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Interview with Adnan Ali March 6, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims, Responses.

“Britain’s first gay Muslim activist” has popped up again to share his views on religion being “appreciative of sexual diversity”. This follows his appearance on the Channel 4 documentary “Gay Muslims” – I dealt with Adnan’s claims shortly after: do check it out!

The interview by Hassan Mirza is rather fluffy, but perhaps the following two Q&A’s are worth a look.

Why do you think it is important for there to be gay groups with religious affiliations? What do these groups accomplish??

It is a personal choice. The secular notion of the West is still a minority concept. Majority of the people in the world are not secular. We have to accept this fact while living in the West, whether we like it or not. More and more gay people are being discriminated and treated horribly due to conservative religious interpretation of the theology.

Therefore it is quite significant to question this religious banishment by actually finding out what a particular religion says about homosexuality. You will be surprised to learn that a religion can be appreciative of sexual diversity. So it is important for some of us to have religious gay groups. However, I don’t expect everyone to have affiliations.

These groups do strive hard to accomplish a very basic sense of integrity with and within a sexual-religious minority, whether through cultural and ritual celebrations or intellectually stimulating debates on theology.

The problem is, what sort of “intellectually stimulating debate” is possible without coming head to head with these “conservative religious” folk? The queer Muslims tend to speak of them with such contempt, and act as though they have already finished the argument. In fact, they have failed utterly to present a case that is convincing in terms of Islamic jurisprudence. What they keep doing is using the standard Western secular model (with its own notions of identity and of rights) and throwing it in Muslims’ faces, saying that anyone who doesn’t get with their lingo is obviously backward. They also dabble in the sorts of justifications that Christians and other religious people used to justify practising acts and lifestyles clearly forbidden by their scriptures as well as faith communities.

I dare say that the approach I take is, while firm, also understanding of what people are trying to say. So I am perhaps an ideal person for them to involve in discussion and debate. So come on guys, I’m waiting as always. Get in touch.

What do you think is the best way to challenge anti-gay attitudes from Muslims in the UK?

More visibility of LGBT Muslims and dialogue with and within the mainstream Muslims on the issues surrounding Islamic instructions on homosexuality are very important.

We need to dispel the invalid ideas such as the idea that being gay is a “western thing” or “a white man’s disease”.

To challenge anti-gay attitudes, one must be very confident of his/her own sexuality. Imaan and Safra Project are two support groups in the UK, who are doing commendable work in providing that support to LGBT Muslims, their friends, and allies.

Yes, dialogue. But are you willing to change your views too, as well as being so bent on “dispelling” our “invalid ideas”? I neither see “being gay” as a “white man’s disease” or a “western thing” – but concepts need to be understood within their historical context: let’s remind ourselves where, when and how this category of identity developed. Then let’s evaluate how well it fits into Muslim cultural norms, as well as Islamic theology and jurisprudence. Adnan should be more humble about how his supposed truths reached him, and how he too may have inherited assumptions – but those assumptions just happen to suit him just fine.



1. Rod DeFoe II - July 31, 2006

Adnan Ali stikes me as incredibly brave to chart such territory. I am impressed to hear a voice of reason in a jungle of extremes. The Qu’ran does not even mention homosexuality, only through Sharia law is there a written stance held for tradition. I believe a possibility exists to allow for homosexuality within the contents of Muslim faith more stongly than within the Judeo/Christian texts. May ground be gained on this front.

Adnan Sami - September 9, 2009

It is true, the qur’an does not mention the word homosexuality by word in qur’an, but the sin itself is clearly mentioned and prohibited several times.

But you may also like to take note that JESUS was not mentioned in the hebrew bible either, does that mean jesus was not mentioned, you only started using the word jesus recently, as well as the WORD homosexuality…….but the sin itself ( homosexuality ), is mentioned in the qur’an……….and the person ( jesus ) is mentioned in the bible

2. talebhaqq - July 31, 2006

The Qur’an probhibits same gender sexual acts and is clear about the only legal sexual acts being between spouses those that are male and female. Either way, Rod, the Sharia is not ONLY based on the Qur’an (though it is the major source) there are other sources for shariah including the Prophetic hadiths as well as numerous other methods.
But we come back to your comment about “homosexuality”. What is banned in Islam is same gender sexual acts. You may want to take a look at this post: https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/06/15/the-quranic-narrative-french/

Brave, perhaps. Reasonable…doubtful.

