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    Blog Posts (25)
    • Lucy's Story

      My name is Lucy and I am a Muslim female identifying as lesbian. I grew up with an Atheist father and Christian mother and was a practising Christian myself during my early adult life. I’ve always had a strong faith in God. I realised I was attracted to women as a teenager and came out to my close family and friends and they accepted this. My sexuality journey continued into adulthood and I have had significant relationships with both men and women and these experiences have led me to identify today as lesbian. Along my journey, I met a Muslim man who became my husband and we had children together. Our marriage ended and I subsequently reconnected with my lesbian identity. I came to Islam as an adult during my marriage. I’d always felt drawn towards Islam, learned more about it during my marriage and it felt so right so I embraced it. The last time I went to mosque I was attending a Quran class. The subject of same sex relationships was raised, and the general consensus was that this was comparable to child abuse and was from the Shaytan. I left the mosque very upset and felt rejected and lost. The community were not aware of my sexuality but knowing this opinion was held I felt unable to truly be myself with them anymore and confused about how I could be both lesbian and Muslim. Following this, I spent some time existing just being “me”, still feeling Muslim but not practising Islam. During the Ramadan whilst took place during lockdown I felt a strong urge to reconnect with my faith and Allah guided me to Hidayah. This helped me to reconcile my two parallel identities which has left me with a great sense of inner peace. Alhumdullilah! I am hoping to continue my journey by being openly lesbian and Muslim, something I haven’t felt able to do in the past. This feels liberating and being part of Hidayah gives me the confidence to do it as I know I have the support I need. It feels important for me to play my part in the process of change towards acceptance and understanding of LGBTQI+ Muslims. I want those who have not yet been able to peacefully reconcile these identities themselves to know that it is ok to be you and there are people out there who can understand and support you.

