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Hey so I crowdsourced a lot of this answer: [updating as I get more suggestions and resources]
Personally, I couldn’t be a Muslim and follow Islam if I didn’t find it feminist, full of social justice and intersectional. Unfortunately patriarchy and self interest tries to pass itself off as moralistic and religious —this is universal. Also it’s helpful to keep in mind that if any authority tries to tell you to hate and discriminate know that it isn’t from God or any moral compass—but fear.
O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God’s claim takes precedence over [the claims of] either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desires, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort [the truth], behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!
- The Holy Qur’an [4:135]
I believe the Prophet Muhammad [saw] was a radical-feminist-environmental anti-racist community organizer, activist and freedom fighter that believed in freeing people from the status quo and freeing them from oppression through Islam and Allah [swt]. And I believe in following that tradition.
“Truly, God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)
I believe it was Aisha [ra] that had a close friend that was a hijra and didn’t wear a hijab, or covering around them. There was plenty of queer people in and around the Prophet Muhammad’s [s] life time.
I could name-drop Sufi saints and poets from various times and places who violated norms of gender and sexuality on one level or another. Ali ibn Hamzah al-Asadi, more widely known as al-Kisa’i al-Kufi (d.804). As the transmitter of one of the Qur’an’s seven harfs (“readings”) in Sunni tradition, he’s an immeasurably important figure in the history of the Qur’an as a text. As such, his knowledge and character were both under close examination. In one assessment, al-Marzubani, speaking on the authority Ibn al-Arabi (the jurist, not the mystic), described al-Kisa’i as “one of the most learned persons” while adding that al-Kisa’i openly confessed to engaging in acts that included same-sex relations. “Yet,” he adds, al-Kisa’i remained “an accurate reader, knowledgeable in the Arabic language, and honest.”
This does not answer all questions, but it offers something. In Sunni Islam, there are seven canonical ways of reading the Qur’an. Al-Kisa’i al-Kufi is the man who gave us one of them. He devoted his life to knowing and teaching the Qur’an. It should go without saying that al-Kisa’i al-Kufi memorized the entire scripture by heart and recited it every day of his life. Along the way, he apparently fucked dudes. The lips that he used to recite divine scripture also touched men.
““O people, we created you all from a male and female
And made you into different communities and different tribes
So that you should come to know one another
Acknowledging that the most noble among you
Is the one most aware of God
The most noble is the one most aware of God. This is not just incitement for all Muslims to increase their awareness of God – it is also a warning to pursue a policy of social tolerance. The implication of this verse is that no Muslim is better than another because of any of the social categories that we use to classify ourselves, such as race, ethnicity, economic class, or gender. Or even sexual orientation. A gay or lesbian Muslim is no less than a heterosexual Muslim, except by the intangible criterion of pious awareness of God (taqwa). A transgender
Muslim is no less than other Muslims who have not struggled with their own gender identity and faced the stigma of changing gender classification, except by awareness of God.
Most Muslims cherish reciting this verse to oppose the evils of racial superiority, ethnic chauvinism, and class arrogance. Yet some see this verse as a call to justice that rings far beyond its terse words.”
— Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle, HOMOSEXUALITY IN ISLAM
El-Farouk Khaki, the founder of Salaam [a queer Muslim organization in Canada] says: you can connect her w me, or with Daayiee Abdullah. my email is email@example.com she can also join https://www.facebook.com/groups/99769188589/ el-Tawhid Juma Circle: Toronto Unity Mosque & learn that there is no singular, monolith Islam, and that for some, Islam is liberationary.
EFK and the rest of the leaders at el-Tawhid Juma Circle: Toronto Unity Mosque make a point of emphasising the spiritual aspects of Islam and reducing focus on external elements.
Imam Daayiee Abdullah contact [the gay Imam in DC] (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There’s also an Imam in Canada, TO who I know is pro-feminist, cool with gay Muslims and he asked me to give you his number if you would like it.
Some points1) If you believe that God created you the way are, you can’t possible believe that God would reject you2) The community you grew up in does not necessarily represent Islam3) The beauty of Islam is that there is no intercession between you and God. You has every right and ability to pick up the Quran and find out what it means to you.4) If you find things you can’t reconcile, you should speak to others who have found themselves in a similar situation.5) thefatalfeminist.com is a great starting point and introduction to feminism, Islam and social justice.6) Islam does not prioritize men over women, the patriarchal actualization of Islam as seen through socially constructed norms prioritizes men over women, but that is a product of kyriarchy more than anything. If you want your faith to prioritize women, then do it.7) Hit up Scott Kugle at Emory who could give you some nice readings and independent studies for Lesbianism or Queer identities and Islam.
