Islam and homosexuality are two elements that clash in almost every conversation. This has been seen time and time again but Islam does not, in fact, have concepts of heterosexuality or homosexuality. In Islam, there is no “gay” or “straight”.
On TMV’s most recent podcast, Salim Kassam sat down with Ali Jaffery, who bravely agreed to come forward to share his story on the feelings of same-sex attraction that he has lived with since childhood. Addressing topics such as sexuality, feelings of shame, and faith, Ali has approached the issue of same-sex attraction with a sense of openness and devotion towards telling his truth.
While he may offend certain people, or cause disagreements from both the LGBTQ and the more conservative groups of society, Ali hopes that by starting this conversation a more nuanced and tolerant discussion can be sustained for the future.
Whatever one’s opinion on same-sex attraction and the LGBTQ community may be, there is no doubt that the Muslim community has a long way to go in terms of accepting differences and struggles within the community. Having a mature and meaningful discussion on sexuality, and on the topic of sins, should be prioritized more than it is, according to Ali. While he himself has come to a better place where he is able to openly tell his story and help others who are struggling as well, Ali hopes that this is only the beginning of a more accepting and educated Muslim society.
Ali explains that from his understanding the Quran only explains the concept of marriage, and the concepts of what not to act on, which can include acts of same-sex activity, pre-marital sex, and other so-called forbidden acts that may harm the concept of marriage. As Ali describes, same-sex attractions, or the feelings of same-sex lust, is no different from wanting to have a boyfriend or girlfriend before marriage or having lustful thoughts at the opposite gender. The point is to not act on them, as Ali says.
I’m not straight. And I’m not gay. Islamically, we need to come out of this box. The concept of homosexuality and heterosexuality doesn’t exist in Islam. Islam says there is no such thing as sexual identity…what we do find is the concept of marriage.”Ali Jaffrey
Ali has now moved onto a new phase of his life, where he has learned to love himself as he is and reclaim his relationship with God. Focusing on living a God-centric life, Ali has now created his own blog and community support system to help others like himself, who are struggling with reconciling their faith with their sexual preferences.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE
Only recently having come out of his own struggles with depression, feelings of shame, and body negativity, Ali hopes that by creating a community of like-minded Muslims, who for so long have had little to no help with sexuality in religion, he can help future generations to come. He has set up an organisation called Strong Support, which can be found here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: TMV to read the full story