May peace be upon you and yours as well, friend.
Next to prayer and Qu’ran, the sheik said, was zakat.
Here, zakat wasn’t just something you put in the masjid drop box. It was direct. Personal. We’d come face to face with the poverty we were alleviating.
In certain cases it wouldn’t even be asked for. People, even in the most dire situations, would just be happy to be on Hajj. It didn’t mean we shouldn’t give them zakat.
As if to illustrate this point, a man walked up to us and asked when the next prayer was. His walking cane trembled as he clutched his ragged clothes. When he walked away, a man in our group leaped to his feet and offered some money. Sheikh Ahmed praised him for it.
The rest of the Hajj, we came face to face with some of the most extreme poverty I’ve ever seen. I understood my privilege in a whole new light. I travelled easy and slept in a comfortable, fancy apartment. Some had petitioned the government for years, and traveled by foot, just so they could sleep on the floor of the Grand Mosque.
But they were on Hajj. For all their suffering, they would be rewarded, and greatly. And that’s the same with all suffering, in a way. When we worry about Allah and suffering, I think we worry that the injustices we see will carry on to the hereafter. But it won’t. Allah will not be unfair in judging us. Allah will not be unmerciful.
I’ve never stopped giving zakat. Whether it be to charities or to people on the street. That’s what Muslims do. We help each other, and those around us. The things we get in life, our money, talents, resources, all this comes from Allah. The question is what we do with those things.
This is how I’ve come to see zakat, and that view came from my time in the Hajj.
Even at my worst, I still gave zakat.
The waning of spirituality isn’t something to apologize for, and it’s not something that makes you a shameful person either. It happens to everyone.
If you need to talk, we would love to hear from you and message privately. If you’d like to talk to me on my personal blog, you can find me at http://dyemelikeasunset.tumblr.com/
(I’m sure the other mods would be more than willing to help as well, but most of them are very busy)
All the best
If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know.
For now, can everyone please offer dua for our sibling?
May Allah protect you
Wasalaam, if you are having trouble finding a place to stay, have you tried looking at these blogs?
Also remember that gyms usually provide storage and showers for members, and memberships are cheaper than hotels.
Please don’t give up, our prayers and Allah’s guidance will be with you.
Maybe you find peace and a warm place to stay, insha’Allah
Even though you’ve come to terms with your sexuality, it’s very possible that you still feel like an “oddity” among Muslim girls and assume they’re all straight and somehow more “pure” than you, making your attractions seem unwanted. But finding people attractive doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily “come onto them”, and it’s ultimately an innocent thought.
Don’t feel that you’re corrupting them or anything because you think they’re pretty or hot, plenty of straight Muslims are physically attracted to a variety of people as well.
There’s no need to repress how you feel
joy. It feels very complicated and hard and difficult to explain to myself and to others at times. How do I figure this out? How do I, as a queer muslim woman of color, live my life and not leave Islam?
The first command given to Prophet Muhammad was to read. If you question your religion, then read and discover the answers you seek.
For any Muslim, not just those under the queer umbrella, there is a constant struggle to hold onto our imaan. Some let it slip away without noticing, some fight and cry over it. Since we are queer, we are constantly asked to validate our religious existence, and through that, I have always found a bittersweet blessing. Because in being faced with spiritual existentialism, we are forced to search; to read.
And in this way, I find myself going back to Islam again and again. Imaan is not always forged through comfort and conformity, after all.
Read the Qur’an, read different interpretations, study the history of our religion and how it has endured and how it has been misconstrued. Perhaps you will find your way back to Allah, and perhaps you will leave.
No matter the choice, you will be making an educated decision that best suits your life.
Whether you decide to stay or leave, may Allah bless you on your journey and beyond.
Truly the greatest sin you could ever commit!