I am, by Allah, fit for high positions.
And am going my way, with pride! — Wallada
Being a beautiful woman, Wallada created not less beautiful and sensual poems. As Segol mentions, Wallada was best identified for her self-presentation because she showed a heightened appreciation of her body (160). A high appreciation of her body was reflected on the poet’s dress, which had lines of poetry embroidered on it. Wallada’s creative works were remarkable due to the author’s expression of her desires that was reverse to the traditional discourse.
Wallada was one of the most prominent representatives of Arab women. Ghaderi remarks that Arab females appreciated their ancestors’ bravery, generosity, and chivalry, which was manifested in their poetry. Wallada took pride in her abstinence, which might be traced in the following lines:
“Although people look at me because of my beauty, but I am like a deer roaming around the sacred house of God in which the hunting is prohibited.”
Arab female poets’ flirting words are equivalent to obscenity despite the fact that profanity is not allowed in Islam. Still, Wallada decided to announce that the poetry salon which she opened welcomed both men and women, regardless of their religion, race, and class. By doing so, she was able to proclaim that her love was universal, unconditional, and inclusive. Such a revelation reminds of the depiction of God in the Quran. Particularly, God is described as the lord of the world because he takes care of the whole universe. Furthermore, it is mentioned in the Quran that the prophet was sent to the people as a mercy to all of them (21:107).
Finally, it is viable to consider that Wallada was speaking about spiritual love or a lover. Rumi, one of the most famous poets, viewed spiritual love as the only way of finding salvation. The poet wrote over five thousand verses about love that could speak but could not be defined by anything but itself. According to Rumi, since reason is limited, death can find nothing but absurdity. However, love sees death as the connection with the beloved one – with God.
Segol, Marla. “Representing the Body in Poems by Medieval Muslim Women.” Medieval Feminist Forum, vol. 45, no. 1, 2009, pp. 147-169.