My Hijab Is My Struggle So Don’t Take It Personal

Poem by Hiki, edited by Khadijah Abdul-Samed

You saw me in hijab and called me names

I never said I was an angel, yet you made it appear so

You say I try to be ‘holier than thou’ 

Deep down though, I know that’s not so

You think my hijab is a trophy I flaunt to make you look sinful

Thus, you decide to drag me down

In fact, I don’t even need you to be a reminder of my sins

Sins that get me crying with so much grief anytime I remember 

Sins that get me wishing I could turn back the hands of time so I could erase

You think I’m trying to make you look sinful

You say I insult you

Just because I’m in hijab and you aren’t

Though my intention for the hijab has never included you,

You insist I’m trying to rub it in your face

Plus your derogatory remarks and fake jokes toward me

You threaten to expose my past sins to the world

In order that they see I am no saint

And behold my hijab as a hallmark of pretense 

Sad, what your tainted lens refuse to let you see

That my decision to wear the hijab

Is in submission to my Allah

It’s my daily reminder of my constant struggle to please my Lord

It’s my shield against evil

What you see as pretense

Is my striving to fight the temptations that try to overpower me

Never, is it to project me as a saint

which I have never claimed to be

or is it to show off

No, despite my hijab, I still sin

Oh yes, I do

But no, I am no hypocrite

For human, I only am

I fall as proof of my imperfection

And in my walk towards Allah

I rise toward perfection

So be not deceived, oh dear friend

My hijab is my struggle

So don’t take it personal

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