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Gay and Muslim?

A Cry for Help

I have a question and I really don’t know where to turn. This is something I can’t even talk to my parents or friends about, so I hope you can help me. I am a 19-year-old Muslim girl and I’m sexually attracted to other girls. Please don’t judge me. I know it’s not right to act on my feelings and so far I haven’t, alhamdulillah. But I come from a good Muslim family, and now I live away from home for college and it’s getting more & more difficult to stay away from sin. I’m part of the MSA (Muslim Student Association) & I tried to bring up this topic once (without telling them it was about me); and the Muslims got all upset & some people started making jokes about “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” And I was just asking what someone with these feelings should do to stay away from sin. I didn’t say homosexual acts are okay! Now I’m getting really depressed and feel so alone. I’m even starting to question my faith. I mean, why can’t Muslims with gay & lesbian feelings get advice or help when Muslims have no problem giving advice to Muslims who don’t wear hijab, who drink, who commit zina, and even Muslims who don’t pray! Do you know of any online resources or support groups for Muslims I can join anonymously? I don’t want to lose my faith. Please help me. –Don’t want to be Gay Muslim

This is an example of the type of questions I regularly receive from Muslim youth wanting advice.

UZ Corner

How Can We Help?

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Undoubtedly, any Muslim who reaches out for help in practicing his or her faith deserves not only help and guidance, but also patience, compassion, and empathy. No believer should be shamed or blamed for simply wanting advice in fighting sin, whether that sin is major or minor, normal or abnormal. None of us is without sin. Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu’alayhi wa sallam, taught us that all of the children of Adam sin, and the best of those who sin are those who constantly repent.

Therefore, as we strive for Paradise, we should help each other in our efforts of repentance, even if the sin is shocking or repulsive, as homosexuality is to many people.

Homophobia: Remaking Religion in a New Image

Ironically, one of the greatest barriers to helping Muslims like the nineteen-year-old Muslim girl above is the alleged fight against homophobia. Literally, homophobia means an irrational fear of or paranoia regarding homosexuality or homosexuals. However, socially and politically, homophobia has come to mean anything that offends gays and lesbians, specifically those gays and lesbians who either reject God and religion altogether or those who wish to remake God and religion in their image.

Unfortunately, the latter group now includes professed Muslims. Some of these Muslims identify with a gay or lesbian orientation while others are merely silent (or vocal) supporters of “the cause”—whose primary goal is to dismantle the moral teachings of the Qur’an under the guise of “new interpretations.”

Gay Struggle vs. Gay Agenda

In the Qur’an, Allah discusses the stipulations of nikaah (Islamic marriage):4:4

“And give to the women [whom you marry] their mahr [dowry or marital gift]…”

Al-Nisaa, 4:4

However, one lesbian blogger who professes to be Muslim claims that Allah’s instructions are outdated. “I think the concept of nikkah is largely outdated,” the lesbian blogger told me in an email.

She went on to say that Islamic marriage is, for all intents and purposes, a reprehensible financial transaction that involves selling and buying a woman’s sexual organs, a concept that is inferior to her homosexual “marriage”

In the fiqhi discussions, the nikkah contract at its most basic is one whereby the husband purchases with the mahr access to the wife’s sexual organs usually from one of her male relatives. This is why this is little discussion or understanding of marital rape or the wife’s right of consent before engaging in sex with her husband. This concept of purchasing or a contract stipulating access to a spouse sexually is anathema to the relationship I have with my wife. Our marriage is based on more egalitarian principles of mutual love, support and commitment.

Interestingly, this explanation utilizes the same approach used by Islamophobes, wherein they describe praiseworthy Islamic concepts in reprehensible terms to make their “alternative” appear not only logical and justifiable, but also more desirable than anything offered by Allah in Islam.

Clearly, this view is not indicative of a Muslim’s “gay struggle,” wherein one struggles with gay feelings but merely needs support and empathy from believers in striving against temptation to sin. Rather, this view is indicative of a “gay agenda” designed to dismantle Islamic teachings altogether.

As we seek to be supportive and empathetic with Muslims struggling with homosexual desires, it is important that we don’t mistake a gay agenda for a gay struggle. The former is a path to kufr (disbelief) while the latter is a path to tawbah (repentance).

Is a Gay Orientation “Natural”?

In her email, the lesbian blogger argued, “God created us perfectly, irrespective of orientation.” She also said that “a person’s sexual orientation is not a mistake, sinful, or something to feel ashamed about nor hidden or suppressed.”

In other words, Islam’s requirement to avoid acting on our underlying sinful desires (homosexual or otherwise) and the perpetual existence of our underlying sinful desires are somehow mutually exclusive to each other…Or they are evidence that no Islamic law exists to prevent us from acting on our sinful desires as long as we can convince ourselves that our sinful desires stem from a static “orientation” that is part of our “perfect nature.”

Put simply, if we can blame Allah for our ongoing struggles and desires in this world, we are allegedly absolved of any responsibility for following His laws in the process.

This is an interesting argument given that not a single one of us controls the tests we are handed, only how we respond.

Sexual Orientation Argument Debunked

If we use the blogger’s definition of orientation (an underlying consistent sexual desire that the person himself/herself did not choose), then we have to recognize that there are people who have an underlying “orientation” toward animals, inanimate objects, and even children—orientations that they too did not choose. Thus, if we remove acts of homosexuality from the category of sin based on the consistency of the underlying sexual desire beyond one’s control, then we must accept that a host of sexual desires can be acted on without falling into sin.

Though the modern Western world typically uses the “consenting adults” argument to dismiss the validity of acting on sexual desires toward children, the “consenting adults” argument is inherently flawed when approving homosexual acts.

In other words, if you believe homosexual acts are not sinful but you apply the condition of “consenting adults,” then you are agreeing to the same principle that rules homosexual acts as sinful in the first place—that, ultimately, morality trumps desire. The only question is: What is your definition of “morality”?

Muslims, like Jews and Christians, recognize only one ultimate authority in defining morality: God. Thus, any underlying “nature” is irrelevant in discussions of sexual morality. Although many Muslims (as well as Jews and Christians), argue that homosexuality is “unnatural,” this is really a moot point as far as the religious concepts of sin and obedience are concerned.

Islam, as a general rule, is most concerned with sinful acts, not with the underlying desire itself, irrespective of whether or not the desire is rooted in nature (i.e. a man and a woman sexually desiring each other) or a perversion of nature (i.e. a person desiring sexual relations with an animal).

However, viewing certain desires as unnatural (as some desires certainly are) is helpful for those seeking to understand and subsequently root out their perverted desires. But, in the context of religious morality, the categorization of the sexual desire as natural or unnatural is irrelevant when discussing sinful behaviors.

In other words, in Islam, we are not held accountable for desiring something sinful. We are held accountable only for acting on something sinful.

When We Betray Those We Can Help

When offering advice to others about a sinful lifestyle, there are only two possibilities: We frame our advice according to how the sin is viewed in Allah’s Book and the Sunnah; or we frame our advice according to some other point of view.

When we choose the latter approach, we are betraying those whom Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has entrusted us to help.

Whenever we are given both emaan (Islamic faith) and a severe trial, it as if we are being given an answer key along with a test. And if we are able to share with others the lessons we learn during our tests in life, we are offering a hand to others with struggles like ours. In fact, as believers we have a responsibility to help others during our brief sojourn on this earth, especially if Allah has equipped us with both the life experience and the Islamic knowledge necessary to help others remain on the right path.

I just wish there were more experienced, knowledgeable people to help Muslims like the nineteen-year-old Muslim girl struggling with lesbian desires, help that strikes a balance between not judging her for her struggle and not inviting her to effectively indulge in the very sin she is crying out for help in fighting.

…Or inviting her to leave the very faith she wants to hold onto by encouraging her to replace her gay struggle (a path to tawbah) with a gay agenda (a path to kufr).

Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy. Her latest novel Muslim Girl is now available.

To learn more about the author, visit or subscribe to her YouTube channel.


Copyright © 2014 by Al-Walaa Publications. All Rights Reserved.


Related Reading: From our What’s the Matter Counselors Attracted to Same Sex

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi Dealing with homosexual urges


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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Daughter of American converts to Islam, Umm Zakiyyah writes about the interfaith struggles of Muslims and Christians, and the intercultural, spiritual, and moral struggles of Muslims in America. She is the internationally acclaimed author of more than fifteen books, including the If I Should Speak trilogy, Muslim Girl, His Other Wife and the newly released self-help book for Muslim survivors of parental and family abuse: Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, with contributions by Haleh Banani, behavioral therapist.Her books have been used in universities in America and abroad including Indiana University-Bloomington, Howard University, University of D.C. and Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.To learn more about the author, visit



  1. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Although your response is instructive, the Muslim sister is asking for someone to turn to, who can provide assistance and compassion in what is clearly distressing on a very basic level. Can you reach out to her privately and refer her to a Muslim who can provide counsel and support to her?

    • Avatar


      January 17, 2016 at 3:53 PM

      Why true love.
      you let these people bully you. They ask homosexual people to things they do not have to face themselves.
      They can only speak with any integrity if they too are prepared to lead celibate lives as they would ask homosexual Muslims to do.
      But even that should be a matter of choice not compulsion.
      If you were to ask them to sleep with someone of their own sex they would be horrified at the idea – yet they are prepared to
      make people feel dreadful because of who they are and ask them to lead sad lonely lives and never know true love.
      They are prepared to encourage / force people to be physical with someone they really do not want to be with.
      This leads to repression, psychological disturbance, and a host of sad results for the homosexual people the partners who were not of their choosing, for their children and family.
      Do you really believe this is what the Loving Almighty wants?
      Is it not really for other intolerant peoples comfort.

    • Avatar

      joe macey

      June 30, 2016 at 2:25 PM

      very normal now to be gay and muslim.

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    Confused girl

    November 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    I am confused about this aspect too.. some people have hormonal problems e.g. some female have higher levels of testosterone, and that is one of the reasons why they are attracted to a female.. This is something natural… nothing that the person is responsible for… because not everyone has the same levels of hormones… its a spectrum… so how does our religion explain that?

    • Avatar


      November 13, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      If it’s a hormone problem then you should visit a doctor and try to see if this problem can be resolved with operation. But if it was your desire then I think you should spend more time praying and asking allah for forgiveness and help. I think marriage might resolve this issue too.
      But don’t surrounder to shaytan.

      • Avatar


        August 6, 2015 at 9:05 PM

        Can a gay muslim blood relative be maghram?

      • Avatar


        February 1, 2016 at 9:19 PM

        So may people have tried marriage in tehs ecircumstances. It causes untold misery and unhappy lives. How would a hetrosexual person react and behave if you tried to force them to engage in homosexual sex activities? It would be repulsive to them and they would have every right to object. What is being proposed here by counselling and prayer is plain old intolerance and bullying. What you propose with hormone tratment is monstrous too. I know that you mean well but it is palin wrong. It is a Chemical Cosh to beat someone with just because you do not like them being different to you and you are .
        A truly lovong compassionate God can understand and accept differences in His. What The Almighty cannot accept or abide is cruelty and ill treatment of fellow human beings that are His creation. It is teh condition of our hearts that matter not who or what we are.
        The big question is are our hearts ste on God and do we respect fellow human beings.
        May God Bless You

    • Avatar


      November 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      When she says “(un)natural”, it doesn’t mean “comes from nature or born with” it means something “normal”, “logic”.

