Early mornings, before the world is awake, the women of my religion are on their mats, knees bruised from kneeling on the floor, wet eyes and toes, cupped hands for their fathers , husbands, children and their ummah who neglected them in the name of their own god. Women of my religion , knees on the floor even when the dam of humanity broke and the dirty water is creeping up to their chest, their hands still raised up to the sky. Women of my religion, stubborn. Women of my religion hide their hearts from their sleeves confusing their hijab with quiet and gentle. Women of my religion mistake love with fear. Women of my religion sipping the leftover coffee of their men with pride. Women of my religion reading the words on their lives written in stained words of an outside world that doesn’t understand. Women of my religion, oppressed . But if you really look, painfully remove that tinted glass the world gave you to look at our women, you’d see a valley of heroines in their armours protecting their faith and the hearts of everyone they love, waging a war bigger than themselves. You’d see them holding a sword in one hand and soothing a broken with another. But when they come looking for the leftovers of the war, to take count of the terror our women caused their soldiers, they’d find wounds healed, hearts cleaned , and praying hands of millions of them who fought our women. Women of my religion, warriors. Cement, sand and tears. Women of my religion, concrete. Shedding their skin to make floors for their daughters to stand on. Women of my religion, pillars. Women of my religion making homes , protecting the lives under it on prayer mats,etching hopes onto their palms. But there is a ground where our women burn their solitude and sore parts of their heart, there’s a graveyard of dreams in the pit of her stomach, the burial ground of her tender soul, a funeral everyone forgot to attend. Women of my religion, abandoned. The world soaks itself in the kindness of our women, in the forgiveness of the crimes done to their bodies and souls, in the light of paradise that shines through her wounded feet. The world so drunk on the love of our women cannot find their palms or prayer mats. My religion, forgetting to pray for our women. Our women, praying for their own death.