Begum Safia was born on September 5, 1905 in Etah in Uttar Pradesh in an educated and a comparatively liberal Muslim family. She graduated from Isabella Thowborne College and post-graduated from Allahabad University. She then joined the Indian National Congress, which provided her the opportunity of voicing her opinions at a political level.
In 1942, Begum Safia took active part in the Quit India Movement because of which she had to lose a lucrative and prestigious job of a lecturer in a government college. After independence, she continued to work for the emancipation of the masses. She was elected to the Uttar Pradesh assembly twice—in 1952 and 1957. Thereafter she took up social work, but refrained from taking part in active politics.