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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 page make a point of emphasising the spiritual aspects of Islam and reducing focus on external elements. el-Tawhid Juma Circle: Toronto Unity Mosque group - wholly affirming and inclusive, with a focus on the spiritual and not so much the ritual.
Imam Daayiee Abdullah contact [the gay Imam in DC] (email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 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
AWESOME RESOURCE POST!!!
Rebageling for @microkrill!! This was the post I was telling you about at dinner the other day— showed up on my dash again because my dash loves me!
Finding a good new theme can be hecka hard so here’s a thing to make it easier
HERE is a blog that makes themes and has a bunch of helpful tips and tutorials and has a bunch of other resources
HERE is where you can search for themes with specific aspects (lots of links, different sidebars,etc). It also has tutorials and other resources
If those fail, go to your favorite blog/s and click on the credit (usually located in the bottom right corner). It will take you to the theme creator. Then look through their other stuff. If you liked one of their themes, you’ll probably like another!
Go forth and find a perfect new theme!
BEST FRIENDS YOU DON’T GET TO TALK TO VERY OFTEN BC YOU’RE BOTH JUST REALLY BUSY WITH SCHOOL OR WHATEVER BUT ITS NOT A BIG DEAL BC YOURE STILL THE BEST OF FRIENDS NO MATTER WHAT, ARE THE BEST KINDS OF FRIENDS IN THE WHOLE WORLD
A lot of people use semi-colons wrong because they know there’s supposed to be a pause in their sentence that they know isn’t quite a comma, so they think it must be that mysterious semi-colon. Usually, it’s actually supposed to be an em dash (—), which in some ways is more mysterious!
The em dash is the longest of the three dashes and most often used for interruptions. Interruptions in speech, in action, in thought. It’s also a great syntax addition for fight scenes, since it makes the narrative seem quick and unexpected and jolting from side to side like a fight scene should be. Read your em dash sentences out loud until you get a feel for how its pause compares to the pause of a comma. It’s a heartbeat longer. If a comma is one beat of pause, then I see an em dash as two beats of pause.
In this first example, the em dash is used to give an aside to the reader. It’s like a btw sort of moment, which can sometimes be replaced with commas or parenthesis. I think the em dashes are most suitable when your aside is decently long.
Her neighbor, Frank, is always blasting music.
Her neighbor—the one who always blasts the music—is named Frank.
My mischievous neighbor, Vince, seemed to have a knack for graveyard cavorting.
Vince—more often called (in a raised and angry voice) Vincent Price Ramsey—seemed to have a knack for graveyard cavorting.
Next up, here’s the em dash as a replacement for the semi-colon. Kinda like a slang or shortened sentence. Semi-colons have to connect two independent clauses—meaning each side of the semi-colon could stand alone as its own complete sentence. If you don’t want to do that, try an em dash:
I thought hanging out would be great—a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.
I thought hanging out would be great; it would be a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.
There was a headstone hardly a foot from where I’d emerged—dark grey stone a few inches thick and maybe as high as my knee.
There was a headstone hardly a foot from where I’d emerged; it was made of dark grey stone a few inches thick and maybe as high as my knee.
Sometimes, you can use an em dash to have a speaker correct themselves, or interrupt themselves to amend their sentence.
I could see the blur of the graveyard behind him—through him—
Similar to the last example, it can be used to interrupt a sentence in order to add additional information about the sentence. Often you can use a comma in this situation, too, so try to think of syntax and how that additional beat of pause changes things. In this case, Alice has just seen a ghost for the first time, so her mind is a bit too shocked for the normal pause of a comma. Read both. Doesn’t the one with the em dash sound more shocked or surprised, while the comma makes it sound like a simple observation?
He was glowing pale—almost tinged in cold blue.
He was glowing pale, almost tinged in cold blue.
Of course, it could be an interruption. It could be someone interrupting another in speech, one action interrupting another, or a character’s thoughts interrupting themselves. Here I’ll include the sentence with the em dash and the sentence following, so you can see the thing interrupted and the interruption.
You can have an action interrupt a character’s thoughts. For the first one, Alice is in a creepy situation and completely focused on something else, so when something touches her elbow, she’s shocked out of her thoughts. For the second one, Tristan is listening for an enemy when the enemy makes a move and startles him into action.
As far as I could tell it was some kind of berry—
An icy contact on my elbow broke my resolve, and I screamed until an equally cold hand clamped over my mouth.
The night was still, and yet—
Something whistled through the air. Tristan jerked backwards, narrowly avoiding an incoming dagger.
Here we have one character interrupting another in dialogue. Pretty self-explanatory.
“I’m not going to—”
Mom’s voice in the receiver cut me off. “At least consider it.”
“After all, you’re only a—”
“If you even say girl,” I interrupted, “I’ll stab you, I swear.”
The next one is part of a fight scene, so Alice’s thoughts are interrupting themselves as soon as she thinks them. She throws up an idea, “iron,” but interrupts herself from further exploring that idea, and instead casts it out. In a fight, you don’t have time to think out long, eloquent ideas. Your thoughts should come in fragments. Stab. Punch. Dodge. Swing. Would this work? No. How about this? Maybe. The em dash can help get across this uneven jolting of thoughts.
Iron—no use. I’d dropped the knife when her damn vines ensnared me, and the nails were in my pockets and out of reach. Blood—there were possibilities there.
Continuing in fight scenes, em dashes can have action interrupt action. Don’t just throw them in willy nilly, but if you have a chance for an em dash, jump on it. Instead of a word like “suddenly,” it makes it feel suddenly. Ups the tension. Em dashes are about interruption, and what is a fight scene but two people interrupting each other’s attempts to kill the other? This is especially useful for the last line in a paragraph during a fighting scene, because it’s a nice place to have one action interrupt another.
I snatched it—slit across my hand—
And stabbed her through the heart.
His swords whistled through the air—
A clean “X” appeared on the imp’s back, severing its body into four neat chunks.
So yeah, I’m basically obsessed with em dashes and I use more of them than the majority of writers. (At 72k words, my current project has 22 semi-colons and 344 em dashes. So. Yeah. Not to mention the length of this post…) Em dashes are way cool and can add a lot to your writing even though they’re just another form of punctuation. Syntax helps your reader into the mindset you’re going for, and em dashes can be a great, powerful part of that syntax!
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