Sorry for keeping you waiting

Stripped Back

LaYinka Sanni lifts the veil on pithy hijab sentiments.

A gem, a pearl, and a diamond
and a worth more than gold
are the very lines we hear;
lines we’re always told
as being one of the reasons
we choose a different dress;
why we wrap what’s apparent
and freely leave the rest.


To ward off wandering eyes
and to keep men’s hearts pure;
to help them with chastity
and close off all the doors;
lest their hearts are overrun
pumping with lust and desire;
God forbid for us to be the ones
who kindle and feed that fire!


“Because you are precious
and your body is just for you,
is why you cover, darling,
uncover for the eyes of few.
It’s because you’re a jewel
and not just a slab of meat,
is why you wear layers, honey,
so you don’t have to compete.”


How often have we heard this
and dropped these words ourselves,
to ‘justify’ the reason
why we choose to cover ourselves?
I say they’re mere fallacies
and miles away from the truth;
I don’t cover because I’m gorgeous,
Or any more gorgeous than you.
We cover because He said so,
and that’s enough for me;
there’s no need to spin extra lines
to make our hearts at ease.
We cover because He said so,
and can cover differently;
so let’s drop those extra lines
It’s only Him we aim to please.


LaYinka Sanni is a UK-based editor, writer, and teacher who has been writing for longer than she can count on two hands. When she’s not mentoring writers, teaching, or editing, she can be found curled in a book or tapping words on her blog: http://www.LaYinkaSanni.com/writing.