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How can I reconcile being Muslim and arospec ?


Themathlover

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Hello everyone !

I've not seen a lot of people openly talking about religions here, but I suppose they're essential in the aromantic journey of many. As a muslim girl, I struggle with my aromantic orientation because, well, I'm not asexual, I'm alloaro. Being heterosexual and arospec when one of the commands of my religion is to marry in order to have sex is a real source of frustration. In Islam, I don't think there's any requirement to feel deeply in love to engage in marriage, you just need to both agree on it and feel a certain emotional bond, of course, but must this bond necessarily be romantic ?

Maybe are you thinking "Talk about it with the members of your religious community.", but the thing is I've not come out yet, and I honestly don't want to. Not only do I fear judgement, whether or not religious, but, without criticizing religions themselves, it's true that their disciples can be highly sexist... Women are expected to be kind of desireless, submitted and more emotional in my community, unfortunately, which is definitely not my personality. I spoke about that (sexism, not aromanticism) with my parents and successfully changed their minds, they're way more open-minded and stereotypeless (does that word exist ?) now, but my parents aren't the only Muslims in the world. Touring the Internet is enough to realize how spread sexism is within "islamic" organizations. 

"-Women must wear a hijab to be modest.

-But what about men ? They're sexually enticing too !

-It's not the same for men and women."

 

"-Women can't visit graveyards because they're hyper-emotional.

-Isn't it the point of visiting graveyards to cry and mourn your loved ones ?

-Yes, it is, but women are special beings, so sensitive and fragile it could severely damage them. They just better not do that, it's for men, they're braver."

 

"-Women can't lead, it's up to men to be at the head of our Ummah, because of their superior rationality and ability to govern."

 

"-Women can't travel alone, they need a man to be at their side whenever they leave their town, for their safety."

 

-"Women can't pray during their periods, nor can they touch the Quran, because they're impure."

...

And it goes on and on again...

I could make a list as long as my arm, but we don't have time for that. I just wrote these examples to show you the reality in which I am. I simply cannot come out under these circumstances. They'd not kill me or wound me, we're not in a movie, but they could repress me, shame me, blame me, tell me I'm sick, or anything like that. No one would like to deal with that, would you ? I know my parents would 100% support and love me if that happened, but I wouldn't like to cause so much chaos because of such a stupid thing. 

If there's any Muslim here, or a good supportive advisor, I'm still available waiting for answers.

Edited by Themathlover
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So I'm not Muslim, but I can try to give advice. For starters, you're never obligated to come out. Never. Your identity is yours alone, and you definitely shouldn't feel pressure to come out if it'd put you at risk. Do you want to stay in your community and follow those expectations? You don't have to.

The emotional bond in a marriage doesn't have to be romantic. There should be trust and care for each other, but romantic love isn't a requirement. The prevalence of arranged marriages in history and in current day, would offer some societal assurance for that stance. I've not encountered any Muslim sources that indicate otherwise, either. Marriage is a partnership, a lifelong commitment, and the exact reason you're getting into it is much less relevant than the action itself. If you think you could go along with the romantic aspects of a marriage and be happy in it, then you can do that. If you don't think you'd be happy, then you can focus on what would make you happy, and what it'd take to make it happen.

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Hi!

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm not a Muslim but I think you're doing the right thing trying to find other Muslims to get advice from. This community is not that big so if you don't find one here I would recommend you also try Reddit. There's a group aromantic and you could also try other LGBT+ groups since the struggles might be related.

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Thank you very much for answering, I will probably try Reddit as @Holmboadvised me to, I heard about it.

10 hours ago, Antioch said:

Do you want to stay in your community and follow those expectations? You don't have to.

