Today is the start of Ramadan.
Ramadan (Arabic: رَمَضَان is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelation,the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset is fard (obligatory) for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating. The predawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the nightly feast that breaks the fast is called iftar.
The spiritual rewards (thawab) of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. Accordingly, Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behavior, devoting themselves instead to salat (prayer) and recitation of the Quran.
“Ramadan Mubarak” means “Have a blessed Ramadan”. “Ramadan Kareem” means “Have a generous Ramadan”. You don’t have to be participating in Ramadan to say “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem”. On the last day of Ramadan, which is Eid-al-fitr, the greeting changes to “Eid Mubarak.”
What’s it like being a Muslim for LGBTQI+ people?
Resources for LGBTQI+ Muslims
We’ve compiled a short list of resources below if you are looking for support.
Hidayah (means guidance in Arabic) is a registered charity and we are entirely volunteer-led. Hidayah is a secular organisation, however, its projects and activities are developed specifically for the needs of LGBTQI+ Muslims. Our vision is to ensure our voices are heard and understood. Our mission is to provide support and welfare for LGBTQI+ Muslims and promote social justice and education about our community to counter discrimination, prejudice and injustice. We are a mix of practising and non-practising Muslims. As an inclusive charity, we do not exclude anyone, and warmly welcome friends, families, and allies to all of our events.
At Hidayah, we offer a range of services including:
- Monthly events which are social meetups and safe spaces around the UK in the following locations: London, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow/Edinburgh & Cardiff/Newport
- Wellbeing & Spirituality WhatsApp group
Running a retreat which will be taking place in 2021. Sign up here!
“Walk With Me” Mentoring Programme provides invaluable advice and guidance to members that require it.
- Educational workshops, talks and conferences at universities
- Emotional and well-being support, safeguarding people at risk and signposting to other services
- Social media engagement, news, and articles via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Confidential email service offering support for yourself, a friend, or anyone else
- Volunteering opportunities
We aspire to create a society free from discrimination, if we do not currently operate in your area, email us to see if we can work with you to bring Hidayah to your city and expand the visibility of LGBTQI+ Muslims.
To promote equality and diversity for the public benefit and in particular the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, by specifically but not exclusively:
Working for the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
Advancing education and raising awareness in equality and diversity
What Our Members Say About Hidayah:
”These groups provide a safe space to discuss topics and gain support with like-minded people. It’s a place to vent and rant without the fear of being judged. It’s a safe space to be yourself.”
”Everyone in these groups are awesome and will accept you. We are there for one another because there may be many people who don’t get the support from their friends or family, or be able to openly discuss certain topics with them.”
“In addition to good banter, these groups are useful for those who wish to explore faith and spirituality. It is a platform to share verses
from scriptures, inspiring quotes, stories, and discuss morals and issues that concern LGBT+ people within faith and spirituality.”
The UK’s leading Muslim LGBTQ charity, supporting LGBT+ Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues regarding LGBT+ identity within Islam. It provides a safe space and support network to address issues of common concern through sharing individual experiences and institutional resources.
Naz and Matt foundation
The Naz and Matt Foundation exists to empower and support LGBTQI individuals as well as their friends and family to work towards resolving challenges linked to sexuality or gender identity, particularly where religion is heavily influencing the situation.
The Inclusive Mosque Initiative is dedicated to creating safe and inclusive places of worship and spiritual practice, to the promotion of inclusive Islamic principles, and to centring and uplifting the voices and experiences of marginalised people within our communities.
To us, that means having a critical awareness of the dynamics of power and privilege, and working against racism (including anti-blackness, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism), homophobia, gender-based discrimination, poverty, ableism, and environmental damage and all the ways these intersect.
In particular we express solidarity with immigrant, refugee, disabled, working class and poor, Black and brown people. We are critical of the State violence enacted on these communities through excessive surveillance, police brutality, the prison industrial complex, national borders, poverty and the Prevent duty, to name a few. In connection to this, we do not accept government funding.
In this process we are committed to learning from each other and welcoming differences of opinions and practice, and are willing to be held accountable by our community to ensure we uphold these values.
If you would like to know more, check out the following websites:
- Wikipedia – LGBT In Islam
- Muslims for Progressive Values
- Human Rights Campaign
- Guardian – ‘I feel caught in the middle’: queer Muslims on the LGBTQ lessons row