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Why were the Sodomites destroyed? February 23, 2007

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Shari'ah.
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This essay will explain the transgression and destruction of the people to whom Prophet Lut (peace be on him) was sent, by narrowing down their sins to the chief one, then defining it in relation to actions and desires. The analysis is based on examination of the relevant Qur’anic passages. References to authentic hadiths are only for the purpose of expanding on certain concepts.

وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ

إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاءِ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ

And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.”
[Qur’an, Al-A’raf 7:80-81, Saheeh International translation]


Which of their sins?

In the Qur’an 7:81, the Prophet Lut (peace be on him) charges the men of his people with ityān ar-rijāl (lit: coming to men), further specified by shahwatan (with lust/desire) and by min dūnin-nisā’ (instead of women).

Crystal clear from the texts is that this was their chief sin, for which Sodom was destroyed. In all the passages mentioning the crimes of this community (viz. 7.80ff, 11:69ff, 15:57ff, 21:71ff, 26:160ff, 27:54ff, 29:26ff, 54:33ff), there is no evidence to suggest that these people were destroyed for any of their other sins. It is interesting that some people seek to downplay this story by suggesting it hardly features in the Qur’an, while the reality is that its eight occurrences above are more than many other stories. Of course, the numerical argument is extremely weak in the first place.

What follows is a summary of the sins of the people of Lut as recounted in the Glorious Qur’an. To consult the surahs indicated only by their numbers, please click the links in the list in brackets above.

  1. Several passages mention only their intercourse with men, and no other sin: namely Surahs 7, 26 and 27.
  2. There are a few places where sins such as aggression against Lut (peace be on him) are mentioned: however, context proves that these were secondary sins. Surahs 11, 15 and 54 recount their attempted assault on the angels who came in the form of handsome men. The fact that the angels came for the purpose of destroying them for their sins (see 11:76) proves that this attempted assault was not the sin for which they were to be destroyed!
  3. There are three passages where their sins are referred to only in unspecified terms, namely in Surahs 11, 15 and 21 (as-sayyi’āt/al-ijrām/al-khabā’ith respectively). In the latter case, we note that the term khabīthah (sing.) connotes something disgusting as well as wicked.

The one passage that mentions other sins explicitly is in Surah 29, about which several points should be noted. In 29:28, almost identical wording is used as in 7:80, prompting any interpreter of the Qur’an to refer to this passage. Coming back to 7:80ff, the only sin mentioned is their intercourse with males. In 29:29, specific mention is made again of their intercourse with males, followed by the mention of two other sins. The first of these is their highway robbery, and the second is a vague reference to evil committed in their gatherings. Some scholars, including the tabi’i exegete Mujahid, have said that this means they would commit their sexual perversions in public. In any case, the mention of these additional sins in no way detracts from the obvious conclusion that sexual activity between males was their primary sin.

Was Sodom destroyed for merely their sexual transgressions, or was it due to their open participation in these acts, and their promotion of this lifestyle throughout their society? The strongest view based on 7:80 and 29:28 is that they were absolutely the first in all creation to commit homosexual acts, and not simply the first to indulge in them openly. Nevertheless, perhaps this latter aspect should be borne in mind in order to understand the fact that their earthly existence was obliterated by the Creator, and that this punishment came in a unique way, i.e. with three methods of punishment. The Qur’anic narrative of the story of the sinful people of Lut (peace be on him) does point repeatedly to the significance of immorality being taken from the private domain to the public. This is reflected in the words of rejection from the people to their Prophet, nowadays represented in the misplaced charge of “homophobia”:

{The response of his people was only to say: Drive them out of your town – they are people who want to be pure!} [7:82]

Here we conclude that the primary sin of the Sodomites, and that for which they were destroyed, was their homosexual activity, which we shall attempt to define presently. This is the one mentioned repeatedly in the Qur’an, even in 29:29 where one or two other sins are mentioned after it. Those who claim primacy for these secondary sins have no evidence whatsoever to stand on. As for the claim that their sin was rape as opposed to consensual sexual acts, its case is similar: wishful speculation unsupported by the texts.

Perhaps the clearest refutation of the claim of “rape” is to note the plea of the Prophet Lut (peace be on him):

{These are my daughters, they are purer for you!} [11:78]

{These are my daughters, if you must act!} [16:72]

Whether the Prophet was referring to his actual daughters or more generally to the women of the town, it is unacceptable to suggest that he was suggesting the men transfer their action of rape to those women instead.

