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Beginnings January 21, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims.
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In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful…

I’ll save you a long introduction to me and my ideas, as you’ll have lots of opportunity to engage with me and my opinions as time goes on.

I’ve been researching Islamic perspectives on homosexuality for a few years now, and observing the development of “gay Muslim” groups in the US and now far beyond, and how their leaders and followers have grappled with the issues.

I have criticisms of just about everything that has been written on these subjects. My primary aim in setting up this blog is to share my philosophical perspectives and contribute to a sound Islamic discourse on sexuality. I’ll also comment on items in the news etc., and highlight some posts from the numerous e-groups that have sprung up with one aim or another.

I’m delighted to be joined here by Mujahid Mustaqim, who runs the StraightWay Foundation, and with whom I’ve corresponded since its conception. I hope that this will allow some input of a practical kind, and also to allow him a platform to clarify things regarding his organisation, which has already been smeared and slandered by homosexualists of the Muslim and anti-Muslim varieties.

I would probably have procrastinated some more before starting the blog, but thought it best to get going in advance of a programme to appear on the UK’s Channel 4. Gay Muslims is on this Monday at 8pm. According to the listings:

This ground-breaking documentary film explores the lives of gay and lesbian Muslims in the UK.  As with many religions, there are those within the Muslim community who feel strongly that homosexuality is incompatible with the Muslim faith.

Gay Muslims looks at how those affected by this prejudice struggle to integrate their religion with their sexuality. For some it means living a secret double life, while for others it means losing the respect and support of their family and community. Many give in to family pressure and get married, others run away from home to set up a life of their own, while many live in fear for their lives. This emotional film offers an insight into the often tortuous, secret lives of gay practising Muslims.

No doubt I’ll have a lot to say about this programme. For a start, one category of people is conspicuously absent from this blurb: those who somehow get their head around things, and find a way forward based on faith, trust, patience and self-development – a way that involves self-acceptance without succumbing to sin.

Rasheed Eldin

P.S. – I welcome comments, but I will moderate as I see fit. I don’t at all mind criticism, but I’m not a fan of name-calling or abuse.

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1. content with Islam - February 25, 2010

Assalamualaikom warahmatullahhi wabarakatuh my dear brother Rasheed Eldin and all those sincere brothers and sisters working along with you whose names I’d rather not mention but leave instead to Allah swt the rewards you are worth. How I pray to meet and thank you all in person for your efforts. I am but a slave however whose gratitude is not even a dot compared to the blessings you will soon receive inshaALLAH. No need to remind you of Hasan Al-basri’s words that “A Muslim should not seek remunerative from any other than ALLAH, specially so because a MUSLIM’s life and work is priceless.”

Allah swt, by His will, has made me land on your page on this most important day–the day I badly wanted to change and give up my “not-so-obedient” and “self-deceiving” past life. He is the All-Knower, the Most Wise. HE who made us know one another despite the inconceivable distance, lines, tribes, language, time and barriers that divide us. He who makes the impossible possible. I, just by the simple thought of how people meet and know each other despite the inconceivable innumerable barriers, humbles me down and declare that GOD is GREATEST. He is the organizer of all happenings, from smallest to the biggest. You might not know how I am affected by this mere idea. Indeed when He intends a thing, none can prevent it.

I have been feeling empty, down, devastated and conscience-stricken not just once but every time I break my promise of not committing the horrible sins I used to do in my past life (life which terminated just few hours ago). I pray I never return to such life. With my efforts strongly backed up and guided by your prayers, today shall be the start of the new me and my new life inshaALLAH.

Forgive me but I Im making a confession which I never did in my entire life. I am a 22, born Muslim from the Southern Philippines. I knew I possessed this “ssa” problem ever since I was a kid. My friends at school and my family knew I was no ordinary boy. But I tried living straight till now. My problem was like an “on-and-off” type. As a kid, I was already introduced to gay mags and videos by a gay uncle who knew I had the potential to be gay. Same time I was also introduced into being a true Muslim by enrolling halaqa classes which I stopped when I reached highschool. There was this battle I am into until now–to be a Muslim or to follow my desires as ssa. Fastforward, I had my worst experiences when I reached College. I encountered my first but so much regretted experience of the worst sin of homosexuality. I repented so much after that to the extent that until now, i still dont have the nerve to talk to the person whom I had done it with. it’s been 5 yrs now and still I run away everytime I see him. I couldnt accept Ive done it. After that incident, I really repented that I withdrew from society and that school-home-masjid was my only place. I always cried a lot and even thought of committing a suicide. However, I managed to move on by focusing on my studies and sports. Alhamdulillah, I excelled in both. In my third year, I joined Islamic org which helped me go back to society as well. I finished my undergrad and now Im in my second degree, 2nd yr. However, after few years, I began to feel again the weakness of my faith and succumbed to my desires. I fulfilled it by watching porno materials online. I am cursing myself while watching but still, I feel like I am hating myself for doing a thing I both want and do not want. THere’s this satisfaction and guilt. Then on-and-off. I am a Muslim the first moment and a misguided the next. This goes on and off until just last year, I met this lad 2 yrs younger than me who’s studying in same university. I was attracted to him and he with me. We both knew that right from the first meeting but we didnt tell each other about it as it is a damned thing specially here among us. He admitted to me also that he was just fascinated with me at first just like many others whom I have impressed because of my good standing both in school, sports and organization. He just wanted to be my younger brother. We became close as he entered the organization which I entered into (the one i mentioned a while ago). Until, we got so close that we spent overnights with friends. One night, I woke up midnight and saw his hands holding mine. It was long time ago when I gave up a detested relationship and it was long time ago when I almost committed suicide because of it. But now, here is this young boy opening that past again. Nothing happened that night. The following days however made us closer however till we did it. We both liked each other. We knew that. WE are both struggling. I am sinful but my outside reputation always covered the dirt that I am strictly guarding. ANd I hate it. I really hate it. We did it several times and it made our lives, particularly mine, miserable. It was so. I have been experiencing that the stronger the faith I have and the more good deeds I perform, the better I excel in all my activities specially in my studies. Now that I am into this relationship, I have been falling from up. The consequences, you know, Specially the emotional ones. Worst brother. Worst. Specially when you have promised many times every after act that you will not do it again. Actually, we repented after the first time we did it. the second time and the following, we fasted, did lots of good work, avoided each other, etc but still, we always find ourselves doing it until now. But you know, I really regret during my repentance. But I dont know if you ever felt that real weakness that despite my knowledge and consequences of the act, I still fall and succumb to it. IT’s total weakness! and there, I’m doomed. Still, I want to become true Muslim who will earn Allah’s pleasure. I really envy those young Muslims who are adhering to the teachings of Islam strictly and doing voluntary worship. How I wished to be back to the time when I was like that–the days after I repented my first worst experience. I always dreamed to be good again. I always dreamed and tried to excel in all my activities again specially in my studies because the profession I am starting to finish is what my society, friends, family and my parents have been patiently wanting for me. I know if I finish this, I would be able to help a lot the Muslim community. I just have to be a good Muslim once again and all my affairs will be alright. That has been my experience. When my faith is sound, Everything will be sound.