@Antioch, I definitely want to remain Muslim, at least, at the moment. I've had a period of fluctuations between losing my faith in Islam and strongly feeling it for a certain time because of those expectations you're relating to, and this is uneasy for me. Currently, I feel like the best for me would be to pursue my journey a bit more spiritually, as my community (and the Muslim community in general) hasn't my values and has disappointed me many times. I don't think I belong to it anymore, yet, I don't want to give up my precious relationship with God (I'm talking for myself, not trying to influence anyone) because of them. This makes me feel lonely, of course, it's not as colorful as the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag, I'm just doing my best.

Edited by Themathlover
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10 minutes ago, Themathlover said:

I definitely want to remain Muslim, at least, at the moment. I've had a period of fluctuations between losing my faith in Islam and strongly feeling it for a certain time because of those expectations you're relating to, and this is uneasy for me. Currently, I feel like the best for me would be to pursue my journey a bit more spiritually, as my community (and the Muslim community in general) hasn't my values and has disappointed me many times. I don't think I belong to it anymore, yet, I don't want to give up my precious relationship with God (I'm talking for myself, not trying to influence anyone) because of them. This makes me feel lonely, of course, it's not as colorful as the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag, I'm just doing my best.

You don't have to leave Islam to leave the community. You can have a relationship with God without following every rule that your community insists on.

Personal experience, I was surrounded by some very conservative Christians growing up. I was told that in order to be Christian, in order to believe in God at all, I had to follow their rules about my life. I was told that any attempt to think for myself was a waste, because ~obviously~ the local church knew better. Then, I started to research religion. I found sects of Christianity that held entirely different values than those I'd been raised with, and I actually found a lot of wisdom from Jewish folks that really resonated with me. I'm not a Christian at the moment, but I was able to choose that for myself, after exploring all the different ways to be Christian, and to be religious in general. Even then, I still believe in and pray to God. I didn't have to give that up, just because I started to explore the possibilities.

I would encourage you to seek out Muslims outside of your community. Some blogs I've found that talk about being Muslim and being queer are hijabi-frog, russianmuslimlesbian and queer-muslim-culture-is.

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2 minutes ago, Antioch said:

You don't have to leave Islam to leave the community. You can have a relationship with God without following every rule that your community insists on.

This is what I think, but it's not as simple as that, in particular when you're just a teenager (I'm 15) and you feel alone in your journey...

4 minutes ago, Antioch said:

I would encourage you to seek out Muslims outside of your community. Some blogs I've found that talk about being Muslim and being queer are hijabi-frog, russianmuslimlesbian and queer-muslim-culture-is.

... This is the reason why I'm content to be given blogs concerning it. I'll explore that. Thank you !

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4 minutes ago, Themathlover said:

This is what I think, but it's not as simple as that, in particular when you're just a teenager (I'm 15) and you feel alone in your journey...

Ah, fair enough, being underage does make things more complex. Now's a good time to explore what's available online and do the self reflection and learning that you need to figure out what you want your life to look like. I wish you the best of luck in your journey.

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This isn't very in depth, but maybe a starting place? https://daruliftabirmingham.co.uk/home/can-a-muslim-be-aromantic/

The Asexual Agenda has a US Muslim aro who wrote a piece about this, which is far more in depth: https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/asexuality-islam-and-queerness/ (Laura also has a tumblr, if you're interested in looking through it.)

I also found this Aspec Muslims discord. I haven't checked it out, so I don't know how active it is, but you may be interested in connecting with people there who may be more able to relate to your experiences.

I hope this helps. <3

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I just wanted to inform you that I checked the Aspec Muslim discord out, and its members' brains are as much filled with stereotypes as other Muslims... I think I'll leave it and look for another one, or perhaps will I simply give up on finding Muslims like me... However, I'm glad to see that you are respectful and helpful, maybe will I slowly abandon my Muslim fellows whitout losing my faith. 

Edited by Themathlover
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2 hours ago, Themathlover said:

I just wanted to inform you that I checked the Aspec Muslim discord out, and its members' brains are as much filled with stereotypes as other Muslims... I think I'll leave it and look for another one, or perhaps will I simply give up on finding Muslims like me... However, I'm glad to see that you are respectful and helpful, maybe will I slowly abandon my Muslim fellows whitout losing my faith. 