Defining ityān ar-rijāl

A fact that could be seen as a difficulty in interpreting the Qur’anic texts, and thus determining what specifically has been prohibited by the Lawgiver, is that there is little definition given to the crime carried out by the people of Lut. We encounter its divine description as ityān ar-rijāl (intercourse with men) or ityān adh-dhukrān (with males – more general, eliminating doubt over the prohibition of sex with non-adult males, i.e. pederasty).

The simplicity of expression is in keeping with Qur’anic norms of euphemism. Terms used in the Qur’an in reference to sexual intercourse include al-limās, al-mass (touching), al-mubāsharah (initiation), al-ifdā’ (being alone) and ad-dukhūl (entering). A verse of particular note here is 2:223, where wives are referred to as harth (tilth), and men are instructed to “go unto your tilth as you will”. The operative word for intercourse here is ityān, just as in the verses presently under study. [Note also that the anus is not a tilth, neither in females nor in males. Hence anal intercourse is prohibited with either.]

Although it presents difficulties in interpretation, especially when facing modern questions related to sexuality and morality, the simplicity of expression in 7:81, 26:165 and elsewhere in fact indicates the generality of the divine prohibition of homosexual acts. The Qur’an condemns all sexual acts between men: this is proven by the lack of confining conditions, which would be present if, for example, only rape (forced sodomy) were prohibited. The text makes it abundantly clear that the Prophet Lut admonished his people due to their homosexual activities in general, and not merely for one specific kind.

7:81 in particular includes the detail that their homosexual intercourse was motivated by lust or desire (shahwah), which ought to be directed to the opposite sex. For this, they are described as a “wasteful” people. Nowhere in this passage, or anywhere in the Noble Qur’an, is there any support for the ignorant claim that the Prophet Lut (peace be on him) condemned only male rape, while staying silent on the subject of consensual relations. Neither is it acceptable to perform homosexual acts on the basis of “love”, placing such feelings (which, in reality, are incited by Satan) above the imperative to obey divine commandments and shun what Allah has prohibited.

In this connection we can also underline the emptiness of the claim that these men were only being condemned because they were “heterosexual”, a distinction not supported by the Qur’an. Supposing there were a few “homosexuals” present in the town, should they not have been excused from the divine rebuke? Any sincere reading of the Qur’anic text, free from the influence of alien philosophies and personal agendas, will make light work of putting aside such suggestions.

Nevertheless, it is important to consider carefully the precise definition of ityān ar-rijāl in order to know what rulings apply to various actions, and the levels of sin (if any) involved in each. Definitions by famous classical exegetes Abu Hayyan and Al-Hasan Al-Basri refer to anal penetration, i.e. that action which has acquired the name of “sodomy” in memory of those who, in Islamic belief at least, invented this abomination. It is common for Muslims to associate homosexuality with this particular act, which is the nearest that two men can approximate to the halāl (permitted) intercourse between a man and woman, by which procreation occurs.

Desire is the Decisive Factor

As mentioned above, the Prophet Lut’s condemnation of his people’s sexual acts was expressed in general terms. Although the scholars have made it clear (based mainly on the Sunnah accounts) that the men of Sodom were performing anal intercourse, there is no such specification in the Qur’an that would lead us to the conclusion that only this act is prohibited. Rather, the word shahwatan (“with desire”) must be brought into the discussion in order to define exactly how ityān ar-rijāl should be understood.

The obvious fact is that these men did not merely “go to one another” such as for visiting. The wording in this verse shows that it was the men’s lust that defined their actions. We recall the famous saying of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace): “Actions are but by intentions, and every person shall have only that which he intended…” [Bukhari/Muslim]

Furthermore, he once stated that “In a man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife), there is Sadaqah [i.e. a virtuous deed].” His companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for one of us who fulfils his passion?” His simple reply was: “What do you think, if he fulfilled it in something unlawful, would there not be a sin on his part? So when he fulfils it in something lawful, he will gain a reward.” [Muslim]

Therefore, whatever actions are carried out in pursuit of fulfilling sexual desires must be deemed unlawful unless the proper channel is followed, i.e. marriage, which Islam defines clearly as being only with the opposite sex. We select one relevant verse to begin a short discussion of this matter:

{And Allah has given you spouses (azwāj) of your own kind, and has given you,
from your spouses, sons and grandsons, and has made provision of good things for you. Is it then in vanity that they believe and in the grace of Allah that they disbelieve?} [16:72]

