My Muslim-Identity Rant

My pen seems so distant from my paper
Yearning to share a story, to share a word
just something
something that will free these emotions that lies within
they have cast-off my story as being hers
and hers as being mines
we are one, but we are not the same
this voice shall penetrate through their deadened hearts
shall move oceans and cause riveting tides
it shall scream my excitement, pain, love, anger, and more within these small spaces called lines
I will rage against every stereotype against me
I will eliminate those words that you associate with me and I will use use my red ball-point pen and scratch them out
Do it again until I make a hole on this paper
I will do it one more time to just make sure they are all gone
so that this place called my space will not be filled with your ignorance
I will gather up my crayons and make flowers
because I like flowers
I will gather together my brown crayon and say “i am african-american” and draw next to it an American flag
This is my identity.
It may never fit your prototype of a Muslim, but I am.
I will use my black permanent marker and write my testimony of faith, so that you can never erase it
therefore it will always be there
Towards the end of this poem I will cry
and I will not feel guilty about it
Nevermind, you may think I am downtrodden and oppressed.
So, I will cry because I can.
Because I am human.
Because I have just changed history
My history
You will no longer write me
You will no longer use words to describe me
I am my own self
I am Muslim
I am American
I am me.
My voice
Never yours

A Moment Away from the World

the birds sung to me today
as I sat among them in a valley
far from the city and its noise
catching rays that shone from paradise
rejoicing in its bliss
I cried up to He above the heavens
to hear my somber plea for a place
in His paradise
maybe even the lowest of levels
just so that I could see His face
just so that I could hear the voice of the beloved Rasul
my heart fluttered as the clouds separated
reaching forth with my worldy hands to beg of He
my tears had fled from these windows that sometime would open and close
not wanting the world to stare long enough to see
my deepest fears that lies within
I closed my eyes to fall asleep to songs only sung by birds
a shine only shone from paradise
and a peace only found in a valley

She Will No Longer Need Your Assistance

She is not afraid nor reluctant
She is not just a shadow among the living
She will no longer be quiet until spoken to
She will no longer let someone else speak on her behalf
She will use her voice and speak to the masses
She will show the world that in her world things aren’t Black and White
That sometimes black concrete on the ground bleed blood
That sometimes a gorgeous blue sky will become grey and suffocating due to hazardous gases
She will no longer need any assistance in speaking her thoughts
She will no longer be needing your services to aid her in this quest for purpose
She understands that she is Muslim before Palestinian
She understands that she is Muslim before
Iraqi
She understands that she is Muslim before
Syrian
She understands that she is Muslim before
Ivorian
She understands that she is Muslim before
Somali
She understand that she is Muslim before
Israeli
She understands that she is Muslim before
any other title or nationality
She does not need your pity or your suggestions on how to make war a little less unbearable
She does not need your hand to help her out of the place she will always call home no matter the circumstances
She will always find her way in Fajr
She will always find her way in Dhur
She will always find her way in Asr
She will always find her way in Meghrib
She will always find her way in Isha
She will find her with the help of her Lord
She will struggle in the path of her Lord
She will no longer be needing your services
She will no longer be needing your assistance

She Will No Longer Be Voiceless

The books line the wall in her room
A woman that never stopped collecting
That never stopped reading

She’s been told that as a female she should leave
things such as religious knowledge to those that are male
A woman’s place is within the confines of her home
tending to her children and staying quiet
not to speak until spoken to
not to question why she’s being confined to cultural -subjugation

She watches the television and she listens
Her curiosity is sparked
She is intrigued
She’s internally fighting against this subjugation
not understanding why these women that looks just like her are speaking of this religious liberation

The sound of children quickly fades away as she listens to the television screen
Her heart is racing
Tears are falling
She covers her face with the same hands that has nurtured the womb of her home
The baby that lies within her kicks and kicks
against her body
She feels her son pounding against her
Her body is sore
Her heart is broken

She doesn’t understand why these women on television are speaking about this freedom that she has yet to see
She doesn’t understand why these men that they call their husbands are teaching them about the religion
She is confused and angry

What is it within the confines of these books freeing these women? What is keeping these women from experiencing this same pain that penetrates the inside of my body? The inside of my mind? Why are these women smiling and strong? How can they speak with such words? Why are they not like me when they are me? Their clothing is similar to mines, but their life is so different.

She is angry and frustrated
She can no longer take this state of utter confusion
The nurturer of her home will no longer be sentenced to life in prison
Her voice will no longer be silenced by men that are ignorant of their own religion
Her body will not carry a son that will treat women as if they were not the protector that protected them in the confines of their bodies
She is done
Her ears have heard enough
Her heart has been inclined to something more
than just the title of “good mother”
She will now live up to the name in which her mother had given her
Amatullah

It has been three years
Divorced and with three children
Her home is a library of knowledge
A place of liberation
Her tears are no longer tears of pain
but tears of freedom
She is no longer the slave to cultural-subjugation
she is the servant of her Lord
She sits down with her children every night
Reading pages and pages of books
Written by Islamic scholars
Perusing the local newspaper to see the world around her
Realizing that one must change their own condition
Realizing that one’s purpose is to worship the Creator
and not the man that they are married to
and not the the children that they bore
and not the cultural-norms that are expected of them

She watches her children read and read
Their smiles bring her satisfaction
She has named her daughters “Amatullah”
and her son “Abdullah”

For they will forever be the servants of God
They will always know that worship is only for their Lord
and nobody else

She will no longer be speechless
Her books will forever line the walls of her home
They will forever be the freedom that she has long sought