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To Deenport friends January 24, 2007

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Responses, StraightWay.
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Brothers and sisters at the popular Deenport site recently discussed the problem of a sister who is worried she may be a “lesbian”. We pray that she is relieved of her worries. She might consider getting in touch with the StraightWay Foundation’s support group if sharing her feelings would help.

I would offer the following clarifications though. The identity of this blog’s authors, and of the officials of StraightWay, is not solely people who experience same-sex attractions themselves. Actually some do, some did and some don’t and never have. We consider this pretty much irrelevant to the arguments put forth, as our only concern is to promote a true understanding of the religion and what it requires of us all. We certainly aren’t an “ex-gay” institution, as one commenter stated.

Referring to the Qaradawi controversy where StraightWay weighed in back in 2004, a brother stated:

As support groups go there are roughly two types. On the one hand there are those who have a leftist inclination where as others have a right-wing inclination. If you read the report published by London Mayor Ken Livingstone following the condemnation he suffered for inviting Shaykh Qardhawi, he mentions a Gay/Lesbian group that had signed the Jewish Board of Deputies’ petition. He then identified another group which supported him. At the time I researched both groups and corresponded with both finding one to be very anti-Islamic whereas the other was pro-Islamic. The pro-Islamic one somehow found justification for their orientation in Islam.

I don’t know whether he was in touch with Mujahid, but the brother has apparently misunderstood StraightWay’s point, which is of course my point too. There is nothing in having an “orientation” to justify. If we buy into that way of speaking, then it’s not a matter of choice. But if we discuss the matter more properly in terms of feelings and temptations, then again, we don’t talk about “justifying” these because they are internal and not acted upon. There is nothing sinful in experiencing these feelings, even if for the whole of one’s life. The point is what you do with them.

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Comments»

1. Juni - March 8, 2008

It is a sin when you freely experience these thoughts and feelings, and enjoy it. When it is wilful, it is wrong, if it is forced and uncontrolled, it is not since it is only waswasa.

It is the same like doubting in Allah:

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (Allah have mercy on him) narrates that a Companion came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and asked: “Sometimes I experience such thoughts that I would rather be reduced to charcoal than get them on my lips” (meaning that to speak of these thoughts was worse than burning in fire, m). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “All praise is to Allah who restricted the devil’s designs to mere evil promptings”. (Sunan Abu Dawud,)

http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=1946&CATE=150

2. Rasheed Eldin - March 9, 2008

Salaam Juni, thanks for sharing this point.

What we say about there being nothing sinful in experiencing feelings is a simplification, but I think a justified one. By using the term “experiencing”, I indicate that we are talking here about the passive experience rather than the active fantasising etc.

Our key point is to make a distinction between feelings and actions.

Fantasising over something sinful would be, in effect, an action – even though it is an internal action. So it could enter the field of being sinful itself, but we should also emphasise that it is a much lesser degree of sin than carrying out any act with the limbs, especially involving another person.

So in the process of calling our brothers and sisters away from sinful behaviour, it is important to teach self-development and self-discipline that would result in being free even from evil fantasies. But we should also underline that just having such thoughts doesn’t make someone a “homosexual” who may as well surrender to what they tell him is his “nature”, wal-‘iyadhu billah.

3. wiki - March 11, 2008

to Juni

being attracted to other member of the same sex is not a sin … it is the act of having sex with them that is forbidden …

during the 1500 – 1700 period it was common for older men to fall in love with boys or young men in the islamic world … there are countless poems and stories __ this doesnt mean they were actually having sex with them but they were just in love…. and against love in islam 🙂

4. Yousef - March 12, 2008

Wiki…where are these “countless” poems and stories? 🙂 I don’t believe this is the case at all. Some authors used to write to their objects of attractions in the masculine sense because it was seen to be rude to write to them in the feminine sense.

5. Rasheed Eldin - March 12, 2008

On that note, if you listen to contemporary Arabic songs you’ll find the same thing, i.e the men will sing “habibi” not “habibati” but they’re not gay!

That’s not to deny the existence of some poems describing such things, just as there are poems about drinking alcohol (again, sometimes metaphorical). But people who cite such things should be careful to make clear exactly what they’re trying to prove, and how what they cite supports their case.

6. wiki - March 17, 2008

yes those countless poems

i left a link earlier but apparently the moderators deleted it
i can tell u the name of the book if u like since i cant leave links

“Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800”
by: khaled El-Rouayher

read that book start with the introduction … u might b able to find it online but i am not sure… there r countless quotes, poems, stories and journels of the old times in there

7. wiki - March 17, 2008

http://books.google.com/books?id=nAsNYMxdN7wC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=quranic+verses+allowing+homosextuality&source=web&ots=q7a7ouMv3M&sig=12zVWKLlorbP9QepIrIr4bZfgqk&hl=en#PPA3,M1

i found a preview of that book online… it lets u read part of the introduction and somepages i think it is enough to prove my point plz dont delet the link … i am not spamming or anything

8. bravvooo! - March 24, 2008

Why haven’t you people heard of Abu Nawwas and his well known homo-erotic poetry?

