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The role of the “scholars” April 8, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Proggies, Queer Muslims.
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An anonymous posting on the MuslimGayMen group illustrates the importance to some people of finding "scholarly" voices that will massage their desires and assure them that their choices are legitimate Islamically. Excerpt:

Salams,

I'm a gay, Muslim male in my late 20s. I follow, respect and admire the work of such wonderful people as Daayiee Abdullah, Amina Wadud, Muhsin Hendricks, Kecia Ali, Siraj Kugle etc. I myself have become quite spiritually alienated from Islam for various reasons, but I am by no means hostile to `Islam' anymore. The `Islam' I am hostile to is the one that, for years, made me feel horrible about myself and made me live in fear of being myself.

It's been such a huge relief to discover the works of these people I've mentioned, because they give me another option of Islam. But I guess there are just some things that are more difficult to recover, for example, my spiritual connection to Islam. I consider myself a re-constructed Muslim. One who doesn't need to believe this faith is superior to any other. One who believes that in essence, any belief system that makes a person strive to be unconditionally kind and loving must be a good one. I'm a Muslim who could as well be a Christian, a Buddhist, a Jew, or even an agnostic, but who remains Muslim by choice.

But I still struggle with many things. I live in an extremely conservative, homophobic and predominantly Muslim environment. There is an encroaching fundamentalism that scares me, too. I'm actually comfortable being in my own skin as a gay Muslim man now, but I fear for my life if anyone were to find out that I'm gay. It's funny – the more I learn to accept myself as a gay Muslim, the more pronounced the threats around me seem to grow.

A few points come to mind. The first is this embrace of a "progressive" interpretation (although the writer doesn't use the word here). While there are plenty of differences of opinion between scholars on so many aspects of Islam, the prohibition of homosexuality is something we simply don't find disagreement on, except among these very particular people as mentioned above. So those who want to have live as homosexuals and Muslims need to go down this "progressive" route.

But to learn about Islam more generally, they would surely need to read/learn from a lot of other scholars who (can) write about subjects other than "female-led prayer" and "homomarriage"! So the situation pertains that so much these people know about Islam comes from the same Muslim scholars they denounce as being "homophobic".

There will always be some people who, knowing that something is wrong but wanting it really badly, will do it anyway. Plenty of Muslims drink alcohol, but it is rare to hear such people trying to justify it religiously. If they resort to justifications, these will be along the lines of trying to integrate, or saying that it's not such a serious thing, and they are just having fun, and so on. But we should be worried when people come out and try to make the haraam into halaal through abuse of scripture. Then people like the "re-constructed Muslim" above will use these writings to legitimise their views.

Even worse: confused and naive people worrying about their sexuality could find these writings and think that they make sense, while not finding anything that offers a sound and relatable alternative (i.e. other than "Being gay is haram! Stop it!").

Let's look at this list: "Daayiee Abdullah, Amina Wadud, Muhsin Hendricks, Kecia Ali, Siraj Kugle…". I'm reminded of the list Afdhere Jama, editor of Huriyah Magazine and Daayiee fan, wrote in his debate with Mujahid Mustaqim: "I have NO problem — whatsoever — with previous and contemperary scholars like Rummi, Ziyyad, Ghazala Anwar, sheikh Ahmed, Amina Wadud, Omid Safi, Ayesha Imam, Asghar Ali, Rashid Rida, Leila Ahmed and many many many more." What was particularly funny was how he presented the opposing view as being represented by: "Usama Bin Laden, Ja'far Umar T., Abu Hamza al-Masari, T. Baroud"!

The problem is that these people, of various levels of (or even claims to) scholarship, are writing their views with virtually no challenge presented by the world of Muslim scholarship, which could quash their vain speculations with no problem at all. It is incumbent on this Ummah, or rather a specific part of it, to present responses to their dangerous claims. It would be fair to say "Ignore them, they know nothing," were it not for the fact that little has been written from a sound Islamic perspective on these issues, plus the fact that increasing numbers of young Muslims are falling into the trap of these liars!

