Meet the Team

Meet the trustees based across the UK and US that are leading our teams of volunteers to further our collective aim to raise the profile of queer Muslims everywhere and help our fellow queer Muslims.

Hidayah UK

Hidayah US

Meet the UK Team

Shelina – Chair & Founder of Hidayah UK

Pronouns – she/her

Hey! I’m Shelina and I am one of the founders of Hidayah.

I decided to set Hidayah up as a result of my own personal experiences. I felt like there were very few spaces to be open about one’s faith in the LGBTQI+ community without receiving ridicule or criticism from a community who may feel that religious institutions are fundamentally oppressive.

Hidayah aims to undermine and deconstruct these hegemonic views and offer safe spaces and meeting groups for LGBTQI+ Muslims (whether an individual is practising or not) and provide them with resources that show that Islam is compatible with LGBTQI+. We’re here to make an invisible minority, within a minority, visible again.

Adam – Secretary

Pronouns – he/him

Hello, I’m Adam and I’m based in Manchester.

My heritage is English and Pakistani. I bring my experience in data privacy and regulatory compliance to Hidayah. I passionately believe in equality and hope help build and provide a safe space to LGBTQI+ Muslims that allows them to be their true selves.

Ali – Treasurer

Pronouns – he/him

Hey, my name is Ali, I’m the treasurer for Hidayah. I’m a qualified accountant by trade. The reason why I joined Hidayah is to ensure the support, regardless whether its big or small, is sustainable for the future. It’s amazing to see how even a small chat can make a difference to someone’s prospective on life.

Osman – Outreach

Pronouns – he/him

My name is Osman and I initially heard about Hidayah through listening to a feature on the radio. I identify as a gay Muslim man and have had to overcome many social issues around my sexuality and religion.

I feel passionate about helping people who identify as Muslim and LGBTQI+. I would like to help create a safe space place for Muslim LGBTQI+ and help support people who are struggling with their identity. I currently work in higher education and volunteer with various LGBTQI+ charities and have helped organise a social group here at my University. I am part of a growing LGBTQI+ network based in Glasgow. 

I look forward to working with Hidayah to help build a stronger bond between LGBTQI+ community and the Muslim community.

Jaron – HR & Recruitment

Pronouns – he/him

Hello! I’m Jaron and I am based in Leeds.

I’m the charities HR & Recruitment Officer and I recruit and look after all of our amazing Hidayah LGBT UK volunteers. I feel extremely previleged to be part of a forward thinking organisation, providing a safe space for LGBT+ Muslims to be themselves. As a gay man, I am passionate about inclusivity and what Hidayah LGBT+ UK stands for. I look forward to learning more about, helping the Muslim LGBT+ community.

Mo – IT Officer

Pronouns – he/him

Hey everyone! My name is Mo, I am in charge of everything tech at Hidayah.

I decided to join the charity because I wanted to help transform their online presence and connect with other queer Muslims. I also wanted to have the opportunity to help other queer Muslims, like myself, by creating a way for them to find out more information about queer identities and Islam, as well as helping them connect with their wider community!

I am looking forward to improving the services Hidayah currently provides and working with the other trustees to facilitate their projects, hope to meet you guys soon!

Marc – Programs

Pronouns – he/him

I am a gay cis-gendered man, born and raised in Blackpool, Lancashire. I moved to London over 20 years ago where I live with my partner of 18 years, John.

I consider my partner, family and friends to be at the centre of my life and I am lucky that I was able to come out with little negative impact. I know that a large number of people within our community cannot say the same and this is why I joined Hidayah. I want to help where I can, to allow more queer people to come to terms with who they are and reconcile this with themselves, their faith, family and friends.

Drew – Communications & Marketing

Pronouns – he/him

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Andrew decided to follow his passion for the arts in London in 2006. After studying Fashion Design and Marketing, Fine Art BA and Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation MA, he began to work within both the Art and Fashion industries in London. From curating, developing and project managing an event space in East London in 2009, to conceptualising windows and installs for companies such as Christian Louboutin and Browns Fashion.

Andrew joined Hidayah to offer their skillset in marketing / brand strategy to enhance visibility of the queer Muslim community

Nigel – General Committee Member

Pronouns – he/him

I am a Manager, DEI for UK&I at Sage. With more than 15 years of experience in Global Technology and Retail organisations, I l help leaders build high-performance cultures through a collaborative partnership with the leaders, inclusion, and diversity. This significantly focuses on Gender, LGBTQ+, race and ethnicity, disability and Autism, recognising the need for an intersectional approach.  