    • Letter to a Muslim Sibling

      Hello, this is a letter for You. I believe you should keep this to yourself and think about it in your own time. Forgive me for sending this through like this. You don't know me, but I write to you in peace and from my heart, because this is something very important and very delicate. I don't know if you are aware of this, but please, I beg you (and your family) to be careful with your words and opinions that could come across as hateful regarding something you might not fully understand. Maybe it isn't your intention, but you must know that this is happening. Someone close to you (that you probably have no idea about) could be secretly dying inside because of what is being said and expected by their dear ones. If you grow up surrounded in an enviorment that hates your nature, life becomes unbearable. Those words of hate, spoken by the family you love, hammer inside your mind every moment of your life. You see how your parents look at you with pride in their eyes for all that you have accomplished in life until now and then you see their tears of concern. You don't want to hurt them with this truth about you. And all this makes you feel guilty of betraying your loved ones with something you have no control of, with something you didn't choose. But still, without knowing, your family speaks words of hate about the way you are and you have to hide your true feelings. When family and friends have bad opinions about this way of being then you feel helpless, paralized, worthless and wrong. The only thing that is really wrong is hate, denial and lack of knowledge regarding the matter. But I assure you, this is not a choice! Who would be so stupid to choose to be something that others would hate? You can't control how your heart feels. This is nature and is only about being able to truly love and live in accordance to what our soul tells us. Science and Psychology have proven it, Conversion Therapy does not work (and is a crime towards one's true nature) and the interpretation about Prophet Lut (P.B.U.H) has unfortunately been wrongly interpreted for too many years. They count on your love, support and acceptance. You are their family, you are their friend. If you demonstrate hate towards this aspect of life they will have to lie to you and other people to protect themselves. I will repeat this: they lie only to protect themselves. Not because they want to keep secrets from you but because those words of hate have brought them to hide all this from you. They are forced to live a life that is not theirs, a life that other people expect and that is killing them slowly inside. As I was saying, they count on your love and support. But they are afraid you will not understand and accept them. Give them a chance to be truly happy and be with who they truly love. It's not about anything else but love. Don't force and pressure them into doing something only because of old traditions that could lead - God Forbid! - to suicide. They would live a fake and sad life only to make the family happy, but the sacrifice would cost them their true happiness, love and life fulfillment... and this could lead to very very bad things. You might not realize how this is psychological violence for their mind which can become very damaging and dangerous. Suicide has been the only answer for too many unfortunate LGBT men and women rejected by family or pressured to get married. This way of treating people must be stopped! Life is too valuable to be lost like this. I'm sure you wouldn't want this to happen to someone dear to you... and it could happen if you are not careful. The pain and tears I have seen and witnessed are too real. The years of loneliness and the unability to express one's feeling are not right for a human being. Nobody deserves to be hated because of love. How can you hate love? This pain is being kept secret because they are afraid of family's rejection. Would you reject someone dear to you only because of a different way of feeling Love (that they did not choose)? Words can heal, or kill: choose them wisely. Love, acceptance and understanding are the way towards Peace and Happiness. Please, choose words that heal and show love. If you have any idea (or intuition) that somebody could be feeling this way, hiding this from you, then please, please, please... do this: Slowly, gently and privately - as a mother would - speak words of love and acceptance to them, comfort them like a child - their soul has been crying in silence for too many years. I have seen this with my own eyes. "They" could be your Son or Daughter, Brother or Sister, Father or Mother, Uncle or Aunt, even your Cousin or just a Friend. Would you let them live their entire life with such pain hidden inside of them? You have the power to sooth their pain. Don't waste the chance of doing something good and that is really needed. Let them feel safe with you. Let them feel accepted and protected. Let them share their truth with you. Only you have to know, nobody else should matter. Family is the most important thing, nobody else has to know anything. Don't make them feel embarrassed because of the way they are, you could heal their broken soul and make them discover that they are accepted... and you would be greatly rewarded for your act of kindness. You would see the joy and happiness in their eyes. Their burden will disappear. Their cage will finally be open and they will find freedom from this unbearable guilt they feel inside. I hope these words have reached you in the way I meant them to reach you: with kindness and understanding. I have been through it. I have tried to change. I have prayed so much (like many others) until acceptance came to me as an answer from God. I have been lucky to have had the right support. You can be of support too. I know it can be difficult. But only we can make the difference for the person we love. Nobody else will do it. I chose Love. This is why I wrote to you. In this period of Ramadan we must be close to those in need. I can't turn my back on someone who is suffering and who I truly love from the depths of my heart and soul. Please don't turn your back. May Peace be with you and your dear ones. May Life gift you with everything you need and want - and let's wish the same for others, even if they are different from us. They deserve it. Thank You, and God Bless you. P. S. Much more could be said in regards to this matter, but I will leave it to this: Please open your heart and try to understand. Choose Love, not hate. Someone close to you could desperately need your help but is too afraid to ask. Maybe time is running out. Show them you care and that you will protect them. Let them know that you accept them anyway and anyhow, because I know they love you deeply, they would do anything for you and are really afraid of losing you. Please Love them back.