This post pretty much came about because I was asked if I had resources for Muslims who were discovering or newly coming to terms with their sexuality. I didn’t, and the poor advice I had to offer was … poor. So, I pulled up a few of the blogs I followed that are targeted towards queer Muslims, and put together this little post for you!
Queer Muslim Blogs:
- ComingOutMuslim (check out their project here: [x])
- InQueeries channel with Yusef Woof (contact email@example.com)
- Salaam Canada
- Muslims Against Homophobia and LGBT Hate facebook group
Queer Muslim 101:
- A quick gender/sexuality 101
- Defining homonationalism and pinkwashing.
- PDF:Homosexuality In Islam, by Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle (Intro + 1st Chap) Buy your own copy!
- PDF:Muslim LGBT Inclusion Project, by Intersections International
- Why Safe Spaces are Important
- “I’m confused about my sexuality.”
- “I need proof from Qur’an and Sunnah that I’m not Haraam.”
- “What about the Qur’an and Hadith that chastise LGBT*Q Muslims?”
- Some hadiths can be read in different ways, so it’s best to look at the outcome.
- “Islam and LGBT* are not mutually exclusive.”
- “But I was taught Islam was the most heterosexist religion.” [tw: continuously moving background at the link]
- “But all Muslims are homophobic!” (spoiler alert: you’re wrong.)
- “But Muslims hate sex - it’s ~dirty~ to them!” (I would recommend this class for basic 101 on marriage and love [sex] in Islam. Take it with Basyouni.) (See also: x and x)
- “Love the sinner, hate the sin, and why that’s bullshit.”
- “Should I come out?” (spoiler alert: that’s up to you!)
- “Is there a place for LGBT*Q Muslims?” (Or “There’s no place for LGBT*Q Muslims/no organisations/no hope.”)
- “Will LGBT*Q Muslims go to hell?” (spoiler alert: I’m not God, how would I know?)
- “But it’s unnatural!” (lolk)
- “There aren’t any gay Imams or Sheikhs, so you’re just making things up!” (Also here.)
- “But no fatwa was made!” (It’s Wahabi.)
- A post about other Sheikhs’ opinions.
- “But there are no inclusive mosques for LGBT* Muslims!” (Just stop.)
- There is no place for homophobia in Islam.
- Let’s repeat that: There is no place for homophobia in Islam.
- Ayahs that talk about Prophet Lut.
- A closer reading of ayahs re: homosexuality (prev here but no longer).
- See also: You decide how you interpret your religion.
- Homosexuality in Sharia
- Homosexuality in Predominately Muslim Countries
- Predominately Muslim Countries who are taking steps toward equality. [x]
- Same-sex marriage
- Queer Muslim Cinema: Azizah, Illuminations, Coming Out Muslim, A Jihad For Love, I Exist, Coming Out Muslim: Radical Acts of Love, Al-Nisa [BONUS: Show Al-Nisa and Red Summer (the producer) some love!], Out in the Dark (Palestinian and Israeli fall in love. facebook page).
- Queer Muslim Literature: [x] [x] [Gaylaxy magazine] [Bareed Mista3jil] [Totally Radical Muslims Zine]
- Desi LGBT*Q Hotline
- Queer Pakistan LGBT*Q Voice and Support Group [and here is a news article]
A good thing to remember is to avoid the self-hatred phase, if you can. Focus on loving yourself, and realising that Allah made you just the way you are, and that you are loved. If this phase is unavoidable, here are some helpful sites:
- Help! I’m losing my Islam
- Feeling suicidal?
- Suicide prevention
- Supporting someone who self-harms
- Suicide and Crisis Hotlines
- Online Crisis Network (for those with anxiety which prevents them from talking on the phone)
If you are from Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, or India and want to share your experiences (anonymously), please click here.
If you can spare some funds, help navigatethestream, a queer Muslim, become an Imam to help the Muslim LGBT* community!
(If you’d like to be added to or taken off this list, please send me an ask.)
- casketofpearlsMore papers/books not previously mentioned:-BEYOND BINARY BARZAKHS: USING THE THEME OF LIMINALITY IN ISLAMIC THOUGHT TO QUESTION THE GENDER BINARY by Sara Haq Hussaini
Reblogging this for my LGBT friends of faith who may find themselves in the same crisis.
Do not let religious leaders come between you and God.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I am agnostic. Because my belief in a supreme being is complicated, does not mean I have a right to interfere with the faith of others. No man has that power. — ADignorantium