Found this poem on a blog. The bogger in turn found this on a website with a page for women. The website belongs to the Worldwide Islamic Network of Women; the acronym they use is WINOW.


For an exegesis on the poem 😉 visit



Be Proud of Hijab

You look at me and call me oppressed,
Simply because of the way I’m dressed,
You know me not for what’s inside,
You judge the clothing I wear with pride,
My body’s not for your eyes to hold,
You must speak to my mind, not my feminine mold,
I’m an individual, I’m no mans slave,
It’s Allahs pleasure that I only crave,
I have a voice so I will be heard,
For in my heart I carry His word,
“O ye women, wrap close your cloak,
So you won’t be bothered by ignorant folk”,
Man doesn’t tell me to dress this way,
It’s a Law from God that I obey,
Oppressed is something I’m truly NOT,
For liberation is what I’ve got,
It was given to me many years ago,
With the right to prosper, the right to grow,
I can climb mountains or cross the seas,
Expand my mind in all degrees,
For God Himself gave us LIB-ER-TY,
When He sent Islam,
To You and Me!

I really don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, I agree that there are stereotypes regarding women in veil, in burqas, in hijabs – stereotypes that project a veiled woman as a passive subject, always to be seen as oppressed, needing the help of her more liberated/ emancipated sisters and brethren!

But I would be very wary of this almost celebratory tenor of writing and self-image of “Muslim” women as propagated by this poem and website… Very different from Zeib un Nisa’s ‘I will not lift my veil’ 😉 Probably because this hijab is rooted in religion while Zeib un Nisa’s veil was more of a cultural construct… I think….

Also keep tabs on


The website of National Organization for Women… You’ll know why, if you have visted Gates Of Vienna…


A short poem by Akbar Allahabadi

Be- purdah nazar aayein jo chand biwiyaan

Dekh kar Akbar ghairat- e- qaum se garh gaya,

Poocha ke aapka purdah kidhar gaya

Boli ki akhl pe mardon ki par gaya.

Seeing some women without a veil

Akbar bowed his head in shame for the community,

When asked where your veil has gone

They said it now veils men’s wisdom.


(Translation by Mahmood Farooqui)


How true!! 😉

I will not lift my veil,

For, if I did, who knows?

The bulbul might forget the rose,

The Brahmin worshipper

Adoring Lakshmi’s grace

Might turn, forsaking her,

To see my face;

My beauty might prevail.

Think how within the flower

Hidden as in a bower

Her fragrant soul must be

And none can look on it;

So me the world can see

Only within the verses I have writ –

I will not lift the veil.

Princess Zeib un Nissa, eldest daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb