“We met about three years ago, at an iftar – a breaking of fast during Ramadan.
“I think a lot of Muslims find that time of year very spiritual and very enlightening, and so I think that’s why our relationship developed, because we spoke about our faith.”
“Eventually we went on a date.”
Asra recalls the first time she met her partner, Sarah, three years ago. The gay couple, who are also Muslim, are one of a growing number of gay, British Muslims who have cemented their relationship with marriage – Islamic marriage.
Asra fondly remembers the moment Sarah proposed to her.
“After the first date, which was about an hour, Sarah casually asked me to marry her.”
The short ceremony was conducted in Arabic, and additional duas – prayers – were read and the marriage was essentially no different from the nikahs performed for straight Muslim couples all over the world.
One of the key advocates of Muslim gay marriage is the American Imam, Daayiee Abdullah – who himself is gay. He has performed a number of gay nikahs in America and has also advised gay British Muslim couples on how to perform the ceremony.
He reasons that to deny gay Muslim couples the right to a religious union, goes against teachings in the Koran.
“I think there’s a deep-rooted assumption in the secular queer community that you can’t be gay and believe in anything, apart from yourself or materialism.”