    • Avatar


      November 13, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      In my opinion from what research I could get on the subject in addition to my medical education;

      Having different hormone levels is normal, as normal as it is to look different from another person. However, having a too high or low concentration of any hormone is NOT normal. It is as natural as having any number of diseases. Diseases are natural, however they are an abnormality; a natural abnormality you could say, but still an abnormality.

      Many different people are born with different levels of health and hormonal/neural abnormalities are one factor. Having too much or too little concentrations of a chemical is a disease whether the symptoms are physical, mental or both. Thus, having abnormal tendencies (for example: being quick to anger, attraction to same-sex, born with insulin dysfunction) is also a disease and should be treated as one.

    • Avatar

      Dawud Israel

      November 16, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      Don’t think my last comment went through – pardon my spamminess… can somebody approves it?


      • Aly Balagamwala

        Aly Balagamwala

        November 17, 2014 at 8:24 AM


        I can’t find your comment. This was the only one that had your name on it.


    • Avatar

      Hanif Kiriakos

      November 21, 2014 at 3:38 AM

      I was once told that I must be gay because my testosterone level is too low. Then I heard from a friend (who is far more effeminate than me) who got his testosterone levels checked. The results came back and he actually had higher levels of testosterone than most males. So, when we try to talk about science, let’s do it in an informed way and not in a way that makes people feel inadequate and abnormal. We gay Muslims have enough of a jihad trying to accept ourselves and we don’t need people making that worse by repeating ill-informed (and often times bogus) theories on why we are the way we are.

      • Avatar


        January 3, 2015 at 1:50 AM

        If you had gay desires but you are not acting upon it you can still change yourself.If being gay is part of who you are then why does some people who HAD gay inclinations before can repent and seek forgiveness? I know a gay person who had repented and corrected himself and now he HAS a wife and kids. If being gay is part of who you are then why does this happen to that former gay man? I also used to have some kind of attraction to other girls but now I can see what’s wrong and what’s not. I have fought this inclinations and now I like a guy rather than girls.You have to distinguish between who you are and what you chooses because if you get both of these things mixed up things will get worse. If being gay is totally who someone is then being heterosexual is also who someone is and women will not have to go through all those troubles to find husbands because suddenly we will all like the right guy automatically and he likes us automatically because that is part of who we are.Sadly, life is not like this. Women and men CHOOSES their partners and sometimes made bad choices by picking the wrong person. So it is a CHOICE rather than who or what you are. The same thing for the gay person because he chooses to act upon his desire of pursuing another gay when in fact if he starts to believe that women are attractive and had fought against his gay desires he might probably overcome it and marry a woman and had kids.

  3. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Assalam walaikum,

    To my dear sister May Allah reward you and give strength to stay on the deen. Honestly, I don’t know how I would address this issue if a muslim came up to me asking about advice on his/her homosexual tendencies. But I do have one advice/suggestion

    In the last 3rd of the night, wake up, do wudu as perfectly as you can, and pray 2 rakahs with the most possible khusu you are able to have and after the the tasleem. Raise your hand in dua to Allah, say exactly what you would say to a sincere listener whose advice you were seeking. And ask Allah from the bottom of your heart for help and guidance. InshaAllah then you will see the response he gives you. But make sure to have an attentive heart while making dua. You will be also in my dua.

    May Allah subhanahu wata’ala preserve you

    • Avatar


      November 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Subhan Allah! Yes! The power of wudu, salah & dua can turn your life around in sha Allah. I think this is the best solution any muslim can suggest to those struggling with whats happening in their lives.

      Each of us are given specific trials based on our strengths & whatever is given to us, surely we can succeed with Allah’s mercy.

      May we all be guided well. Ameen.

      • Avatar

        Ali Adat

        September 5, 2016 at 5:57 AM

        Sorry, I can prove you wrong from Quran. Allah says in the holy quran in Surat Ankaboot ayah45. Prayer doesn’t stop us from doing sins but rather prevent us from doing sins and wrong acts ( You can look for the accurate translation). The desire to have sex with the same sex is considered natural due to scientific reasons. Everyone has the ability to choose the right person according to the rules of Islam and look for Morals and religion with that person.
        There are causes of homosexuality, I advice you to research about it….
        The biggest problem in Muslim Ummah is that no one is ready to accept each other and try to compromise and live happily. Another factor that lead to fail in marriages is lack of consultation and disrespect which takes place between spouses. There are so many married couples in this world with same orientation marriage…. How many of them are happy???
        Me as I gay Muslim, I just need a wife who has absolutely no problem in my sexuality and accept me the way I am…
        Having sex is something and sexual orientation is just nothing but A DESIRE

    • Avatar


      April 20, 2015 at 7:13 AM

      MashALLAH xcellent advice May ALLAH SWT reward you

  4. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    I would say dear sister this problem inflicted me where I was attracted only to the thought of men while I myself am one.

    I cried and begged Allah for help. Since then He opened my heart – not to women but to Him – now I never feel this way. I have male friends and my heart desires one day to be with a woman I can love.

    I found the Holy verse from the Quran “Flee to Allah” as a solution to all my troubles. You’re not alone in this. I ask Allah to bestow His love and care your way.
    Sincerely your brother in faith

    • Avatar

      Norlidah Zainal Abidin

      November 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      MashaAllah, SubhanaAllah, Alhamdulillah…I am so sympathy for those who affected by this. But I know there is no easy way out, no drugs, no effective advice except by surrender oneself to Allah Be optimistic, steadfast and ask Him exceptionally often, hard, loud and in the end Bismillahi tawakkal tu alallah.

  5. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Thank you sister and may Allah (swt) reward you for taking on modern controversial topics that most of us shy away from. Your knowledge on this shows in your writing. Your gentleness and appeal to the basics of our faith are a blessing to all who read this. I pray Allah continues to guide you and give you more of a voice in matters affecting our community. I pray that instead of the secular and gay Muslims, Allah allows you to have a voice in the secular forums as well. The liberal media racism and prejudice is unbelievable. They regularly start and maintain conversations about Islam and Muslims and, at the same time, refuse to allow actual Muslims to sit down and discuss Islam in their discussions about “what’s wrong with Islam.” I thank Allah for Muslim Matters and for you that I have easy access to intelligent Muslims who discuss Islam in the real world as it is practiced by real Muslims.

  6. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Alhamdulillah this topic is open for understanding. The teenage girl was very brave to share her story. By just reading what she sent made me teary-eyed because somehow I feel the same way, the fear of being shunned despite the eagerness to be better. When you feel a little desperation while others take it lightly and sometimes becomes insulting. Sadly the most common place to find comfort are with those who are unbelievers because most of the muslim teachers we run to think being a muslim automatically exempts us from commiting the acts of homosexuals. I’ve attended bookfairs hoping to find a scholar write about this issue in detail (because Q&A on islamic gatherings could definitely give me an unwanted attention if I asked).. but found none.

    One of the best advice I got from a close friend of mine that still brings me to tears whenever I pray regarding this is the jihad of the self..

    Imam Ali (a) said: One who struggles against himself so as to obey God, in the eyes of God, his station is that of a pious martyr. [Al-Amidi, Ghurar ul Hikam wa Durar ul Kalim, hadith # 3546]

    *pls verify hadith (but im sure it exists)

    • Avatar


      December 19, 2014 at 10:20 AM


      This is not related to this topic, rather it is something to do with the fact that you wrote Imam Ali (a). May I ask if this means Imam Ali Alayhis Salam or something else. If it does mean Alayhis Salam, I would just like to point out that the correct thing to say is Radiyallahu Anh (RA) which means may Allah SWT be pleased with him. This is because he is not a prophet, he is a Sahabi and the fourth Khalifa.
      Hope this cleared any misunderstandings and I am sorry if I have misunderstood anything. :)

      • Avatar


        June 25, 2016 at 10:20 PM

        Usually it is the shia methodology to say alayhis salam when they refer to the Imams in their concept of Imamate.

  7. Avatar

    Siraaj Muhammad

    November 13, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    For the 19-year-old sister who wrote in, I hate to say this but the MSA is probably the last place you’ll find help simply because of the age, experience, and maturity of individuals. If I think back to myself when I was 19, I probably would have thought similarly because, as you pointed out, sometimes what is logically consistent isn’t emotionally understood, e.g. if people can advice and support for xyz sinful behavior, why can’t I get the same for what is far less than that, i.e. thoughts and desires that aren’t acted upon? Sometimes you need to walk people through the thought process once for them to have that “aha” moment and then it clicks and they realize it fits consistently within our value system. People can be ignorant, and that ignorance can lead to hurtful statements, but there is also hope in that perhaps other areas of their principles and values can be activated, if you will, when they are essentially hand-held through the thought process.

    You should definitely continue to look for support in the community, but be selective about who you open up to. Elsewhere on this site is a post by Sh Yasir Qadhi about homosexuality and how we speak about it in the community, particularly in public settings where individuals like yourself are struggling and have to quietly bear the burden of people taking jabs at being in situations like your own. In that post, there was a sister who was also struggling, she’s started a support group for individuals like yourself, who are struggling with SSA (same sex attraction) but want to keep away from acting on or further giving in. May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to overcome these issues. I know there are individuals who have found different ways to overcome and lead happy heterosexual lives, and you may also like to read materials from nonMuslims who struggled similarly and were able to find help in overcoming their issues as a complement to the support you can find from Muslims who have banded together to fight this inner struggle.

    Umm Zakiyyah, that person you had a discussion with doesn’t seem to understand much about marriage or fiqh. When I read this statement:

    “In the fiqhi discussions, the nikkah contract at its most basic is one whereby the husband purchases with the mahr access to the wife’s sexual organs usually from one of her male relatives. This is why…”

    I knew they had read some nonsense elsewhere about Islamic marriage contracts and not straight from the sources. The mahr is not given to the woman’s wali / guardian, it’s given to the woman herself. She stipulates the amount, and she herself must be give consent for the marriage to be valid – in other words, she’s a consenting adult in the process. The mahr is a marital gift, nothing more. Otherwise, all “gifts” can be changed into “purchases for access”, irrespective of culture or religion. An expensive engagement ring is roughly the same cost as a typical mahr.

    I’d add the books of fiqh are the wrong place to look for anything other than rulings. I wouldn’t open up a browser page to my state governments website and look up what type of values are important in a marriage between husband and wife, though I might look up prerequisites, rules, and regulations for obtaining a marriage license aka a marriage contract.

