Sunday, 7 December 2014

Send Help

But Where Is Our Guide?

A couple of us non-mainstream Shia Muslims have been sobbing on each other's shoulders lately - at least, as much as we can do half a world away from each other using Facebook. We have been struggling with a sense of losing faith. We feel as tough we are losing touch with symbols of faith like salat or modesty which have meant a lot to us. We've been hurting because of the huge injustices that we see in the world and what we perceive to be out inability too do anything real to help. We feel as though we are falling, but we are in so much pain, and so weary and stretched thin, that we cannot possibly pick ourselves up and start over again.

We've basically turned to each other because we don't really have anyone else. Progressive Sunni Muslims, and their Sunni-normative "just Muslim" counterparts, have various progressive leaders and even Imams throughout the world to whom they can turn. However, I don't know of any Shia Imam out there who is gender-equal and LGBTIQ-affirming. We have no-one to whom we can turn with concerns that if we dress or act in certain ways which are particular to Shia Islam or which have unique textual histories in Shia Islam, we might be attacked by anti-Muslim extremists. For all that our progressive Sunni leaders love us and would try to help us, the fact is that they don't know what Mafatih al Jinan or the Prayer's Almanac is or why we need that little clay tablet so badly. If we were to turn to mainstream Shia Muslim leaders, we would be derided on account of our gender or sexual identities, or we would be chastised for our "immodest" behaviour with others.

We've been left figuring out everything from how to bend fiqh or even whether some aspects of fiqh can or should be bent at all to regain a sense of spirituality from the brokenness that is our lives without leadership or guidance from a religious leader who understands where we are coming from as Shia Muslims. And that is why this one new discussion group on Facebook was formed.

But we still have no religious guide.

It is absolutely imperative that some of our progressive Shia siblings take up the yoke, go to college for pastoral studies or divination, become clerics, and HELP US.

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