I am not a scholar, but I (following the example of my colleague here) have decided to fight back against these people's wild interpretations, and discredit them one by one. We have already tackled a few of the names above, but more will have to follow. We will refute their claims, and, where applicable, discredit their false posturing as "scholars". You can already read a few posts at this blog along these lines:

The Stripy Charlatan  —  Daayiee’s latest heresies

The C4 documentary (II)  —  IOL response to Kugle

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Comments»

1. Yousef - April 9, 2006

These “scholars” represent nothing more than Islamic extremism…the other side of it that is. I really don’t understand why that message was posted on the MGM group. If the author believes that any belief system “must be a good one” then I really don’t know why he’s sticking to Islamic duties (if he is at all). God doesn’t need his starving nor his prayers.

Indeed, as we know in Islam, the reward of Islam is an expensive one…that of Paradise, and we must strive to attain that…and over and over again we are told in the Qur’an that Allah’s path is clear (not just any path). If his claim were to be the correct one, then who does he believe are the inhabitants of Hell?

2. Khalid - April 9, 2006

Brother Yousef made a valid observation.

Truth is without a doubt superior to falsehood.

When the author states that he does not believe any one faith is superior to another, he is claiming that in his eyes all faiths are equally right.

If such were the case, then several contradictory claims and beleifs would all be right at one and the same time: the belief in many gods, one god, or no god at all (and there are so many other examples one can provide). If all are right, then what is wrong?

Respect for individuals of other faiths is one thing, but acceptance of all faiths as equally valid is quite another.

Surely, in view of all the varying and contradictory beliefs and claims, it would seem that all faiths cannot be right.

In my eyes, there is just one right path….that of Islam.

On the topic of “progressive scholars”, it is a shame that people go out for “fatwa-shopping” just because they want to justify their vain desires. Homosexuality was, is, and always will be forbidden in Islam.

May Allah guide us all to the straight path, Ameen.

3. Yousef - April 10, 2006

Br. Khalid, it’s even worse!! It’s not fatwa-shopping, it’s fatwa-making. Alot of times the justification for these “scholars'” “fatwas” are made by the notion that “take whatever makes sense to me and leave whatever doesn’t” and “do whatever FEELS right”. This, of course, is not the process that the scholars should be using to come up with Islamic jursiprudence. That task involves intensive research and estreme dependence on the Qur’an and Sunnah and the reserach of previous scholars.

4. Yusuf - December 10, 2006

Salaam,

You said; “The problem is that these people, of various levels of (or even claims to) scholarship, are writing their views with virtually no challenge presented by the world of Muslim scholarship, which could quash their vain speculations with no problem at all. It is incumbent on this Ummah, or rather a specific part of it, to present responses to their dangerous claims. ”

You say that these arguments can be quashed with no problem at all. To me that suggests that even you have prejudged the issue. You’ve already stated that you’re not a scholar, so it must follow that you are unqualified to assess their arguments and attach sufficient weight to them.

I imagine you are unlikely to have read one full length original opinion from a mainstream scholar and thus know what the mainstream opinion is. I’m sure you know the summary of the mainstream opinoin “homosexuality is haram”, but it is slightly disingenuous to, without support, state that the arguments raised by the likes of Siraj Kugle are nonsense.

Just a point of order.

5. Yousef - December 10, 2006

Br. Yusuf,
In the absence of scholars taking up the issues it is up to the people (us) to refute the claims using the knowledge from other scholars.
Allah A’lam, God knows best….

6. Rasheed Eldin - December 10, 2006

Wa ‘alaykum salam and thanks for your point Yusuf. It’s a sensitive matter, sure, but I don’t see that I am disqualified from declaring Kugle’s theories as “nonsense”. This is because he is not a scholar in the understood Islamic context, but rather he is an academic and has (and this is in a sense a good thing) written his arguments in the Western academic style. Within our academic environment, such critique is appropriate (though of course it should be civil). Where I become slightly less than civil is when the theories become a “fatwa” that misleads people, and this is about more than theories – he is playing with people’s afterlives. I’m not going to be silent in the face of that!

7. sonia - February 18, 2007

Look – get this straight. ( ha ignore the pun) no one can justify anyone else’s choices and legitimize them – forget the whole gay business – it applies to everything. each one of us is accountable for ourselves – if mr. mullah told you x y or z it is still up to YOU to use your brain. You interpret religious dogma and turn it into action. YOu are responsible. NOt anyone else.