    • Letter to a Muslim Sibling

      Hello, this is a letter for You. I believe you should keep this to yourself and think about it in your own time. Forgive me for sending this through like this. You don't know me, but I write to you in peace and from my heart, because this is something very important and very delicate. I don't know if you are aware of this, but please, I beg you (and your family) to be careful with your words and opinions that could come across as hateful regarding something you might not fully understand. Maybe it isn't your intention, but you must know that this is happening. Someone close to you (that you probably have no idea about) could be secretly dying inside because of what is being said and expected by their dear ones. If you grow up surrounded in an enviorment that hates your nature, life becomes unbearable. Those words of hate, spoken by the family you love, hammer inside your mind every moment of your life. You see how your parents look at you with pride in their eyes for all that you have accomplished in life until now and then you see their tears of concern. You don't want to hurt them with this truth about you. And all this makes you feel guilty of betraying your loved ones with something you have no control of, with something you didn't choose. But still, without knowing, your family speaks words of hate about the way you are and you have to hide your true feelings. When family and friends have bad opinions about this way of being then you feel helpless, paralized, worthless and wrong. The only thing that is really wrong is hate, denial and lack of knowledge regarding the matter. But I assure you, this is not a choice! Who would be so stupid to choose to be something that others would hate? You can't control how your heart feels. This is nature and is only about being able to truly love and live in accordance to what our soul tells us. Science and Psychology have proven it, Conversion Therapy does not work (and is a crime towards one's true nature) and the interpretation about Prophet Lut (P.B.U.H) has unfortunately been wrongly interpreted for too many years. They count on your love, support and acceptance. You are their family, you are their friend. If you demonstrate hate towards this aspect of life they will have to lie to you and other people to protect themselves. I will repeat this: they lie only to protect themselves. Not because they want to keep secrets from you but because those words of hate have brought them to hide all this from you. They are forced to live a life that is not theirs, a life that other people expect and that is killing them slowly inside. As I was saying, they count on your love and support. But they are afraid you will not understand and accept them. Give them a chance to be truly happy and be with who they truly love. It's not about anything else but love. Don't force and pressure them into doing something only because of old traditions that could lead - God Forbid! - to suicide. They would live a fake and sad life only to make the family happy, but the sacrifice would cost them their true happiness, love and life fulfillment... and this could lead to very very bad things. You might not realize how this is psychological violence for their mind which can become very damaging and dangerous. Suicide has been the only answer for too many unfortunate LGBT men and women rejected by family or pressured to get married. This way of treating people must be stopped! Life is too valuable to be lost like this. I'm sure you wouldn't want this to happen to someone dear to you... and it could happen if you are not careful. The pain and tears I have seen and witnessed are too real. The years of loneliness and the unability to express one's feeling are not right for a human being. Nobody deserves to be hated because of love. How can you hate love? This pain is being kept secret because they are afraid of family's rejection. Would you reject someone dear to you only because of a different way of feeling Love (that they did not choose)? Words can heal, or kill: choose them wisely. Love, acceptance and understanding are the way towards Peace and Happiness. Please, choose words that heal and show love. If you have any idea (or intuition) that somebody could be feeling this way, hiding this from you, then please, please, please... do this: Slowly, gently and privately - as a mother would - speak words of love and acceptance to them, comfort them like a child - their soul has been crying in silence for too many years. I have seen this with my own eyes. "They" could be your Son or Daughter, Brother or Sister, Father or Mother, Uncle or Aunt, even your Cousin or just a Friend. Would you let them live their entire life with such pain hidden inside of them? You have the power to sooth their pain. Don't waste the chance of doing something good and that is really needed. Let them feel safe with you. Let them feel accepted and protected. Let them share their truth with you. Only you have to know, nobody else should matter. Family is the most important thing, nobody else has to know anything. Don't make them feel embarrassed because of the way they are, you could heal their broken soul and make them discover that they are accepted... and you would be greatly rewarded for your act of kindness. You would see the joy and happiness in their eyes. Their burden will disappear. Their cage will finally be open and they will find freedom from this unbearable guilt they feel inside. I hope these words have reached you in the way I meant them to reach you: with kindness and understanding. I have been through it. I have tried to change. I have prayed so much (like many others) until acceptance came to me as an answer from God. I have been lucky to have had the right support. You can be of support too. I know it can be difficult. But only we can make the difference for the person we love. Nobody else will do it. I chose Love. This is why I wrote to you. In this period of Ramadan we must be close to those in need. I can't turn my back on someone who is suffering and who I truly love from the depths of my heart and soul. Please don't turn your back. May Peace be with you and your dear ones. May Life gift you with everything you need and want - and let's wish the same for others, even if they are different from us. They deserve it. Thank You, and God Bless you. P. S. Much more could be said in regards to this matter, but I will leave it to this: Please open your heart and try to understand. Choose Love, not hate. Someone close to you could desperately need your help but is too afraid to ask. Maybe time is running out. Show them you care and that you will protect them. Let them know that you accept them anyway and anyhow, because I know they love you deeply, they would do anything for you and are really afraid of losing you. Please Love them back.