The reference to procreation is significant, as one of the aims of marriage is indeed to bring forth new generations of humans who will worship Allah.  Furthermore, much could be said about the word azwāj (sing. zawj) with its linguistic and Qur’anic meaning as “the opposite part of a pair”. One of the numerous evidences in the Qur’an of zawj meaning the opposite sex, and indeed a very relevant evidence in this context, is the following proclamation of Lut (peace be on him). Here it is evident that the spouses (azwāj) of the men addressed cannot be male, and that homosexual partners cannot be considered as azwāj:

{“What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave the spouses (azwāj) your Lord created for you? Nay, you are a people exceeding limits.”} [26:165-6]

From such verses, we establish that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Therefore any sexual activity between two men or between two women is by necessity outside the realms of marriage and, by extension, outside the realms of permissibility. In other words, homosexual marriage is unsupportable within the Islamic legal system, and by definition any homosexual behaviour is fornication; indeed, it may be considered a level worse, by virtue of including the additional element of sexual perversion.

The prohibition of such acts extends not only to full sexual acts (e.g. where private parts touch and/or sexual climax is achieved), but indeed to any action characterised by homosexual desire. For example, for a man to hug another man or kiss his cheek is not prohibited in itself, and can in fact be a pleasant cultural custom and a manifestation of Islamic norms of brotherhood. However, where lustful desire exists, this action takes a different character altogether. Each of the men would be judged according to his intention. If one or both is intending to pursue his desire, then the action becomes forbidden and perhaps worthy of punishment by Allah.

Clearly, since Islam prohibits all same-sex relationships characterised by sexual desire, it is unacceptable for two men or two women to live together in a situation of “love”, replacing the heterosexual spousal relationship, even if they abstain from explicit sexual acts, and even if they shun all physical contact absolutely. Directing the love due to one’s spouse (i.e. of the opposite gender) to anybody else, of either gender, is condemnable according to the revelations of our Creator and Sustainer.

There are two hadiths that can be cited to cement this conclusion. The first teaches us that fornication is not confined to sexual intercourse, even though that is obviously the most serious form. “Written on the Son of Adam is the portion of zinā he will indulge in, from which there is no escape. The zinā of the eye is the look, the zinā of the ears is the listening, the zinā of the tongue is speech, the zinā of the hand is the grip, the zinā of the feet is the walking; the heart yearns and desires and the private parts approve all that or disapprove it.” [Bukhari/Muslim]

Scholars explain the detestable aspect of these actions as the motivation of illicit desire, i.e. looking lustfully at someone other than one’s spouse, and so on. Therefore, living in a homosexual relationship while avoiding full sexual acts cannot be excused. Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, with a general meaning: “A man must not look at a man’s private parts nor must a woman look at a woman’s private parts; neither should two men lie naked under one cover, nor should two women lie naked under the same cover.” [Muslim]

We have concluded that ityān ar-rijāl or ityān adh-dhukrān (males’ approaching other men/males sexually) is a general concept, condemned by Allah Almighty on the tongue of His Messenger Lut (peace be on him) in general terms, not specified by a particular act. All same-sex relations characterised by desire are forbidden in Islam. However, homosexual sins are of different levels, and therefore would meet varying degrees of punishment in the Hereafter, as indeed in worldly life in such cases as punishments are applicable.

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Comments»

1. No name - February 23, 2007

So what this article is trying to say is that gay actions are not permitted even if love existed?

God created us as “gay” and that is something we are not guilty of. It’s so horrible to even think that God would want to make someone suffer so much. Why is hugging bad? why is kissing bad? As long as diseases are not being spread or anything then it should be ok. Isn’t that the main purpose of same-sex intercourse being prohibited? As long as there’s no intercourse, everything else should be fine.

We didn’t choose to be gay, we were made gay. It’s so unfair for us to live without knowing the affection of someone we love so much just because they’re of the same sex? It’s outrageous. We have no desire for the opposite sex, that’s not something we control. Most gay people are even disgusted with the opposite sex’s reproductional bits. Are we supposed to live our lives alone or marrying someone of the opposite sex and be unhappy?

I don’t wanna live if that’s the case and if God wants us to suffer then he’s nothing like the Qur’an says he is. He wouldn’t be merciful or loving. This is exactly the reason why a lot of gay people are not religious or turn into satanics.

2. Rasheed Eldin - February 23, 2007

I have presented in this article what I understand from the Qur’anic narrative on Sodom, which is a central component of the Islamic discourse on homosexuality.

I don’t believe that God wants you to suffer. However, suffering is part of life – people experience it in different ways and amounts. We can’t just say “God wouldn’t want things to be hard…” – and then do things that are clearly sinful if we are sincere to His revelations.

