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Updated January 10, 2003
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful!

About Queer Jihad

What is Queer Jihad?

Queer Jihad is the queer Muslim struggle for acceptance: first, the struggle to accept ourselves as being exactly the way Allah has created us to be; and secondly, the struggle for understanding among Muslims in general.

'Jihad' is a misunderstood word: it means to struggle, to endeavor. Traditionally, the first and most important jihad is the struggle with one's self, one's nafs, one's selfish desires, the struggle to do good, to be good, to put into practice the beliefs and values we claim to possess. 'Queer jihad' is our own struggle with sexuality, with accepting it and dealing with it, and moving on, but it is also an endeavor to provide knowledge and foster understanding within the larger community.

Queer Jihad is not a formal organisation: it's an idea. We have no mosques; we are not a movement; we request no donations, neither do we accept them. We are not funded by any government or organisation. 

We are interested in the spiritual lives of gay and lesbian Muslims, and other queer Muslims. We are interested in encouraging queer people to remain true to their Creator, to grapple with the issues, to come to terms with who they are in whatever manner and fashion they are capable of doing so.

The issue of Islam and homosexuality is complicated and there are no easy answers. If we can begin to talk about ourselves and share our experiences and ways of coping, we will have made a start in the right direction.

Who is founder Sulayman X?

Sulayman X was a convert to Islam, but he has since then decided that Islam is not the religion for him. For information on his original decision to convert to Islam, see The Confessions of Sulayman X and Thoughts on the Path. For a statement of his reason for leaving Islam, see The New and Improved Sulayman X.

Who is Faris Malik?

Faris is the current administrator of the Queer Jihad page. He is also a convert to Islam. He works as a translator in the United States, and is the author of a website on queer history called the "Born Eunuchs Home Page".

Queer Jihad Brief Q&A
  • What is homosexuality? Homosexuality is a word with several meanings, but at least two major ones: First, it means sex between members of the same sex. In this meaning, any person can "do" homosexuality, regardless of whether they "are" homosexuals. In its other meaning, however, it is more commonly understood as the characteristic of those who are exclusively sexually attracted to or aroused by members of their own sex; it establishes itself early in childhood, probably before birth; it is not "changeable" nor does one choose it. 
  • Does Islam condemn homosexuality? While there has been a prejudice among Muslims against certain homosexual activities since the earliest times, homophobia as we know it today has arisen in Islam only since the 1800s, perhaps influenced by European colonialism. In general, throughout its history, Islam has been very tolerant of homosexual love and has even tolerated many forms of homosexual sex. There are verses in the Qur'an stating that some homosexual activity is unacceptable to Allah; these verses, like all holy scriptures, are open to interpretation, and each queer Muslim must decide for themselves what they really mean. Islamic scholars, both past and present, have had different opinions on this subject, some accepting, others rejecting. It should also be noted that most of the older material written on this subject has to do with the penetration of heterosexual males, and not necessarily homosexuality as we understand it today.
  • Is gay sex permissible? When two consenting adults love each other and want to share their love physically, one can reasonably doubt its supposed "sinfulness", but this is a very personal matter best left to the individual conscience. Love and relationship are healing and can help people become psychologically healthy and content -- sin does just the opposite. There are many benefits to love and healthy sexuality, and none at all to its opposite. Refusing queer Muslims the right to love and be loved is, to some of us, a much larger "sin" because its consequences are so destructive all the way around. Even so, there are some of us who take a much more conservative view and refrain from sexual activities. Ultimately it is up to each gay person to decide how best to reconcile their sexual needs with what the Qur'an teaches, and to examine their own behaviour and motives and determine the purity of their own intentions.
  • Should gay and lesbian Muslims leave Islam? No, they should not. They should not let ignorance and homophobia drive them away from their adherence to Allah. We must learn to embrace what Allah has decreed for us, accept it, be at peace with it -- and move on. 
  • Where can I get more information about Islam and homosexuality? Please see our Essays & Articles section for a wide variety of reading materials. See also the Bibliography for selected books, especially titles like 'Islamic Homosexualities'. See also our Links page for a listing of many sources available online, including a variety of clubs and mailing lists.
Material originally copyrighted in 2001 by Sulayman X, amended in 2003 by Faris Malik