This was written in order to convey the hypocritical attitude towards women that pervades today’s Muslim communities. It is not intended as an all-encompassing description of the experiences of all Muslim women worldwide. It is also not meant to provide fuel for Islamophobes and proponents of racist, exoticizing, Orientalist “Save the Muslim/Arab Women” initiatives. It is simply meant to illustrate the deviance from the genuine, unadulterated principles of the Quran that most of our communities have fallen into.
As a mother, they say Paradise lies beneath your feet.
Mothers should be respected, they berate.
It is pedestalization.
You, a mother.
An extension of the divine, so utterly unreachable in your status–
They can’t fathom it.
So they choose to ignore it.
They say, as a wife, you complete half your husband’s deen.
The slogan shatters, hollow.
You are property in his hands.
They try to placate you.
A husband should be kind, they say.
It is not without repercussions.
Kindness has a price tag.
Marriage is a gamble.
On his side, fidelity is optional.
Again, they try to placate you.
They compare you to a crooked rib.
Resplendent in their degradation of the “inferior,”
Insisting that they are honoring you instead.
They deprive you of your humanity, your ability to reason.
Women are so needlessly emotional.
That’s why you can’t get a divorce without a judge’s approval.
But for him, assault, three words–
And it’s over.
And you, broken, your purity lost.
You’ve been “soiled,” “adulterated.”
They say your role as a daughter leads your father to the gates of Jannah.
Mere words, disguised as comfort for the tormented soul.
You may open the doors of the heavens for your father,
But this doesn’t prevent him
From “redeeming his honor” by robbing you of life.
There is no honor in killing, people chant.
It does nothing.
Because your father, he feels
If you kissed a man, or looked at him, or fluttered your dark lashes–
The government might hunt you down.
Your family, shamed.
But if he gets you first, the monarchs can’t.
*Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.
They’re determined to shut down conversation. Islam abolished female infanticide, they shout, drowning out the voices of dissent.
But they bury you alive.
They bury your potential,
Your hopes, your wishes–
Your desire to contribute to the world.
A woman’s worth lies in her seclusion:
The expressions of her face, veiled.
The cadence of her voice, forbidden.
Her beauty is only for her husband–
Who is also permitted the beauty of his “slaves.”
A flash of wrist, a flash of ankle–
A scandalous glimpse of sexy fingertips–
HARAM, they scream.
They clothe you in flowing garments of black.
I am telling you to listen to me.
Some say theft is the greatest of sins.
Honor, or respect,
Away from another individual.
They have stolen from you
Your humanity on this earth.
Such are the trials of this dunya.
But Allah is with you,
And they will pay.
They cannot steal your Lord.
*Words taken from a friend; not mine