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Muslim Before Anything Else January 22, 2006

Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Advice, Islam.
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BY MUJAHID MUSTAQIM  

Rasheed’s comments below encouraged me to share here an article I wrote a long time ago, for those people (especially youth) who are questioning their sexuality and could do with help in understanding it, from an Islamic viewpoint in particular. It has not been published on the StraightWay website, but I have posted it on some forums, including MuslimYouth.

MUSLIM BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE

By Mujahid Mustaqim
The StraightWay Foundation

For Muslims living in the West, and indeed almost anywhere nowadays, self-identity is a very difficult issue. American? Asian? Progressive? Fundamentalist? Everyone wants you to conform to their own labels or reject other ones. It is becoming increasingly difficult to answer that most basic of questions: “Who am I?” Throw same-sex attractions into the equation and the problems are multiplied!

In my discussions with same-sex attracted (SSA) Muslims, many of whom identify themselves as ‘gay’ etc., I have found this lack of personal grounding as a recurrent theme. What so many people are finding difficult to do is to think as a Muslim. That’s no surprise considering how all pervasive the materialistic worldview is in modern society.

The Essence of Islam

No matter what their varied perspectives and opinions, what all Muslims agree on is this: the core of the matter is ALLAH, the Exalted and High, the One Who will endure after all has passed… Serving and worshipping Him is the only purpose of our existence [51:56]. A good action is one that draws us closer to Him; and a bad action is one that earns His displeasure.

Therefore, the essential link for any person is that with his Creator. All that should matter to him is whether his deeds will be accepted by Allah (SWT) on the day when all will stand for account before Him individually.

Some people misunderstand this point and suppose that they can maintain a personal link with Allah without concerning themselves with the laws He has laid down. No, in fact we must make every effort to obey Allah in every detail, and only that way will He accept our efforts. It is no use relying on the fact that He (SWT) is Merciful! {Say [O Muhammad]: If you love Allah, then follow me [i.e. my teachings] and Allah will love you…} [3:31]

The essential teachings are found in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). We must cling to these guidelines for our salvation, and that includes observing the limits (hudood) of Allah. We must be sincere in our desire to please Him, and avoid anything that would earn His displeasure!

We also need to recognise the role of scholars in helping us along our way. It takes a deep knowledge and broad understanding to explain the laws of Islam in detail and apply them to modern scenarios. That is why we rely on learned people – who have studied the Islamic deen (way of life) extensively – to give rulings based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. They do not speak on their whims, but derive their legal (fiqhi) opinions according to defined methods and criteria.

The Eyes of a Muslim

As just mentioned, Islam is our deen: a complete way of life – which leads us onto the topic of identity. Islam is its own outlook and philosophy. A Muslim, through his/her link to Allah and contact with the Qur’an, has a special insight. A Muslim sees clearly through the fog of materialistic confusion, understanding this world for what it is and having certainty of the Hereafter. We trust Allah in His knowledge, and that includes trust in the way things have been explained in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

{He has named you ‘Muslims’ before and in this (revelation)…} [22:78] What a noble identity Allah has chosen for us! He has defined us according to our submission (Islam) to Him. This is the only aspect of identity that will matter on the Day of Judgement. It will not matter then whether we called ourselves ‘rich’, ‘poor’, ‘British’, ‘Arab’, ‘gay or ‘straight’. Then all we will worry about are our good deeds!

If somebody asks, “Who are you?” – how could you go about answering? Perhaps you would feel it inappropriate to mention your religion, but in your heart at least, that should be the priority! What could matter more than the fact that Allah (SWT) has blessed you with guidance and you are submitted to Him? Of course, if you are bold, you might answer like the famous thinker and leader, Hasan al-Banna, when a reporter asked him that same question:

“I am a traveller seeking the truth, a human searching for the meaning of humanity and a citizen seeking dignity, freedom, stability and welfare under the shade of Islam.