This has nothing to do with colloquial “white-accent” pop culture where women are addressed in the masculine.

9. Yousef - March 25, 2008

Even if we were to take Abu Nawwas’s lines of poetry…those hardly qualify as “countless” in the grand scheme of things.

10. Rasheed Eldin - March 26, 2008

And besides, as I keep asking, what exactly are these poems by Abu Nuwas supposed to prove – why should we care?

I find it faintly amusing that there are people who have very little contact with Arabic literature, people who don’t even speak Arabic, who find out the name of one poet (Abu Nuwas is renowned in particular for his deviance, in an era which also saw the emergence of ascetic poetry like that of Abul-‘Atahiyah) and start to extrapolate all sorts of things.

Or usually, just throw the name down and don’t bother to construct any semi-convincing argument from their great discovery.

11. bravvooo - March 27, 2008

I’m sorry Rasheed but you got this completely wrong. The names escape me but as students of Arabic, from the middle east, we are all too familiar with numerous works of pederastic poetry and Abu Nawas is not an isolated case. Don’t be upset but it is infact common knowledge to us middle easterns that tolerance to such works has been rife in the second right through to the eigths centuries after the Hijrah.

It seems that you are compeltely unaware of this and I don’t blame you as such aspect of the history has been gradually eradicated from modern literature including the famous burning of 6000 books on homo erotic art in Cairo in 2001.

Strangely it seems that we have regressed intellectually in more than one aspect and the fact that the simplistic and unrealistic divide between male/female attracted to same sex/opposite sex has resurged with the rise of religious fundamentalism is nothing to brag about.

12. Rasheed Eldin - March 29, 2008

I’ll ignore the condescending presumptions and just repeat myself: “What exactly are these poems by Abu Nuwas supposed to prove?”

13. wiki - March 30, 2008

there are the poems in the book i left the link for earlier

=====================

on a different note why dont we all try to find a solution to this problem? because this argument of who is right straight or gays is clearly going nowhere. How about trying to find ways gays and straights could live together without bothering each other. And YES i am talking about living together in a muslim country

here is what i propose… remember in prophet’s time there were several prisnors of war? And what the prophet used to do is ask a prisnor to teach a muslim child some skill he had (like reading/writing) and in return the prisnor’s punishment got reduced or forgiven …. why dont we apply the same theory of the prophet in todays time.

OKAY homosextuality is a crime but every crime’s punishment doesnt have to be pain/death… why dont we (we as in muslim countries) start a civl partnership program thing … in which 2 guys can be together as long as they sponser two muslim orphans and pay for thier living costs and thier education costs and thier college costs and in return they can live together in a civil partner-ship program (live together like couple)

this will not only educate our muslim childern but also prevent gays from sleeping around and spreading aids… Gays hurt our society because they cant have thier own children and that can reduce the size of our muslim population. But this is not a problem when they sponser 2 children and educate them (one child for each parter)…. remember what prophet said? : one educated person is equal to a 1000 uneducated ones

what do u say? … Even the prophet forgave the crime of the prople who wanted to wage war against islam in return for knowledge and education … surely gays arnt worse then those who wanted to kill Muhammed (PBUH)

14. Yousef - March 30, 2008

I’m sorry bravoo, but you’re the one who’s got it wrong. Yours truly has studied in the most “moderate” of Arab states and that this “tolerance” (wrong term) was never manifested. In fact, even Abu Nawwas was banished from his state at the time for breaking many of the rules of society (nothing to do with homosexuality though).

15. Bravvooo! - March 31, 2008

C’mon you’re running an agenda to convince (certain) people they shouldn’t be what they think they are (!!!!!). Is that not condescending?

If you truly understand the all too obvious role of poetry and poets in Arabic culture and heritage then you wouldn’t be asking the question.

I personally think that the fact that his works were widely circulated and taught (to this day) as a fine example of literary art shows that public opinion hasn’t always been so nonsensical and gratuitously belligerent towards male-male relationships.

Nothing more nothing less.

16. Rasheed Eldin - April 3, 2008

Well Bravo, I’m quite aware of the role of poets in Arab history, and acknowledge that poetry is generally reflective of existing trends within society. That being said, it’s possible for a poet to be celebrated for his literary greatness without the critics wishing to praise everything the poet speaks about or perhaps did in his personal life. Of course an honest discussion of history should include such people as Abu Nuwas, and I don’t know about this censorship you speak of as I did somehow find out about him in my admittedly basic study of Arabic literature.

