To My Daughter

By Isra Cheema

You are beautiful.

And you are worth far more than the fleeting glances that pass over your covered body

like a thought that barely crosses someone’s mind. You are worth more than any of their stares

and unkind words that hurt like nothing else. I know they hurt, believe me. But Allah created you

perfectly to be imperfect - so there are no mistakes. You are human. And you are beautiful just

the way He created you.

You are intelligent.

But intelligence is worth nothing if effort is not there. Don’t ever just rely on your smarts.

If you don't work hard for what you want, you’ll never reach the stars you’ve wondered at your

entire life, twinkling in the night sky like forgotten dreams - pretty to look at but never to touch.

Push until you can’t anymore, give it all you’ve got, and never give up. Then and only then are

those stars yours.

You are strong.

Fight for your rights. Fight for everything in the world you know is yours because you

deserve every little thing your hands reach for and your big eyes wonder at. Dream as hugely

and widely as you can and always remember to stand tall and never let anyone put you down.

You follow in the footsteps of giants like Khadijah, A’isha, Fatima, Maryam, and A’siya (rad).

These giants will pick you up gently, place you on their shoulders, and let you ride with them in

this journey of life.

You are kind.

Walk on this earth gently and never make anyone feel as though they are less than you

in any way. Be loving and compassionate and respectful and gracious and generous to every

single person you meet, regardless of how different they are from you. You aren’t better than

them, and they aren’t better than you. So be humble. Give away everything that you have to

someone else who needs it much more than you and say to yourself, “Allah is enough for me.”

Because He is.

Always remember these things. And always remember that I love you.


Isra Cheema is a Muslim American Pakistani woman who was born and raised in the heart of Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education. Her passion for making a difference in students’ lives by providing them with different perspectives fuels her love for teaching. Isra also considers herself a lifelong student of knowledge, and aims to better herself as an individual by learning everything she can about her faith. When she’s not reading anything she can get her hands on, she enjoys studying and teaching Arabic, swimming, traveling, and spending time with those she loves. She currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey, where she is continuing her study of Arabic and Islamic sciences.