I identify myself as a British Latino gay man. Being gay and a person of colour in a heteronormative world can be difficult and stressful, but for Muslims who identify as gay, life can be particularly problematic. This is due primarily to negative social representations of homosexuality within Islam. Being a part of the Hidayah helps me support my LGBTQ community and oversee some of the socio-psychological challenges that Muslim gay men may experience.

Outside Sage, I lead LGBTQ+ Meetups in the Northeast, am Brand Ambassador of Ambitious with Autism and a Chair of SAATHI NGO that works with HIV+ women and kids. I have also been recognised as a Top 10 British LGBT award 2021 and Global Top 100 LGBT award 2021.

Hamza – Global Liason Officer

Pronouns – he/him

Hello! I’m Hamza (he/him) and I’m the Global Liason Officer at Hidayah.

I first got involved with Hidayah after moving back home following graduation: wanting to find an inclusive queer Muslim community that would allow me to connect to other people like myself, I reached out to Hidayah and was immediately welcomed into a new family.

I’m really excited to be working between the US and UK branches of Hidayah and ensuring that both committees are best supported in continuing the incredible work that they do.

Meet the US Team

Sami – Chair of Hidayah US

Pronouns – he/him

Salaam! I’m Sami (he/him) a NYC native, (g)uncle, tea connoisseur, Bengali, Virgo, a listener, passionate about public health//community development, and I usually am hungry 😬

I’m really excited to bring Hidayah here to the US after attending the Hidayah UK conference in 2019. As the Chair – I know that this is going to be a big task, but I’m looking forward to help setting the foundation for creating a space space and family for Queer Muslims. This will be a transformative journey and I hope to see you a part of it as well!

Vacant – Treasurer

Pronouns – N/A

This position is vacant, if you’re interested in joining the team for this role, get in touch with us!

Elliott – Communications

Pronouns – they/them

Hello, I’m Elliott (they/them)! I am a non-binary Muslim based in Washington DC. I am also a social scientist, an educator, and a big Star Trek fan.

I first learned of Hidayah (UK) as I grew into my trans identity in college and began to look for ways to connect with others at the intersection of queer and Muslim identities. Now that Hidayah is in US, I am proud to work with a compassionate group of people to provide community, support, and understanding for LGBTQ+ Muslims here in the States. I believe that Hidayah’s focuses on storytelling and communication are powerful forms of advocacy, and I am excited to see what we can create together.

Sajida – Social Media

Pronouns – she/her

Salaam! I’m Sajida. I’m a Jewish revert to Islam (Jewslim), and I’m grey-asexual, panromantic, and polyamorous, but I generally just identify as “Queer” because that’s a mouthful! In addition to working with Hidayah, I run my Queer-aligned virtual masjid, Daar ul-Gharib.

I realized my calling to be an outspoken advocate for the Queer Muslim community shortly after I reverted in 2016. As a scholar, I do my best to provide people with information on the history of LGBT+ persons in Islam, and also supporting Queer Muslims today. I’m also disabled and work to speak out about the allowances Islam has made for those of us with physical and mental struggles, much of which the general Ummah isn’t completely aware. I hope my positions with Hidayah and my mosque can help lift up Queer and otherwise marginalized and disenfranchised Muslims, while also educating everyone on Islam’s rich history of tolerance and inclusion.

Zain – Programs

Pronouns – he/him

Hello! My name is Zain (he/him), and I am a Pakistani-American raised in the rural farmlands of Central New Jersey. I’m a designer and (ex-)architect passionate about community engagement, with slight obsessions for desserts, spicy foods, dancing, and the Golden Girls.

I came across Hidayah as I was searching for progressive Islamic spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, and fell in love with their Istame’a podcast series. It was my first time hearing the experiences of other Queer Muslims that I could relate to, and I started volunteering as a way to start contributing my expertises to the community in any way that I could. Serving as the Programming Chair for the USA, I aim to offer enriching experiences for Queer Muslims that address the obstacles many of us face day-to-day, and the creation of a safe space for all community members to feel seen, heard, and affirmed through.

Ben – Membership & Programs

Pronouns – he/him

Salaam! My name is Ben, my pronouns are he/him, and I’m an educator, researcher, and anthropologist.

I’m passionate about community empowerment and interfaith dialogue. I’m also an avid hiker, amateur photographer, and cat lover. As a queer Muslim, a gay man, an Iranian-American, and a Midwesterner, I’m excited to be a part of Hidayah’s efforts to build inclusive and affirming communities for all LGBTQ Muslims across the US.