    If I want to understand the Islamic perspective, I’d look at how the Prophet (SAW) treated his wives, I’d look at what he’s said about how a man should be with his wife, I’d look in the Qur’an and see the following, which is quoted I think at every single nikaah I’ve attended:

    “And among His Signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” [Sûrah Rûm: 21]

    Finally, you can also turn the idea of “consenting adults” on its head as well more directly – what are their thoughts on incest? Father w/adult daughter, mother w/adult son, father and son, mother and daughter, brother and sister, brother and brother, sister and sister, and extend all these permutations out to uncles, aunts, and throw in incestuous polygamy while you’re at it – are these not plainly disgusting? But they are adults and consenting, and it is being debated in Europe as we speak:

    • Avatar


      November 14, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      Aslam Alaikum Brother Siraj,

      The quote about “nikah” you attributed to Sr. Umm Zakiya is misplaced – Sr. Umm Zakiya was quoting someone who said this to her.

      Wasalam Alaikum

      • Avatar


        November 14, 2014 at 7:20 PM

        Wa ‘alaikum as salaam,
        Ahmad, Siraj did not attribute it to Sr. Umm Zakiya either. Siraaj addressed Sr. Umm Zakiya and then said, “that person you had a discussion with doesn’t seem to understand much about marriage or fiqh. When I read this statement…” He just explained the concept further, which she did not have the liberty to discuss in her article, maybe because of space constraints and priority of relevance to the topic.

    • Avatar


      February 2, 2016 at 9:08 AM

      Marrying cousins and people with close family connections is quite commonplace within parts of the Pakistani Muslim community and where repeated over several generations has cuased problems. It is not a problem in itself, but only as children result from the marriages that arise.

    • Avatar


      February 2, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      You mention consent! What consent is there when young girls of 11 or 12 are forced into marriage in places like Pakistan? There are young UK girls who go on holiday and find themslevs forced into marriage while abroad back with the wider families. There are even girls who are forcefully abducted. There are even suicides that result from this. There was also a murder when a woman married someone from a slightly diferent branch of Islam. They fled to another town , were pursued and a death resulted. Surely such behaviour that is couple with duress and bullying is far worse than simple acrts of incest. Incest should not be encouraged but it is ultimately their business as long as they do noit hurt others and providing nobody is being taken advantage of.

      • Avatar


        February 16, 2016 at 11:44 PM

        Salams, I am a female American Muslim with SSA. Are there any groups with sisters like myself – supporting each other?

      • Avatar

        Straight Struggle

        February 29, 2016 at 4:03 PM

        Assalamu ‘alaikum Sr. Yasmeen,

        There is a support group for Muslims struggling with SSA called Straight Struggle. It is mostly brothers, but there are some sisters as well and all are welcome. They are a group of orthodox, believing Muslims and do not tolerate people coming on there with a “pro-gay” agenda or trying to argue that homosexual behavior can be accepted in Islam. Other than that, the discussions are very free and open. It is a safe space for believing Muslims to find support in their struggle with same-sex desires. You can Google the group and request to be added.

  8. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Thank you for this article. I love the way you phrased one of the problems as “Gay Struggle vs. Gay Agenda.” I think that is a well fitting term and that we must be aware of any agenda and be able to differentiate between both.

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    November 13, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Salam alaykum
    My dear sister, Allah knows our innermost feelings. He has not placed a burden on you that you cannot handle. Ma sha Allah you are bigger than your urges, you have reached out as a woman of faith. As men or women of faith, we are not defined by what tempts us, be it power, lust, greed or other worldly distractions. Rather we are defined by the actions and reactions of our hearts and limbs.

    Bravo for reaching out and may we, the ummah, be there for you. Hopefully the advice above is helpful, I have a few points which I have come across on faith based websites, please consider them, if they are relevant to you:
    1. Sometimes we may confuse admiration for attraction, especially as a teenager who is evolving hormonally, one may be trying to identify with people and confusing that with a crush or attraction.
    2. Sometimes we may be longing for an emotional connection we never had and it may be easier for Muslim women to access that from women. Again possibly mistaking it for sexual rather than emotional need to connect i.e. ‘homo-emotional’
    3. We are socialized in many societies that we must be of a certain sexual persuasion. But as mentioned before, we are bigger than our urges and inclinations. We are people of faith and oportunity who can lead their desires and be the ‘ captain of their soul’ rather than lose control and follow our desires.

    Allah knows best

  10. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Sexual desire has many shapes and forms; all of them, except for that, within marriage, are clearly forbidden. It has nothing to do with hormones or some scientific explanation. The only way to overcome it is to sincerely seek the guidance of Allah. Consult well known and established scholars – as previously suggested by other commentators – who will assist in providing information on how to desist in giving into your nafs and keeping shaytaan at bay. The sister says she was brought up religiously, so insha Allah she will understand that it’s only shaytaan who is trying to lead her astray and she is definitely better than any shaytaan or
    her nafs.

    • Avatar


      June 25, 2016 at 10:26 PM

      Are you serious? Besides seeking the help of Allah the situation is more complicated than this.

  11. Avatar

    miss anon

    November 13, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    To the lady having this issue, here is a real story of a muslim lady who was a lesbian and got out of it.

    Just a background story: Pink Dot movement in Singapore is held every year for support of Gays and Lesbians. In their recent move, they purposely put a muslim woman wearing a Hijab in their marketing video advocating support for this movement.

  12. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 9:13 PM


    I tried posting a comment here but it didn’t go through due to a “spam detection” (thanks for the warning) so I’m rewriting this.

    My first part of the post was written to MuslimMatters: I thought this was an advice column and this sister would be helped in regards to the issue she is suffering with. Instead, Islam was explained to her and a “gay blogger” was retaliated against. Women like herself probably know the entire Islamic opinion on this because it’s not very difficult and we have to listen to it all the time: the feelings are okay but the actions are not. I think she got that part. Can we, as a Muslim community, please move on and start helping women like this sister and like me cope with our SSA (same sex attractions) rather than continue preaching to us? We would appreciate your understanding. I expect MuslimMatters to be doing a lot more or at least be a little bit more unique. I hope this article was a fluke or a bad apple and not reflective of what this website has become.

    The second part of my post was directed to the 19 year old sister who is asking for help and then didn’t get any.

    Sis, I’m not the best person to help you but I’m someone and when I was 19 like you, I just wanted someone, so I hope this post brings you some level of peace. I am a fighter like you and this path has been long and arduous. When I meet someone else who is struggling like I am, a part of me feels relieved that I’m not alone but another part of me becomes depressed that there’s someone else like me, someone else in pain like me, and for that I just want to say I’m very sorry. I’m sorry for what you’re going through, what you’re feeling, what you’re fighting, for the sake of yourself, your Rabb, your family, your life, your community, for whatever your reasons are. I’m sorry you have to but I’m also so, so, so very proud of you. You are amazing and a beacon of hope for others out there. Thank you for being an inspiration to others that yes, it can be done. It IS possible to have these feelings but to stand up to them for the sake of Allah. May Allah bless you. Ameen.

    Always remember that He loves you. It will be the most important thing. For every time I have doubted His Love for me, I have fallen harder and harder. You, too, will fall. You will fall through the ground. But that’s okay, sis. What matters is that every time you fall, no matter how hard you fall, you do one thing: stay with Allah. Don’t leave Islam. Yes, Islam says that you can’t act on this and feels like there’s no way out of this sick maze we have been born into, but this doesn’t have to be a choice between Islam and your feelings. If you find yourself acting on all this one day, which I pray you never ever do, don’t feel that the solution to the situation is to leave Islam. It’s not. That’s going in the opposite direction. You’re allowed to pray, fast, be a good Muslim woman, but still make mistakes, and if your mistakes have to do with SSA, then so be it. I’m not belittling the test of SSA, but I’m just saying that it is NOT worth you losing your religion over. It is not worth leaving Allah over. He never left you. He never will. Even a woman who has made as many mistakes as I have and fallen as flat on her face as I have, knows that. Allah didn’t leave me, He won’t leave you, He won’t leave any of us. May Allah increase in His Love for you with each passing day. Ameen.

    Now, what to do? I suggest a few things. 1. Get support, 2. Get advice, 3. Get help.

    1. Get Support
    Seek support from extremely trustworthy friends/family who can take that initial shock and then help you by just simply being there for you as you work through this. “Being there” means just being that shoulder to cry on or that person you can talk to as you fight this. You’re going to need a few people like this. Start identifying some for yourself. Also, linked below at the end of this post is a an anonymous online support group called Straight Struggle which initially helped me overcome a lot. It’s just a nice, safe place to go and talk things out with people who get what you’re going through because they, too, are Muslim and struggling with unwanted SSA. (They mostly are men but they’re very understanding people. Give it a try.)

    2. Get Advice
    I know you’re a smart girl and you know the Islamic perspective on all of this, but it’s good to still have religious counsel around to just bounce things off of and get a firmer grounding of your faith. Find a trustworthy shaykh or knowledgeable person who can be there to act as a mentor to you as a Muslimah with a struggle in life. This is much easier said than done but it’s an important aspect of succeeding in this.

    3. Get Help
    You were trying to get help by asking for advice from MuslimMatters but at the end of the day, most sites like these are unequipped to help with what you’re facing. I pray and pray and pray that our Muslim community gets there soon because we need our brothers and sisters there to help us, but until that happens, we need other avenues. With that in mind, I suggest you to purchase a book called “The Heart of Same-Sex Attraction” by Janelle Hallman. The author is a counselor in Colorado who helps women with unwanted SSA alter their lifestyles. Though this book is written for counselors, it was detrimental in helping me better understand myself and why I feel the way I do. Buy it. Read it. Apply it to yourself. But you can’t do this alone. I advise you to go to a website called and find a counselor on there for yourself, whether they’re Muslim or not, and start seeing them to get help coping with what you’re going through. Explain to them that you’re a Muslim and you can’t act on this so therefore you need strategies in helping you understand why you’re feeling this and how to move forward with your life so that you can be happy as you are. It is going to be a long, grueling process but you need it. You need to start looking deep inside of yourself to learn how you came to SSA and how you’re going to work on learning to live with it because it likely won’t go away, but you can’t continue to feel depressed about it.

    Lastly, my email address is below. It’s not much but sometimes you just want a person to talk to. If so, I’m here. I don’t check it often but I will try. Sometimes it even just helps to write things out so if nothing else, you can do that. I wish the best for you. You’re going to be okay. I truly believe that. I truly believe you’re going to keep moving, keep succeeding, keep living a happy life. I believe this because I know that Allah wants nothing short of the absolute best for you. You will fall many times getting there, but never doubt it, because you will get there. And when you do, you’ll finally look back and know unflinchingly that it was all worth it.

    Your sister with a conviction to change

    • Avatar


      November 14, 2014 at 2:18 AM

      This is probably the best and most useful reply of all to our courageous young sister. May Allah SWT make our tests easy as help us get through them safely. Duas.

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      November 14, 2014 at 4:23 AM

      Baarakillaah alaikee Conviction2Change. May Allaah grant you success in your efforts to be better.

      I totally agree with @gina. This is very good advice.

      I believe that some of the best support can come from those in the struggle themselves. Although we are all struggling with some forbidden desire, this issue is very sensitive. It needs a different approach from some other issues we all face in life, at some point and time.

