Living Life Beyond the Abyss of the Unknown: Imam Daayiee Abdullah by Mahdia Lynn

To imagine, 50 years ago when I was 13 years of age, knowing since I was a

very young child of four years that I was very different from most of the

other boys I grew up around, as I stood at the abyss of the unknown of

being gay, the overriding question was “How do I get from here to there?”

Though I was at peace within, society’s response from religious institutions,

their followers that included members of my community, some members of

my family, and even those who I would have called my friends, provided a

deluge of negative opinions as to what I was (an abomination, a freak, an

oddity) and where I was headed (to a life of horrors, loneliness, and hell).

Thankfully, I had always been the type of person who didn’t believe

everything I heard – even what I saw – and would do my own research in

order to better understand what I was facing as a young person in the world

controlled by adults.

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Seen, Heard, Loved: Sabah C. by Mahdia Lynn

I used to pray when I was a child. I used to pray all the time. I prayed when I was going somewhere new, I prayed when I felt scared at night, I prayed when I felt excited about the future. When I was a child I didn’t have the language or words, but I knew my body wasn't the body that fit how I felt. Later in life, in my 20s, I would come out as transgender and a lot of things would make sense. But they made sense even back then, too—because even though I didn't feel like a girl, I prayed to Allah to make me change, to make me fit, and that made sense; It made sense that Allah would listen to me, and grant me what I wanted and what I needed to be myself. It made sense because I had faith that Allah had a plan for me.

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What You Need to Do: Fawzia Mirza by Mahdia Lynn

Hey Friend and Family!

How are you? You OK?

OK, so to be completely honest, I never thought I’d be writing a letter to anyone else about what I learned or how to be strong or how I got through tough stuff. I mean, when I was younger, I didn’t think I was strong. I thought I was this total weirdo and one day everyone would find out. Actually, I still think that sometimes.

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The Things That Saved You: Lamya H by Mahdia Lynn

Remember all those times that people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up and you’d say, “Alive?” Remember how it would make people really uncomfortable? They’d laugh skittishly and say, “No, really?” And you’d grow serious and say, “No, but really.” Well, it’s been a while and you’re still alive.

t hasn’t been easy, it isn’t easy still. But you’re less likely to say that these days, you’re less likely to shoot for being alive as a goal. Which feels huge for how little it actually is, this act of surviving. But here are some things that saved you:

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Love in its Purest Form: Mari's Letter by Mahdia Lynn

This Ramadan, I want you to know that I exist. And I will know that you exist. And our existence is proof that it’s possible—it’s proof that LGBTQ Muslims can and do exist, that we are loved by Allah SWT, that we represent the greatest parts of love and acceptance in Islam, that we resist the institutions and communities and people that attempt to erase our identity, and that we aren’t going anywhere.

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Longest Days, Sacred Nights: Mahdia Lynn by Mahdia Lynn

This project is for you: For people trying to navigate fasting while living with an eating disorder. For poor Muslims surviving on free iftars and holiday generosity. For disabled Muslims fighting for a space in the masjid. For reverts and converts struggling to find a place in the faith. For those of us marching in the streets for economic and racial justice. For those of us kicked out of the mosque for being who we are. For those of us with families who don’t understand. For those of us without families at all.

 

Ramadan Mubarak. This is for you.

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