A central point in your comment is the assumption that “God made me gay.” I’ve discussed this claim many times, but I still think the best thing to read is this article. Please take a look and get back to me if you have any more thoughts to share:
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/01/22/muslim-before-anything/

I don’t believe in despair: God provides a way for anyone who truly fears Him and trusts in Him.

3. Qusai - February 24, 2007

Salams,

Thanks Rasheed for your articles. I can’t help but notice that, in the story of the prophet Lut that the phrase ‘min doon al Nisaa’ is ignored. Wouldn’t that be compatible with bisexuality where one has a genuine urge towards homosexual behaviour but still has an option to lead an alternative lifestyle?

Also the fact that Prophet Lut’s wife was punished should make you think twice before deciding that sodomy was the main reason these people were punished.

By the way somewhere else on this blog eiher Mujahid or Taleb quoted islamonline.web in a response on homosexuality. Interestingly if you follow the website’s responses on the punishment of apostasy you can see how Islamic legistlation is able to evolve. In this case by challenging the death penalty inspite of the presence of authentic hadiths.

I am sure sometime in the near future Muslims will concede that their views on homosexuality are quite simply inappropriate. Our unique viewpoint, as gay Muslims, on the matter that enables us to see the flaw and misunderstanding that permeates Islam’s approach to the subject will eventually be known to our communities and they will be able to come up with something better than throwing us from a cliff or stoning us to death.

4. Taleb Haqq - February 24, 2007

Salam Qusai,
If I may a quick point…
There is a difference between Islamic rulings and punishments. Whereas very few punishments are actually outlined in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him, the rulings are of a totally different nature. There is another point here. Islamic punishments may only be carried out in a state where Islam is the rule of law (after of course going through due process). How this process takes place is open to interpretation and would generally be different from time to time. The punishments themselves can change based on the times etc. (An example of this is when Omar RAA annulled the ruling of cutting off the limb for stealing because people were hungry etc.)
So, when we talk about Islamic rulings, I don’t think that the discussion needs to be steered towards the punishments that such crimes deserve (again because in a vast majority of cases this is irrelevant as a) a true Islamic state would need to exist and b) due process would need to be followed). This does not mean that we ignore the fact that the rulings still stand. The ruling, in this case, is that homosexual acts are not allowed in Islam. I, personally, don’t see the use of discussing whether or not they will be “thrown off a cliff” etc.
That is not to say that we need to turn a blind eye to these things but to keep in mind that rulings and punishments do not go hand in hand.
God knows best.

5. Rasheed Eldin - February 24, 2007

Wa ‘alaikum as-salam,
Following the quick detour on sins, crimes and punishments, please see this post where we touched on the distinctions:
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/11/07/sins-crimes-and-punishments/

Qusai, thanks for the short points. I’m sure you realise that making the short point is one thing, but expanding on it such that it can be subjected to proper critique is quite another! Nevertheless, here are my short points in response:

1.) I did make reference to “min dunin-nisa'”, taking it to indicate that such is the natural and lawful outlet for sexual energy (for men), such that them turning away from it made them “musrifoon” (wasteful, 7:81). I don’t believe in the categorisation into hetero/bi/homo, as indeed most people nowadays seem to prefer talking about spectra of attraction. The latter is more consonant with the Islamic perspective as I take it, as SSA indicate a (pscyho-emotional?) deviation from the norm, which can be to any degree. The absence of OSA would tend to accompany it, but again to any degree. See this post for more thoughts on this:
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/02/18/l-g-b-and-t/

One simple key thing to underline is that there is choice even where people are attracted exclusively to the same sex. The choice, as put to them by Lut (peace be on him) was between obedience and disobedience. He said: “These are my daughters (i.e. the women of his people), if you must do something (in kuntum faa’ileen).” [15:71] Were the Sodomites such as would nowadays be called “gay” or “bisexual”, or what? That deserves further discussion.

2.) The wife of Lut was punished because of her collusion with the people. Her sin was not the one that brought the punishment altogether. She lingered behind and suffered what they suffered.

3.) As far as we here are concerned, the only way that the Muslims’ views could be “inappropriate” is if they don’t agree with God’s revelations. I think this could be argued, but not in the way you’re implying. I have a problem with referring to flaws in “Islam’s approach to the subject…” considering that this could only truly mean God’s approach, if we believe that Islam (in the sense we’re using it) is God’s legislation, guidance for mankind. If anyone chooses to reject that, that’s up to them. But I don’t know what sense they could call themselves a “Muslim”, never mind “gay Muslim”.

