lectured and presented seminars at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

My Books

Nisa Qamar and the Master of Jinniaville (2016)

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Princess Rasgulla and the Ponytail Monster (2017)

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