Right, back to the point. So you’re saying that public opinion has accepted that Arabic poets have dealt with homosexual themes. Nothing more, nothing less? Well I don’t have any response to that except a big shrug, as that’s really no revelation and no big deal. It doesn’t change a jot of what we’re presenting in this site.

17. Bravvooo! - April 4, 2008

I’ve already taken my conclusion a step ahead of you by inferring public opinion with respect to homosexual relationships in general. Not just by making a special plead to outstanding artists.

And by the way, without taking my words out of context, “nothing more nothing less” refers to the the brevity of the scope of my discussion not the narrowness of the implications of my conclusions.

Moreover, the point that triggered this exchange was your (and Yousef’s) refusal to let WIki state a fact about Arabic-Islamic literature without the burden of suffocating any reasonable interesting extrapolations to be had from learning about the evolution of the moral zeitgeist in the Arabic speaking world.

18. Bravvooo! - April 4, 2008

Furthermore, the strength of a conviction is not necessarily a virtue. What I’m trying to show, knowing all too well that you won’t change your mind, is the irrelevance of your sacred revelations to

A: empirical observation
B: public perception/ common sense

19. Rasheed Eldin - April 7, 2008

Wiki, sorry for not replying sooner.

Really, I don’t see the debate here as being about “who’s right, straights or gays” – in the first place, we prefer not to label people but rather to talk about what actions (as well as beliefs, attitudes, lifestyles) are sound and right in the sight of God, according to how we understand His revelations.

As for the matter of punishment for homosexual acts, I really don’t see that as the central issue for discussion either. As we emphasise here so often, punishments are not to be applied except in their full context (Islamic state, due process…), and they are a matter of difference of opinion in Islamic law. That means that a judge would have scope to choose what to do if faced with a case of sodomy brought before his court. As Sheikh Qaradawi has pointed out, the judge would also look to the widespread nature of the problem and opt for a less harsh course of action.
http://gaymuslims.org/2006/06/30/memri-qaradawi-the-main-point/

Your suggestion is not like anything I’ve heard before! But quite simply, the issue of prisoners of war is not comparable to criminals in general. Rather than try to explain the difference, I’ll just ask whether you have any example of Muslim criminals who were allowed to continue their crimes in exchange for education or the like. Good luck!

20. Rasheed Eldin - April 7, 2008

So Bravo, you feel that the existence of that poetry proves something about the tolerance of Arabic society at that time for such behaviour.

1. I remain unconvinced that one follows from the other, so feel free to embellish your argument just a little.
2. Even granting the truth of your conclusion, even then, why should we care? Moral truths are not judged by (temporary) societal trends.

And Bravo, I wonder what you think of the fact that I saw a book of Abu Nuwas’s poetry in a bookshop (in the Middle East) yesterday? Does it prove that people in this country accept male-male relationships? Or that the bookshop owners are gay??

21. ashraf - April 9, 2008

im sorry to say after years of supressing my feelings getting married having children growing a beard and prayng 5 times etc wearing sunnah clothes i have still very strong gay feelings
i am more attracted to men than women
i try my best but sometimes my feelings are strong
never had gay relationship thats because im loyal to my wife
but given the chance it would be easy
my whole sexual passion is to men natuarally uncontrollable
i still feel im close to god as i rarely into major sin apart from this

22. Rasheed Eldin - April 9, 2008

Salaam Ashraf,

I don’t know what to say to you right now except that so long as you stay faithful to your wife your rewards are being multiplied for your faithfulness to Allah, Who rewards without measure.

There are steps that we can take to gain control over our desires, rein them in, redirect them, but never to extinguish them entirely – as that’s not what is expected of us as humans and Muslims.

Perhaps you could join the StraightWay support group if you haven’t already, as the sharing of ideas and experiences is beneficial for many people in situations very like yours:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/straightstruggle

23. wiki - April 14, 2008

Rasheed Eldin

Did you not read that correctly? Ashraf said: he tried everything marrying a women, praying 5 times etc. etc. but his illness is still not “cured” what other advice can your “straightstruggle” give? Why keep it a secret? … What are your “steps to gain control over desires”? And how are they different from what Ashraf did?

In a muslims country what can you do if somone cannot be cured even after many honest tries? … kill him? jail? I would like to know your opinion on this.

thanx

24. Rasheed Eldin - April 14, 2008

Wiki,

It’s not a case of keeping any secrets, just that on this blog I’m not concentrating on giving advice on overcoming homosexual feelings, so I generally give only pointers in this regard. Not only does the subject deserve more in-depth treatment, but its presentation and details would vary according to the needs of every individual, and it’s more beneficial for somebody on this path of struggle to engage in conversation with people who have knowledge and experience of all the issues involved. That’s the idea of the support group.