3. Syed Baap Ki Sunny Aulad - August 20, 2007

MR. Adnan Ali

You Give feeling of your family and you cast by your this emberassing thing. That is not you fault ectually , It is your elders gunah-e-kabeera (I mean Your Father & brother And you Grand father.) You are a punishment for them by Allah. Because of there mis behaves there attributs and what they was doing woith otheres , for that you are deserve to feel them embarassing whole of there live who alive what ever if they died . they feel shame because of you after death on the day of dome. I know about you and your family very much especialy about your father . I know He is died because of your this dicission. If you think I’m lying then I give you satisfaction hint that: Your father is Chain smoker of K2. and You are go on the scholarship of england . And your education and Your all master degrees for university of london is not give them honor how much you studied or earn or become a richist person in whole your family. you donot get respect from any pakistani aur them who belong to your cast. You are not realized what you have done .. and your climax it will be same like the nation of Hazrat Loot (A.S) as written in Qu’ra’n.

4. Emma Hughes - March 1, 2008

I am not homosexual but I feel warmth and respect for gay Muslims who are trying to live their life honestly, they don’t deserve abuse from other people, who are you to abuse and judge someone, it’s not your place to judge.

Love for all, hatred for none.

God is Great!!!

5. Rasheed Eldin - March 1, 2008

Emma, care to actually read the arguments presented in this or other articles, and make a reasoned response, rather than just abusing us by saying we are abusers? Abuse is easy, analysis and critique require something more. If you’re up for it, welcome – otherwise, save your slogans for a Gay Pride march.

6. Anonymous - March 3, 2008

Salaam, as a struggling gay muslim I have to agree that Adnan Ali’s arguements are based on secular ideologies and he fails to address Islamic refferences related to homosexuality. However since I have the platform, people should stop comparing homosexuality to rape/pedophiles/etc. as these are acts of forced sex and I would like to thank straightpath for providing a source of dialogue and support for people like myself. May Allah reward you for your efforts and kindness. (ameen)

7. Rasheed Eldin - March 3, 2008

Salaam and thanks for your comment brother, and I agree with you about the stark difference between something forbidden but consensual (homosexual acts generally) and something forbidden and forced (rape or child abuse). It doesn’t do any good in a discussion to mix such things up, and if anyone wishes to make comparisons, they should make clear what analogous aspects they intend to highlight.

8. Indian Muslim - February 24, 2009

I don’t think it is right for us to judge any fellow Muslim. Earlier and even now, pederasty was fairly common among Muslims in Asia–Indian sub-continent, and this ‘amradparasti’ or ‘aghlam bazi’ as it was called in Urdu, had a kind of social sanction, which we today find unusual.

So I just don’t know. May be the gay Muslims are struggling with this problem. As long as they say they are Muslim, I feel the same and I have no locus standi to say whether they are sinning or not.

9. Rasheed Eldin - March 30, 2009

Dear Indian Muslim,

I don’t follow your logic. First you mention some deviant practices once being common, while surely not claiming that this is a proof of it being acceptable to God?

I agree, this is a struggle for many people. But the true struggle is to obey Allah despite your desires. The point is not to declare anyone outside of Islam, but it is certainly legitimate (nay, a duty) to declare sin as being sinful, with reference to the authentic sources of Islamic law and ethics.

10. Abdulrhman Ali - May 13, 2009

i`m a gay Muslim and i live in Kuwait, which is full of gay people..
so there is no big deal being weird between groups of weirds lol

11. Rasheed Eldin - May 14, 2009

Abdulrhman, it depends what you mean by “no big deal”. You may find a group of people who share your wrong actions and support you in them (as of course did the people of Sodom), but it’s another matter to consider your standing before Allah. The Day of Judgement is a Very Big Deal. If you agree with me on that, then maybe we have something to talk about.

12. Anonymous - September 9, 2009

Gay muslims are not muslims at all, Allah has prohibited homosexual activities and it is against what was taught by our beloved Prophet s.a.w, I suggest you all start reading the translations of the Quran if you do not understand Arabic and you will find all the answers then. But being ignorant and doing what your heart desires will only bring bigger punishment in the hearafter. I find it difficult to understand how one can call himself a Muslim if he is not following what Allah requested in the first place.

13. gul - January 28, 2010

If gay muslims love their faith so much why cant they be celibate?
Its like muslims who chose not to have sex before or outside of marriage
At the end of the day, Islam and homosexuality can not enter the same equation.
Gay muslims should stop feeling guilty, and stop justifying it,its haram full stop.

14. Mo - April 28, 2010

I read the above comments and I am disappointed by the close mindedness of many people. If you look at almost all the research that has been done by good islamic scholars, then you will see that no one could actually get any aayat from the quran that says anything about homosexuality that is wrong/haraam.