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    Pages (21)
    • Hidayah | LGBT+ Muslim Support

      Welcome to Hidayah You have come to the right place if you are: Feeling conflicted or alone Looking for support or to make new friends Trying to reconcile your sexuality or identity with your faith Needing support with family, friends and mental health ​ Covid-19 update: All monthly meet-ups and socials are suspended. Events are currently only taking place virtually, please visit our for more details. events page The Hidayah Wellbeing & Spirituality WhatsApp group, social media, and other digital services are still running as normal. emails In the meanwhile, feel free to read . There is always support available. our top tips for staying at home ​ ​ Newsletter Donate Events Calendar Volunteer Winner of "Charity & Community Initiative Award 2019" - LGBTQ North East ​ Nominated "National Diversity Award 2019" - Community Awards ( ITV News ) ​ Nominated "National Diversity Award 2020" - Community Awards ( ITV News ) ​ Nominated "British LGBT Award 2020" - In Partnership with NatWest hidayah3 hidayah2 Hidayah1 hidayah5 hidayah4 hidayah3 hidayah2 Hidayah1 hidayah5 hidayah4 Remember - you are not alone. If you require immediate support or are at risk, then please contact your local health or emergency department. Or call the Samaritans (open 24/7) free on . They will listen to you, provide signposting and can help in stressful situations. This is confidential and will not show on your phone bill. 116 123 ​ Hidayah supports The Movement. Black Lives Matter Click here to learn , educate and donate.

