Week 3: Reverse Poem

Filed under: Uncategorized — fatimashahbaz at 1:48 am on Monday, October 21, 2019

In week 3, we discussed the sacred nature of the Quran, and the complexities and controversies in its codification and translation.  Moreover, we reflected on the importance and beauty in its recitation and calligraphy, and watched the film, the Koran by Heart.

Throughout the week, I struggled with the idea of a single translation of the Quran. As a Muslim myself, I’ve always felt that Islam and the Quran is up to an individual’s interpretation of both—but also, I recognize the need for at least some unification in the basic translation and understanding of the Quran. We learned the importance of vocalization and punctuation in the text, which can lead to significantly different interpretations and translations of the text—a concept I both appreciated and struggled with tremendously.  This made me wonder—why is one translation more valid than another? How do we know what the original punctuation was intended to be? However, despite this confusion, I know that what makes one translation valid, or what people consider to be valid is support for that translation. Our beliefs and understanding of the Quran is rooted in our community’s beliefs and understanding. Due to the patriarchal tradition within the world at large, often times translations and interpretations of hadith have been used to reinforce sexist traditions or read systems of inequality into text that did not previously exist.

In order to depict this confusion for different “truths” in Islam, I wrote the following “reverse” poem, or a poem that can be read forwards and backwards and have a different or opposite meaning.


A woman is half a man.

So don’t believe it if you hear

That equality should exist.
For as the essence of Islam has taught us

A woman is not to be trusted.

Her word is twisted and

I refuse to listen when people say

It is a mistranslation

Of our holy book

For that is a disrespect

To what our community leaders have told us

Close your ears to

Feminist nonsense.

What they call

Islamic truth is

Nothing beyond western drivel

They try and tell us it is

Scripture says

Men and women are equal.

They lie.




No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>