You look at Sodom and Gomorah and see that it was destroyed because of the sins that was committed. The straight men raping straight men. Nowhere does it state anything about homosexuality. It also refers to the fact that men would rather choose the men excluding their woman that has been given for them. And this was directed to the married men waiting on and then raping the men that passes through.

You also look at ancient times and see in the hadith of Rasoolullah (SAW), that he had ennuch (gays) working for him and they were allowed to see the woman naked, as they had no desires for woman.

There is also a hadith that states that Abu Hurrairah also approached the prophet (SAW) and mentioned that he was young and did not find “wherewithal” to marry a woman, as a young boy he feared torment for his soul.

The prophet (SAW) then said ” The pen is dry, so be an ennuch for that reason or leave it alone”

It is now proven in many hadith that ennuch/gays have always been around and there are a few hadith that also mentions that the ennuchs are those that does not possess the male qualities. This is acceptable. It is shown that ennuchs are different to other males and are allowed.

What was not acceptable, is straight men having sex with other straight men, for their wrongful desires.

But if a man genuinely has no desires for women and have the love and compassion for a man only, then as far as I have learnt, he is allowed to enter that union.

But I come back to my point again…. There is no evidence in Al Quran that states anything about homosexuality. People makes their own conclusions and do not bother to reference back to the Quran first for guidance.

The Quran was created, as a quidance for Islam, yet we follow people instead of reading the Quran.

We are all muslim and it all comes down to making Solaah, reading Al Quran, fasting, making duah, keeping Allah close to our hearts and putting Allah first and helping others.

That is what Islam requires of us. Allah is all merciful and non judgemental, loving and caring. Stop just accepting what people say… Read up on things. Go out, seek knowledge. Allah say Iqra’ , Read… Seek knowledge.

And that is why the Quran is there. Whatever the Quran says, is Haqh.

Love everyone because Allh loves all His creation, no matter what.

Stop making Allh out to be such a horrible , all punishing God because He is not. Allah is the total opposite of this.

So focus on the Fard that Allah has so graciously given us to follow. It really makes life and everything else so much greater.

I am a proud gay muslim and I am not afraid to say it.

I have gone to the Quran and I have done my research and my journey is only starting….

Rasheed Eldin - April 28, 2010

Welcome, Mo. Since you’ve divided your comments into three parts, I’ll try to reply as concisely as possible to each part.

First of all, who are these “good scholars” whose re-interpretation you’re so impressed with? Name names and we can provide detailed responses to their research, Allah willing.

The idea that the story of Sodom in the Qur’an is about rape is baseless and nonsensical, as discussed in this post and its comments:

Eunuchs are not gays, but they are castrated males and completely irrelevant to your argument.

I don’t know what you’re trying to prove regarding Abu Hurayrah (RA), since as far as the biographies I’ve consulted state, he indeed had a wife!

You said: “But if a man genuinely has no desires for women and have the love and compassion for a man only, then as far as I have learnt, he is allowed to enter that union.”
— But of course you will never find an example of that from the time of the Prophet (SAW) or otherwise approved of by the Muslim leaders.

Please brother, be careful in how you try to define Allah (SWT) for the sake of your desires. Allah is “non-judgemental”, you say, while Allah is indeed the Judge, who forgives as He wills but also punishes whomever He wills?

You say “Allah loves all His creation, no matter what,” which contradicts what the Qur’an tells us in numerous places, such as 2:190, 2:276, 3:32, 3:57, 3:140, 4:36, 4:107, 5:64, 5:87, 6:141, 7:31, 7:55, 8:58, 16:23, 22:38, 28:76, 28:77, 30:45, 31:18, 42:40, 57:23.

Look these up, in your research. I am assuming you don’t speak Arabic so at least consult a translation. But don’t rush to make your own brand of religion because of your “gay pride”.

15. Mo - April 28, 2010

And I find it very upsetting that so called Pious muslims wants to tell others that they are not allowed to be muslim because of their sexual identity, which, is something that we are born with. We cannot help for what we feel.

The sad part of it all is that so many muslims out there are still so afraid to come out with this because they fear losing their deen.

No one gives anyone else the right to say that He or She is not muslim. I believe that those who are muslim today, are the ones that Allah has chosen to be muslim.

Don’t live up to Allah’s status. Let Allah keep all the power because Allah is all powerful. Stop trying to be on His level.

Rasheed Eldin - April 28, 2010

Let’s be crystal clear: nobody here is telling you that you can’t be Muslim. We are saying that since you are a Muslim, you must stay away from all things that your Lord has prohibited, including sexual relations with the same gender. If you choose to disobey Him in that, it’s between you and Allah but at least we have done our part in reminding you.