“I am a free man who is aware of the purpose of his existence and who proclaims, {Truly, my prayer and my sacrifice, my living and my dying are all for Allah, the Lord of the worlds; no partner has He. This I am commanded and I am of the Muslims (who submit to Him)!}

“This is who I am… Who are you?”

In other words, the fact that we are Muslims is central to our identity. Furthermore, it is a criterion by which other aspects of identity must be understood. In other words, the rest of our self-understanding is moulded around the core, which is Islam!

Start From Islam

When a young person realises that he (or she) is attracted to members of the same sex, he goes through a crisis in understanding. “What do I make of these feelings? Am I gay? But what about my religion? Doesn’t Islam condemn gays?” Then they struggle to reconcile these different aspects of identity.

Let us look at a helpful approach first, and then we shall examine the more common, problematic one in the next section. Of course, both are fictional but ‘caricatures’ of real-life scenarios.

“I am a Muslim. I trust in Allah. I know that so long as I have a link to Him, He will be there for me and will never let me down. I know that he will never burden me more than I can bear. [2:286] I trust His words and those of His Messenger, Muhammad (SAW).

“I know that Allah has forbidden any sexual relationship between people of the same sex. So what about these feelings I have? They must be from Shaytaan (Satan) my sworn enemy [15:39]. He makes false promises and makes the ugly seem beautiful [4:120, 16:63]. Allah has made me susceptible to this sort of temptation as a particular test for me.

“Now I need to think how to deal with these feelings. The worst thing would be to follow them. I know I have to obey Allah in every way, and that way He will continue to bless me and I’ll be successful. If I do my part, then Allah will help me through this struggle.”

This approach shows the utmost in sincerity. This person has started from his/her belief in Allah and referred everything back to Him, demonstrating complete trust (tawakkul). He does not see these sexual desires as important, but realises that obedience to Allah is what matters the most!

Going the Other Way…

There are many people nowadays who take a different approach, leading to confusion and radical changes in their perception of Islam. This approach can cause people to shoot out of the deen faster than an arrow from the bow.

“I’m attracted to people of the same sex, so I must be homosexual. Science shows that there are loads of people who are like this, and it doesn’t matter what religion they are. I suppose this is just how Allah made me.

“But didn’t my Islamic School teachers say that being gay is wrong? Surely they don’t understand. Allah made me this way, so surely He wouldn’t condemn me for what was out of my control! Those teachers must be wrong. They haven’t understood the REAL meanings of the Qur’an.

“I guess for centuries now, scholars have just applied one interpretation to the Qur’an, but we need to look again to see how being queer fits into the picture. There’s no way that Allah could have said anything against homosexuality, since that’s how He made me.”

In this scenario, the young person has taken one way of understanding for granted, i.e. the “fact” that some people are “homosexual”. He has then convinced himself that he must fall into this category, and explained that by the hypothesis that Allah created him “that way”. Then that hypothesis is treated as the absolute truth as our friend begins to question what Islam teaches. The bedrock of his thinking is “I am gay,” not “The Qur’an is true.” It is possible someone like this could become more extreme and abandon the latter belief because he is so sure about the former! (Actually, I have come across a number of people like that.)

As I have explained in great detail elsewhere, the idea of “being homosexual” does not square with the Islamic worldview. If someone takes that for granted, then his or her Islam is in danger. Too many people have been fooled by the secularist/materialist ways of thinking. It is time to reclaim the discourse of Muslims according to the Islamic paradigm.

Some Pieces of Advice

1 – To be a Muslim means to think as a Muslim. Islam is your identity and your view on the world. You ought to be critical of any other sort of identity: “Does it complement the fact that I am a Muslim/Muslimah?”

For example, there is no harm in taking nationality as being a part of who you are. Islam accepts the fact that people are born in different places and the Shari’ah (Islamic law) shows no resistance to the idea that people could be described according to where they are from. On the contrary, Allah (SWT) says: {And We made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.} [49:13]

On the other hand, there are many problems associated with taking ‘sexual orientation’ as an aspect of identity. Islam does not accept the concept of ‘homosexuality’ (and so on). There is no equivalent word to be found in the Qur’an, Sunnah or books of jurisprudence.