6. Qusai - February 24, 2007

Salams again,

Taleb:
Is the distinction between punishment and ruling all that important? Yes, but the distincition is an academic one. Islam is a way of life. Rulings are essential to derive punishments and the latter is derived from the former. You are absolutely right both need to be borne in mind, but in conjunction not in disjunction.

If a punishment doesn’t affect your life, then the ruling will affect your afterlife. There is no relief in knowing that punishments may be disabled when we know that our maker disapproves of such acts. Those who execute/murder homosexuals derive such rulings from what they think is the correct understanding of Islam, which is a “way of life” in the full sense of the phrase.

Rasheed:

On point 1):

Again you quote the important verse then you refuse to explore its implicatioins. The Quran is talking about people who made a choice in lusting between men and women. Homosexuals, by definition, don’t fit into that category .

It is true that the current scientific evidence points to spectrum of attraction. Gays simply represent the wrong end of that spectrum. Moreover, with the exception of eccentric christian evangelicals and unknown, unpublished, unsubstantiated efforts from a handful of Muslims we don’t have any evidence to support that people have much choice about their position on that spectrum. The categorisation into hereo-bi-homo, for practical purposes, still holds.

2): Your interpretaion of the verse here is the sort of thing that forces people to bear an open mind about the authenticity of scripture in general.
Suggesting that someone can be murdered for no reason other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time epitomizes immoral indiscreminate judgement. God can’t be immoral. These people had a tailored and programmed punishment with stones labelled with their names..etc. Her punishment was not incidental, she was actively excluded from the Prophet’s household.

Lastly on point 3): Gays can always call themselves Muslim if they practise the five pillars of Islam. You should strive to make sense of what your brothers/sisters mean by gay Muslim and not simply discredit them because the definition of Islam incoroporates them into the community of believers no matter how odd their behaviour comes across to your unsympathetic view on the matter.

You seem to suggest that I am actually criticizing God when criticizing Islam on the matter. We have already discussed this previously and to be honest I was disappointed that you want to take us back there again.

Salam.

7. Qusai - February 24, 2007

Sorry Rasheed,

I noticed again that you suggested that Lut’s wife was punished for colluding with her people. I need to retract my comments regarding the issue. I misunderstood your wording. I still feel that her punishment is furher proof that those people were punished for more than just homosexual anal intercourse.

8. Rasheed Eldin - February 24, 2007

Following our ongoing numbering…

1.) “Homosexuals, by definition”! This is where I say there is a problem. Where did this definition come from, and why should I accept its validity in re-interpreting the Qur’an? A very strong argument will have to be made.

But NB: The choice the Sodomites made was not, at least on the most significant level (in terms of right and wrong action), between LUSTING for men and lusting for women, as you just implied. The choice was in whether to commit acts of sexual desire on men or to confine themselves to what has not been prohibited.

2.) You say: “I still feel that her punishment is furher proof that those people were punished for more than just homosexual anal intercourse.” I say: I have no problem with that. But I maintain that it was their chief sin. The wife of Lut colluded with them, but they had already brought the word of punishment upon themselves. So what sin was more significant than their homosexual acts? I already discussed above what I make of the other Qur’anic references. Anything to add?

3.) I’ve written on this in more detail, so please refer to, for example:
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/05/22/the-dangers-of-denial/
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/01/26/gay-muslim-gay-muslim/

I am not in the business of takfeer. But you are incorrect to suggest that following the “5 Pillars” is sufficient despite whatever else a person believes, says or does.

How do you criticise Islam without criticising Allah? If you mean scholarship, say scholarship. If you mean leadership, say leadership. If you mean community, say community. But say Islam, and I’ll take you to mean Islam.

9. Taleb Haqq - February 24, 2007

Salam,
Very interesting discussion. I think “min dooni nnisaa’i” taken in conjunction with the Prophet Lut’s merciful suggestion to his people to have (proper) sexual relations with his daughters rather than the illegal sexual relations with other men is proof that their crime was mainly that they were having sexual relations with men (by the way, in the whole story there isn’t a discussion of specifically anal intercourse, if I am not mistaken).
As for Prophet Lut’s wife: let’s not forget that she disobeyed a direct order from Allah to flee with Lut and the rest of the family…reason enough to lead to her destruction (I mean she was a Prophet’s wife!)
Wallahu a’lam.

10. Qusai - February 25, 2007

Taleb:

Thanks for your reply. The referrence to anal intercourse comes in 7:82 and 56:27. In Al-Arraf:
(And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!”)

