Who we are
We are a peer support organisation for Muslims who struggle with same sex lust, however, do not accept or identify with a sexual identity (e.g. the “gay” label) and choose instead to embrace our authentic selves as believers who wish to live a God-centric life.
‘Strong Support’ was named after Prophet Lot (as) plea in verse 11:80 of the Quran
Such as Prophet Lot (as) prayed for, we believe the best form for combating same sex lust is with the aid of a strong support.
Strong Support was established to support Muslims struggling with same sex lust and to provide an information platform for friends and families of those struggling on the topic of sexuality in the Muslim ummah.
We are a volunteer-based community that respects the inherent and equal worth, dignity, equal rights, and free will of each individual, regardless of their sexuality or how they may choose to express or address it in their own lives.
Our mission is to:
- Support, facilitate self growth for Muslims and create a community where Muslims can explore their same sex lust (or related issues) in ways that align with their own self determined beliefs and goals
- Support Muslims wanting to explore opposite sex attraction or reconciling issues with the opposite sex
- Inform and educate the wider Muslim ummah, communities and leaders on how to address the topic of same sex attraction
We envision a world where
- we can self-determine our sexual identities as God-centric men and women
- Muslims with same sex lust (or related issues) can freely express their authentic feelings, beliefs and life aspirations in a safe environment without judgement or shame
The narrative which is often painted today is that people who experience same sex lust and those which are good believing Muslims (mumineen) are mutually exclusive. Furthermore, the voices that are heard are of Muslims which have chosen to lead a gay lifestyle and rarely if ever of Muslims who are in struggle to live a life which is not painted by sex drive and temptation.
We affirm the same rights for Muslims who seek a gay-affirming path.
We fully recognise that this path isn’t for everyone.
However, many of us have found much healing, self acceptance and peace in our work.
Stories of people that have done the work can be found here:
A word from Ali
I remember being as young as five when I realised I was different; I wasn’t one of the boys. This lack of belonging, feeling of ‘otherness’ and isolation formed most of my childhood. I was raised up mostly by my dear mother and sisters in a matriarchal family, my dad worked two jobs and was not as involved with our upbringing and I had a considerable age gap between me and my eldest brother.
During my school years, I was bullied for being girly. It wasn’t until Year 5 when I realised I could use academia as a defence. Therefore, I focused on my studies and education, to build my self-esteem in my peer group. I was around 12 years of age that my feeling of otherness (and conversely feeling so at home with the feminine) with the masculinity was sexualised, I discovered I had same sex attraction.
I didn’t tell a soul for 11 years. In those years of silence, I had shame and self-hate that knew no bounds. I questioned everything. I questioned my faith. I questioned my (Kazmi) lineage. I wondered every day why God had challenged me with this – above of other challenges in life. It was easier hiding the reality than facing it. In this period, we moved as a family from Pakistan to England. I remember seeing this as an opportunity to start anew, a clean state. However, this move also furthered the feeling of lack of belonging and otherness. I was exposed to pornography online aged 12, which fermented the same sex attraction. Growing up in a religious household, I had shame of opening up to family and feared the impact it would have on my family’s reputation.
There wasn’t any support available. As a community we are good in pointing out whats halaal and haram, but there aren’t much practical solutions available – at least for people like me. It wasn’t until I was 23, when I was approaching depression that I then started speaking and getting help. I could only find a Muslim yahoo group and nothing else. The Christian community was miles ahead with many support organisations for people with same sex attraction. It was in 2013 when I attended Journey into Manhood experiential weekend by Brothers Road that my life changed and I was able to see a way out. I worked every week for a couple of years after the weekend with Rich Wyler on myself and the false stories and beliefs I had. Alhamdulillah, fast forward to events this year, I found someone unique, Zoya, who accepted me with all this and decided to marry me and broke down my fear of me never finding a woman I would love.
The silence in the Muslim community is deafening on a lot of topics. I believe in the concept of “wajib al kifayi” – if no one is doing it in the community, then it becomes wajib on the person that is able to do something. It is for this reason and from my own personal struggle, that I am delighted to start Strong Support.
Ali knew he had same sex lust at 12, however, he wasn’t in a position to tell anyone. Fast forward 11 years of silence, it was only at 23 it all came out to a University counsellor. Ali was at the time, learning to drive, re-sitting 50% of his university year and working full-time in a software internship. The year that followed was a journey of healing. Ali enrolled on to the Journey into Manhood programme in April 2013 and through group and one on one sessions with Rich Wyler was able to address his same sex lust.
However, with little to no resources that can be seen for fellow Muslims going through the same issue, Strong Support was founded in 2019. The aim being to create a safe place of support and healing for Muslims who struggle with same sex lust.
Ali holds a first class honours Bachelors in Computer Systems Integration and works as a Test Manager in the IT industry and resides in Manchester, United Kingdom. He has been involved with numerous volunteering organisations, such as Islamic Unity Society, Imam Mahdi Awareness Campaign, Momin Professional Network undergoing community work.