2 – Understand your same-sex attraction problems from an Islamic perspective and look to Islam for the solutions.

3 – When questioning what Islam says about ‘homosexuality’ issues, approach the questions with complete sincerity. Your concern should be how to earn Allah’s pleasure and avoid His displeasure. You can question what is necessary to be obedient to Him, but don’t try to find ways to ‘get around’ His commandments. Is it really so important to you that you get what you want? What do you want? Worldly pleasures, or eternal Paradise?

4. – Finally, beware of trying to fit your Islam around preconceived notions of ‘sexual orientation’. That method has been tried and found not to work. Some people start by saying, “I’m gay,” then seek for a way to find acceptance in the framework of Islam. These people find themselves struggling even to understand who they are! They have become trapped by terminology that is alien to Islam. To put Islam first is a sign of taqwa (piety) and will lead to mental and spiritual contentment.

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Comments»

1. www.hulwa.com - January 22, 2006

The Straight Way Foundation: Helping ‘gay’ Muslims

For Muslims living in the West, and indeed almost anywhere nowadays, self-identity is a very difficult issue. American? Asian? Progressive? Fundamentalist? Everyone wants you to conform to their own labels or reject other ones. It is becoming increasin…

2. ahmed - May 24, 2006

thank you……. i sit here crying……. knowing that…… the path ahead of me will be fifficult…… but i am comforted knowing that you as a fellow muslim brother can in some ways see the struggle i face and recognise it, rather than just deny its existence and clasify it as being a sin.

3. Keseimu - July 3, 2006

Fair enough it’s an interesting article with many points worth considering.

“What do you want? Worldly pleasures, or eternal Paradise?”

About this point!
Of course we should seek the hereafter and not this life … But..
I recently read a description of Islamic paradise and there seems to be based around this idea that every man will have like 72 virgins (hoors – women – wives) for his every sexual whim and desire, as well as being given the virility to cope with it. Now Islam tends not to like people who are attracted to and love members of the same gender, Ok, so how is it justified for a muslim man to think “oh those dirty queers what they do is sick and they’re gonna burn in hell” and then desire a paradise with these sexual ‘delights’? And if a muslim with SSA abstains from it his whole life, does good his whole and is admitted paradise what would he be expected to take 72 wives and grin and bear it! He’ll be changed I hear you say!! OR Maybe not, hey!! Am I wrong in finding something not right with this?

4. Mujahid Mustaqim - July 4, 2006

Thanks for your question.

The Islamic description of Paradise (as found in the Qur’an and Sunnah) is not built upon sexual matters, but rather on its being the abode of complete rest, perfect satisfaction, and endless joy and delight.

One of many verses teaching us this:

{There will be for them therein all that they wish – and with Us is more besides.} [50:35]

The numerous descriptions of what is found in Paradise are for us to benefit and imagine, but we must realise that our earthly minds cannot truly grasp their reality, as Allah says:

{So no soul knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them as a reward for what they used to do.} [32:17]

No doubt, in this life, sex is the source of one of the highest earthly joys experienced by men and women – if it were not so, then surely all this controversy over homosexuality etc. wouldn’t be such a big issue. So I think it’s not so surprising that our Creator has described the ultimate pleasures of Paradise using something that we might understand by experience.

What I do take issue with is when people (usually not friendly to Islam) exaggerate these “carnal” joys in Paradise as if they were what Islam sees the striving of life to be all about.

I think it would certainly be a wrong attitude for someone to be lustfully thinking about Paradise like that, even though longing for Allah’s reward is praiseworthy. I don’t think this attitude is something that exists in normal people, nor do I even believe that people who do suicide operations are lusting like that!

As for what an SSA person would receive in Paradise – really, I don’t believe in asking too many questions about what belongs to the Unseen (al-Ghaib), but I trust in Allah that He is preparing the most perfect reward for every servant of His, beyond what any of us could deserve.