      Besides homosexuality, there’s porn, promiscuity, molestation, just to name a few, related to forbidden sexual desire to which many from the Muslim Ummah engage and struggle in on a daily bases.

      I commend those who are making an effort to be better and not follow up on their desires. Likewise, I condemn those (@ Assem) who stand in the way of that with their misleading notions and rants.

      May Allaah grant me and all of my brothers/sisters in Islam success in our efforts to become better obedient servants of Him.

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      February 16, 2015 at 5:59 PM

      God bless you. I am a guy with SSA and this post made me cry. It feels good knowing that I’m not the only one in the world going through this most painful struggle. Your words are touching and extremely comforting. May God protect you and guide you to Jannah inshallah.

  13. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    The post isn’t allowing me to submit it without go to spam if I post the link for the support group and my email address, so instead I will post both like this:
    http://groups DOT yahoo DOT com FORWARD SLASH group SLASH StraightStruggle

    My email is conviction2change AT gmail DOT com

  14. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    People have all kinds of desires that they aren’t permitted to act upon. If the sister had a heterosexual drive while not married, it wold be just as, but probably not more, impermissible to indulge as a homosexual drive. Some people (hopefully not so many Muslims) have a strong desire to shoplift, or to tell untrue stories, or they are abusive and lose their temper. Controlling desire through permissible outlets is part of growing up and part of being Muslim, and there are many positive, functional, tools to accomplish this. In the end, this unlawful urge of the sister’s may drive her to be an even more dedicated servant of Allah ﷻ. Although, the MSA and the Islamic blogosphere may not be where the best help is found (but it’s out there – and I pray the sister will connect with it).

  15. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    this could have been written by me, the me I was 20 years ago. I used to feel attracted to girls. I don’t really know why. Now looking back, I know some things happened to me that could have made me shift out of one sexual framework (girl attracted to boys) into another…(girl attracted to girls)…including spending time with homosexuals (as friends) and also looking through the eyes of my Dad at other women, noticing how he looked at them and checked them out. We are also forced to look through the eyes of men in general that are the eyes that advertisements and TV and movies all cater to. women are shown as pornography in everything from lingerie ads to music videos. we are forced to see these images of other women whether we want to or not. another reason I got into that framework was by comparing my body to the bodies of the other women around me – always seeing them as better and more perfect and rating myself against them, until it started to result in my being attracted. Today I am a happily married woman.

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      November 15, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      Your issues sound like they were more nurture vs. nature! Not everyone will be in a SSA for the same reasons. So its possible that the sister who wrote for help doesnt fit your mold. But nevertheless, you give good advice for someone wanting to get away from SSA to, as a first step, step away from groups that would encourage that behavior.
      One of your other points was about your Dad’s leering upon women as you grew up… I think that might be a reason you picked up from the gay/lesbian groups and not a real reason. That sounds like a revision you might have made to your perceptions of why you came to SSA, and not necessarily a precursor. The number of Uncles in the the community that have a staring problem would have caused almost all the daughters to go in that direction if that was the case.

  16. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    I believe in the plasticity of the brain. In it being able to be shaped by new thoughts, new pathways, and I believe in the Healing Touch of Allah.
    likewise, I believe there is a real war being waged by Dajjal to make people struggle with sexuality of all kinds – straight, fake (porn), abusive, etc.

  17. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    I believe sexuality is easily influencible by what is around us. THis means while it is easy to fall into traps, it is also possible to take decisions that will lead you to a place where your desire is less stoked and ignited. You need to take some steps to protect yourself: use wudu, regular duas for protection, and Quran reading (even if done for you by others) to protect yourself and become stronger so that outer influences don’t enter inside you and take over – as happened to me. You need to try to spend time in cleaner environments. .

  18. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    One sad thing I noticed with MSA people is that even in all-girl settings, girls dress badly once their abayas come off and this is thus not a ‘pure’ atmosphere – but once again, an atmosphere in which the physical and the sexual is being promoted even if inadvertently. (so please, girls out there who pose in sexy poses on fb, while still being hijabi, and girls who exude sexual vibes even while being poster girls of faith, please, think about how you are contributing to a general atmosphere of hyper-sexuality, as opposed to purity and spirituality.)

  19. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    lastly: there ARE female muslim counselors who work with this kind of issue. may you be guided to one. try to spend time with very modest and pure people in sisterhood and doing worship. and ask Allah to help you. and also, stop tormenting yourself with self-suggestion that you are homosexual and always trying to ‘test’ your reaction to seeing another beautiful woman. just let urself admire her as a creature of God and do not sexualize her and do not sexualize anyone. that kind of looking at people in a sexual way is not allowed anyway, whether man or woman is the target. look at people for their souls. you will be healed this way. REmember that the most important thing is to not do an act of wrongdoing. Even if you feel a certain way – that is fine. God will not punish you for feeling any way. But if you indulge that, if you promote it inside you, and if you act on it…that is where your problems will increase. so ask God to protect you – He will. He promised to answer our prayers, and there is no doubt that He will. And as you struggle, know that you are getting a HUGE reward bigger than that of many a great person. Because you are fighting a true jihad

  20. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    to the dear sister who posted the first dilemma :
    I know you are looking for an answer and for someone to turn to. I think that you know and you believe so strongly that Allah subhanahu wa taala never makes any mistake. He created the whole world with not one single flaw. How could He create you with female organs and a male desire???You know deep inside that it is not right and that is why you are questioning your sexual orientation.
    If you want my humble advice, Along with prayers and reading Quran, I want you to listen to Sheikh Yasir Qadhi youtube on the issue. Also listen to Suhaib Web on the same issues. You can listen to them in your own privacy. Lastly sister you also need to see a Muslim therapist, someone who will lead you to understand your inner feelings and reach down to the origins of your dilemma and to heal your spirits.
    May Allah Be with you and help you always.

  21. Avatar


    November 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    This is absolute BS. You and people like you (unfortunately there are many) choose to believe what your ‘holy book’ says and what you think ‘God’ said and didn’t say or what your ‘prophet’ said or didn’t say. I make the conscious decision to think for myself and not follow a fictitious book and people who suffer from delusions and hallucinations (prophets). What you wrote (and some do the responses here) can be extremely damaging for LGBT people who choose to follow Islam or who come from families that choose to do so.

    If any LGBT people are reading this, please know you are not alone. You are NOT abnormal. You are NOT unnatural. You are NOT sick. What you are is different and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that or wrong with you. Be strong and do not listen to or internalize any of the distorted, irrational, judgemental and ludicrous beliefs / statements you read here or anywhere else.

    • Avatar


      November 15, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      this is a Muslim site and Muslims are addressing this. Your post asks the world to pretend we don’t exist. I really perplexed because atheists at one time were a smart quiet group and today that has changed and we are all the time on the net getting loud atheists who talk openly, often and abrasively, while saying things that do not show intelligence. The biggest problem in the world today is Selfish Materialism and as such, selfish secular materialism is the ideology today with least hope of solving this huge global problem. In fact atheism, if anything is a cause of the greed and avarice we see today. These are the traits of people who run away from God. I pray Allah makes every person in the world a better thinker, more conscious of the harm every single one of us causes. You don’t give a suicidal person a gun and lock him in a room. To trick people into abandoning the idea of the God of Abraham, when selfishness and materialism are about to pollute the earth into an unlivable place is a classic example of how a huge, not-so-bright group has drifted into atheism and in their unthinking are not a threat to Islam, but they threaten the earth, because a world full of people who believe that life is only what they can grab and play with before they die is a world rushing towards its own destruction, led by unthinking people greedy people, because people without faith are like cars with brakes: a big accident waiting to happen.

      • Avatar


        December 24, 2014 at 6:44 AM

        I’m a heterosexual male who has never experienced any homosexual tendencies. I believe that ‘Selfish Materialism’ is not as bad as the ‘Intolerance’ associated with a large portion of the followers of our faith i.e. Islam. We try to get the world to stop hating Muslims but how can we expect their tolerance when we ourselves isolate people who apparently ‘suffer’ from homosexuality. It is not a disease or a condition. It is their nature to be attracted to the same sex. Live and let be. Allah is the judge. Not fellow muslims. We are here to live our lives while others, hetero- and homosexual alike, live theirs. If we show tolerance maybe the world will show the same to us. Many muslims believe that they have a right to proclaim what is correct or incorrect when it comes to faith. Just remember, that homosexuality is not something new. In the days of the Prophet (saw) things were different. He married Ayesha (RA) when she was just a child. But, at that time it was ok. Now we would call such an act, Paedophilia. We, including myself, would defend this act. If you can say that such an was permitted or ‘fine’ then so too must you show tolerance towards homosexuality. Also, in the past the muslims rode camels and horses so if you wish to stay in the past then say ‘no’ to automobiles.

        • Avatar


          January 14, 2015 at 1:31 AM

          Allah reward those who have had compassionate comments to this post. As a Muslim who happens to be gay too, it gives me hope. Alhamdulillah. Also, thank you Ciaran for your comment. Maybe one day we’ll get a real post on being gay and Muslim. One commentator said something about our Prophet, pbuh, marrying Aisha, ra, when she was a child. We understand that there’s a cultural context to marriage and Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, did not exist outside of his culture. I wish our communities would talk about that more and begin to talk about what we can re-interpret for OUR culture(s). To take homosexuality as an example, we have to stop pretending what scholars like Ibn Taymiyah said way back when is an answer for today.

  22. Avatar

    Umm Abdullaah

    November 14, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaah,

    Baarakillaah Alaikee, very well written and comprehensive.

    I too, have struggled with understanding how to help and advise gay Muslims. To my surprise, I don’t know why. This article has helped me to realize why, insha’a Allaah.

    Some reasons that came mind or to light for me were, homophobia (being seen as afraid of my brother/sister in Islam), digusted (not being able to imagine myself having such desires), ashamed (Muslims aren’t gay), sad (simply not knowing how to react), etc.

    This article has helped me come to terms with the fact that desires that are forbidden are not just a test for the individual experiencing them, but also for the rest of us and that being a Muslim who is attracted to the same gender is not just a struggle for the, but a struggle for us all.

    As I put things into perspective, I see that treating or dealing with a Muslim that is attracted to the same gender is no different than one attracted to the opposite gender whom they aren’t married to.

    Likewise, my understanding of the following ayah has been expand:

    وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىْءٍ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ

    “And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear (of all types), hunger and loss of property and lives and fruit and give good new to the patient.”

    “…in Islam, we are not held accountable for desiring something sinful. We are held accountable only for acting on something sinful.” This is a mercy from Allaah upon His servant.

    The ‘Gay Struggle’ and the ‘Gay Agenda’ are treated the same by Allaah. They are both forbidden.

    Allaah says,

    وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ فَٰحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيل

    “And do not come near the unlawful sexual intercourse. Verily, it is a Fahishah [i.e. anything that transgresses its limits (a great sin), and an evil way (that lead one to Hell, unless Allaah forgives him/her).”