Now it’s Thursday, February 25, 2010. 4:42 pm in my room. I am tired and sick of living a life of disobedience. I want to close that chapter and forget it once and for all. The MUSLIMS are under attack from all sides and facing many problems. I have to become a true MUSLIM and be not among the problem-causers but among the problem-solvers. And I want to be among those young true Muslim people who I usually envy for their clean and Godly lives. And I want to finish my studies with excellent grades so I may repay and help my parents and use it all in the cause of Islam. I want to be a worthy servant of Allah. I want to live and die as a Muslim. I want to be with brothers who understand the situation I am in right now so they may, by Allah’s will, help me and make me a true Muslim.

In this blog post entitled beginnings by Rasheed Eldin, I am also making my closing of my past life and my beginning after repenting, as a MUSLIM. I now, make a redeclaration that “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and MOhammad is His messenger and I am one of the MUSLIMS.” I am satisfied and content with what Prophet Muhammad s.a. has brought us as a religion and seek no other outside it. For Islam has brought those Muslims of the past and present the true and dignified, contented, satisfied, peaceful happy life which everyone looks for.

I pray that may Allah swt keep me firm in my decision to close that chapter of my life and make me patient and steadfast in this new life I have chosen. Now that I am in a state where everything around me is shattering into pieces–my faith, my work for Islam, my studies, my service to the society, my parents, my brothers, my students, and the Muslim Ummah, I invoke Allah the Almighty, the Greatest, please forgive me for my disobedience. I have sinned many many many many many many many times. I traveled far away from you all this time. Now, I come back to you, weeping and sharing how sad my life has been without you. You are the Most forgiving and Most Merciful. I am among the ones now seeking your forgiveness and Mercy, for to whom else will you show your mercy but to us, the ones needing it most. Oh Allah, count me among those whom you forgive and erase our sins that the earth shall not be witness that I had done those worst sins. Oh Allah, I fear the Day that I shall be standing before you and you shall ask me about what I have done. Count me among those whom you accepted their repentance and turned their bad deeds into good ones. Oh Allah, I find comfort in what your beloved Prophet said that “God does not inspire repentance in the heart of those whom He wishes to punish.” I will never be guided and see the light, once again, if You will never will. Please show me the straight path and make me steadfast on it from now on 5:13 pm February 25 thursday till I breath my last…and I pray to die among the Shaheed. AMEEN. I pray the same for all Muslims.

Ya Allah, I AM NOW MOVING ON, WITH YOU AS MY SOLE GOD, WITH MUHAMMAD saw AS MY PROPHET AND GUIDE and with all the true Muslims–in past and present, living and dead, in all corners as my brothers and sisters.

YA ALLAH, MAKE ME YOUR SLAVE AND SLAVE ONLY TO YOU. AMEEN.

Now my real brothers, I am badly in need of your acceptance and help so I may move on with my new life. To you all, Assalamualaikom warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu wal maghfira.

content_with_islam@yahoo.com
P.S. Pls understand why I didnt enumerate names and facts.

2. content with Islam - February 25, 2010

P.S. 2. it’s now 2010 February. I wonder, DID ALLAH swt really destined that the first comment space here be MINE to write? Subhanallah.

Rasheed Eldin - March 2, 2010

Dear brother,
Wa ‘alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

It is difficult to find anything to say after such a moving account and emotional expression of repentance. May Allah accept your repentance and give you strength and guidance on the path ahead.

Please know that you are an inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others who will read your words, and I am praying for you. I would appreciate you remembering me in your prayers too.

Also, if you feel it will help you to keep focused, you could join the support group for your own sake and others’:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/straightstruggle

With warmest greetings,
Rasheed


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