Abdal Hakim Murad: homophilia vs. family August 23, 2006Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Proggies, Responses.
Below I’ve excerpted from an article by Abdal-Hakim Murad, the Muslim scholar and Cambridge lecturer also known as Timothy J Winter. In it, he discusses an Islamic theological perspective on homosexuality, touching on a few matters.
By the way, you can find in his writings and speeches an intense dislike for “Wahhabis” (see for example this, this, this and this one under a pseudonym). Yet you will find no solidarity here with the likes of Fake-Sheikh Daayiee Abdullah, whose rant about “rabid homophobes” I highlighted four months ago.
There is no difference between Sufis/Traditionalists and Salafis/Wahhabis on the matter of homosexuality. We are all “rabid homophobes” as far as Daayiee is concerned. Indeed, as he has suggested, so were the Companions of the Prophet (SAW)! I remind you of his shameful claim:
Prophet Mohammed, (Sallu Alayhi Wa Salaam or SAWS Peace Be Upon Him) “dislike” for homosexuality is a legal fiction created after the death of Prophet Mohammed, SAWS, by Prophet Mohammed’s, SAWS, companions.
Well, what noble company we find ourselves in! All Muslims, including the genuine Sufis, must stand united on these issues, not allowing the would-be “progressives” to suggest that only extremists are against them.
As with feminism, the theological case against homosexuality is related to our understanding of the “dyadic” nature of creation. Human sexuality is an incarnation of the divinely-willed polarity of the cosmos. Male and female are complementary principles, and sexuality is their sacramental and fecund reconciliation. Sexual activity between members of the same sex is therefore the most extreme of all possible violations of the natural order. Its biological sterility is the sign of its metaphysical failure to honour the basic duality which God has used as the warp and woof of the world.
It is true, nonetheless, that the homosexual drive remains poorly understood. It appears as the definitive argument against Darwinism’s hypothesis of the systematic elimination over time of anti-reproductive traits. In some cultures it is extremely rare: Wilfred Thesiger records that in the course of his long wanderings with the Arabian bedouins he never encountered the slightest indication of the practice. In other societies, particularly modern urban cultures, it is very widespread. Theories abound as to why this should be so: some researchers speculate that in overpopulated communities the tendency represents Nature’s own technique of population control. Laboratory rats, we are told, will remain resolutely heterosexual until disturbed by bright lights, loud noises, and extreme overcrowding. Other scientists have speculated about the effects of “hormone pollution” from the thousands of tonnes of estrogen released into the water supply by users of contraceptive pills. Again, this remains without proof.
But what is increasingly suggested by recent research is that homosexual tendencies are not always acquired, and that some individuals are born with them as an identifiable irregularity in the chromosomes. The implications of this for moral theology are clear: given the Quran’s insistence that human beings are responsible only for actions they have voluntarily acquired, homosexuality as an innate disposition cannot be a sin.
It does not follow from this, of course, that acting in accordance with such a tendency is justifiable. Similar research has indicated that many human tendencies, including forms of criminal behaviour, are also on occasion traceable to genetic disorders; and yet nobody would conclude that the behaviour was therefore legitimate. Instead, we are learning that just as God has given people differing physical and intellectual gifts, He tests some of us by implanting moral tendencies which we must struggle to overcome as part of our self-reform and discipline. A mental patient with an obsessive desire to set fire to houses has been given a particular hurdle to overcome. A man or woman with strong homosexual urges faces the same challenge.
To the religious believer, it is unarguable that homosexual acts are a metaphysical as well as a moral crime. Heterosexuality, with its association with conception, is the astonishing union which leads to new life, to children, grandchildren, and an endless progeny: it is a door to infinity. Sodomy, by absolute contrast, leads nowhere. As always, the most extreme vice comes about when a virtue is inverted.
None of this is of interest to the secular mind, of course, which detects no meaning in existence and hence cannot imagine why maximum pleasure and gratification should not be the goal of human life. The notion that we are here on earth in order to purify our souls and experience the incomparable bliss of the divine presence is utterly alien to most of our compatriots. And yet there is a purely secular argument against homophilia which we can attempt to deploy.
Homosexualism represents a radical challenge to the institution of marriage. Its propagandists will not concede the fact, but it attacks the most vital norm of our species, which is the union of male and female for which we are manifestly designed and which is the natural context for the raising of children. In times such as ours, when nature is no longer regarded as authoritative, and lifestyles are in all other respects an abnormal departure from the way in which human beings have lived for countless millennia, society cannot afford to believe that male-female unions are of only relative worth. The more the alternatives proliferate, the less the norm will be seen as sacred. Every victory for the homosexualist lobby is thus a blow struck against that normality without which society cannot survive.
It is in the context of the struggle to protect the family that the campaign against homosexualism becomes most universally accessible. The screaming fanatics who “out” bishops and demand a lowering of the “gay” age of consent are among the most bitter enemies of the fitra, that primordial norm which, for all the diversity of the human race, has consistently expressed itself in marriage as the natural context for the nurturing of the new generation. That which is against the fitra is by definition destructive: it is against humanity and against God. This awareness needs to be reflected in legislation, which for too long has sought to relativise the family as merely one of a range of lifestyle options.