Gulnar Raheem Khan, INDIA


No protests, no processions, no high-pitched sloganeering;
Nor vainglorious bravados on breaking the glass ceiling;
An icon of women’s liberation, living in the land and time
Of regressive, pitiless, patriarchal tribes,
Was Hadija bint Khuwailid, the Prophet’s adorable wife!

When the sphere of women was only to cook and to spin,
And to give birth, but beware, not to girls but only to sons,
When boys were seen as wealth, and men were deemed strength,
And female infanticide, was not thought a heinous crime;
Her courage and confidence made her the richest of her times!

Twice widowed, yet undeterred in any kind,
She never sat and cried, but was the stronger in the mind;
Reins in her hand, sending trading caravans,
She bloomed a desert flower, breaking all shackles of the land,
Not bowing to unkind fate, was the life of Khadija al Kubra, the great!

Not trained in blind feminism, and nor earned any scholarly   MBA,
Hers was a self-made entrepreneurship; a roaring business empire!
Profit sharing, demand and supply, wages and commissions,
How did she know all these, how quick was she to take decisions!
A glowing light a millennium ago, she was a beacon light for later women to follow!

Nor did she wait for suitors to come in long lines,
When she decided to get herself married another time,
She chose her trusted partner, and sent a proposal to him!
And then stood by her faithful husband, through thick and thin;
The prophet’s pillar of support forever, that’s Khathija al Thahira, the pure!

Contradictions and anachronisms abounding in her life—
She was a pearl of wisdom in the age of jahilia, or ignorance!
A tower of quiet power, with not a trace of cheap glamour;
A precious gem in the deep Arabian sea, a fragrant desert flower!
An antique role model for the modern times torn with strife -
She is the mother of all believers, the Prophet’s honourable wife!

Gulnar Raheem Khan is a post-graduate in English Literature, an alumnus of Sarah Tucker College, Palayamkottai.  She was athe student-editor of her college magazine. A bank officer, she has written a number of articles for her bank’s in- house magazine.  She is a recipient of the first prize in an open page competition organized by the Arab News. She has been attempting fiction since the last 2 years.

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