    كُلُّ ذَٰلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُۥ عِندَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا

    “All the bad aspects of these (Israa”a: 31-37) are hateful to your Lord.”

    We must remember that the Muslims struggling with being gay and the gay non-Muslim have the same Lord, just as Musa reminded Pharaoh, as he was committing a crime in the land.

    فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولَآ إِنَّا رَسُولَا رَبِّكَ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ وَلَا تُعَذِّبْهُمْ قَدْ جِئْنَٰكَ بِـَٔايَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَٱلسَّلَٰمُ عَلَىٰ مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ ٱلْهُدَىٰٓ

    “So go you both to him, and say: Verily, we are Messengers of your Lord, so let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace be with him who follows the guidance!”

    So one must follow the guidance from their Lord in order to have peace in life; otherwise, one will be in a constant stressful struggle with one’s desires.

    In conclusion, to my dear brothers and sisters, follow the way of your Lord, which has been laid out in the Qur’aan and Sunnah (in all matters) and you will be successful in dealing with and combating homosexual desires along with other foridden desires, insha’a Allaah.

    May Allaah have mercy on us, shower us with good in this life and in the Here-after and keep us upon the straight path.

  23. Avatar


    November 14, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    Hi sister.
    A year ago i was siting with my dad in the living room, and he saw me having the gay flag as a bracelet, but i didnt know that was the gay flag, i just liked it because it was colorful. My dad said to me “you cant be lesbian and wearing hijab” so since that day i stop wearing the bracelet.

    I am not the best muslim girl, i met guys in my life so i can start something serious but the past 2 months i feel guys are not nice, they just hurt women and thats it. So in the past 2 months i think i like girls, and i am not sure if i do or not, but i dont like guys anymore. I do dress like a guy, loose jeans, my voice tone change from female to little heavy, my brother treats me like im his younger brother.

    What scares me is that before i convert to islam,
    At the age of 10 to 14 i used to have sexual relation with girls, at the age of 15 i start relations with both but mostly guys.

    Im trying my best to ignore people around me.
    Thx .

  24. Avatar


    November 14, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    Sister this life is temporary…this life is a huge test for every one of us, don’t forget Allah SWT will test you, he tests the ones he loves the most and InshaAllah if you pass it he will shower your life will Barakah n his rahma n make everything in life easy for you. Please don’t doubt your faith we havnt come here for fun n fulfilling our desires we were merely put into earth just to worship our Lord. Fear Allah sister please and sit and do as much dhikr as you can wake up for tahajjud n cry your heart out to Allah to help you and to keep you strong and steadfast upon the deen and to make this struggle easy for you InshaAllah. Will keep you in my duas InshaAllah may Allah swt make it easy for you and help you overcome this situation inshaAllah Ameen

  25. Avatar

    islamic sister

    November 14, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    Ghusl, Wudu, Salah, Fast In Sha Allah your thoughts will change, feelings for sinning will fade. The Shaitaan whispers for u to do wrong. But when u follow this path he will be far away from u.
    Read a book called Shaitaan whispers from the Dawate islami site. Theres a book called Cause of Sin. Theres lots of books May Allah guide u and you become a peraon who helps people with this problem to.

  26. Avatar


    November 14, 2014 at 6:36 AM


  27. Pingback: Gay and Muslim? The Advice You Should Have Received | Ify Okoye

  28. Avatar

    The mamá

    November 14, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    It appears that a sister’s personal emails were shared without her consent :(

    I saw a follow up to this piece and read it, both posts have valid points,.

    I had some thoughts and questions as food for thought since I am No one to be answered to and just want to put them out there for all of us

    I did leave a comment and I also wanted to post it here because so many of us (Muslims) have such a Difficult time; it seems, with reading, discussing or entertaining a thought without being rude or at least seeing the others perspective even if we may disagree.

    I posted this as a question to all of us and the person I replied to

    Asalaamu Alaikum thank you for sharing such a deeply personal and taboo subject for most.

    It was very respectful I have some questions

    Being a part of those meetings and groups though-do they actually provide tips on how NOT to act on these sexual/attraction feelings?

    If they do not can they really be of help for a Muslim who would Not want to act on these strong emotions?

    How do you think as a community we (The general Muslim) can be less ostracizing and more respectful while trying to help people cope with these feelings and Not act on them?

    Why is that Muslims with open girlfriends or boyfriends or drinking and drugging Muslims can be forgiven but someone who may not even have acted on their attraction get so cruelly dismissed?

    2 Wrongs a Right do NOT make however we as Muslims treat non-practicing, shirk naAthoobilah and not praying like it’s less of a sin than having “gay feelings” let alone acting on them……

    • Avatar


      November 14, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      you don’t need consent to post an email that was sent to you! She also left the gay bloggers anonymous

      • Avatar

        The mamá

        November 15, 2014 at 12:28 AM

        okay “A”. I didn’t say it was “legally required” it’s an observation, part of quite a few I left. so beside this productive comment, any other feedback on the other stuff I mentioned?

  29. Avatar

    سيد حمزة

    November 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I honestly expected to find something thoughtful and well-informed on the issue, but was quite saddened to find this article both lacking real knowledge of the on-the-ground realities of LGBTQ Muslims and also devoid of any real compassion — the kind the Quran and the prophet warranted. I’m an observant straight Muslim man who has come to know a couple of lesbian Muslimahs closely. Knowing and observing what they go through and how they struggle with themselves, I find this article pedantic, arrogant and entirely unhelpful. Muslim leaders need to figure out a way to address injustices in our community and really enact the Prophet (s.w)’s compassion and vision, without lapsing back to antiquated teachings. Much of our tradition is hetero-normative and patriarchal and that is hardest to admit for us men sometimes, because it caters to our perception of the world and ignores all other possibilities.

    • Avatar

      M. Mahmud

      November 15, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      White-knighting is an annoying phenomenon. I suggest you show some respect to the author and cut down on the arrogance you display.

      There is a consensus that same sex acts are forbidden in this deen. Whoever considers it halal is guilt of kufr unless he is ignorant. The command of Allah for this Ummah lasts until yawm al Qiyamah. The Sunnah of Rasulullah sallahualayhiwasalam has never been and will never be obsolete.

      In any case, I hope you do know, the Sahaba RA agreed that the punishment of the sodomite is death. They only differed on how to execute him. Females who engage in the act are also punished under Shari’ah.

      Of course there is court and due process but it doesn’t change the fact that there are severe punishments for sexual acts in the law of Allah. They have not been abrogated except in the minds of apostates and other disbelievers.

      • Avatar


        November 16, 2014 at 12:10 AM

        Relax. He’s making a thoughtful observation, not issuing an Islamic fatwa. As a woman who struggles with the same feelings, I find it offensive that the article didn’t address the issue and help that 19 year old young lady find solutions, but rather just point out to her all the proofs why she can’t live that life, when she wasn’t exactly saying she was going to justify it.

    • Avatar


      November 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      you know, brother you criticized and you did not actually give an solutions. You are openly bashing another Muslim on a Muslim website. Your criticisms are general and without merit. You can look into this sister’s brain to know her knowledge? Yet you claim she lacks compassion. You can see her heart? May Allah guide you to the sunnah.

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    November 14, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    There is a recent collective reply written to a questioning muslimah which may also be helpful to questioning and struggling lgbtq brothers and sisters: h

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      November 17, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      What does auto straddle have anything to with the Islamic viewpoint of sexuality, let alone homosexuality ? Nothing.

      • Avatar


        November 18, 2014 at 8:25 AM

        Certainly no one website or individuals has the end all and be all perspectives on Islam. Just because you dismiss the perspectives of lgbtq muslimahs does not mean others do. If this is whole conversation is in the context and desire to preserve the meaningful life of another being than all outlets are appropriate to support them.

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        December 8, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        this is just a trend and a fashion these days. It’s not acceptable in the faith to act on these impulses. and it’s wrong to be offering examples of coupling in this manner. If one has this orientation, first of all, how is one really sure it’s not an abnormality that could be diminished or decreased based on circumstances, situations, and relationship to God; secondly, why on earth go public with it? this is not the way we should deal with it. If one has this kind of sexual orientation, stay single, stay chaste, put your energy into other things in life. you don’t have to express sexuality. just like a woman who is straight but never gets married. she should not be expressing her sexuality. sexuality is only expressed in a marriage between a male and a female.

  31. Avatar

    Ibn Adnan Al-Yutaawi

    November 15, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    You do know that Haleh Banani is a contributor to Muslimmatters. It literally says thhat on the very page you linked to.

    • Avatar

      Ibn Adnan Al-Yutaawi

      November 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      This was meant for brother ANMB. I don’t know how it got here.

  32. Avatar


    November 16, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    I keep checking back on this website to see if some kind of helpful response is going to be posted in regards to this topic. There hasn’t been. Instead, I came across an article by Yasir Qadhi on the Muslim belief of aliens. Because that’s so direly important in our lives, right? #addressrealissuesplease #helpus

  33. Avatar


    November 16, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    It’s been years for me to keep myself denying about it, until finally I acknowledge myself that I suffer that kind of problem, just like 19 years old girl mentioned above. I’m not going to blame anyone, but I just only want so share you an advice, especially for those who already have children. For you, parents, please raise up your children carefully, watch their interaction with their peers. If you have a son, don’t let them play TOO MUCH with the girls nor play with girl’s toys (doll, etc) (unless you can make sure it’s normal and not harmful to them). If you’re a dad, please take care of your children also, you play an important role to both, your son and your daughter, and it’s not only your wife’s task, but it’s your responsibility also. Please take care of them.. I beg!

    I don’t know, something that I remember is just when I was a toddler, I used to play with my friends, which most of them were girls, I was raised up by someone else that my parent put a trust on her, and I had a closer interaction with my mom far less than my dad. It’s kind of extertal factors that crave me, myself into the one I look on the mirror everyday.

    I’ve been searching for any practical solutions but found none. I’m a muslim, but deep inside I feel like that I’m a hypocrite. I’m 23 years old, but I’m still searching for my true identity. I’m joining my local masjid youth community, but have no one to tell, because I’m afraid they’ll leave me since I’m different. Sometimes, I feel so depressed not knowing what am I supposed to do. I need your prayers and please take care of your children

    • Avatar


      December 1, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      suggestion: read what this woman says. She actually describes how most Muslims in history would deal with their orientation (being non-hetero is not a new phenomenon. It existed before. but it was not proclaimed and people were not prodded by society at large to act upon it)

      • Avatar


        December 8, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        great website and this is a really good article to read:
        ”Figuring out what it means to be gay or not gay can steal your joy and rob you of intimacy with the One who probably isn’t freaking out about it quite as much as you are; He probably just wants your heart. I only write about things gay to say The Gay isn’t God, and it should never eclipse our focus on the One who’s worthy of all our affections and all our hours of obsession. Our energy would be well spent just living a story of worship. ”
        and this: ”what if you just kind or bracket these questions for a bit? The world is so big and your life—who you are—is so much bigger than this one conflict.”

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  35. Avatar

    Amal Ibrahim

    November 21, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    I would first like to say to the young lady that inspired this discussion and everyone else

    May Allah guide and protect you and keep your feet firm on His path.