16. Mo - April 28, 2010

And from a more human pint of view, I am one of those muslims that lived a lie for 26 years of my life. It is horrible knowing that I have no desires for women. I got engaged to a women and today I am grateful I did not go through with the marriage. Just imagine the pain that I would have caused her if I couldn’t fulfill all of her needs. That marriage would have been a lost and loveless union.

I always knew that I was gay.
Since 5 years old I remember how painful it was trying to force myself not to think of other boys in a different way.

As I grew up it became more transparent and I could not get myself to show any real affection to girls except for just normal friendship.

The pain of finding out that I will be going to hell wasn’t a very good feeling.

I remember thinking… what if I rather kill myself instead because either way, I’ll be going to hell….

But I knew that Allah would never put anything in my way that I could not handle and He is all merciful and certainly would not create me with these feelings and this way, if he didn’t have a plan for me….

For 25 years I have been hoping that this will change and for 25 years have I prayed that Allah show me the path that is meant for me.

I don’t know how it happened but all I knew was that I couldn’t live this lie and secret any longer. It made me drift further away from Islam and Allah.

I started using drugs, clubbing, partying, alcohol and seeing guys in secret. I started becoming the total opposite of who I really should be and I slowly started resenting Allah for who I am and who He created.

So I then realised that this is not what I want. I wanted the life of a muclim again and I wanted to Love Allah the way I should be.

Alhamdulillah, it is about a year and 9 months now and I am grateful that Allah accepted me back as a good muslim and I am grateful that Allah has helped me through my struggle thus far.

I am now a proud Gay muslim.

And I have gone through a very knowlageable journey thus far…. It is only the beginning. My brother is a maulana and he disowned me and so did most of my family but what really matters today is that I have Islam and Al Quran in my life again.

I am able to make duah for them and I am able to ask Allah to forgive them too for the abuse I’ve had to undergo because of their anger.

I believe that I am a chosen muslim and that Allah loves me no matter what….

My dream is to become a scholar and activist someday. Unfortunately because of some things I’ve had to go through I am unable to do so but I strive everyday to be part of the change in this world, even if I just touch one person’s heart and help them come close to Allah again no matter their sexual identity.

And I really thank all those Imaanat and scholars that researched the Quaran and Hadeeth and came forth with the correct revelations.

Remember, the Quran cannot change, so whatever is stated in the Quran is Haqh. if something is not written in the Quran, then it is not.

Rasheed Eldin - April 28, 2010

I’ll start with your last point. If something is not mentioned in the Qur’an, it may still be revealed Truth if it is in the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (SAW). And the prohibition of sodomy is crystal clear in both the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as the consensus of qualified scholars from the time of the Companions until today. What some gay academic in Holland writes is pretty irrelevant.

I feel for your struggle, I really do, but the real struggle is to stay within the limits of what Allah has permitted, not to redefine religion to match how you suppose He has created you, thanks to the propaganda of homosexualists. See here for more discussion:

Let me point out a fundamental flaw in your thought process. You said:
“As I grew up it became more transparent and I could not get myself to show any real affection to girls except for just normal friendship.
“The pain of finding out that I will be going to hell wasn’t a very good feeling.”

Who told you that you’ll go to hell for not being attracted to women?? Nobody is punished for their feelings alone, but based on actions and their associated intentions. See here:

At this blog we support absolutely any sincere Muslim who is afflicted by same-sex attraction, and advise them to take a path of obedience to Allah, which for many people means abstinence, but for others can lead to becoming as they wish to be, and marrying according to the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW).

I wish this for you, but the first step is to realise the severe sin of claiming to be a “proud gay Muslim”.

17. adnan - June 10, 2010

homosexuality is forbidden in islam..so there4 u cant b a gay muslim..and pls change ur name!

Rasheed Eldin - June 10, 2010

Salam, Adnan. I suppose you are addressing your namesake to change his name?

In any case, while I agree with you that homosexuality (as in actions based on homosexual desire) are definitely forbidden by Islam, it’s not true to assert that someone who is guilty of this sin is no longer a Muslim.

