Muslim Warrior: A Spoken Word Piece

By: Amira Daugherty

The MSA of Agnes Scott is collaborating with Her Campus Agnes Scott this week in celebration of an extension of Muslim Women's Day. On the last day of our collaboration, read this beautiful piece that was originally performed as spoken word by Amira Daughtery!

(Photo courtesy of Agnes Scott's Muslim Student Association. From left.: Amira, Vice President; Zarine, Secretary; Firdous, Media Coordinator; Rida, Parliamentarian; Vanessa, Treasurer; Zaina, President)

 

O-six hundred hours

I Rise

Left, left, left, right left

I march to the bathroom to prepare for prayer

first, wash hands,

then mouth

nose

face

elbows

hair

feet

in that order

right, left, right, left

in that order

scarf on, short side right, long side left,

pinwheel up

straight pin out

In one sharp motion

My head is clad in fabric

Extension of soul

Armor

Body dripping in loose material

My islamophobe- proof vest

Covered are all parts but face and hands

This is how I

Enter my days

This

Is how I Eagerly entered my 2nd grade classroom

On the first day I donned the full hijab

I stepped in

Expecting rings of praise and shared excitement

But instead

So Are you bald under there?

What happened to your hair

Does your daddy make you wear that?

Are you gonna blow my house up?

My shoulders sag

Murmurs of disapproval swirl around my head

Push through the fabric

And into my ear

Swim upstream through the canal

And yank at my pride with such vigor

That it hangs as loosely as my garments

I couldn’t reconcile this reaction in my mind

I thought of the strong sisters I’d watched march into the masjid

I Asked my mother

Why they hated me

She grabbed me and said

because you are a warrior of faith

They are not ready for your fire

The next dawn

As I watched her prepare for her day as I had routinely

I noticed different

Solemnity

Humbleness

A stoney disposition

As she took each corner of fabric like an oath and wrapped it to frame her face signing declaration

Her eyes

Held in them the calm and determined light

Only found in those of soldiers

Marching into the battlefield that is Corporate America

Her hijab acting as a sort of

Anti-camouflage

That’s when I realized

That being Muslimah, being hijabi

Meant I was to stick out like a sore thumb

Jabbing at the weak in the room with my very presence

Unsettled because I was not something they understood

Bitter that they had not the courage to be different

Only reassuring themselves by affirming their dominance

Unsatisfied until they can take my scarf

And hang me with it

Put me in my place

But as I grew older

I wrapped myself in the mantra

alkhawf la shay' 'iilaa allah (al cal fa la shay in il Allah)

I fear none but God

I stand in front of the mirror

Al cal fa la shay in il Allah

I say as I grip the long side of the fabric to wrap around my head

Al cal fa la shay in il Allah

Once more as I take my sword, my mighty straight pin and stick it through the fabric

Securing my armor

And as I look at my reflection

I see that light in my eyes

I have finally become

Ju dee ann- Yass ta haku

A worthy Soldier