    I would like to advise something which may not be popular with others. First, I think she needs to approach the community again whether that be MSA or a local masjid or whatever. In the same way that we don’t want others to give up on us, we shouldn’t give up on others. I do believe that she should try a different approach. She could write to someone in the community. For one, when you write, people are more likely to “listen” rather than when you are talking and they simply don’t hear what you’re saying. I’d approach it like this:

    As-Salamu Alaikum

    Recently a close friend confided in me that she was struggling with SSA. Because I know her background, I knew that it must have been extremely difficult for her to tell me and I also knew that she must have been desperate for help. Since I didn’t believe I was able to offer her the help she needed, I suggested she attend an MSA meeting. That way she could bring up the subject or approach someone individually about the subject. She didn’t feel comfortable and said she was afraid that she would be judged or shunned in some way. So, I told her that I’d bring it up the next time I went and tell her what happened.

    While I expected that it wouldn’t be an easy subject to bring up, I didn’t expect the response I got. It was unfortunate that when I brought up the subject, instead of getting advice I got insults and ridicule. This was disappointing because it is not from the sunnah to turn someone away when he/she is seeking your help/advice. Also, it forced me to try avoiding my friend because I didn’t know what to tell her.

    So, I am approaching MSA (or whoever) again in hopes of getting a better response. My friend, and perhaps others, believes in Allah and all the tenets of our faith. She, as others, is struggling with a desire she knows to be wrong and alhamdulillah she has not acted on it, but still it exists. She would like to know if there is anyone she can talk to that may be able to help her deal with it and by the Grace of Allah overcome it. If there is no one in MSA who can, perhaps she could be directed toward someone who can.

    Jazakum Allahu Khary
    Wa Salam

    I do not know that such an approach would work, but I would hope that it would. I think it’s important that she be able to approach people in her community who are nearby because there’s only so much self-help books and online forums can do. It is a struggle as other struggles though I believe it may be more difficult today because now we live in a world that wants to force us to accept all kinds of sins no matter how grave.

    As others have said, she must continue to pray, including the last 3rd of the night, make dua, read qur’an, fast and do her best to avoid those things and people that might pull her down. And this is advice for any number of struggles.

    I commend her for seeking out help and I pray that she will continue to do so and not be discouraged by ignorant responses which she is no doubt likely to come across from time to time. Even that is a test. Shaytan wants to pull us away from Allah and discouraging us from seeking help or from trying to do what’s right is one of the ways he uses.

    Again, may Allah guide and protect us all and keep our feet firm on His path such that our actions are only what pleases Him.

  36. Avatar


    November 26, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    This was an very informative post and I pray that the young sister who first posed the question gets the help and encouragement she deserves towards staying upon the Right Path. Also may Allah reward both the author and commenters who’ve already provided such much needed advice and encouragement to the sister here in the article’s comments section. I just wanted to add how disappointing it was to read about the way the sister’s MSA treated her situation in a way that lacked any sort of sensitivity or care. Muslims should be taught the correct manners in giving advice and encouragement towards others, which does not involve name-calling and indifference. Since we know not to make light of a person’s struggles with other issues (such as drug addiction or sexual promiscuity) we should extend the same common courtesy to those of us dealing with this particular issue. Finally I just want to mention how important it for more Muslims to go into counseling and social work. We need more such people in the field who are sensitive to the unique ways Muslims handle personal issues such as these.

  37. Avatar


    November 26, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    I think the biggest takeaway from this issue, not so much this article though, is that we have a real duty not just to other Muslims, but to all people, to treat them justly and fairly.

    We can have our beliefs and opinions on stuff like this and also maintain respect and love for those who are outside of our view. What disturbs me about how many Muslims react to gay and lesbian people isn’t that they believe that homosexuality is sinful, it is that they outcast, hate, and dishonor them.

    Gay and lesbian people are murdered, raped, beaten up, and jailed all over the world. In many places they experience a high rate of poverty, drug abuse, disease, and prostitution. Even in places like America which are supposedly liberal countries you have young people now committing suicide over this stuff. It’s madness!

    We are in a tricky situation as people of faith who, in the orthodox tradition, have a teaching that runs counter to the moral view of homosexuality of the times.

    We shouldn’t change our Scripture, but we should humanize these people. They ARE human. They DO have souls. They DO yearn for God like all creation. When we turn them away, when we do not act with compassion, when we speak without respect, we push them out of a state of Islam, and THAT is a grave sin.

    We all have our opinion. We need to keep them to ourselves and speak with love and humility first and foremost. Sometimes, people don’t need you to give them a quick and easy answer, they just want you to listen, to love, and a nice hug and some cocoa.


  38. Avatar


    November 26, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Salam alikom,
    First I would like to thank Brother Yehia who introduced me to this blog.
    I think I can say I am gay Muslim , not proud about being gay. Many would be judgemental – I understand. I have been struggling now for past 20 ys. I came out to 4 of my friends and 2 of them were supportive and one was ok and the fourth I told him about myself as he was so close to me and I did not want to lie to him , he told me he will be supportive however if he feels I have attraction to him he will go away . I had attraction to him and few weeks later I revealed to him about it as I was in a mental state I am seeking repentance from Allah – and wanted to clean up my plate with my friend – his answer was he will pray for me but we can’t be friends as according to him- he is a source of sin. He is 2000 miles away so there is no way to meet him . All I wanted to keep our friendship pure.
    People act as they have no sin and they don’t forgive. If my friend were supportive I would stop seeing other guys , all I wanted is to feel accepted .
    He increased my feeling that I am rejected. If Allah forgives why mankind don’t
    Every Muslim man one who struggles his homosexuality, is really in pain. We are fighting not to be sinful and condemned to hell, instead of cursing us , please keep us in your prayers , we are seeking repentance of Allah.

  39. Avatar


    November 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Arabian Peninsula is more or less a desert with very few rivers and rainy seasons. Farming and forest for food is obviously scares. Not many means for an easy survival. In an environment which is rather hostile to human population growth to maintain the population more birth of babies is obviously required.
    That’s why originally Jews find homosexuality as some acts of union not resulting in babies, then roman (Christens) and finally Muslims. Specially Muslims as they need more men for wars. In case these men indulge in physical acts with each other results in less contact with women which results in missing a chance of getting them pregnant and thus a delay of an year for baby to be born and in finally results in less number of men for war in respective year in future or girl reaching child bearing age late by an year.
    This way acts of homosexuality get annoyed and disapproved. I don’t think it has anything to do with god or sins. Any acts which don’t cause any harm physically or mentally to other human can’t be sinful. So act of homosexuality can be sinful and non-sinful as per circumstances.

  40. Avatar


    December 8, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    for a Muslim, homosexuality is not allowed to be expressed in actions. If one is homosexual, no problem. no one should be making fun of such people or any one else having a hard time or facing challenges. but the thing is that it has become popularized in our culture now – it’s something that people are pushed to pursue. this is wrong. pursue other things in your life, but don’t openly pursue sin. there are many ways to resist sin. if i am an alcoholic, i will always have a tendency – and many have shown that certain people are BORN with that tendency in their genes – to drink. I need to keep away from triggers. Because I know that drinking is a sin. Same with acting out homosexual expression. It is a sin. if you have a tendency towards it, find out how to resist it. stay away from tempting situations where you are likely to fall. If an alcoholic keeps focusing on the alcohol and how he/she can’t do what other normal non alcoholics do, then he/she will be miserable. but if that person accepts how they are and just pursues other shared goals such as Eternal Bliss with God, then they can successfully bracket their issue and move on.

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  42. Avatar


    December 31, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    You didn’t actually answer the girl’s question or offer her comfort, you just used this as a soapbox for your own opinions on LGBTQ+ people and another blogger. Perhaps you should put aside your personal feelings and think about the feelings of the girl who sent you this question looking for help and comfort.

  43. Avatar


    March 8, 2015 at 3:29 AM

    I believe many of the muslim men nowadays have forgotten one of the many prohibitions of the religion. This is with regards to, looking a young, beardless men. Many people may raise their eyebrows upon hearing this but the reality is a lot of the scholars have warned against this including sheikh salih al-munajjid. The warning of this munkar speaks volumes for itself.

    There is really a huge problem in society I believe, when young Muslims are openly speaking about this. This is a disease which affects some of the Muslim ummah. having such discourse in public will only cause people to become more “open” about their homosexuality and consequently adopting the notion ” homosexuality is permissible”

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      Hue Man

      June 29, 2015 at 2:40 PM

      These discussions must be had so that our families and youth learn how to navigate what is being discussed on a national scale. If we dont teach our children, someone else will.

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      August 22, 2015 at 10:57 PM

      What an ignorant post, I hope more muslim men and women struggling with this issue speak out and seek help OPENLY, do you realise by hiding and feeling ashamed how much it is taxing them psychologically and robbing them of opportunities?. Its amazing straight people commenting on issues they have no clue about, how would you like it if you were told not to have sex with your wife anymore after the first child is born, to hide your feelings for her and vice versa, pretend you are ok with it, thats what homosexuals are going through, the ones struggling with the trait. I am sure you must have felt such pangs when growing up as a young man and dealing with new found attraction to the opposite gender, you could be open about it, deal with it, talk freely about it to anyone, homosexuals cant do that, and the few who dare to you are telling them literally to shut up.

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        December 19, 2015 at 3:57 AM

        Ali, very well said.

        I know this might be too late and I am not really sure how many people are still following this blog, but it is a very interesting subject.

        I find it amusing on how people try to convince you to “shut-up” and pray- really?! Well, let me tell you something.. Islam is about loving God and loving your religion- if you pray just because you need to pray, simply like a robot, do you really think that means you are being a truthful Muslim? What happened to “God, Aza wa jal, knowing what’s inside you and what you hide?”

        Brothers and sisters, God, Aza wa jal, knows your struggle and he choose you to test your patience (Saber)

        Being Gay isn’t anyless from any other disease or struggle, it’s actually a much worst disease than anyone can imagine. Just think about being ill, and how diffecult for you to live a normal life while you are ill and on top of that your internals are going thru a daily struggle because you know you are doing something that will upset our lord. And to top it off, you have to hide it from your family, friends and even your truthful self. Just imagine this image of illness and you tell me how would you feel?

        What drives me crazy, the most, is when people lecture you for the sake of lecturing- well, put your self in their shoes and then judge them or advise them. Islam is about accepting what you are and trying your best to be who you want. If you want to not be gay, that is amazing and am sure God, Aza wa jal will be very proud of you. Just think of his reward at the end. من ترك شيئا لله ، عوضه الله خيرا منه (whoever let go of something for the sake of God, God, Aza wa jal will have the reward for you) not his people, not the sheikh who lectures you. So my advise is before you listen to someone lecturing you, make sure you believe in what you are doing. If the desire to not be gay is coming from the inside, not just a momentum of feeling guilty that will fade away, then do it and don’t let anyone stop you. God will have the reward for you and will make it easy on you inshallah.