    • Hidayah | Education

      Education ​ ​ Welcome to our education page, where you can find various resources and information on Islam, gender and sexuality. Whilst we aim to obtain factual information from various sources, we acknowledge that some people may share different views or may not agree with some of the content on this website. Please bear in mind that a large portion of the information listed here has been obtained from, or produced by people outside of Hidayah with their own opinions to be viewed with an open mind. We are simply compiling and sharing it here for those who may benefit from this content. Feel free to if you believe there are any factual inaccuracies on this page, would like any further clarification on a particular topic, or if you would like to contribute any posts or articles. send us an email ​ Hidayah has put together a training course which covers various topics, available to both individuals and organisations. We can organise a bespoke quotation and method of delivery according to your needs. Click here to view the topics currently offered. ​ Check out our podcast series (Istame'a | Listen: Queer Muslim Stories) h ere Muslim Pride Documentary ​ Hidayah worked alongside the Naz and Matt Foundation and the Documentary Maker Sonia Singh to create 'Muslim Pride.' This documentary focuses on the lives of LGBT+ Muslims within the United Kingdom. Filmed at Hidayah's first birthday party in December 2017, it highlights the lived reality of many LGBT+ Muslims, their daily struggles, the issues they face and the ways in which they reconcile Islam and their sexuality. If Lut was not about Homosexuality, then what was it about? ​ ​ Blog posts ​ ​ Can I be Gay and Muslim? Islam and Bisexuality Unconvinced that Islam accepts LGBTQI+? Do you approach men with lust instead of women? Part I Do you approach men with lust instead of women? Part II Consensus (Ijma'a) is not set in stone, nor is it absolute and final Does Islam accommodate same sex relationships? ​ Books ​ Amazon: Same sex Marriage within Islam and the Shariah Amazon: It's Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race Amazon: Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims Amazon: Homosexuality, Transidentity, and Islam: A Study of Scripture Confronting the Politics of Gender and Sexuality Amazon: Queer Muslims in Europe: Sexuality, Religion and Migration in Belgium Amazon: Gendered Lives in the Western Indian Ocean: Islam, Marriage, and Sexuality on the Swahili Coast Amazon: Sexual and Gender Diversity in the Muslim World: History, Law and Vernacular Knowledge Amazon: The Promise of Happiness Amazon: German, Jew, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus Amazon: Men, Masculinities and Religious Change in Twentieth-Century Britain (Genders and Sexualities in History) Amazon: The Making of a Gay Muslim: Religion, Sexuality and Identity in Malaysia and Britain ​ ​ Journal Articles Academic papers: Junaid Jahangir. Albrecht, C. K. (2018), “Why Arab American History Needs Queer of Color Critique”. Journal of American Ethnic History, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp.84-92. Baderoon, G. (2015), “‘I Compose Myself’: Lesbian Muslim Autobiographies and the Craft of Self-Writing in South Africa”. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 83, No. 4, pp.987-915. Fassin, E., and Salcedo, M. (2015). “Becoming Gay? Immigration Policies and the Truth of Sexual Identity”. Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp.1117-1125. Giametta, C. (2014), “‘Rescued’ Subjects: The Question of Religiosity for Non-Heteronormative Asylum Seekers in the UK”. Sexualities, Vol. 17, No. 5-6, pp.583–599. Hopkins. P. E. (2006), “Youthful Muslim Masculinities: Gender and Gender Relations”. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp.337-352. Hossain, A. (2011), “Beyond Emasculation: Being Muslim and Becoming Hijra in South Asia”. Asian Studies Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp.495-513. Jaspal, R. (2012), “‘I never faced up to being gay’: sexual, religious and ethnic identities among British Indian and British Pakistani gay men”. Culture, Health and Sexuality, Vol. 14, No. 7/8, pp.767-780. Jaspal, R. (2015), “Non-Heterosexual British Asian Men: Social Representations, Identity and Social Relations”. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 2, pp.861-866. Jaspal, R., and A. Siraj (2011), “Perceptions of ‘Coming Out’ among British Muslim Gay Men”. Psychology and Sexuality, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.183-197. Jaspal, R., and M. Cinnirella (2010), “Coping with potentially incompatible identities: Accounts of religious, ethnic, and sexual identities from British Pakistani men who identify as Muslim and gay”. British Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 49, No. 4, pp.849-870. Jaspal, R., and M. Cinnirella (2012), “Identity Processes, Threat, and Interpersonal Relations: Accounts from British Muslim Gay Men”. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp.215-240. Kamrudin, A. (2018), “Bringing Queer into Muslim Spaces: Community-Based Pedagogy in Cape Town”. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp.143-148. Khan, T. Y. (2016), “Investigating the British Asylum system for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Asylum-Seekers: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Fairness”. University of Liverpool repository. ​ ​ ​ Lewis, R. (2014), “’Gay? Prove it’: The Politics of Queer Anti-Deportation Activism”. Sexualities, Vol. 17, No. 8, pp.958-975. Logie, C. H., and Rwigema, M. (2014), “The Normative Idea of Queer is a White Person: Understanding Perceptions of White Privilege Among Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Women of Color in Toronto, Canada”. Journal of Lesbian Studies, Vol. 18, pp.174-191. Minwalla, O. et al. (2006), “Identity experience among progressive gay Muslims in North America: A qualitative study within Al-Fatiha”. Culture, Health, & Sexuality, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.113-128. Provencher, D. M. (2011), “Coming Out à l’oriental: Maghrebi-French Performances of Gender, Sexuality, and Religion”. Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 58, No. 6, pp.821-833. Provencher, D. M. (2013), “Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed’s performance of universal French citizenship and good Muslim brotherhood”. French Cultural Studies, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp.279-292. ​ ​ Rahman, M. (2010), “Queer as Intersectionality: Theorizing Gay Muslim Identities”. Sociology, Vol. 44, No. 5, pp.944-961. Rahman, M., and Valliani, A. (2016), “Challenging the opposition of LGBT identities and Muslim cultures: initial research on the experiences of LGBT Muslims in Canada”. Theology and Sexuality, Vol. 22, No 1 - 2, pp.73-88. Shannahan, D. S. (2010), “Some queer questions from a Muslim faith perspective”. Sexualities, Vol. 13, No. 6, pp.671-684. Siraj, A. (2009), “The construction of the homosexual ‘other’ by British Muslim heterosexuals”. Contemporary Islam, Vol 3, No 1, pp.41-57. Siraj, A. (2012), “‘I Don’t Want to Taint the Name of Islam’: The influence of religion on the lives of Muslim lesbians”. Journal of Lesbian Studies, Vol. 16, pp.449-467. Siraj, A. (2016), “British Muslim lesbians: reclaiming Islam and reconfiguring religious identity”. Contemporary Islam, Vol. 10, pp.185-200. ​ ​ Watt, L., and M. Elliot (2017), “Continuity and change in sexual attitudes: A cross-time comparison of tolerance towards non-traditional relationships”. The Sociological Review, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp.832-849. Yip, A. (2004), “Negotiating space with family and kin in identity construction: the narratives of British non-heterosexual Muslims”. The Sociological Review, Vol 52, No 3, pp.336-350. Yip, A. K. T. (2005), “Queering Religious Texts: An Exploration of British Non-heterosexual Christians’ and Muslims’ Strategy of Constructing Sexuality-affirming Hermeneutics”. Sociology, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp.47-65. Zengin, A. (2019), “The Afterlife of Gender: Sovereignty, Intimacy and Muslim Funerals of Transgender People in Turkey”. Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp.78-102. ​ ​ Other Sources Bulman, M. (2017) Brexit vote sees highest spike in religious and racial hate crimes ever recorded. The Independent, 7 July. Available . here Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France (2016) Rapport 2016. Available . here Safra Project. Identifying the difficulties experienced by Muslim lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in accessing social and legal services. London: Safra Project Queer Asia Blog series. Available . here Nasar Meer: http://www.sociology.ed.ac.uk/people/staff/nasar_meer Shanon Shah: https://kcl.academia.edu/ShanonShah Richard Phillips: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/geography/staff/phillips_richard/index

