My Hijab

I wrote the following poem “My Hijab” based on harmful attitudes that both Muslim communities and mainstream Western societies perpetuate about the hijab (modest covering of the whole body except the face and hands), and about women that wear or do not wear it.

“My Hijab”

My hijab,
hijacked,
not seen
as a matter
between a
woman and God.

My hijab
is not a
symbol
of purity,
not a symbol
of divinity,
for behind
the hijab
remains a
child of Adam
that
also sins
before
God.

My hijab
is an act
of worship,
meant only
to please God.

You violate
God’s gift
when
you unjustly
monopolize
this
act of worship.

It is not
your right
to speak ill
of the women
that do
or
do not wear it,
or those
that
wear it “incorrectly”,
or those
that
remove it.

It is not
your right
to dictate
to me
whether
the hijab
is oppressive
or if
I am set free.

The hijab
is not
the only
act of worship.
Yet
you are either
amazed
or
filled with rage.

The hijab is mine.

It is God’s gift
to women only,
they can accept
or decline.

My hijab
is
not
for you
to scrutinize,
nor
expect me
to act saintly,
for my sins,
like yours,
can also
reach the sky.

My hijab
is not a
barrier
to emotions,
I feel
what you feel,
I see
what you see,
I am not
immune
to
human ecstasies.

Why claim
that
the hijab
elevates women
yet
compare them
to objects?
I am
worth more
than a
precious pearl,
for I am
human.

Or why claim
that
the hijab
is oppression
yet
shame women
that
meet not
your beauty
expectations?

My hijab
is not
your key
to denouncing
patriarchy.

Nor
is
my hijab
your right
to salvation
from your 
sexual temptations.

When I
testify
la ilaha illa llah,
it includes
my hijab
for
the sake
of God.

The hijab
is
but
a gift
I accepted
from God.

———————————————————————————————————————-

**La ilaha illa llah translates to “there is no other god but God”, which is the first of two testimonials of the Islamic creed “There is no other god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God” [La ilaha illa llah, wa Muhammadar-rasulu llah].

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s