        Ummrah, yes it could help, but again, before you do anything you have to be truthful to yourself, if there is as much as 1% in you accepting you being gay and wanting to give up, then jus give up because you won’t succeed. Just be truthful and God, Aza wa jal will give you all the tools and power to succeed.

        Make sure to keep this to your self, I know how hard it is and I know how much of a struggle it is, but trust me, keep it for your self (اذا بُلِيتُم فاستتروا) just keep it between you and God and inshallah you will find the light at the end of the tunnle. Don’t let those مستشخيين (people that act to be sheikhs) do disscarage you from being a better person. It takes VERY strong souls to do what you are doing, so don’t give up. Try to do wodo at night, pray to God and just talk to him, cry, let it off your chest- many said it in this forum, God is closer to you than you think. Be truthful, he will help you. He will be proud of you inshallah for trying to be what he wants you to be. Take it one step at a time, we are all humans and we do mistakes and whoever tell you that you are a bad person is indeed a devil themselves. God is your only judge. Believe in his faith and do your best, and leave the rest for him.

        I am not a doctor nor a skiekh. I am a simple, educated (engineer) man who struggled with his sexual identity for many years. I lived in the US for a decade and I lived the Middle East and in the Gulf area, nothing really helped. It’s not about the location or the friends. It’s about you. I try to be a good Muslim and do everything in my power to avoid bad moments, I failed few times and I did commit sins (no I didn’t sleep with men if that what you are thinking) but I did things that I am not happy about, but I stood in Gods hands and knew that he listened to me and I know that he is always there as long as I keep trying. As I said, I failed few times, but I succeeded so many other times. Not because I am smart or educated or rich or bla bla blah. No, because God listened to me and helped successed. You will be amazed how much God loves you, when you are truthful to him. You can pray all day long, but the minte you are truthful to God, that what it counts. Don’t give up, because I know I won’t inshallah. May Allah Aza wa jal guide us all to the right path and I am very proud of everyone that spoke up about this. You fearing God is more important that fearing his creations.

  44. Avatar

    Deborah Aulefer

    May 12, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Well I speak from a non-religious perspective here. I don’t have an issue with anyone’s sexual orientation. Neither do I have a problem with someone holding a religious belief, as long as they do not act in an intimidating or violent way with that as an excuse. Interesting read, anyhow.

  45. Avatar


    May 27, 2015 at 3:47 AM

    Of course, simply desiring something sinful might not held us accountable but if a person willingly desire something inful eventhough he or she know it is wrong, the person must top it and try to channel his or her mind to more positive things.Example, a man who always desire a girlfriend or desire watching pornography must try to stop his desire by finding himself a wife to marry or fasting to control his desire

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  47. Avatar


    May 11, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    Interesting read.
    I wonder whether anyone helped that girl to reconcile her religious beliefs and her sexuality before make her the subject of their “blog”.

    I also find it extremely offensive that it is so easy for the author to compare homosexuality to beastiality and peadophelia.

    Where does it specify that homosexual intercourse is “more haram” than hetrosexual intercourse? No where. They are both haram. Yet somehow we wouldn’t be so quick to compare a boy and a girl having sex out of wedlock to people having sex with dogs or raping children.

  48. Avatar


    May 15, 2016 at 4:30 AM

    I am a 30 year old male born and raised in a muslim household. A Strict and religious upbringing along with love and compassion is what i grew up with. I was born “abnormal” and from what I have been taught, my sins from a previous life have caused the homosexuality. I am told that an eternity in hell and a horrible life awaits me should i continue on this path.
    A brief outline on my situation:

    1. God created me as a gay man due to my sins.
    2. God stated in the quran that i will be put to death and suffer in hell.
    3. I am not allowed to act on my desires or i will suffer in hell (this is redundant due to 2)
    4. I must repent on my sins even though I will still go to hell
    5. God created me as a gay man who will go to hell but chose to put me on earth beforehand. ????
    6. I am expected to defy god by living a different lifestyle and way than he created me which is a sin in itself.
    7. Praying an emotion away is a nonsensical statement and my love for my male partner is exactly that. I don’t need to have sex with him to love him.
    8. There is as much evidence supporting the hypothesis that a flying spaghetti monster is the almighty as there is the other few thousand deities but im expected to believe in this one.
    9. Study upon study has shown that you cannot change your sexual orientation yet im expected to waste my life trying and trying and praying the gay away.
    10. My family will be devastated, shamed by the community and will have nothing to do with me if i choose to continue being gay (like its a choice).
    11. Beastiality and pedophilia are sexual desires yet my love for my male partner is apparently comparitable.

    In conclusion, you’re dammed if you do and you’re dammed if you don’t so might as well do what makes you happy.

  49. Avatar

    Uncle Bilal

    June 18, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    For those Muslims who are dealing with these matters or those who want to help, direct Muslims to “The Straight Struggle Group on Yahoo. There real help & real conversations can happen with people who know what they are talking about & dealing with.

  50. Avatar

    joe macey

    June 30, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Very normal now to be gay and Muslim. No problem

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Social Justice

Podcast: Priorities and Protest | On Muslim Activism with Shaykhs Dawud Walid and Omar Suleiman

Islam teaches us to stand up for justice, to enjoin good and forbid evil, and to help our brother whether he’s the oppressor or the oppressed, but how?

To help us fully understand the answer to this question, we have the honor of speaking to not one, but two subject matter experts on Muslim activism. Dr. Omar Suleiman and Shaykh Dawud Walid are both scholars, authors, and Imams internationally known for their work in civil rights and social justice.

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Excerpts from the interview:

“You can’t say I don’t believe any bad things about black people because I love Sayyiduna Bilal. We have to move past, and move beyond the tokenization of Bilal and talk about the haqeeqah (reality) of America and how the broader super culture really has influenced a lot of anti-black frameworks inside the Muslim community of those who are not black.” – Shaykh Dawud Walid

'We believe very deeply that our deen calls us to stand for the sanctity of life and to stand against oppression, and to stand against state violence and all that it represents in this regard.' - Imam Omar SuleimanClick To Tweet

“We can never elevate any other cause to where we equate it to anti-blackness in America, we can and rightfully should point to the fact that the same frames that have been used to justify state violence and white supremacy embedded in state policy towards black people in America is what guides America’s foreign policy and imperialism as well.” – Imam Omar Suleiman

'When the Muslim community stands up for the importance of black life, it is standing up for itself and with itself.' - Shaykh Dawud WalidClick To Tweet

“You know your name, and you know what land your family came from and you know the language that they spoke. Imagine the centuries of trauma that African Americans have gone through in this country, where we were brought here as chattel, like a cow or a chicken, our children were separated from our parents, our names were taken from us, our language, our culture, our religion, and then we were forced into the religion of Christianity, and the psychological warfare and violence of then having to look at a picture of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus that looked just like our slave-master, and to be told that our slave master looked more like the embodiment of civilization and purity of Jesus. And then we looked at ourselves and we saw the exact opposite. And then this dehumanization, being baked into every single system of the socio-political life of black people in America.

Anyone who is named Jones in America, it’s because their great, great grandfather was owned by someone named Jones. It has nothing to do with their lineage or their culture. And people like me, who are lighter skinned African-Americans – there’s no one from Senegal or Gambia indigenously who looks like me – it’s because my great grandfather’s mother was raped by a white man on a plantation in South Carolina. What we face in America isn’t just a moment or two of discrimination here or there.” – Shaykh Dawud Walid

'Why should cops with a list of seventeen prior violations of excessive force still be on the force? Why is it that penalizing of everyone but the police exists?' - Imam Omar SuleimanClick To Tweet

“Many Muslims feel very stressed when they’re driving across the border to Canada or flying back into the country. They’re very fearful about CBP or about being interrogated or held. Take that feeling, multiply it by about three, and imagine every day of your life living in America feeling that way. That’s about the best way I can explain it, but if you’re black AND you’re Muslim, that’s double trouble.” – Shaykh Dawud Walid

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Continue Reading


Raised by Converts

Note to the reader:  Some Muslims debate which term we should use for someone who has chosen to accept Islam. Is it supposed to be “convert” or “revert?”  In this article, I choose to use the word “convert.”  Before I start receiving comments from individuals who are convinced that the term “revert” is the only correct one, I would like to share this superb article on the issue written by Ricardo Peña, who says it better than I ever could.  

Nuha* thought she had found her soulmate and future life partner in Joel*, her co-worker. He was kind, hardworking, and charming, and the young couple wanted to get married.  Nuha’s father, however, would not give his blessing to the union because the potential groom had recently converted to Islam.  Nuha’s dad wanted his daughter to marry a man who had grown up in a Muslim family and therefore, presumably, had years of Islamic experience and fairly solid religious knowledge. He speculated about some of the things Joel might have done before embracing Islam and whether he had any habits that would be hard to break. He also thought it would be wiser for his daughter to marry someone from the same background; he doubted a white guy would really know how to relate to a Pakistani-American girl and her desi family. Most of all, he worried that Joel would not know enough about Islam to be a good husband, father, and imam of his family.  

Was Nuha’s father justified? Do converts make good spouses and parents? Can they ever truly move on from any un-Islamic aspects of their past and adhere to their new deen

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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How do converts attain the knowledge necessary to raise children with Islamic knowledge, taqwa, and adab?

To answer this question I spoke with six Muslims who grew up in a household where one or more parents were converts to Islam. Their answers give insight into the true dynamics of what happens when converts raise children.  

Khadijah is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach from the United Kingdom. Her mother, a white British woman, converted when Khadijah was eight years old.  When she and Khadijah’s father had divorced, she had felt a need to find a deeper meaning in life. This searching led her to Islam.  

“My mum taught me Islam in stages,” explains Khadijah. “As she learnt things, she passed them onto me. We went to study circles together, and we learnt to pray together as well. She wrote the transliteration of the prayer on little blue cards for us to hold whilst we prayed. I wouldn’t say her knowledge was sufficient at the time, but whose knowledge is? I learnt valuable lessons as I watched her do her own reading, leaning, and questioning. I felt like we stumbled through together. As I grew up, this taught me Islam is a constant journey, and it’s ok to ask questions.”

Shaheda, a freelance writer from North Carolina, grew up in different circumstances than Khadijah, but the women’s stories have definite parallels. Shaheda’s parents are African Americans who were both raised in traditional southern Christian families. The pair converted to Islam in the 1960s when they were college students who were active in the Civil Rights movement. They began to learn about Islam after their introduction to leaders like Malcolm X.  

As different as her parents’ life experiences were from Khadijah’s mum’s, Shaheda enjoyed the same benefit of being able to see her parents growing and changing due to the love of Islam. “My parents were learning Islam as they were raising us,” explains Shaheda, “and so their increase in knowledge was tangible to us. We grew up in a community where you would see the physical manifestations of knowledge acquisition. The style of dress of the sisters became more modest, the separation of women and men became more pronounced in social gatherings, social gatherings took on a more religious tone, we began to attend Sunday school to learn Quran and Arabic.”

