iamnotharaam

Why LGBT+ Muslims should reclaim ‘haraam’ and denounce Islamic supremacy once and for all

The term ‘haraam’ has now become a tool for cishet Muslims to justify their oppression towards their LGBT+ counterparts and invalidate the identity of such Muslims who do not conform to the traditional sense of Islam. Traditional Islam is best described as the patriarchal interpretation of the Qur’anic texts and of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad SAW. However, the concept of upholding a ‘traditional’ Islam collapses on itself when one acknowledges that our very existence in today’s society contradicts said traditionalism. We are no longer the Muslims who observed 5th century Arab culture as an integral part of Islam and neither do we share their mind set, simply because we no longer live in such an era.

Islam has since spread across the globe and progressed some 1400 years ahead of its revelation, causing a natural discourse to how Islam is practised in many countries and households. This by no means suggests that there are no true followers of Islam, but rather that Islam is relevant to all people regardless of time and takes into account the variety of cultural practices over the ages. This best represents the nature of Islam, which God decreed was inherent in all his creation: past, present and future (and in both Muslims and non-Muslims). Islam is an inclusive religion which acknowledges and accepts all groups of people within society.

In Islam, the acts of a human being are divided into 5 distinguishable permissions: that which is obligatory (fard), that which is recommended (sunnah), that which is permissible (mubah), that which is hated (makrooh) and lastly, the focus of this topic, that which is prohibited (haraam). The word ‘haraam’ is used in Islamic texts as a term of classifying prohibited deeds. However, not once in the Qur’an, a text which Muslims believe to be the absolute word of God, are a specific group of people ever referred to as ‘haraam’, and yet cishet Muslims have decided to adopt this term when referring to their LGBT+ counterparts in order to project a sexual and gender superiority. Muslim supremacists have perverted this term in an attempt to create a black and white rhetoric, where one can easily distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Muslims. Those who are deemed un-Islamic, in this case the LGBT+ community, are denounced for their sexual and gender preferences and often referred to as ‘haraam’ beings, a term which seeks to nullify their claim as a Muslim. However, this rhetoric contradicts the Islamic belief that all humans are inherently Muslim in nature, and suggests that LGBT+ Muslims are excluded from the benevolence of Allah.

Taking this into consideration, the prejudicial notion we hold within the Muslim community that certain actions dictate who can or cannot be considered a Muslim is in fact regressive to the very core of Islam. As mentioned above, Islam is an inclusive religion which seeks to empower marginalised groups from their oppression, not reiterate it. The term ‘haraam’ has been used by Muslim supremacists to imbed a culture of associating LGBT+ Muslims as disbelievers and has led to a harmful dissociation from society. This culture degrades the status of a LBGT+ Muslim to that of a ‘kafir’, another abused term which seeks to dehumanise non-Muslims, and gives Muslim supremacists justification for the crimes committed towards LGBT+ Muslims.

Calling someone ‘haraam’ can be literally translated as someone who is prohibited, which encourages the harmful notion that their very existence as a human being is invalid. At the same time, by declaring a creation of Allah as prohibited, this suggests that Allah created a mistake – an implication which stretches into the boundaries of blasphemy.

This serves to highlight the dangers of associating a negative term with a marginalised group, and how the concept of a ‘haraam person’ even goes against the very nature of Allah. Muslims need to correct their attitude towards members of the Muslim LGBT+ community and understand that their actions and words have detrimental consequences, such as the normalisation of a harmful and oppressive culture that preys upon marginalised groups. These Muslims must break free from the intolerance deeply rooted within their traditional and supremacist culture in order to empower marginalised Muslims by preventing the injustices done towards the Muslim LGBT+ community and dispelling the negative connotations associated with them.

I AM NOT HARAM

Assalamu Alaikom !

Hey everybody, I hope this post finds you well J !

It’s that time of year again, Ramadan is coming! An exciting and spiritual time for all of us, definitely, but it can also be a very isolating and detaching time for LGBT Muslims.

Based on my humble experience, LGBTQ Muslims generally feel segregated on daily basis, but during Ramadan, it somehow gets worse.

A lot of people feel isolated due to (often vocal) homophobia from family & community (with Ramadan being a very communal holiday where most people spend a lot of time worshipping with others), that is highlighted especially if they’re still in the closet and\or wrestling with an identity they’re not 100% comfortable being open about with the people they’re around. For many LGBT Muslims, Imaan can be pretty shaky at times, due to feeling constantly tested or unworthy of God, etc. I also believe that many Muslims tend to generally be -ironically- more judgmental during this holy month, as they become “closer” to god.

But Regardless of the reasoning and analysis behind it, the outcome is always the same, feeling out of place, resented, and unwanted by those who are closest to our hearts.

Many of you remember the We Are Not Haram tag that @a-view-so-cruel started last year right before Ramadan, a lot of people found that to be incredibly helpful as it brought many people sharing the same experience together. Good news! We decided to do that again.

Of course, I’m hoping this year it will be bigger as we are seeing more and more queer Muslims opening up and interacting with us. This community keeps growing and we love it!

Here are the general guidelines

  • Photos optional (only if the person wants):  last year the tag made it to a news site, with pics of users included, so that should be noted for safety issues if the poster isn’t out yet. 
  • We would LOVE some personal stories (about coming out, or realizing who they are, etc. 
  • If the poster is comfortable talking about their personal struggles with sexuality/gender & religion/culture, etc, that would be very welcome and extremely helpful to the cause! – Remember, you can remain Anon  
  • If they’re not comfortable getting too personal, just a short introduction is still fine, of course
  • Allies are really more than welcome to express their support. PS:  You’re only an ally if you support and accept this. You’re NOT an ally if you “tolerate” us
  • Poster should note clearly if they don’t want their post reblogged. 
  • Articles about influential lgbt Muslims & lgbt Muslim news (preferably positive as I think this should strive to be as uplifting as possible, we don’t need reminders that we’re hated by many)
  • DO NOT: 
    • Reblog posts marked “don’t reblog”
    • Post homophobia/lesbophobia/biphobia/transphobia (obviously) 
    • Tag anyone without their permission 
    • Out anyone or make a post about/for your lgbt Muslim friend without their permission 
    • Derail the tag/discussions

God bless you all and may god guide us to his light during this holy month and throughout our lives. May Allah help us read his holy Quraan throughout the month, Help us do our prayers and find our wisdom by fasting to his name. May we all find ourselves. Ramadan Kareem !

For the record...

As salaamu alaikum, good peoples.

As you travel your respective journeys back to Allah, The Most Merciful, please be mindful of the struggles of your fellow Muslims. So as we strive to attain the pleasure of Allah, Ta'Ala, we are encouraged to remember that our fellow Muslims should be safe from harm caused by our words and deeds. This encouragement comes from the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, himself in solid, agreed upon ahadith.

May Allah continue to have Mercy on us all.

Love,

Kalani