If you're open to reddit, you could try the subreddit progressive muslims and lgbt muslims, there's been some decent conversations there. If you want in person and you think you could make it to Marseille, there's this mosque in France that has  an LGBTQ imam in it: https://www.marianne.net/societe/progressiste-militante-et-surtout-discrete-bienvenue-a-la-mosquee-lgbt-de-marseille (not sure if this is necessarily a 'good' newspaper but this one has the most details). There's an even more active one in Berlin if you can make it there.

 

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10 hours ago, Themathlover said:

I just wanted to inform you that I checked the Aspec Muslim discord out, and its members' brains are as much filled with stereotypes as other Muslims... I think I'll leave it and look for another one, or perhaps will I simply give up on finding Muslims like me... However, I'm glad to see that you are respectful and helpful, maybe will I slowly abandon my Muslim fellows whitout losing my faith. 

Oh wow, I'm SO sorry! That's awful and frustrating. =\

It's an unfortunately common queer experience for faith to become something personal rather than communal for reasons like this. =(

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4 hours ago, hemogoblin said:

Oh wow, I'm SO sorry! That's awful and frustrating. =\

It's an unfortunately common queer experience for faith to become something personal rather than communal for reasons like this. =(

No problem, @MulticulturalFarmer directed me to a fabulous progressist Muslim subreddit. I checked it out, and they honestly are fantastic, I think I'm in love ❤️ (aro love 🤣). I read their guidelines, and they 100% share my opinions, values, thoughts... It makes me feel a lot less helpless and hopeless, soon will I certainly revert to Islam in a more steadfast way. I'll keep you up with my evolution, if you want.

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You have to remember that a religion isn't like a culture, where you very easily choose the elements you like and reject other parts.

Instead, religions contain numerous beliefs that swing together. And if you take only a few of them out, the whole system usually becomes much less plausible.

E. g. revealed religions are based on holy scriptures (in Islam obviously the Quran and usually the core hadiths - if you question all hadiths you're in a small minority), and while there is considerable leeway in the interpretation, if you differ too much from mainstream interpretation, the question arises why to believe the scriptures in the first place: Scripture is usually revered as a guide, and so it should not be something that so easily leads people astray.

Also be prepared that both mainstream members and ex-members might hate on you.

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15 minutes ago, DeltaAro said:

You have to remember that a religion isn't like a culture, where you very easily choose the elements you like and reject other parts.

Instead, religions contain numerous beliefs that swing together. And if you take only a few of them out, the whole system usually becomes much less plausible.

I'm completely conscious of this, and this is the reason why I rejected my faith for a while. I knew that I couldn't pick what I liked and ignore the rest, this was nonsensical, so I ended up rejecting everything. But I quickly reverted, I'm really attached to spirituality and felt an expanding void growing inside of me. Currently, I'm still questioning, searching and changing.

22 minutes ago, DeltaAro said:

Also be prepared that both mainstream members and ex-members might hate on you.

This will occur for sure if I choose to publicly "come out" as a progressist Muslim. However, I'm not surrounded by extreme and dangerous Muslims, they're rather "just" ideologically endoctrinated, and I'm not even physically in touch with them, I was for a short period of time and this was unwanted by both me and my parents, we were doubtful about joining a Muslim community or not and were disappointed by them once we made up our mind to try spending time with them.

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  • 11 months later...

Thank you for sharing your personal struggle and journey with us. It's indeed a complex situation when religious beliefs intersect with one's orientation. It's essential to remember that your feelings and identity are valid, and you should never have to compromise who you are.
If you're looking to explore spirituality from a different perspective while staying true to your identity, you might find this resource on the spiritual meaning of seasons interesting: https://meaningspiritual.com/the-spiritual-meaning-of-seasons-how-nature-s-cycles-impact-our-spiritual-growth. It delves into how nature's cycles can influence our spiritual growth.

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