Yes I did read what the brother mentioned, and I would just point out the following: getting married can be part of the solution, or more generally is a stage undertaken once a person is ready (after gaining a significant level of control of desires). But it’s not a magic wand, and in some cases would be simply the wrong idea and could result in unhappiness for both partners.

As for praying and following the Sunnah, these are of course essential to what we understand of the solution, but it’s possible for someone to observe outward things and not see results inwardly, as true change comes from within – and this requires building a relationship with Allah, as well as being patient on the path.

And that’s not to mention the importance of addressing the specific issues affecting each person, the causes of his SSA. In many cases, this will require counselling or psychological help.

Finally, as for your question about what should be done about someone who cannot be “cured” – remember that judgement should never be passed on someone for their internal feelings, so as long as they are not guilty of any actual crimes, the matter is entirely between them and their Lord. But it’s not acceptable for someone to say: “I tried to cure myself but couldn’t, so now I can do what I like.” Accountability remains the same regardless.

25. wiki - April 23, 2008

u explain it as if SSA was a diseases … i am not saying that it is not or anything SIGH!

all i am trying to say why would a diseases get punished? would a mad man (whos brain doesnot work) get punished for stealing? or breaking into someone’s house? Islam is based entirely on logic and everything in islam makes sense and from what i understand of it … Allah could never punish someone for getting sick or someone who is trying to find a way to calm his pain … Sure there is an indirect refrence to homosextuality in the quran but how many times does quran say not to lie and yet muslims who lie never get punished? Nor does shariya has a punishment for them? why does something that is forbidden in the quran and is mentioned several times but never gets punished but something that is only mentioned indirectly get so harsh punishment? … Do you truely believe that islam can make a law that is so harsh and unfair that allah would order his people to punish something that doesnot have a complete cure?

Even if SSA was wrong wouldnt it be better for muslims to leave this judgement for allah? just like the people who lie? If homosextual act is to be punished then isnt it only fair that people who lie get a punishment also?

Islam is a true religion! And one of the warning for the coming of the day of judgment is that men will start to act like women and women will start to act like men…. You cannot stop men from acting like women because that is what islam said will happen and it will happen no matter what. If you try to stop men from acting like women then that means that you are trying to stop this prediction of islam from coming ture thus trying to prove islam to be wrong.

Gay people prove this prediction of islam to be true! Without them this prediction would become false.

My existance and My SSA issures prove islam to be a true religion. If you start to stop me or other people who have SSA from acting upon thier feelings then it is as if you are trying to stop something that proves islam to be true. And i am sure you dont want that.

And same goes for other predictions: tall buildings/hair like camel’s back etc etc

Islam is not like christianity … Islam is for people who think and donot just follow blindly. If allah is the king of the universe then we (humans) are the wazirs we must think about what allah has done and try to understand it. And the worse thing you can do as a muslim is follow a clergy-man blindly.

26. Taleb Haqq - April 25, 2008

Wiki: You keep going back to punishment. It’s been made clear that the punishment is for engaging in homosexual activity and not in having the “feelings”.

As for point that you are part of Islam’s “predictions”…my answer is: Oh my God! What are you talking about? a) where the people of Lut part of this prediction as well? b) how many gay people will agree with your argument that they are “acting like women”?

27. wiki - April 25, 2008

agreement of gay people is not needed … liking other men is a “women thing”

people of lut got punished because of several crimes not just homosextuality … Moreover this prediction was made in the time of muhammed not in the time of lut thus my answer will be NO people of lut were not part of this pridiction

why do people who lie donot get punished? … u didnt answer that

28. Uk muslima!! alhamdulillah :) - May 5, 2009

subhana’allah
evrywhere i turn now all i c, n come across are gay muslims!!
ya allah i want 2 cry because i really dont knw wat is happenin to the ummah,and how many “muslims” nowadays are justifyin homosexuality.

at the end of the day, us humans going thru any struggle wud beg 4 100x mor hardship in this dunya wen we get 2 our final destination.

oh the torment, pain, anguish and misery is like nothing we have evr experienced b4!

i think we all need 2 remeber that no matter what we struggle with, whether it be alcoholism, gambling, adultery, pedophilia, SSA, i pray 2 allah swt that the brothers and sisters who struggle wit all these issues, that allah azzawajal eases ur pain n suffering n brings u 2 peace!
ya rabb:'( make us amogst the inhabitants of jannat-ul-firdaus!
ameen 😥


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