What if we could approach queer Muslim collective care as being part of a whole generation that doesn’t want the next to feel they’re starting on empty like we did?
Inspired by the Qur’an verses 41:53 and 51:20-21, The Signs In Ourselves is an illustrated spiritual wellbeing resource for solo and collective use. Made by queer Muslims for queer Muslims, it centers illustrations and voices from Southeast Asia, and hopes to help queer Muslims feel less alone.
At the heart of The Signs In Ourselves is a dozen interviews with Southeast Asians who are non-cishet and identify as Muslim by choice. The pdf version is fully illustrated with over 120 spirited pieces of art (including the most rainbow al-Fatihah ever). You'll catch new details every time you look, because the workbook is as much a visual love letter from the artist as it is a piece of writing.
Explore how sexually diverse Muslims have cultivated and maintained an enduring connection to Allah despite community rejection. The Signs In Ourselves is forever-free for personal and collective use. It contains exercises and questions for personal and group reflection. In four helpful sidebars, you'll find a brief regional history of Muslim women's rights, amina wadud's Tawhidic paradigm, Ghazala Anwar's fourfold portal of Rahma, and queer interfaith Indonesian activism. Since it’s workbook, you can answer the same questions everyone else did—in your own time. The exercises are adapted for both solo time in your room or together with other queer Muslims (and bring paper, crayons, paints!)— either way, you will be accompanied by diverse Muslims answering along from 14 countries.
Social acceptance is importance, but self-acceptance is a spiritual experience! Meant as a resource primarily for queers of faith, this text could also benefit allies and those seeking to expand their awareness of queer Muslim perspectives in general, grounded in experiences from Southeast Asia.
🧿 Our Environments of Truth
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 1 of 12): Finding language to describe our diversity
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 2 of 12): Describing the Muslims we live with
- Sidebar essay: Women as authorities and producers of Islamic knowledge
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 3 of 12): Our daily lives, challenges and priorities
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 4 of 12): Connecting truth and the Divine
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 5 of 12): Building belief and narratives of our faith
🧿 Exploring Divine Presence
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 6 of 12): Experiences of Divine Love
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 7 of 12): Inspiring elements of Islam
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 8 of 12): Intersectional paths to the Divine
- Sidebar essay: The Tawhidic Paradigm for Human Rights
- Sidebar essay: The Fourfold Portal of Rahma
🧿 Learning from Time and Each Other
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 9 of 12): Letters to our past selves
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 10 of 12): Lessons from us for everyone else
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 11 of 12): Imagining our dream futures
- The Signs In Ourselves (Part 12 of 12): Remembering and expressing gratitude
- Sidebar essay: Reevaluating a social emphasis on procreation and proliferation
Feedback from the voices in this project
- “This made me think a lot about so many things I never thought of before.”
- “Thank you for providing this opportunity for queer Muslims to see we are not alone.”
- “Answering the questions was very emotional for me.”
- “Thank you for doing this. May Allah reward and guide us to the life we want.”
- “I think this project will help LGBT Muslims immensely.”
- “I can’t even imagine this project but thank you for having me be a part of it. This is going to be very cool and wonderful. May we keep doing beautiful things.”
- “I really think religious queer Muslim spaces are important. I find much of queer Muslim organising is secular, and it’s frustrating. Sometimes I would prefer organising an interfaith queer space, because the God-consciousness is important to me above all. Thanks for doing this work.”
- “Love this exercise. The experience of answering was like a spiritual journey. Thank you for the thoughtfulness in your questions.”
- “Thank you so much for compiling my story. I hope my sharing helps give perspectives for others out there. God bless you.”
- “I send love and peace to all.”
- “Thank you, this was healing. May Allah bless you and your loved ones.”
- “This is so dope! I’m saving my answers because reading them reminded me of the blessings I forgot I had.”
- “Answering this makes me so incredibly happy. Thank you for asking questions that matter with such poise and tact. May all your proceedings go well, inshaAllah ameen.”
- “It was a nostalgic experience. In a good way, it brought back memories of those years and reinforced the importance of doing more for others.”
- “It’s really been a pleasure doing this! I think this is a beautiful project.”
- “This project is really important. I’ve felt alone for a very long time. Everyone is going through their own journey, and I don’t want to burden others with mine. But I can’t do this on my own. I can’t do this on my own.”
🌈 Credits ⬇️
Every single page is beautiful in both its content and its expression. The idea of centering on queer Muslim spiritual self-expression is nothing short of stellar. It's such an amazing thing to do. There is nothing like this out there. - amina wadud
You can also save a pdf of this workbook for personal and collective use. This illustrated community resource is full of lived experiences, questions for personal reflection & collective discussion, and references to inclusive scholarly frameworks that affirm queers of faith in all their diversity.
- Gorgeous and gentle illustrations
- Co-created by queer Muslims for queer Muslims
- Anchored in a dozen interviews from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore
- 13 exercises for personal and group reflection
- Answer along with diverse Muslims from 14 countries
- 4 sidebars to inspire your knowledge
The Signs In Ourselves is a queer spiritual wellbeing workbook inspired by Qur'an verses 41:53, 51:20-21, and interviews with Southeast Asian Muslims. Written by Liy Yusof and illustrated by Dhiyanah Hassan, it was made available online in 2020 by the Coalition for Sexual & Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies. May Allahﷻ accept this offering and bring it to those who need it. Letters and inquiries: qmcourage [at] gmail [dot] com.