Sorry for that bit of news

8. Taleb Haqq - February 20, 2007

Sonia: Do you claim to be an expert on Islam? In any other academic field, if there is something particular that you don’t understand, you would ask the experts (you know..the ones that studied the sciences of that topic). Such is the case in Islam. The question is: whether or not you believe in Islam. That in itself is a completely different topic. If you are convinced of Islam as your religion and you had a question about a particular topic that you don’t know about, that is when you ask the experts.

9. Chav-blogga - February 20, 2007

Sonia,

As the pop song goes: ‘it’s my life, don’t you forget..”. Me too was excited to find that personal choices should literally be, personal!!

Why don’t we both go looking for other blogs to see if others agree with us? That would be fun wouldn’t it, sweetie.

10. Obsessive Scottish Muslim? « Eye on ‘Gay Muslims’ - July 14, 2009

[…] is very important to him to insist he’s an “academic“, because that apparently gives him the right to say whatever he wants about Islam and we […]

11. Khouloud Louati - September 12, 2014

Im Muslim, i am not lesbian/gay, and I CONDEMN all of you who are committing homosexuality – and ESPECIALLY those of you who are telling everyone PUBLICLY that you are committing this sin!

As for you who are saying it is ALLOWED in ISLAM, then, YOU ARE NOT MUSLIM! Since GOD made is FORBIDDEN – You are RIVALING GOD, and you are MAKING it HALAL!
You are MUSHRIKS (polytheists) – you are making the FORBIDDEN things into HALAL. You are CHANGING the law of GOD (ALLAH)!

I CONDEMN you, and Allah is a witness, till the day of judgement of my CONDEMNATION of all of you (doers, watchers, legislators who allow it).

As much as you hate us, Muslims who accept the prohibition and refrain from it (may Allah protect me and my family and the muslims from this FORBIDDEN act). We will SPEAK/ACT, insha-Allah (if God wills), till the day of judgement — AGAINST your SINFUL action of homosexuality.

There is a difference between a Muslim who does this HARAM act, knowing that it is FORBIDDEN.

And a person who says it is HALAL.
This person is NOT muslim, because he changed the LAW of ALLAH.

Read Soorah Loot (prophet Lot), and how he called his people AWAY from homosexuality.

Read how Allah punished them, for their disobedience and disbelief in the prophet.

Lot’s prophecy:
Quran 26:161, 7:80–84, 15:67–77, 26:160–168, 29:28–31
Angels appear to Lot:
Quran 11:77–80, 15:61–66
Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:
Quran 11:82, 26:169–175, 27:54–58
Lot’s wife: Quran 11:81, 15:60, 29:32
Praise for Lot: Quran 37:133–138, 54:35

ALL of you gay/lesbian ‘muslims’ should FEAR ALLAH’s punishment.
You should ALL REPENT.
STOP doing sexual acts, with a person of your own gender!

Go back to the Quran and Sunnah, to KNOW Islam.
Ask the senior scholars, if you do not know, as ALLAH said:
‘Ask ahludhikr (people of remembrance i.e. scholars who know God’s words), if you do not know’.

The senior scholars are people who pray 5 times a day, fast ramadhan, spend their days and nights studying the book of Allah, and teaching it.

You should take your understanding of the Quran and Sunnah (prophet mohammad’s way) from them!

the senior scholars of our modern times are:
Muqbil, Bin Baz, Al-Albani, Othaimeen, Salih Al fawzan.

you can find their lessons/articles/refutations here:
salafisounds.com
troid.ca

i ask Allah (God) to guide the non-muslims.
i ask Allah to forgive the muslims who have gotten into homosexuality.
Truly, God forgives all sins, but He does NOT forgive shirk.
So do NOT make homosexuality allowed!
And do NOT do it.
And IF YOU EVER SLIP again, DO NOT tell people about it, but repent before ALLAH sends the angel of death to take your soul!

Khouloud Louati - September 12, 2014

correction to myself:
i said: ‘Read Soorah Loot (prophet Lot), and how he called his people AWAY from homosexuality.’

i meant: ‘Read the soorahs WHICH SPEAK ABOUT Loot.’

Rasheed Eldin - September 21, 2014

Dear brother, there is something called “inviting with wisdom”.


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