Al Tabarri and Ibn Katheer interpreted this as wanting to be clean from anal intercourse. This is what the mob argued against and the Quran doesn’t give any further elaboration on the matter. This, of course, doesn’t exclude your interpretation i.e prohibiting all forms of sexual relations. Other interpretations indeed seem to support that.

Rasheed:

1) Homosexuality has literal, biological and psychological definitions. You don’t need to make an argument for homosexuality you just need to come down to earth and observe that it exists.

Why do you need to accept the validity of this definition in the re-interpretation of Quran? You don’t have to. Maybe you shouldn’t even try but then ask yourself why bother writing in the blog in the first place.

We all agree that the matter is worthy of analytical research as it causes many muslims genuine anguish. If you simply say: here is my interpretation of the Quran and anyone who disagrees can go to hell (lieterally) then you are wasting everyone’s time as the traditional Islamic rulings on homosexuality are well established. We don’t need another homophobe to point out the obvious.

On point number 2) Taleb’s was the answer I was looking for, thanks, I have nothing to add.

On point 3) I have already clarified what I mean by criticising Islam. The emotive rhetoric was not necessary had you referred to our previous discussions.

Anyway to freshen this discussion:

To follow your presentation of the evidence in the article one perceives a clear trend of lowering the threshold for prohibiting homosexual behaviour from sodomy down to mere cohabitation without any physical contact or even matters less than that. It seems the mere concept of same sex attraction is rejected and this leaves the homosexual (as defined in the endless works of scientific literature) absolutely numb with little room for manouevre but to run around in circles working up a frustration while hitting one’s head against the brickwall of uncompromising Islamic jurisdiction.

My own take on the matter is that just as cross-gender medical conditions have earned acceptance from contemporary Muslim thinkers such as Qaradawi the only hope of a breakthrough for homosexuals is if they persuade the community that the condition should be enlisted again as a psychological sickness. Mabye as a sort of subtle cross-gender affliction that manifests in thought but not into phenotype/physical form. This needs to be coupled by a realisation from the likes of Rasheed that the spectrum of sexual orientation indeed has two ends and for all practical purposes there will be people who are trapped at the darker part of the tunnel.

This would win both much needed empathy and open the door for ijtihad. Prophet Lut, afterall, seemed to be preaching to a group of people who had the option to approach women. They must have, otherwise the village’s population would not have sustained itself.

I genuinely don’t feel that I belong to that mob referred to in the quran. Under no condition do I imagine myself initiaing any sexual intercourse with a woman or basing my choice on intentional disobedience. In fact I think I have exhausted all these silly mental excercises of pretending to be heterosexual so that, like Rasheed, I would eventually start to believe the blatant lie that homosexuality is a false perception. I’ve learnt the hard way that homosexuality is true and present. What definitely does not exist is the capacity of heterosexuals to perceive it. But again they wouldn’t as this is exactly what defines them.

11. Rasheed Eldin - February 25, 2007

On the matter of anal intercourse: it was mentioned by numerous exegetes, but its not being explicit in the Qur’an is exactly the basis on which I have considered the prohibition to be broader than one specific act. I think the same scholars would agree on the fiqh conclusions, but they restricted their tafseer discussion to highlighting the sin of anal intercourse. That may have been sufficient when they were writing, but nowadays a fresh look is needed, to answer the newer questions.

I wrote the following compilation of views on the term “al-fahishah”, as it appears in 7:80:

================
Ibn Kathīr (Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-‘Azeem):
وهو إتيان الذكور دون الإناث
“…And that is intercourse with males rather than females”

At-Tabarī (Jāmi‘ al-Bayān Fī Tafsīr al-Qur’ān):
وكانت فـاحشتهم التـي كانوا يأتونها التـي عاقبهم الله علـيها: إتـيان الذكور
“Their fāhishah was the same one for which Allāh destroyed them: intercourse with males.”

Abū Hayyān (Al-Bahr Al-Muhīt):
و{ ٱلْفَـٰحِشَةُ } هنا إتيان ذكران الآدميين في الادبار
“And al-fāhishah here means intercourse with male humans in their back-passages.”