    • Hidayah | 2020 Events

      Media: 2020 ​ استمع (Istame'a) | Listen: Queer Muslim Stories ​ Welcome to our podcast, Istame'a | Listen, a safe space for sharing queer Muslim stories. In our four-part series hosted by Rabia Mirza, we’ll be sharing raw, honest and personal stories from queer Muslims. We’ll explore what it’s like to come out, how we navigate the stigma of shame and examine the blurred lines between religion, sexuality and culture. This series is brought to you by Hidayah, one of UK’s fastest growing organisations supporting LGBTQI+ Muslims. Our mission is to ensure the voices of queer Muslims are heard and understood.To share your stories, get in touch here . ​ Click the button below to listen Listen Return to Media Page March 2020: BBC Asian Network: Group Chat Coming Out To Your Partner Later In Life / Poppy and guests discuss the difficulties of coming out later in life and the impact it can have on others. ​ View full post here Group Chat: Coming Out To Your Partner Later In Life BBC Asian Network 00:00 / 1:57:23 : Hidayah has an impact on the Bristol LGBTQ+ scene because it offers an alternative. Hidayah offers a safe space that isn’t centred around going out in a pub or bar or out on an evening. I am proud to be a member of the Bristol LGBTQ+ scene, both as a participant as well as having a hand in offering alternatives. February 2020 Farina at Bristol 24/7 News ​ View full post here : La Vie Boheme is coming to Bristol, the producers of a new production of Rent are in the studio. Also the latest News Extra where the team talk about the recent election, and the first of our new partner podcasts, Hidayah. January 2020 (Hidayah speaks between 4m-11m in this clip) ​ View full post here Rent, The Producers Shoutout LGBT Radio 00:00 / 45:03 : Sometimes for some of us, a new year is a time of struggle and confusion, worry and anxiety. We talk to Lucy from Sunflower Suicide Prevention Project about coping. Also we introduce our new podcast partners, Hidayah, who represent the Queer Muslim community. January 2020 (Hidayah speaks between 26m-37m in this clip) ​ View full post here Coping with a New Year Shoutout LGBT Radio 00:00 / 42:34

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