5. Keseimu - July 7, 2006

Thank You! I appreciate the reply. I am sure that there is more to the Islamic paradise than “72 Virgins” and carnal delights and so fourth and yes I do know that certain hostiles do use it against Muslims. And I’m sure the vast majority of Mujahideen aren’t concerned with virgins in an afterlife.

But I know some scholars and mullahs try and use it to motivate young men. There are plenty of websites telling young men to think of the Hoors of paradise to avoid sin!! I can see that OSA guys would be taken with that. However I can’t see how a young man with SSA could possibly find that motivating.

Personally, I don’t get why there would be sex in paradise if there will be no child bearing there. Perhaps because there is a pleasurable aspect and not just reproductive part to sexual relations, I can hear someone say! Maybe!!

On the point about SSA people, you’re right that it wouldn’t be such a huge issue if it weren’t for the sexual instinct being such a strong force. But I just don’t get why SSA people are hated so much in Islam as people who “just” follow their desires, when there is talk of a paradise full of desires for the supposedly righteous (sexual or otherwise).

I’m not trying to be rude or offend anyone that’s me I just ask too many questions!!

6. talebhaqq - July 8, 2006

That’s great about asking questions … “Even the Angels ask!!!” is a book written by Muslim thinker Dr. Jeffery Lang, good read.

The point of this life is that it is a journey of tests to prove that we are worthy of Paradise. This basically iis t in a nutshell. It’s funny how people try to describe heaven in so many different ways but the best way that I have even heard it is in the Qur’an when God says “They have whatever they wish for…and we have even more”. So in controlling ourselves not stay away from what God has forbidden and in bringing ourselves towards what he has ordered (worshipping through our prayers, fasting, helping others, contributing to society, struggling against our desires and channeling them to what he has approved of) this is how we attain God’s mercy on the final day. It’s really quite a simple concept, I believe.

7. Keseimu - July 10, 2006

Thx, some interesting points:

What exactly does “They have whatever they wish for…and we have even more” mean?

does it mean, whatever or whatever within certain bounds?

8. Yousef - July 11, 2006

Hi Keseimu,
The verse is unmistakable, it offers no reservation in terms of bounds on what they can want. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the only thing that is not allowed in heaven are “senseless talk and lies”…

9. Keseimu - July 17, 2006

.. so almost like an anything goes kind of society?

10. Rasheed Eldin - July 17, 2006

I don’t think that would be a fair description. We would be best to stick to what we know from the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. I don’t see harm in using your imagination too, but not to speculate about details that we have no evidence for. Just trust in the fact that the People of Paradise (may we all be among them) will have every joy and satisfaction. And there will be nothing negative or evil around to spoil the purity of this reward.

11. Keseimu - July 23, 2006

“And there will be nothing negative or evil around to spoil the purity of this reward”.

Could someone explain to me all this “Purity” business? What is so negative and evil about this life and world?

12. Rasheed Eldin - July 24, 2006

Islam doesn’t portray all this life and world as inherently negative and evil, but rather it is our testing ground, and subject to negative and evil aspects, such as the whispering of Satan, and people doing nasty things. Do you doubt that there is negativity and evil in this world? There is none in Paradise.

13. Keseimu - July 25, 2006

Of course there is evil in the world. Murder, theft, war,,.. etc..

14. Keseimu - July 27, 2006

Though I don’t see why people with SSA are put in the same category as say murderers, thieves etc by Islam

15. Rasheed Eldin - July 27, 2006

They’re not! What gave you that idea? Was it something one of us said?

16. Yousef - July 28, 2006

Hmm, ok let’s say this one more time. Having/dealing/suffering from SSA is NOT evil. Performing actions which are prohibited by God…OR neglecting actions which are presecribed by God IS. And God is the Most Merciful…the Most Kind.

