Her head in a plunging arc,
In commune with the earth,
The unlawful catches not her gaze,
lowered in beguiling Hayaa.
Her body cloaked and shielded from flagrant eyes,
She ambles down the path-
Her soft walk, a hint of gentle modesty
Oh! The burning struggle to discount the curious stares!
Fingers pointed in her direction
Heads gathered in whispering circles
She can feel the steam of hateful glares
The pitying nod from the woman in the pretty pink ensemble,
Prada displayed daintily on her arms
Is her plain garb wanting?
Why are the whispers becoming a deafening roar?
Nay! This is but a trial engulfing her firm conviction
And her tremors are a mirage in a nonexisting world!
Her garb isn’t just a cover; a protection from the elements,
It is an attestation to a creed peaceful and complete –
A corporeal witness to the imaan that glows within
Why will they not understand;
This glorious crown that festoons her steps?
Would she rather be immersed in a society garbed in pretense,
Where a woman’s status is masked in her so-called freedom,
Freedom given to wanton desires?
Would they rather her body is on display,
And her mind un-mined?
But she doesn’t desire the frivolity of pretty pink ensembles
Or overpriced designer accessories-
She does fear the fickle fingers of fate,
How it but gnashes at the one distracted from the ultimate goal.
Surely, here is where she feels at home
Here, where her covering opens up vistas into her being
More than just her stats, she is an enigma.
She hopes she is the valour of Summaya,
The purity of Maryam,
The erudition of Aisha,
The kindness and humility of Khadija,
The selfless generosity of Asma’
O! she is a priceless treasure,
Meant not for the cynosure of straying eyes,
Her veil, a gift of dignity from her Rabb.
What more can the world offer her?
So walking, she is, down her chosen path,
With strong and unfaltering steps
Head down in obeisance and bravery,
Little heed to the burning gazes
Nay! She would not be cowed.
For just like Asiya, she will give up this fleeting world,
For a chance at eternal bliss.
Wasn’t she adorned with courage,
An insurmountable one from her Rabb?
Author: Habibah Salawu
Editor: Umm Naml