Al-Qurtubī confirms this in Al-Jāmi‘ li-Ahkām al-Qur’ān and adds some additional commentary:

يعني إتْيَان الذكور. ذكرها الله باسم الفاحشة ليبيِّن أنها زِنًى؛ كما قال تعالى:{ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلزِّنَىٰ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً }
[الإسراء: 32].
“…meaning intercourse with males. Allāh mentioned it by the name of al-fāhishah in order to make clear that it is zinā (fornication/adultery), as in His saying, exalted is He: {And come not near to zinā: indeed it is has ever been a fāhishah…} [17:32]

The truth of their conclusions is evident from the verse that follows this one. Abū Hayyān mentions in his linguistic commentary that the addition of the particle al-, which makes the term fāhishah definite, has the effect of emphasising its abhorrent nature; for in the verse [17:32] cited above, the word appears in the indefinite form, with the less emphasised meaning that zinā is one indecency among those known to the Arabs. He adds:

والاستفهام هو على جهة الإنكار والتوبيخ والتشنيع والتوقيف على هذا الفعل القبيح
“The question (posed by Lūt) is in the sense of blame, censure, revulsion and apprehension over this detestable act.”

In 29:28 the same wording occurs, but the Prophet Lūt (peace be on him) makes an emphatic statement instead of using a rhetorical question.

12. Rasheed Eldin - February 25, 2007

Qusai, I’m not trying to annoy you. If you’ve clarified a point but I’ve missed that, just direct me to your clarification.

If I’m to be called a “homophobe” in the sense of “bigot”, I think that should be based on my attitude and methodology, not on my conclusions. Otherwise I will be discredited (even by you, a Muslim) just for holding a view that is orthodox Islam. Instead, let’s stick to the issues.

I think the project of using the neo-definitions of “homosexuality” and considering their application to the Qur’an is an interesting project, but it’s not mine. My project is to start from the Qur’an and adopt its discourse on issues, in a way that is consistent with the empirical facts. One way in which I’ve considered the matter is to point out that the Qur’an mentions diversity in gender (pairs), language, colour, nations and tribes, and even in another sense, in creed – but there is no support, in my opinion, for postulating “diversity of sexual orientation” and reading it into the Qur’an.

You mischaracterise me as saying that homosexuality is “false perception”. Please stick to my words, or ask if the ones you impose do the job: which is unlikely. I agree that SSA are “true and present”, but I don’t extend this like you do to the concept of “homosexuality”. The former are an experiential reality. The latter is a philosophical construct.

“If you simply say: here is my interpretation of the Quran and anyone who disagrees can go to hell (lieterally)…”
Er… no, that’s not what I’ve said anywhere. I say that this is my interpretation, and anyone who disagrees can bring his evidence and arguments. Not just wishful thinking.

13. Rasheed Eldin - February 25, 2007

Finally Qusai, on your latter points.

“It seems the mere concept of same sex attraction is rejected and this leaves the homosexual (as defined in the endless works of scientific literature) absolutely numb with little room for manouevre but to run around in circles working up a frustration while hitting one’s head against the brickwall of uncompromising Islamic jurisdiction.”

The concept isn’t rejected, nor is one who experiences/suffers SSA to be deemed sinful. But what ways out can we advocate other than (a) resisting temptation to sin, and (b) overcoming the sources of temptation? It just won’t hold to say that because someone is racked with guilt and frustration, they should be allowed to do whatever frees them from the guilt and relieves the frustration.

“My own take on the matter is that just as cross-gender medical conditions have earned acceptance from contemporary Muslim thinkers such as Qaradawi the only hope of a breakthrough for homosexuals is if they persuade the community that the condition should be enlisted again as a psychological sickness. Mabye as a sort of subtle cross-gender affliction that manifests in thought but not into phenotype/physical form.”

OK, but will this affect the rulings on homosexual intercourse? That was the matter addressed in this post, insofar as it is relevant to an analysis of the Qur’anic narrative on Sodom.

“This would win both much needed empathy and open the door for ijtihad. Prophet Lut, afterall, seemed to be preaching to a group of people who had the option to approach women. They must have, otherwise the village’s population would not have sustained itself.”

I maintain this option is there conceptually. Maybe my saying this will cause you to hit your head against a brick wall, but it must be said!

“I genuinely don’t feel that I belong to that mob referred to in the quran.”

Neither do I see you as such, nor do I think that anyone with SSA should see himself so. The only ones who have things in common with the Sodomites are, for example, those who say almost the equivalent of “They are a people who want to be pure!”

“But again they wouldn’t as this is exactly what defines them.”

AHH… now you’re going to have to back that one up.

14. No name - February 25, 2007

Salam,

I am new to this website and I just read a few topics. I have a few questions (even though some of them have nothing to do with this particular topic).

