Iqbalunnisa Hussain was born in Bangalore in 1897. She was married at the age of 15 to Syed Ahmed Hussain, an official in the Mysore government who encouraged her to acquire an education. She joined a school in Mysore and later the Maharanias College from where she obtained her BA degree and a gold medal by correspondence in 1930. In 1933, she travelled to the UK for her Masteras in Education at Leeds University, thus becoming one of the few middle class Muslim Women from India to obtain a degree from the UK. She represented India at the Twelfth International Womenas Congress at Istanbul in September 1935 and was a keen member of the All-India Womenas Conferences. In Bangalore she founded a school where she encouraged Muslim girls to acquire an education while also providing training in rug making, carpet weaving, embroidery, cutting and sewing. Her students participated in the Girl Guides, were good debaters, and keen performers in dramas and plays. She is the author of several books including Changing India: A Muslim Woman Speaks, Purdah and Polygamy: Life in an Indian Muslim Household.