17. Keseimu - July 28, 2006

There are a lot of mixed signals I get from many Islamic websites (including this one, though not as bad as some). If you’ve ever read anything related to the topic of same sex attractions on many an Islamic website it is clear most Muslims cannot fathom the idea that ANYONE can have same sex attractions let alone another Muslim. It’s the usual God made Adam and Eve, not, Adam and Steve kind of arguments or Sodom & Gomorrah this, Sodom & Gomorrah that!

With a lot of so called problems or issues, in theory, Muslims should be understanding, but the reality is very different. Yes, when someone has an illness or some other trial in their life, people show a lot of sympathy but on the issue of same sex attractions it’s the Lynch Mob! I remember the issue came up once in a psychology class where everyone except the teacher was Muslim, and you know, all hell broke loose, no surprises!! They claimed that it’s a person’s own fault that they’re attracted to members of the same sex and should be stoned to death without trial, and anyone who disagreed was to be denounced as an infidel.

On the Islam channel on sky, I saw a scholar being questioned on the issue and he came down heavily on it. According to him, after shirk it’s the greatest sin and won’t be forgiven by God! (This is a reason I guess why I take exception to the idea of a paradise with such “carnal delights”). You guys say that there is a lot reasons for SSA, which are all society’s fault. Maybe it’s just difference!! I can see some people on this website do not have such strong views against SSA, but that evidently isn’t representative of Muslims as a whole.

18. Muslim Apple - September 4, 2006

Muslims are individuals and while we have some shared commonalites, one should try to look at us the same way they would see any group of a billion plus.

It is more reflective on an individual if they cannot grasp this fact and that they seek to generalize Muslim opinion as though there should only be one voice.

19. Rasheed Eldin - September 5, 2006

We are billions of individuals, but God is One. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) was one, and the Qur’an is one. So it is not absurd to say that there is a basic truth that we can reach, and a correct answer to the questions about sexuality, even if getting to that answer may be difficult and we may disagree along the way.

I am less interested in “Muslim opinion” than I am in the correct way to live in obedience to Allah. Confining one’s self to a sociological approach to religion does not befit someone who claims to believe.

20. Muslim Apple - September 5, 2006

Asalamu alaykum Rasheed,

I hope you did not think my comments were directed at you, rather they were directed at Keseimu’s last comment.

Wa salaam

21. Rasheed Eldin - September 5, 2006

Wa ‘alaikum assalaam,

I did realise that (but really after writing my reply)… maybe nowadays I am defensive as an automatic reaction! 🙂

22. MUSTAFA - January 23, 2007

Hi everyone, I think the discussion should boil to one question: If some practiced homosexuality will he go to hell for sure? and what about prostitutes? will god send them to hell too; or only some of them, and on which criteria his judgment will be based upon, their good deeds, bad deeds, or a combination. Inparticular muslim wrongdoers, infidels, or whatever you which to label them. IF YOY ARE A MUSLIM GAY ARE YOU CONDEMENED TO HELL FOR SURE? Anyone who answes yes to this question please support it with evidence. Thanks

23. Rasheed Eldin - January 24, 2007

Mustafa, thanks for your thoughts. Let me begin by saying that not everything in religion is about whether someone is condemned to Hell for sure! Rather, what we are concerned about is having good beliefs, worship and behaviour in this life that will please God and earn His reward as well as preserving us from His punishment.

The simple answer to your questions is NO, we cannot say that any sinner is condemned to Hell for sure, and that is for two reasons:
(1) We are not equipped to judge the realities of the Unseen, which includes people’s intentions and the detailed nature of the final Judgement.
(2) Allah may choose to forgive any sin, however great or small, excepting shirk (associating partners with Him), as mentioned in the Qur’an 4:48. But this should not be taken as an assurance that I can do whatever I like, for Allah is merciful! That is an abuse of a fact.

The question of Muslim sinners is different from that of people who reject the truth of Islam. And as for the term “Muslim gay”, it has too many possible meanings for a simple answer to be given on that matter. If you require further elaboration, please ask.

