“Are we going to Hell?” March 8, 2006Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Advice, Islam, Religion, Responses, StraightWay.
BY MUJAHID MUSTAQIM
On one of the many e-groups set up for Muslims questioning their sexuality (most of which started with good intentions, then were not maintained, and now consist mostly of spam and hook-up requests), someone asked the question below. It is followed by the response of another member, and below that is my response. I tend not to reply to everything on those groups (since it could be more effective to focus on our own groups), but occasionally I put out detailed summaries in the hope that our basic ideas (i.e. our understanding of Islam over these issues) will reach people who need that perspective. The users obviously come from a wide range of backgrounds in terms of location and mother tongue.
Asalamalejkom I wonder will we enter hellfire because we have this problem. Me I’m attracted to TS women. Are we kafir who involved in this? Was there no people in Mohammed (SAW) time who had this?
Response from another member:
Walaikum As Salaam:
I don’t have any answers. What I feel I know is that Allah is love. Allah’s creation is immense and diverse. Homosexuality has been a part of the diversity of creation since before the Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him). And we are here to learn from one another, and thereby gain insight into ourselves. I know that the Quran has been interpreted and misinterpreted to suit personal and political agendas. And I also know that only Allah knows who will enter hellfire. So that said, I think that if we feel the Quran can provide a healthy blueprint for life then it has to be inclusive of all times and all peoples. It’s got to be bigger than what we choose to focus on at any given point in history.
I hope I don’t offend anyone, but I thought it worth pointing out the potential problems with discussing Islamic teachings in such broad terms that we could be swept away by mistaken notions and cultural/moral ideas that develop in contradiction to our religion and way of life.
When seeking answers, we should acquaint ourselves well with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be on him). We are all in need of more knowledge.
We can only describe Allah by the names and attributes He has revealed to us, among which is the Loving (Al-Wadud), but not Love. It is Christians who often use the expression “God is Love”, but I am not sure what this really means. Unfortunately there are some people who abuse this notion. While God is Loving, Merciful and Forgiving, He is also Just, and severe in punishment for those whom He chooses to punish. Let us pray always for refuge in His Mercy from His Wrath.
As for this idea of homosexuality being part of the “diversity of creation”: the Qur’an states clearly [see 7:80-1] that homosexual acts (men approaching other men with desire rather than women) were not practised at all before the people to whom the Prophet Lut was sent (peace be on him). Furthermore, the categories of diversity celebrated in the Qur’an include gender, colour, language and nationality, but this concept of “sexual orientation” is absent there, as well as from any literature until very recently, springing from novel Western ideas of sexuality.
So let us all put aside “personal and political agendas” in tackling the question from our brother. Will people enter hellfire because they experience same-sex attractions? I agree with the point made that nobody but Allah knows who will enter hellfire. So the real question we seek to answer is: is it sinful to have same-sex attractions, or to act upon them?
Scholars have answered these questions in some depth, and I have tried to reproduce some of these answers. In brief, let me reassure you that a person is not held to account (and therefore not sinful) for feelings he or she experiences, or whom they are attracted to. Someone with same-sex attractions (SSA) is no less worthy in the sight of Allah than someone who does not experience this particular test from Him.
However, all actions carried out on the basis of homosexual desire are sinful to one degree or another. Any sexual relations outside marriage are major sins, and in contexts where Shari’ah is being applied, could justify the severest worldly punishment too. A person with SSA is required to abstain from any such actions, and to struggle against the lower urges of his soul. He should also seek a path of holistic purification/healing to overcome the desires, and perhaps solve the root issues behind them. This is not easy, and not possible for everyone. But Allah is merciful and ready to support those who strive for His sake.
As for the question about being kafir (disbeliever): this does not apply on the basis of mere feelings, nor even based on sinful actions. Unfortunately there are some people who, by their attitudes towards Islam’s teachings and persistence in sin after being warned, will indeed depart from the fold of Islam. Our duty to them is to continue to advise them in the hope that they will return. But as long as you maintain sincere belief in Allah’s words and strive not to fall into sin, there is no question of you committing kufr, and we seek refuge in Allah from such a disgrace.
I hope these few words may have given some benefit.