Object of Despair
by Fahim Firfiray (Abu Omar)

Emma is a lawyer
And so is Aisha too
Colleagues going into court
At circa half past two

Its 1 O'clock right now
They grab a bite before the trial
They chat about this and that
Conversing with a smile

Aisha is in full hijab
With a loose all over suit *
Emma's in her business wear
With accessories taboot

Emma's really quite bemused
At Aisha's godly ways
She looks Aisha in the eyes
And very firmly says

You're a smart girl Aisha
Why do you wear that across your hair?
Subjugated by "man"-kind
An object of despair

Take it off my sister
Let your banner be unfurled
Don't blindly follow all around

Aisha is amazed
But not the least bit shy
She bravely puts her milk shake down
And gives Emma the reply

My dear sister Emma,
Why do you dress the way you do?
The skirt you're wearing round your waist,
Is it really you?

Now that we've sat down,
I see you tug it across your thighs,
Do you feel ashamed?
Aware of prying eyes?

I see the way you're sitting,
Both legs joined at the knees,
Who forces you to sit like that?
Do you feel at ease?

I'll tell you who obliges you,
To dress the way you do,
Gucci, Klein and St. Laurent,
All have designs on you!

In the main, it's men my friend,
Who dictate the whims of fashion,
Generating all the garb,
To incite the basest passion

"Sex Sells" there is no doubt,
But who buys with such great haste,
The answer is the likes of you,
Because they want to be embraced......

They want to be accepted,
On a level playing field
Sure, with brain and intellect
But with body parts revealed

Intelligence and reason
Are useful by and by
But if you want to make a mark
Stay appealing to the eye

You claim your skirt is office like
A business dress of sorts
Would we not laugh at Tony Blair
If he turned up in shorts?

His could be the poshest pants
Pinstripe from Saville Rowe
But walking round like that my friend
He'd really have to go

Why do you douse yourself with creams
To make your skin so milky?
Why do rip off all your hair
To keep your body silky?

A simple shower's all you need
To stay respectable and clean
The time and money that you spend
Is really quite obscene

Why do you wake up at dawn,
To apply a firm foundation,
Topped with make up and the like,
In one chaotic combination?

And if you should have to leave the house
Devoid of this routine
Why do you feel so insecure
That you should not be seen?

Be free my sister Emma
Escape from your deep mire
Don hijab today my friend
And all Islam's attire

Avoid all those sickly stares
Or whistles from afar
Walk down the street with dignity
Take pride in who you are

Strength lies in anonymity
Be a shadow in the crowd
Until you speak and interact
When your voice will carry loud

You're a smart girl Emma
Wear this across your hair
Don't be subjugated by "man"-kind
An object of despair

To use your very words my friend
Let your banner be unfurled
Don't blindly follow all around

* A reader has sent her feedback with regards to this poem:

Salamu alaykum
I was reading that poem and the articles on hijab and I began to see many errors.The poem deals with 2 lawyers..already a mistake a muslim cannot be a lawyer because they will be judging according the laws of the kuffar. Next i looked at the what the muslim women was wearing..she was wearing a suit and a hijab..Allah orders a jilbab..read suratul Noor.

I also noticed that there is a sense that the hijabs purpose as  to beautify the women  but it is for hayah and is to make man not look at her feminine figure. I think we should all be careful as to what we are actually saying and be more cautious of poems that speak about the muslim pride yet they take one part of the deen and neglect another.

Salamu ALaykum
Your sister Ayesha Mulla

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Da'wah to a Non-Muslim Woman
(A True Experience)

I spoke to you about Islaam
You did not know before
A Christian is what you professed
But wanted to learn more...

Your views, I learnt, were so distorted
Misconceptions - plain
You thought Islaam was crooked, false!
I helped you think again...

You thought us women were deprived
No honour, grace or rights!
But as we spoke your face just changed
As if you'd seen the light...

Then to my great surprise you asked
To see His Book, Qur'aan!
My heart rejoiced as now I hoped
In your heart lay eemaan (faith)!

I hurried out to get a copy
While you still sat there
"O my Lord! Please guide this lady"
I had said in prayer...

Soorah Maryam I had chose
And gave you Allaah's Book
You quietly took it to your seat
And peacefully did look...

It all agreed with your beliefs
I saw it on your face!
You knew the truth from Allaah now
No longer out of place...
And so I boldly said to you
That you must too, submit
That you must follow Allaah's Will
And leave no part of it.

Your mood had gone serene and quiet
Not sure what to say
It seeemed the truth had found acceptance
In your heart that day...

The time had come for you to leave
But didn't want to go
Your mind was stirring all the time
At what you'd come to know...

And so you came with darkened thoughts
But Allaah gave you light
He cast away your erring views
And gave to you, new sight.

