Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-05-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Women-focused LGBTQIA+ Muslim group launches
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2017-03-08

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Founded in late 2016 by Mahdia Lynn, Masjid al-Rabia is a women-centered, LGBTQIA+ community group providing spiritual care for marginalized Muslims. Masjid al-Rabia has no imam or a centralized authority, and is completely community led.

Board members act as custodians of the space and include Lynn, Zaynab Shahar ( theologian, writer and co-founder of Third Coast Queer Muslims ) and three other individuals.

Lynn is a feminist organizer who has worked in trans advocacy for over a decade. She is also the coordinator of the Transgender Muslim Support Network, an annual LGBTQ Muslim Retreat planning committee member leading on trans inclusion ( the number of trans attendees increased threefold since she took on the role ), an addiction recovery support person, a public speaker and a writer.

"Islam saved my life and, so, I dedicate my life to Islam," said Lynn. "I believe in the truth of the Qur'an and so it's my duty to help live out that truth by being of service to others. And then I see people wielding my faith as a weapon to deny others access to a spiritual life because of who they are. I see the spiritual violence that those in power enact upon women, LGBTQIA+ people and other marginalized Muslims. I saw the ways we are denied access to a healthy, fulfilling spiritual life and so I felt: This is how I give back. My place in this world is to help foster community that is safe, accessible and affirming for all Muslims and that's what Masjid al-Rabia does for myself and others."

"I became involved as a board member because of the ways Masjid al-Rabia relates to my doctoral research," said Shahar. "My research not only looks at movements precipitated by women within orthodox Jewish and Muslim American communities to change women's exclusion from fuller participation in communal ritual, but also what that change would actually look like. I think Masjid al-Rabia points to a sort of futurity with respect to the relationship between ritual, leadership and public religious space, one that relies more on communal sourced leadership and knowledge as opposed to hierarchical religious leadership."

The idea for Masjid al-Rabia germinated over a year ago and included organizing and networking, culminating in their first public jummah prayer service on Dec. 2 of last year. They have held prayer services every Friday since then and held an open house on Jan. 20 where newcomers could discover what the group has to offer.

"Before that it was years of inclusive Muslim organizing here in Chicago that laid the groundwork for what would become Masjid al-Rabia," said Lynn. "In 2014, two Chicago-based organizations, Third Coast Queer Muslims and the Transgender Muslim Support Network, began and around that same time a gay Muslim started hosting dinner and communal prayers out of his home every other week and called it ISHA Friday.

"As our communities kept growing and overlapping—and increasingly coming across straight and cis people aching for similar community, we started to recognize need for a spiritual space that wasn't rooted in identity but was safe and affirming for all Muslims. We looked to spaces like the el-Tawhid Juma Circle in Toronto, the Women's Mosque of America in LA, the MECCA Institute in D.C. and Al Fatah Pesantren ( a transgender-centered madrassa ) in Yogyakarta for inspiration. But we also set out to create a community that was uniquely ours, uniquely Chicagoan. We ended up with Masjid al-Rabia."

In terms of the group's jummah services, every member has the opportunity to be a leader so, "Every week we start with the question—'who would like to lead prayer?' and every week it's a different cast of characters: one person gives the adhan [call to prayer], one gives a khutbah [sermon], another person leads salat [prayer]," said Lynn.

Masjid al-Rabia is mixed-gender and trans-affirming. Group members pray shoulder to shoulder, facing Mecca as equals.

Lynn explained that since women and trans people have been denied leadership roles in the past they make space for those individuals to take on this responsibility. She noted that she's the one who encourages new attendees to lead prayer or give the adhan.

As for the future of Masjid al-Rabia, Lynn explained that they are holding strategy sessions to determine new endeavors. They are also looking at avenues for financial backing so they can secure a permanent location.

"We're coordinating with local groups to support incarcerated LGBTQ Muslims," said Lynn. "We're expanding our education and advocacy work to help make mainstream Muslim spaces safer for LGBTQ people. The dream is to one day have an accessible community center where we can host all five daily prayers, hold classes and other events and really establish ourselves as part of the community. I dream of the future where I can dedicate my life to this work full-time, but that might be some time off. We have to dream big, but stay pragmatic and pay attention to the little things that get us there."

See www.facebook.com/masjidalrabia/, twitter.com/masjidalrabia and the soon to be launched masjidalrabia.org/ for more information. For more on Lynn, visit Thttps://www.facebook.com/mahdialynn.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Back Lot Bash's 14th year includes top women's pride talent 2017-05-26 - A whirlwind of fun awaits in Chicago this June as Back Lot Bash, Chicago's most attended women's festival taking place every Pride, is ...


Gay News

Marga Gomez in "Latin Standards" June 2 2017-05-26 - GLAAD Award Winner Marga Gomez will present the Chicago premiere of her 2017 Off Broadway hit and New York Times critics pick "Latin ...


Gay News

Dignity/Chicago marks 45 years with dinner, awards ceremony 2017-05-24 - DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke was the keynote speaker at Dignity/Chicago's ( the advocacy organization for LGBTQI Catholics and their allies ) 45th ...


Gay News

King to speak atNU on June 16 2017-05-24 - Advocate/sports icon Billie Jean King will deliver this year's commencement address at Northwestern University on Friday, June 16. King was ranked six times ...


Gay News

Entertainment: Mary Lambert, Jussie Smollett, Manning CD, Harry Styles 2017-05-23 - Lesbian "Same Love" singer Mary Lambert has revealed that she was gang-raped as a teen, according to Page Six. In addition to suffering ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Popcornopolis, The Baton Show Lounge and more 2017-05-23 - —Popcornopolis ( Popcornopolis.com ): Garrett is not the only popcorn master, apparently. Popcornopolis has an incredibly tasty line of offerings, including Zebra Chocolate ...


Gay News

Artemis Singers "Family of Friends" concert June 17 2017-05-23 - CHICAGO ─ Artemis Singers www.artemissingers.org, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will celebrate Pride month with a special concert and dance, "Family of Friends," Saturday, ...


Gay News

Kate Clinton to be honored at Levity & Justice June 22 in New York 2017-05-22 - Washington, DC ( April 27, 2017 ) — LPAC, the national grassroots lesbian political action committee supporting pro-LGBTQ and pro-women's equality candidates, is ...


Gay News

MCC founder Rev. Troy Perry first American given Cuba's CENESEX Award 2017-05-22 - Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches ( MCC ), is the first American citizen given Cuba's CENESEX award. The 10th ...


Gay News

Social media campaign launched supporting suspended Saucedo teacher 2017-05-20 - The groundswell of support for suspended Saucedo special education teacher Sarah Chambers has grown both locally and online since the April 18 rally ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.