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Ask Naani! #2

As a wise elder equipped with an old computer and a velveteen heart, Naani cares for all who need advice.

I have a lot of conviction and hope in my faith…but the global Muslim community sees me as a threat or a snake. Most of the time, I am unable to cope with it. I have been told to abandon my religion. What's a good comeback?

My dearest jaan, I've lived long and seen generations come and go, but I'm yet to meet someone who is out to hurt, be assuaged by anything but introspection. My darling, no amount of rational or emotional convincing on your part will change those whose hearts are closed to Allah's bounty. I ask you to remember our Prophet (P.B.U.H.), who led by example. His own family threw trash on his path, but he went on. We are privileged that our first and foremost duty is to Allah (S.W.T.) only, not to peer into the hearts of others. But I don't see why you can't give them a piece of your sharp mind. If you find the time and energy, ask them with complete openness what they mean, ask them to elaborate, make an effort to understand their point of view. You will find many logical fallacies in them but do not point them out. Instead, after they have explained their hatred, say- it's such a pity that kiraman katibin (Raqib and Arif) work so hard jotting down all our deeds for judgment day since clearly, this XYZ hater seems to know Allah's judgment beforehand.

Remember, you are created by Allah SWT; you are holy you are heavenly.

How do I understand if the same-sex feelings I'm having are natural as a Muslim woman?

My questioning child, not even a leaf trembles without Allah's will. Instead of answers, I will give you more questions. What is "natural"? What entails farz? What lies between deen and duniya? Why is it that somehow the interpretations of the Qur'an serve men when we were created equal before Allah? Who benefits from your silence?

Question everything and leave the rest to Allah. Trust that all your intentions and struggles are seen. You are not alone.

I'm thinking of coming out to my friends, but I know they will support me as long as I don't "act on it." How do I tell my friends that their beliefs hurt me, that I want them to read up on Islam and the LGBTQ community, and if they are unwilling to change their minds, then we can no longer be friends?

My child, you are so beautiful in your truth and vulnerability. It is your strength. Your friends are your friends only if they accept you. I encourage you to read up on Islam and the LGBTQIA+ community yourself and break down the stories for them. Interest them in what interests you. Do not assume the worst yet. You are the highest earthly authority on yourself. Wield your superpower of agency with full force. Talk to them about the future you see for yourself and how they play a role in it. Tell them about your feelings and vulnerabilities, explain what comforts you and what doesn't. Have faith that you cannot lose what is yours.

Send your love problems and heartaches to Naani (anonymously!)

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