And thus the truth was brought to you
How little did you know!
Rays of truth so pure and simple
Could you let it go?

Embrace Islaam! I urged again
Your Lord and mine is One!
You hadn't as yet testified
But closer you had come..

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I am a Muslim Woman

I am a Muslim Woman
Feel free to ask me why
When I walk, I walk with dignity
When I speak, I do not lie

I am a Muslim Woman,
Not all of me you'll see
But what you should appreciate
Is that the choice I make is free

I'm not plagued with depression
I'm neither cheated nor abused
I don't envy other women
And I'm certainly not confused

Note, I speak perfect English
Et un petit peu de francais aussie
I'm majoring in Linguistics
So you need not speak slowly
I own my own small business
Every cent I earn is mine
I drive my Chevy to school and work
And no, that's not a crime

You often stare as I walk by
You don't understand my veil
But peace and power I have found
For I am equal to any male

I am a Muslim Woman
So please don't pity me
For God has guided me to truth
And now I'm finally free!

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by Aisha

When you look at me
all you can see
Is the scarf that covers my hair
My word you can't hear
Because you're too full of fear,
Mouth gaping, all you do is stare.
You think it's not my own choice,
In your own "liberation" you rejoice.
You're so thankful that you're not me.
think I'm uneducated,
Trapped, oppressed and subjugated.
You're so thankful that you are free.

But Western women you've got it wrong-
You're the weak and i'm the strong,
For I've rejected the trap of man.
Fancy clothes- low neck, short skirt,
These are devices for pain and hurt,
Always jumping to the male agenda,
Competing on his terms.
No job share, no baby-sitting facilities,
No feeding and diaper-changing amenities.
No equal pay for equal skill-
Your job they can always fill.
Is this liberation?
A person with ideas and thought,
I'm not for sale, I can't be bought.
I won't decorate anyone's arm,
Nor be promoted for my charm.
There's more to me than playing coy.
Living life as a balancing game- mother,
Daughter, wife, nurse, cleaner, cook, lover-
And still bring home a wage.
Who thought up this modern "freedom"
Where man can love'em and man can leave 'em.
This is not free but life in a cage.
Western women you can have your life.
Mine- it has less strife.
I cover and I get respected
Surely that's to be expected-
For I won't demean the feminine
I won't live to a male criterion.
I dance to my own tune,
And I hope you see this very soon,
For your own sake- wake up and use your sight!
Are you so sure that you are right?

The poem above sparked off a very heated argument between Muslims and a Western Wiccan lady. Click here to read it.

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by Hena Farooq

Her long, thick, shiny black hair
Fell against her back.
Her rich, copper skin
Gleamed in the sunlight.
Her slender figure outlined,
With her soft voluptuous curves.
But when she stepped outside,
She became a ghostly figure of the night.
Nothing more to the people
Than a dark, shadowy figure of oppression.
But she showed them.
As she walked down the street,
People made way,
Men lowered their gazes in utmost respect.
And others whispered,
As she held her head up high,
With pride in her belief
And showed them how oppressed she really was!
While they whistled at their women,
Looking them up and down as they were pieces of meat to be inspected?
She pitied their savage ways.
As she walked into the arms of her partner,
Her only love, Her husband.
Where she was transformed,
Into her beautiful self,
For only his eyes to see.

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by Khadija Javed

You wonder what my shade is,
What it represents.
Call me anything;
An extremist, a fundamentalist,
Anything you desire.
I don't care.

My shade is
My protection
from this evil world,
from roaming eyes,
from diseased hearts.
Call me anything;
Vain or Submissive.
I don't care.

My shade is
My Protection
of my beauty,
reserved for one
special gift
that God has given me;
My Life Partner.

This world
is but a fleeting moment
about to end
at Any Time.
The Signs are here.
The Day of Judgement is coming.
No one will enter my grave with me except
My body, my heart, my soul.

Call me a pessimist,
I don't care.

My shade
Covers me
Like a tree from the sun;
Like a coat of wax
on your shiny new sportscar.

My shade
My protection,
is my Khimaar,
I am a woman of Islaam.

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'Baby it's all good'
by a young American woman

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're not controlled by a mini skirt 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're not the ones that are sexually terrorized and violated

We are the ones that are free and pure
We're free of STDs that have no cure

So when people ask you how you feel about tha hood
Just sum it up by saying 'baby it's all good' ;)

The message in the above poem is powerful but it makes many Muslim women uncomfortable. Why? Because the poet comes off as very arrogant. What happened to Islamic humility and modesty? While all women should be confident about their choices, this higher-than-thou attitude is not attractive.

We, in turn, should not create biases against the Non-Muslim woman. Not all are cheated on and abused and not all are going to contract STDs just because they do not wear the hijaab.

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