See for example:

18. Wishful thinker - January 10, 2011

I am not muslim but I have fallen in love with an in the closet muslim. My only question, after reading arguements from both sides, is my own personal opinion (not based on my sexual orientation but on my personality and values) is even if people don’t accept someone being a gay muslim, why is there so much hatred? If it does not affect you or your religion can we not just accept the differences and in a sense i guess let each to live their own lives without forcing this pain onto others. As someone said above any issues is between Allah and that person right? And i don’t know for sure what the text says, or its context etc in the Qu’ran regarding definitions of homosexuality etc but who can really be sure of its intentions? Is everyone not just learning from someone else etc etc and creating a line that surely you can agree that due to parts of ambiguity in the text we assign certain cultural or personal values to it and there for turn it into what we believe are texts that are “clear”. So i guess from all of this, I just wish that we could move forward as all the different cultures, relgions, races etc in the world and not express such hatred. We are all someones son, daughter, brother uncle etc and when we are in love (straight or gay) or love our children or family and friends etc it is for who they are so how does their personality and our love for them change because of a sexual orientation. Being non religious, i have developed a view that i put forward to you, are all religions not over all there to make us better people and to live better lives and create a better world, but i just dont see how sexual orientation that does not change our behaviour to others, does not change our values or respect for others etc etc how repressing this makes the world better. But this is my opinion, i give it with respect and I hope we can all share that respect for others lives. Thanks

Rasheed Eldin - January 10, 2011

Dear Wishful Thinker,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts civilly. Any fair reader of this site would observe that we are happy to engage in dialogue with people who disagree with us, indeed I believe the majority of comments are critical in one way or another. The only things we (usually) don’t approve are messages shouting at us to stop believing in the Qur’an, because that is pointless and offensive.

You’ve made some speculations about the basis of our religion, comparing perhaps to what you know about other religions or how people talk about them, but really I don’t go along with the idea that Islamic laws are nebulous and open to *any* interpretation. Any claim must be backed up with evidence, and Islam has a very advanced system of examining evidential claims. So, for example, the fact that homosexual acts are forbidden is crystal clear, and my saying that requires evidence (provided elsewhere of course). If someone claims otherwise, let him dispute our evidence and provide his own (which we debate about on this site when anything is forthcoming, however weak).

Since you are calling for respect, how about getting past characterising our position as all about “hate”? If you stop making our differences all a matter of “love” on your side and “hate” on mine, perhaps we can address actual facts.

– I don’t believe that it’s “hateful” to advise someone that what they’re doing angers the Creator Who will be judging them for eternity – even supposing I’m mistaken.

– I don’t accept that it’s “hateful” to clarify the mistakes made by people justifying and promoting these actions among Muslims.

– I reject the idea that it’s “hateful” to counter the efforts of people trying to normalise sin and destruction of values in our community.

See the following:

19. Maryam - December 5, 2011

I fear for my brothers and sisters. I fear for my future children.I fear for my nieces and nephews. I fear for my friends and their siblings and their children. I fear for Muslims in my home country. I fear for anyone who will have to grow up in a world where homosexuality is practiced everywhere and so openly. I do not want anyone I mentioned above or I to be alive when homosexuality is at its climax. It is disgusting. I feel sorry for those castrated or “Eunicchs” but I do not feel sorry for people who do not control their desires and claim to be proud of a sin. How can you be proud of sinning? How would it sound if all of a sudden prostitutes came out to demand their right of freedom to do whatever and then label themselves as “proud” prostitutes. Would you want your children to grow up in that kind of environment? Giving the wrong ideas to kids and PROMOTING those ideas?! Really? I do not care about just any gays, they can do whatever. Im speaking to Muslim gays. Really? Remain in the closet. You are sinning. Why would you want the world to know youre sinning and that you are disobeying Allah?! Its crazy. Those that try to quote hadith to justify their heinous acts.. really? Muhammad, peace be upon him, was an example for us to follow! When he married whom he did, he did so to show us who we can marry and in what type of way/condition, that is why he married more than 4. Tell me where did he marry another man?! Where did any of the prophets marry another man? Even the first man and prophet married a woman. Eve married a man. If Allah wanted us to marry withing our gender, dont you think He would of sent someone to show us? Dont you think it would of been brought up and recommended as a choice? So please stop trying to quote this and that. Drop your ego. Drop your desires and return to your Lord! I am no one to judge of course. Dont think Im “hating” on anyone or anything. I just fear for our Ummah. Allah does not need all these people disobeying him to this degree. I feel sad that its already happening so fast. That Im living in an age where I can see it all. Where people whom I love who I want to see in Jannah have to see it all too. We all have desires, but we should not go public with them and then use Islam to justify it. NO. It does not work like that. You can not pick and choose and then alter later on. You are suppose to fit your life around Islam, not the other way around. The big thing that angers me about this is that people are openly, publicly “proud gay” Muslims. Ya Allah! Guide us all! Guide on on Sirat-al Mustaqim- the STRAIGHT path. Ameen!

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