Though it may come as a surprise to some, in families where one spouse was a born to a Muslim family and the other is a convert, the convert is often actually the more knowledgable and practicing parent. Aliyah is a family counselor from the Midwestern United States whose Indian mother and white American father met when they were partners in pre-med.  “My dad had read about ‘Mohammedans’ and would ask my mom lots of questions about them,” explains Aliyah. “My mom was raised in a home that was only culturally Muslim. Plus, back then most immigrants just wanted to assimilate. She didn’t really know the answer to my dad’s intensive questions. One day she suggested he ask her father the same questions. My grandfather took him to the ISNA convention where he could ask more knowledgeable people. Alhumdulilah he got all his questions answered and converted!”

 She continues, “As a little kid we always looked at my dad as the sheikh of the house. We all agree that he’s the reason my family is even practicing. He would always patiently entertain and answer my questions, read me stories about the Prophets and Seerah, and really focus on aqeedah and comparative religions.  When I grew up and both our levels of knowledge needed to grow, we learnt together. As a teen, my dad and I would walk to the masjid together and attend the Friday night halaqa. In college, our favorite thing to do was attend al Maghrib classes. I would ditch my friends and discuss with him what we had learned during the lunch break.”

For Iman,* a stay at home mom who grew up between the United States and the Middle East, it was her convert mother — not her Arab father — who was her main Islamic influence.  “I was about 6-7 years old when my mom converted,” she explains.  “I grew up celebrating Christmas and Eid. We had a Christmas tree in our living room for the first several years of my life. My mother, who was raised a Southern Baptist, embraced Islam when my youngest brother was a baby, so for most of his life she was a practicing Muslim. We learned most of what we know from her.  I remember as a child seeing stacks of books on the dining table that she would check out of the masjid library to read and learn. She was a very intelligent woman who knew more about Islam than lots of born Muslims.”

Based on her own experiences, Iman asserts, “Generally speaking, I think converts are more knowledgeable than born Muslims. It can be challenging,” she adds, “when the convert is more serious about deen than their born-Muslim spouse.”

Anisa, a former teacher from Missouri, agrees with Iman.  “In some ways, I feel converts may have more Islamic knowledge than born Muslims because they have had to search for the knowledge themselves as opposed to growing up with it. Also,” she adds, “many born Muslims have grown up with so much culture mixed with the religion that the difference between the two can get blurred.”

Anisa’s mom, a white American woman who was raised Christian, met some Muslims at Oklahoma Baptist College back in 1970.  She started conversations with them in the hopes of converting them to Christianity, but ended up intrigued by their faith. She took an Islamic History class and read whatever books she could find at the library. She decided to become a Muslim at an MSA conference and made her shahada in 1973. “By the time my mother was raising my sisters and me, she definitely knew all the basics of Islam and was able to teach us,” says Anisa.

“She was the main parental source of knowledge for us, although we also attended Sunday school.”Click To Tweet

Mustafa is the child of an Egyptian dad and an American mom. He was born in the U.S. but raised primarily in Egypt where he was surrounded by Muslims, and yet his convert mother was a huge inspiration to him in his faith. “I know that I loved my mom so much,” Mustafa says.  “I felt that she had done the decision-making process for us. That if someone so smart, clever, and precise figured out Islam was the Truth, it must be.” 

“My mom became Muslim in the early 80s,” explains Mustafa. “She learned about Islam from her students while completing her Masters at the University of Illinois-Champagne. She was teaching English as a second language to Malaysian exchange students. She also ended up living with them and learning about Islam from them. People always assumed my mom converted for my dad,” muses Mustafa. “She didn’t even know him when she converted!”

As positive as their experiences were, overall, with the guidance of their convert parents, life was not always easy for the children who grew up with one born-Muslim parent and one convert. Many times, stereotypes about race, ethnicity, and cultural differences complicated their relationships with extended family members and outsiders. Both as children and as adults, many of them had to cope with people’s misconceptions and tactlessness.  

“I was always teased,” confides Aliyah.  “I’ve been called ‘half Muslim,’ ‘zebra,’ and ‘white girl’ in a derogatory way. Aunties always questioned if I was taught Islam properly. People would assume my dad converted for love (the pet peeve of my whole family). I would hear talk in Urdu in the masjid kitchen that I couldn’t cut an onion because I’m white. It was hard for us when we were getting married to find someone that clicked with us because we were so culturally different than everyone we knew.”

“Kids are rough,” adds Mustafa.  “Muslims can be ignorant, stereotypical, and not know what is offensive. Someone asked my sister, ‘Did your dad marry your mom because she wore a bikini?’ We were oddities at school in Egypt when people would see my mom pick us up from school. I was actually embarrassed to be seen with her for a while growing up, just because of all the attention it got me.”

I was “the white girl” in a Muslim school,” explains Khadijah, “and whilst that made the other girls very aware of who I was, there was always an element of separation there. I didn’t feel white. I didn’t feel Pakistani or Gujarati. I don’t feel like it affected me in either a negative or positive way. I got used to not completely belonging and forged my own ‘culture.’ I married an Afro-Caribbean brother, so my children have such a mix of cultures around them and I think it’s pretty beautiful. Whether my upbringing influenced this or not, I don’t know!”

While Shaheda did not feel any religious tension within her extended family, (“I understand from firsthand experience how people of different faiths can coexist in love and mutual respect,” she says), she does experience some difficulty from her brothers and sisters in Islam.  She reports “having to repeatedly validate my identity as an actual Muslim to those who don’t have the same experience. The assumption that there may be something missing or not quite Muslim enough is troublesome.” 

Wisdom to Share

These children of converts with their unique experiences and courageous dedication to their faith have excellent wisdom to share with the Ummah.  

Aliyah, whose work as a counselor focuses especially on Muslim families, has advice for Muslim parents whose marriage is mixed, either culturally or racially. “To youth,” she says, “identity matters SO MUCH, especially in this day and age when that’s all anyone ever talks about. If you’re a white convert parent of brown/black kids, identify your privilege that comes with that. If your kids are brown or black…learn about what that means in America. When I was with my non-Muslim relatives they would just make me feel so ‘other.’ They would focus on my exotic look and beliefs and just make me feel like an alien.” 

She continues, “Research things to consider when you are raising a child that is a different ethnicity than you. Ask your kids how they feel about it. Have an open conversation. Teach them about valuing both their cultural backgrounds.”

Khadijah’s advice to Muslim parents is,

“Learn WITH your children. Let them see that you’re still learning and struggling as well. Let them experience the journey with you. They’ll learn more that way than through lectures. You don’t have to act like you have everything figured out.” 

I believe the constant cycling in of converts into Muslim communities is a great blessing,” offers Shaheda. “And with that blessing comes a responsibility. We owe them our support, wisdom, and love, and I think we should take that responsibility very seriously. We should create bonds. These individuals who Allah has chosen as believers among disbelievers are special, and they keep us on our spiritual toes. There are multitudes of blessings when a community gains a new convert.”

When I asked them if they would have any concerns about their own children marrying converts, all of the interviewees answered a firm “no.”  They realize that a person’s dedication to Islam is not guaranteed by being born into it, or even raised with it. 

Converts — people who chose Islam as mature adults after a great deal of research, soul-searching, and personal transformation — are among our Ummah’s most passionate, educated, and sincere members.  

*Names have been changed

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The Beginnings Of The Darul Islam Movement In America

I was raised in the Darul Islam movement; my father Shaykh Abdu-Karim Ahmad, was one of their Imams for a time in Philly. So was my cousin Shaykh Ali Ahmad. Both who are still alive today. There are many narrations yet to be told, that shed a little light and context, about Muslim America today.

Much of the history about Islam in United States of America and of the pioneering Muslims upon who’s shoulders we stand, has never been told. Some of them unfortunately may never be told and may die with the death of those who were there. When it comes to American Muslim history, the narratives of those who lived it is more poignant than that of those who only heard about it. As in the hadith of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), “He who is told is not like he who has seen”.

Much of what is written about Black American Muslim Sunni pioneers is written about us but not by us. 

One story that has remained largely unchronicled is that of the Darul Islam movement. Darul Islam was an early indigenous Sunni Muslim community made up of Black American Muslims and converts to Islam. At its height, it comprised 25-30 Muslim communities and masaajid across the country. It was started by Rajab Mahmood and Yahya Abdul-Karim, who were formally attendees of the famous State Street Mosque in Brooklyn, New York in the Atlantic Ave area west of Flatbush. The State St, Mosque which was started by was Dawud Faisal, a Black man who came to the United States from the Caribbean to pursue a career in jazz music, became a beacon for early Muslim immigrants as there was already a spate of Arab businesses along Atlantic Ave near third street, not far from the Mosque. My father used to take us to Malko Brothers bakery on Atlantic Ave in the early sixties where we would buy pita bread and halal meat from one of the other stores. It was one of the few places you could buy pita bread on the East Coast and there was no such thing as a halal store in America then.  

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Partially because Shaykh Dawud was black, and perhaps because of his jazz background and affiliation, the Masjid also attracted Black American converts to Sunni Islam. Many early Sunni Muslims were associated with and came from jazz musicians.  The Legendary John Coltrane was reported to have been a Muslim, he was married to a sister named Amina and his daughter was named Na’eema. My father performed her marriage in New York in the 1980’s. It’s rumored that he never publicized his Islam because it would have damaged his career as it had done to so many others. Hajj Talib Dawud, who started a masjid in Philadelphia (not related to the Darul Islam movement), used to be a trumpet player for Dizzy Gillespie. 

Meanwhile, , there was a chasm between immigrant Muslims who were new to the country. Converts to Islam, who were overwhelmingly Black, were new to Islam.  In 1960, Shaykh Dawud hired a teacher who was Hafiz al-Quran named Hafiz Mah’boob — he was associated with the Tabligh Jamaa’ah movement— but he was Black or looked black. The young African American converts, Rajab Mah’mood, Yahya Abdulkarim, Suleiman Abdul-Hadi (my uncle and one of the founding members of The Last Poets), Muhammad Salahuddin, and others. were drawn to him, He was “down” with educating the brothers from America and he used to teach them Arabic and Islam. It was a different time then and the immigrant, mainly Arab Muslims, and the Black American converts to Islam were from two different worlds. There was an unspoken uneasiness. Eventually Hafiz Mah’boob suggested that the African American brothers go and start their own masjid.

Rajab Mah’mood and Yahya AbdulKarim eventually left the State Street Mosque and started their own Masjid in Brownsville, one of Brooklyn’s toughest neighborhoods, they named it Yasin Mosque, and that was the beginning of the Darul Islam Movement in the United States. That’s also just the beginning of the story.

I was born and raised a Sunni Muslim in Philadelphia, PA; my parents converted to Islam in the 1950’s.

I was raised in the Darul Islam movement; my father Shaykh Abdu-Karim Ahmad, was one of their Imams for a time in Philly. So was my cousin Shaykh Ali Ahmad. Both who are still alive today. There are many narrations yet to be told, that shed a little light and context, about Muslim America today.

History matters. 

Taken from the Upcoming Book. “The History of the Darul Islam Movement in America” 

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