I am that Hijab
A stunning and powerful poem on hijab by guest writer Aatifa Shareef
Originally posted on http://www.igotitcovered.org
I am that Hijab
That cloth, that fabric
That symbol, that fear
In people’s eyes
Why does she wear it?
I am that cloth
Grippingly around her head
Secure but comfortable
Strong but delicate
Covering her hair, her ears, her neck
I am that fabric
Gracefully around her head
Protective but alleviating
Simple but beautiful
Displaying the beauty within, the pride within, the soul within
I am that concept
Gloriously around her head
Fierce but merciful
Unyielding but blessed
Compelling the wearer to go on, the onlooker to pause, the bystander to ponder
I am that liberation
Graciously around her head
Desired but attained
Unseen but felt
Refusing the persecution, the unwanted glares, the harsh words
I am that freedom
That concept, that liberation
That symbol, that serenity
In her eyes
That is why she wears it.
Aatifa Shereef originally wrote this poem in 10th Grade for an English assignment requiring a creative piece on freedom. The first thing that popped into her mind regarding freedom (ironically to some) was to write about hijab! “I am that Hijab” was previously published in The Columbus Dispatch, and was submitted to this site by the author. In 2009, she graduated from The Columbus Academy in Gahanna, OH, and is currently a freshman at Northwestern University.
What do you see when you look at me
Do you see someone limited, or someone free?
All some people can do is just look and stare
Simply because they can’t see my hair.
Others think I am controlled and uneducated
They think that I am limited and un-liberated.
They are so thankful that they are not me
Because they would like to remain ‘free.’
Well free isn’t exactly the word I would’ve used
Describing women who are cheated on and abused.
They think that I do not have opinions or voice
They think that being hooded isn’t my choice.
They think that the hood makes me look caged
That my husband or dad are totally outraged.
All they can do is look at me in fear
And in my eye there is a tear.
Not because I have been stared at or made fun of
But because people are ignoring the One up Above.
On the Day of Judgment they will be the fools
Because they were too ashamed to play by their own rules.
Maybe the guys won’t think I am a cutie
But at least I am filled with more inner beauty.
See I have declined from being a guy’s toy
Because I won’t let myself be controlled by a boy.
Real men are able to appreciate my mind
And aren’t busy looking at my behind.
Hooded girls are the ones really helping the Muslim cause
The role that we play definitely deserves applause.
I will be recognized because I am smart and bright
And because some people are inspired by my sight.
The smart ones are attracted by my tranquility
In the back of their mind they wish they were me.
We have the strength to do what we think is right
Even if it means putting up a life-long fight.
You see we are not controlled by a miniskirt and tight shirt
We are given only respect, and never treated like dirt.
So you see, we are the ones that are free and liberated
We are not the ones that are sexually terrorized and violated.
We are the ones that are free and pure
We’re free of STD’s that have no cure.
So when people ask you how you feel about the hood
Just sum it up by saying ‘Baby, its all good!’
This is a story of 1 Chinese Muslim woman’s path to wearing hijab. Battling cultural and other influences, she overcame them with strength and conviction. Truly inspiring!
Muslim women! We are teachers, mothers, grandmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, – Allah SWT created us more precious than diamonds and pearls. This is a nice reminder for all Muslim women on the importance of our roles in this life, the importance of Islam in our lives, and the importance of choosing the Akhirah over the desires of this Dunya.