24. MUSTAFA - January 24, 2007

Hi Rasheed
Thanks for your reply. Actually I know many gay men who are too depressed about their situation, and what is published on this site just won’t help since you are emphasizing one should repent as the only solution for this predicament. So, could one pray and hold on to his faith while still practice homosexuality hoping for forgivence or should one abandon faith all together because belive me abandoning faith is much more natural for someone than abandoning his gay identity(the reality that makes him sane in an aggressive , hostile world)
Thanks

25. Rasheed Eldin - January 25, 2007

1. We don’t say that repentance is the only solution to overcome SSA. In fact, repentance is the only solution for every human being who wants to reach Allah with a sound heart and receive His mercy. But what to repent from exactly? That depends what we do. We don’t say that someone is sinful just for “being gay” in the sense of having same-sex attractions. A sin is something that is done, not felt.

2. If someone’s sexuality is more important to him than his faith, then his faith means nothing. Sorry this is perhaps a harsh statement, but what does it mean to say “I believe in God” if you then tear up His commandments and then arrogate to know better than He? Some people do this by saying “This is how Allah made me,” as if they understand the hidden realities of the divine will.

3. If someone engaged in sinful behaviour is racked with guilt, then so be it. Maybe this guilt is the only lifeline he has to come back to the right path. Religion is not about guilt, but it is also not about relieving people from guilt, except if we mean by this that religion liberates us from the causes of guilt by teaching us right action.

4. About Hell: on the “nice” side, we say that there is no surety of going to Hell for a Muslim sinner. However, on the other – equally true – side, we state two things:
(a) Any sinful person may be sent to Hell for as long as Allah wills, and nobody should consider it an option to go to Hell even for the minutest time;
(b) Some beliefs, attitudes and actions can cause a Muslim to have reneged his faith and become a disbeliever, in which case Hell is his destination except if he repents. Unfortunately the obsession with fulfilling sexual desires causes some “gay Muslims” to fall into these egregious errors, and thus put themselves at risk of eternal punishment.

See this for further details:
http://gaymuslims.org/2006/05/22/the-dangers-of-denial/

You asked: “So, could one pray and hold on to his faith while still practice homosexuality hoping for forgivence…”

The simple answer is: He should abandon sinful behaviour altogether. And if he falls into sin, he should repent. But sincere repentance includes the resolve not to return to the sin. There is no use in indulging in sin and merely “hoping” that Allah will forgive him. This is vanity and self-deception.

26. hal2000 - January 31, 2007

Hi
For gay people an eternal life with heterosexual people and pure “hoor” is just an extension to their earthly nightmarish one..
Wouldn’t you think if god wanted gay to upheld their sexual urges in life, he would have at least hinted for a reward they could relate to in heaven? It’s obvious that you are a heterosexual and know nothing about being a gay. Being gay is as true for a gay as being a heterosexual for you, let me simply put it this way, for gays women genitalia is simply REPULSIVE and for some gay people it even resembles grotesque wounds, how on earth could such people to be offered “hoor een” and not “male een”and be blamed for not completing half of their religion by being married to another woman – compare this with how would you feel spending the rest of your life married to another man?” surly your answer will be straight YUCH and not haram, because instinct ANSWERS FIRST and not religion since this will be the answer of all heterosexual men regardless of their religious background.
I find all your writings reflecting your sexual identity/tendencies rather than what truth is. Gays will repent in this life ONLY if the promise of heaven imply unrestricted love to other males, the utmost source of happiness they could identify with; otherwise fulfiling their sexual needs on earth, or denying god existence seems to be the only two choices they have? Please don’t tell me you/or any other heterosexual/ straighy guy for that matter don’t practice homosexuality because it’s haram . You simply don’t practice it because you are not attracted to other men and the whole world around you supports this inclination whether muslim, non-believers. This is not fair since majority is not always right. So gays have the right to fulfil their sexual needs just like you, and let us all wait for god to be the judge for that. By the way there I think god forbids FORCED sex with males ONLY and about sunah if there’s something SOLID that states otherwise, please inform me

27. Rasheed Eldin - February 1, 2007

Mustafa – you can feel free to inform us as you wish, but you haven’t said why you know any better than we do. Perhaps you consider yourself “gay”, but you haven’t said as much, so what special knowledge do you have? Even if you are, what makes you think you can generalise to everyone with same-sex attraction, or to everyone lacking opposite-sex attraction?

