At London Queer Muslims one of our core activities is Queer Ijtihad. We apply the principle of Ijtihad (independent scriptural reasoning) to our Queer lived experiences, taking the view that our Queerness is empowering and of fundamental importance to our practice and understanding of Islam. Men with patriarchal mindsets have dominated Islamic thinking for centuries, viewing Islam through their gaze, at London Queer Muslims we rebalance this by reading our own realities into the same issues the scholars addressed. This is not an exercise of heteronormativity, in fact it is quite the opposite. An example of Queer Ijtihad might be the way a gender non binary person problematises the mixing of genders, or a same-sex couple comes to their own view of marriage based on their needs, or perhaps a fem-proud gay person decides to wear loose clothing or cover their hair etc. The fundamental principles at play are that Our Queer experiences are valid and empowering, and that we can weave Islam into that and own our Islam independently through reasoning and prayer.
Ijma’, or consensus building, is another Islamic tool used by scholars to come to agreement about matters of Islamic law. At London Queer Muslims we might reject the term law and rather view the term Shari’ah as a set of guidelines that combines Ijtihad and Consensus. We discuss our views on certain issues and as a group we seek to come to a shared understanding of what some Islamic guidelines on various matters could be. We use Qur’an translations alongside the Arabic, and we apply the principles of The Four Doors, looking at the apparent as well as the mystical interpretations of Qur’an and Hadith. Nothing is set in stone, this is a process not an end goal. Insha’Allah