Reprint of an essay that first appeared in Ramadan 2017

This essay first appeared on EqualityforHER, which no longer exists, during Ramadan 2017.

If it wasn’t for the kindness of strangers in the holy month of Ramadan, I never would have been able to leave my husband.

It was a hurried affair. I took a flight out of Oklahoma, “just to visit family for a while.” It was only once I landed in Detroit that I told him I wasn’t coming back. In a single phone call, my life became whatever I could fit in a ratty carry-on suitcase and whatever I could afford with a few hundred dollars of…


Reprint of an article that first appeared in early 2017

This essay first appeared on EqualityforHER (which no longer exists) in early 2017. Though my perspectives on the subject and approach to inclusion work has evolved since then, I’m leaving the essay as it appeared then, unedited.

Beware of the supplication of the oppressed for there is no barrier between it and ALLAH — Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)

I’m going to start with a hadith that is used as a cornerstone in arguments regarding LGBTQ Muslims:

A mukhannath who had dyed his hands and feet with henna was brought to the Prophet. He asked: What is the matter with this man…


converting to islam does not absolve us of our complicity in white supremacy. let’s talk about it.

On the ninth of Muharram of year 61A.H., Husayn ibn Ali stood up and spoke to his party of followers for the last time. It would be the final sermon from the grandson of the Prophet, before what everyone in Husayn’s camp knew was the final battle of their lives. During that final sermon, thirty two soldiers from the front lines of Yazid’s army who were so moved that in that moment they left ranks, crossed the enemy line and in their armor swore to defend Husayn and his followers until their last breath.

Those 32 soldiers had spent their…


Full transcript from Mahdia Lynn’s closing prayer at the #NationalDayofPrayer action at CPD Headquarters

This morning, community leaders, activists and clergy representing eighteen different organizations in Chicago’s Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability held an action in front of CPD headquarters featuring testimony from survivors of police injustice and words from spiritual leaders across the city. I am honored to have been invited to lead the closing prayer for this important event —here is the full transcript of that prayer, opening with a recitation from Surah al-Fatiha

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيمِ الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ الرَّحْمـنِ الرَّحِيمِ مَـالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ اهدِنَــــا الصِّرَاطَ المُستَقِيم صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِمْ غَيرِ المَغضُوبِ عَلَيهِمْ وَلاَ…


From the Human Rights Campaign’s Ramadan Reflections campaign

[This essay first appeared on the Human Rights Campaign’s Ramadan Reflections page 13 June 2017]

This summer, we launched a program for incarcerated LGBTQ Muslims at Masjid al-Rabia. A collection of shared resources, advocacy work, and a pen pal program for our siblings behind bars with over 300 participants — and growing every day.

This holy month of Ramadan, we are supporting and engaging with our siblings on the inside like never before. It has been one of the most rewarding parts of running a mosque, not only for being able to provide such a service but also from the…


Lamya H’s contribution to the Longest Days Sacred Nights Campaign

Dear Younger Self,

Remember all those times that people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up and you’d say, “Alive?”

Remember how it would make people really uncomfortable? They’d laugh skittishly and say, “No, really?” And you’d grow serious and say, “No, but really.”

Well, it’s been a while and you’re still alive.

It hasn’t been easy, it isn’t easy still. But you’re less likely to say that these days, you’re less likely to shoot for being alive as a goal. Which feels huge for how little it actually is, this act of surviving. …


Mari (a.k.a. Homojabi)’s contribution to the Longest Days, Sacred Nights campaign.

And you should also know this: You are not alone. This Ramadan, I want you to know that I exist. And I will know that you exist. And our existence is proof that it’s possible — it’s proof that LGBTQ Muslims can and do exist, that we are loved by Allah SWT, that we represent the greatest parts of love and acceptance in Islam, that we resist the institutions and communities and people that attempt to erase our identity, and that we aren’t going anywhere. There are people just like us all over the world experiencing this Ramadan together, even…


A Welcome Letter by Mahdia Lynn

In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the most merciful…

Ramadan can be hard, especially so for the most marginalized in our communities. It’s also an opportunity for people to reconsider their prejudices, step out of their comfort zone and strive to enact positive change in the world. Ramadan is a time of generosity, family, introspection, temperance, struggle, heartbreak, frustration and tears. It can be hard to explain just how beautiful and devastating this month can be at the same time.

Last year hit many of us the hardest. On the seventh day of Ramadan in 2016, a man opened fire on 49 LGBTQ people at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub on…


Transcript of my speech at the #ADAPTtakesCHI rally and march 4/12/17

As I share this microphone today I speak alongside stories of strength, power and resilience. Stories of what we’ve accomplished, and what is yet to be done. Today, I would like us to imagine our better future together. I would like to see our movement filled with the audacity and enthusiasm of a people who know that they are right, are believe they will win. Because I believe that we will win.

This is the better future I seek:

I seek a future where we are all given equal access to healthcare — where we receive informed, competent care regardless…


Transcript from my speech @ Chicago’s Trans Liberation Protest

I made a commitment to my communities to give a speech that is as unapologetically Muslim as it is unapologetically Trans so y’all are just going to have to catch up:

image by Love & Struggle Photos Chicago

I have spent ten years of my life fighting for trans justice. I have given my life advocating for trans people and marginalized Muslims holding on to the belief that kids today will not have to weather the hell I and my sisters went through ever again. …

Mahdia Lynn

educator, advocate, abolitionist // Director, Masjid al-Rabia

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