I think your central point was already answered by Mujahid above (comment #4). We trust that Allah will give everyone his/her due reward, and much more besides. Nobody will “miss out” or feel they are missing something in Jannah. This is basic.

Let’s look at your argument (edited for clarity):
“If God wanted gays to resist their sexual urges in life, he would have at least hinted at a reward they could relate to in heaven.”

Now, why would that be? Do you say that because there is no such verse, there is no prohibition? Do you not realise that “gays” is a new categorisation that didn’t exist before last century, let alone at the time of the Qur’an? The Qur’an has promised Paradise for everyone “who feared the standing before his Lord and prevented his soul from desires” [79:40].

If your argument were to hold, we would say that God would promise everyone who wanted to commit sin that they could do it in Heaven. Is that valid?

I don’t see it as part of faith to put demands or issue an ultimatum to the Lord of the Worlds… “Give me this in Paradise or I will disobey You on earth.” The only destination for such a transgressor is the Hellfire. And we seek refuge in Allah from that.

28. Taleb Haqq - February 1, 2007

hal2000: Sexual transgression is NOT part of “instinct”, as you describe it. God tells us to control our desires. Regarding your rant about “hoor een” and “male een” (your words): You are talking about Paradise…a place of eternal happiness where people will have whatever they wish…and God Has even more (to offer). On that Day people will be brought back in perfect form. There will obviously not be anything “undesirable” to people of Heaven. May we all be of them.

29. Kes - June 22, 2007

“There will obviously not be anything “undesirable” to people of Heaven”

Care to explain

30. Taleb Haqq - June 22, 2007

Meaning that there will be no hardship and they will have all of their desires fulfilled therein.

31. Qusai - June 24, 2007

Salam

1. Rasheed wrote: Some people do this by saying “This is how Allah made me,” as if they understand the hidden realities of the divine will…..

Acknowledging your innate inclination is an automatic and straightforward process. It doesn’t invoke any knowledge of the divine will at any stage or at any level.

2. Same writer states that : ..If someone’s sexuality is more important to him than his faith, then his faith means nothing…

I hope we’re not intentionally distorting the point but the issue runs much deeper than that. Sexuality emanates from the same instinctive pool as other physiological tendencies. It does not require any reasoning or justification. It can’t mean anything less than or more than anything else especially an active, consciouss choice such as faith.

So if I am required to apply rational reasoning in rejecting something which is essentially non-rational then this prompts me to bring the logic of blind faith into question. Or it may bring my own understanding of faith into question. But to suggest that you can have enough faith not to pursue your natural sexual tendencies is to commit yourself to an absurd logical non-sequitur.

You can summon enough faith to hold you from pursuing what comes to you naturally. You will continue to be gay, or whatever your perversion is, even if you attain the highest level of faith. What will change is your conscious decison to go on a sex strike or not. That’s the whole point of the ‘worldly test’ model i.e to conquer your inclinations for a better reward. Isn’t it?

It is mentioned in the hadith that if humanity ceases to sin-repent then we would be replaced with a race that did. I hope you’ve heard and understood this hadith.

32. Qusai - June 24, 2007

Correction

Paragraph 6 above should read: “You can summon enough will to…..”

33. Kes - June 26, 2007

Still a little unclear, but Thx nonetheless

34. Khadija - August 1, 2007

Allah see ONLY our Hearts–not the Orientation.

In my home land, Jamaica;;we have a very simple saying: Live Clean. Let Your Works Be Seen. Or you gonna feed worm.

Cam here as am struggling to cope with a very dear friend who has chosen the gay path. He has my clear love–irregardless.

