In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Zorritta has many names, but the one name
that binds all those names together is her name d’honnour:
On the streets they call her Zorritta.
Zorritta stands for courage.
I thought of Zorritta today when I decided to enter the Mezquita central of Melilla in Spain without a headscarf. My act created a storm in a glass. Men at the entrance screamed at me that I needed to put it on, I declined saying: I disagree. Then a woman inside the women’s quarter of the mosque came out storming at me: “You need to put on a hijab”. I politely disagreed. “Wearing a scarf is not obliged,” I said. Then I asked her about how much she knew of Islam. She replied: “very little.” I told her I was an online female imam and that I knew Islam in and out, but will refrain from preaching her about it . I kindly advised her to do the same, which she eventually did, but not without a grumble. The mosque I entered was once, a long time ago, my great-grandfathers’ who was its very first imam. It was the only place that remembered me of him. He was quite a personality, alumni of the Al Qarawiyen University in Fes. An intellectual of the old times, imam, teacher, scholar, halal butcher, warrior, contemprary and friend of Abdelkrim al-Khattabi and man of the people. I know him from my grandmothers' stories, he died well over 60 years ago.
But his mosque remained vibrant and alive, the fountains in the court of the mosque are still streaming and people come to fill their bottles every day. I chose his mosque to put on my Zorritta-act. An act of Zorritta is an act of courage, an act in defiance of the status quo, in defence of Justice and liberty.
The word courage appears two times in the Holy Quran:
O my son! Keep up prayer and enjoye the good and forbid the evil, and bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage.
(Quran, chapter 31, verse 17)
And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are acts of courage.
(Quran, chapter 42, verse 43)
I knew my great-grandfather would have been proud of me, even if he disagreed. Acts of courage for something one believes in are applauded in Islam. This is the act that very often is called jihad. Sadly the word jihad has lost its initial charm and significance and has (wrongly) become the Arab word for Islamic terrorism. So I was a Zorritta. - Albeit for one very short moment - Thinking back on my day I kinda feel proud for standing for what I believed in. It wasn’t the easiest way, but I am proud I let Zorritta out today. Zorritta is badass, Zorritta is brave, and Zorritta is here to stay. And I wish every woman, Muslim or non-Muslim, to let her out too every now and then. The world is a better place with Zorritta.
With love from Spain,
Zorritta (The Healthy Moslima)