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Conversations with Rivka Sajida Zwibelman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rivka Sajida Zwibelman.

Hi Rivka, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m a founding member of Daar ul-Gharib, a Masjid that started out of a need at the beginning of the pandemic. Not only were all masajid (mosques) closed during Ramadan, but we knew once they opened, many people would still feel like they didn’t have a spiritual home.

We wanted to give people somewhere to go, to be with like-minded individuals who support marginalized persons within Islam. We opened our online mosque over discord and gave space to Queer Muslims and other Muslims who have trouble finding physical mosques they feel safe to pray in.

We started small, maybe 10 people. When we did our first Eid prayer we said “Next year in St. Louis, in shaa Allah.”

Now two years later, we have 100+ members and we held a prayer for Eid al-Fitr for about 10 people in St. Louis! Alhamdulillah.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Alhamdulillah Allah subhana w ta’ala has made our road generally smooth.

We faced the struggles we knew we would face (primarily, the backlash at being a femme-led and Queer-affirming mosque) and we have, alhamdulillah, handled them with sabr (patience).

Most of our members and leadership are also disabled in one way or another, so this presents its own issues, usually, when it comes to keeping daily prayers running on schedule or availability for classes we may offer to membership.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Daar ul-Gharib is a Queer-affirming mosque with an emphasis on marginalized individuals within the Muslim community.

We work to make sure that ALL Muslims have a safe space in which to worship and explore and expand their relationship with their Creator. We operate primarily online, which allows us to help people all over the world!

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Me, personally? Growing up, I always ended up as the leader of things even if I didn’t want to. However, I was pretty precocious and asked a lot of questions as well.

I was always interested in religion – it was my passion! I loved learning about different religions and seeing where they connect. I still do.

Pricing:

  • Discord Membership: Free! (see application link below)
  • Patreon Tier: Ma shaa Allah! – $1
  • Patreon Tier: Alhamdulillah! – $5
  • Patreon Tier: SubhanAllah! – $10
  • Patreon Tier: Allahu Akbar! – $20
  • patreon.com/QueerMasjid

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Lori Peterson, Bianca Victoria, Eid 2020, and Lia Gossard

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