-Muslimah sister:convert 14 years.(Straight)

35. Rasheed Eldin - August 2, 2007

Welcome Khadija, I hope this resource is useful to you. We believe that compassion has much more effect on a person than condemnation. Maybe your love will help get through to your friend.

36. Bashar - December 9, 2007

Hi. I am a Muslim youth (although i struggle trying to identify myself as one because I am confused whether I am able to live as a ‘gay’ Muslim). It is hard trying to find myself because there are many things that I have been told about homosexuality, that it is wrong and whomever chooses that path shall receive the wrath. The very difficult thing is that I keep on going back and forth in my life. First praying constantly for 2 weeks then suddenly realising there is no point because there is no place for me in Islam. I have come to the point where I am puzzled and do not know how to live my life. I do know that I am born as a Muslim and will never truly escape my religion because it is what defines me. And of course faith before sexuality. The main question on my mind is, how do I live my life as a Muslim if I have SSA? It is so difficult to change, and this can be because of my devilish desires or the devils whispers. I surely will not say that “God made me this way” because God put us on this planet to test our faith, to realise our mistakes and correct them (Of course this is not the only reason, there are many). In the end, Allah will be the judge, and only He will decide.

This is a very interesting topic and thanks for the discussion, I have learned a lot and hopefully will understand. In my Muslim community I do not think this topic can be discussed because of the strong view’s against homosexuality and the only common answer I will receive is “NO”.

37. E. - December 25, 2007

Assalamu alaykum wr wb

I’d like to thank you very much for writing your opinions.
I am a Muslim woman (32 years old) living in Germany, beeing originally turkish. I’m struggeling with my feelings /nafs because I fell in deep love with a woman. I know her now for about 9 years ( I generally like female). We were just friends/ sisters in Islam, but we had somehow an affectionate relationship. It is more a passionate love in my heart. Now she is far away from me, I guess she realized that it is better for us. But I miss her so much and cannot forget her. It is hard for me to get over my feelings. And I don’t feel ready to marry a man. I feel guilty and weak, and I’m afraid of beeing not strong enough to change this. I often ask my self if my iman is to weak and if I am just a bad Muslim. But I know I have to go on and try as long as I live. Inshaallah there will be a solution somehow. Maybe I’ll get to know a man who changes my feelings. And if not, than I will stay alone in this life hoping that Allah takes me into paradise inspite of all.

Dear brother Bashar, maybe our only way is to stay “alone” (concerning partnership) and be PATIENT. I mean we should try to keep our lonigs/desires in our heart, praying that Allah will show us a way somehow (besides there are practices how we could ease our “needs” ouerselves, I hope you know what I mean..)
How often did I wish that my love will come and take me into her arms. I just would like to hold her hand like in the past, too.

Dear Brother Mujahid Mustaqim/ Rasheed Eldin or someone who thinks the same way:
Do you think, that it is a sin, if I just hold her hand or hold her in my arms without doing anything else? It would comfort me because it is so hard when she is not around me, without any warm tenderness. Although I havn’t met her for about 2 years I could’nt manage to marry a man. Should l stay totally alone now? It is so sad.
Or what do you think about the idea if two sisters (in Islam) live together, giving each other a little affectionateness without doing more. I believe it is easier for women as for men, because woman wish more affection than “sex” (you know what I mean), am I right? Or is it just a self-deception of my nafs?

With salam and du’a

38. Taleb Haqq - December 28, 2007

Salam,
Brother Bashar and Sister E. A more in depth discussion about same-sex attractions and same-sex relationships / encounters can be found at the yahoogroup http://groups.yahoo.com/group/StraightStruggle
Sister E. with regards to your question: An action that leads you down a path of sin is a sin in itself. So, no, holding hands is obviously not haraam unless it is leading down a path of a haraam encounter / relationship. Please realise there are others both male and female that are dealing with these feelings and are struggling against their desires for the sake of God.
Salam and du’a from this end as well, may He keep guiding us to the straight path.


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