people looking at sunset making heart shapes with their hands in the air

LGBTQI+ Muslim Mental Health

Identity can be difficult to navigate. If you’re a Muslim struggling with your sexuality or gender identity, you are not alone. It can be difficult to make sense of who we are, and why we are the way we are, and to deal with hostility, unkindness and people’s judgement.  

“One of His signs is that He created you from dust, then—behold!—you are human beings spreading over [the earth].” — Qur’an 30:20

The answer to the question “who are you?” has a thousand different answers. You are not just one thing; you are many things. You are so much more than a label. You are more than the sum of people’s opinions. You have so many identities, qualities and characteristics that make you who you are. And that’s beautiful – it’s a blessing. 

You are not an accidental blip in the universe, but a part of a purposeful creation.  

Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, you are meant to be here. 

Feeling that other people are judging you can be hard to cope with, and fill you with feelings of hurt, betrayal, anxiety, low self-esteem and low confidence. But fitting into someone else’s mould can be damaging for your mental health. You, me, us – our quest is for authenticity – witnessing the truth of who we are, by witnessing the truth of God. 

You are a living, breathing expression of divine love, and your path through life is completely unique – so let the weight of other people’s judgments fall from your shoulders. 

You are YOU – that’s enough.  

You matter 

The struggles you are going through might feel like a lot right now, and they might feel all-consuming, but things can change. Nothing lasts forever. Whether you’re feeling confused, rejected, guilty, unlovable, not good enough, trapped, depressed, anxious, heartbroken, angry or abandoned – you can get through it.  

If you’re finding life hard, it’s time to be extra compassionate with yourself. Focus your energy on increasing your self-love

Remember, Ar-Rahman – The Most Merciful – did not create you for a life of either agony or hedonism – your purpose is so much bigger than that.  

Staying anchored in divine love  

“The parable of those who take protectors other than Allah is like that of the spider, who builds itself a house; and surely the frailest of houses is the spider’s house – if only they knew.” — Qur’an 29:41

No one has a right to interfere in your personal faith. It is so important to not let other people define your relationship with Allah for you – it’s your relationship. No one but Allah gets to decide if your prayers are answered, or how Allah feels towards you personally – so hold fast to your Divine connection.

It can be helpful to reclaim your right to exist in faith. If you’re feeling a little disconnected right now, and there are so many ways you can nourish your spirituality: 

Ask yourself: how do I show up in the world?

Check in with yourself and ask:

  • do I act with kindness?
  • Do I speak my truth – even if it scares me?
  • Do I seek the truth, even if it is uncomfortable?
  • Do I give to charity?
  • Do I treat others as I would wish to be treated?
  • Do I trust in Allah’s mercy?
  • Do I show up in this world as someone humble and ready to learn and grow? 

It’s not about judging yourself – just observing what is true for you, which can make it easier for you to figure out what you might helpful and spiritually nourishing right now. Read more on exploring your spirituality

If you’re making your best effort to do good in this world, then let the softness of your heart be your superpower. Even if the world feels like it’s caving in on you, or the ground is giving way beneath your feet, with the anchor of faith you can always find steady ground. As your path unfolds, although you may face your share of hardships, you will also find ease. 

“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” — Qur’an 2:186

You deserve to be safe 

In case you needed to hear this today: no one on this earth has the right to mistreat you, abuse you, or cause you harm. 

If you don’t feel safe in a situation – pay attention to that feeling. You are not being dramatic – trust your instincts and if you can remove yourself from the situation then do so, and reach out for help and support from people you trust. 

Your dignity, rights and freedoms must be respected, and you have a right to seek justice when they are not. 

Remember, you deserve to feel safe and loved. 

If you’re struggling right now, may you feel safe and welcome on this website, and may you find the help and support you need to look after your mental health, wellbeing and spiritual growth – ameen.

Remember, your heart is in the hands of Ar-Rahman – the Most Merciful. Know that you are seen, and you are loved.  

“My mercy embraces all things.” – Qur’an 7:156

Get support 

The organisation Hidayah LGBT offers support for LGBTQ+ Muslims experiencing homophobia.  

“And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and all living beings He dispersed throughout both. And He is Most Capable of bringing all together whenever He wills.” — Qur’an 42:29

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