I am gay and I always knew that, but I have never sinned and I was always able to hold in my desires except recently when I fell in love with someone. I think – in all honesty – that God is very very happy with all the love I hold in my heart for someone and I think if everyone loved someone the way I love then the world would be a much better place. My intentions are good and pure. The only problem is that the guy I love is straight AND engaged. Of course, I would never do anything to wreck his life, but I just feel like I’m incredibly hated by God.

If there was any justice, I would be a woman and be with the guy I love. OR I would be straight and fall in love with a woman and lead a normal life. I REALLY want to have children of my own, but I could NEVER do that because I am not attracted to women at all. How does religion say that when a person gets married they complete half of their religion? Gay people were not given the choice to be “normal”. I was never in my life attracted to women, I didn’t switch all of a sudden to gay. Being gay is a part of who I am and how God created me. I don’t care how you justify my last line “this is how God created me” because I am being honest and I can’t stand it when people don’t believe me. God knows I’m honest. And even if it was due to psychological reasons, God put me through these reasons and knew I was going to end up gay.

It just doesn’t seem fair at all. I am a good person with a good heart, I always do good and try to help people and do the best I can. Why is God doing this to me? I certainly don’t deserve it.

In my depression over this guy I love so much I’ve become addicted to pills and had really dark thoughts. I really don’t see the reason why this world was created.

I don’t mean to offend anybody and I will be saying ASTAGHFER ALLAH (God give me mercy) every once in a while while I type this next bit. I know it could be considered kufr but I just can’t get these questions out of my mind.

If God was so powerful then why would he create us? To worship him? He doesn’t need us at all. I don’t understand why there’s heaven and hell. I don’t understand why there’s so much suffering in the world. Forget my problem, there are billions of people dying of hunger, going through much worse than I am. Why are we not given a choice before being created? At least then we can say:”I chose this, I have to take responsibility for it.”

I personally do not want to exist, meaning that I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to die either. And on That Day, I don’t want to go to hell, but I don’t need heaven either. Life is really difficult and I’ve reached a point where I’ve really given up. I’ve lost all hope.

Back to my problem, a heterosexual person CAN hold back their desires and think:”one day I’m gonna get married and I’ll have all the sex I want”. But a homosexual person can not think that way because it’s forbidden. It’s really difficult.

Also, I do want to pray and LOVE God, but I just can’t help but be sad by the way He’s treating me. I know a lot of people might say:”He’s given u health, He’s given u money…” yes and I am thankful for that, but I didn’t choose to live. I didn’t choose to exist. I don’t want to feel pain or happiness, I want to be numb and not have to worry about anything. So when you say:”you should obey God and love Him” I don’t know how to do that. I wish I was at peace with myself and really loved God to feel that contentment.

It’s only human nature to want to be with somebody, so why are we forbidden human nature? Why are we forbidden happiness? I don’t need anal intercourse, that disgusts me anyway, but I do need the security of someone holding me and being in someone’s arms. Is that too much to ask? Why are we supposed to hold back desires God created in us?

He should’ve put Satan in hell and just left Adam and Eve in heaven. All these people Satan controls with his evil ways are going to hell and that only makes Satan even happier, we’re all paying because of him when he should be doing the paying himself. We’re not angels and this is how God created us. We’re good beings at heart, the reason we act evil is because of Satan’s influence, instead of judging us all He should’ve just removed that influence once and for all. He is capable of doing that.

no name its my choice - February 26, 2013

salaam

First of all i am not gay and am not a guy but a girl I get angry when only gay’s complain and not lesibon complaining.

Gays and fat people complaining all the time that life is unfair.

Being gay is haraam and not human like. If you see your parents it takes a male and female to make babies and not the same sex couples.

North and North can not meet only south and north can meet.

Even in animals opposites attract.

i STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT ALLAH did not do this to us but we choose suffering to happen to us if it is in our minds (minus things that you do not ask for, rape child abuse or murder).

No one is born gay or straight but what we learn makes us who we are.

Like i saw a boy on TV saying the day he was born he new he wanted to be a girl.

I would like to ask any of you if you knew how you felt or remember things below the age of six or five years old.

Allah did not make us like this because you are weak and can not control these desires it on you. For me to be a girl and control following for a man is hard but i have learn t to read anywhere i am at home, work or outside. Asking Allah to help me guard me to the right path. Also there was a point made by you that straight couples can have all the sex their want which is if fact wrong we make love to have a baby not for ourselves to just do for fun you are referring to non Muslims in a small number.

when a girl loves her husband she respects him and makes love as to grow the number of our muslims on this earth.

i have not even reach being 30 years old and have learnt to control myself of all bad desires.

gay is a sinful act that is why in Prophet Lut (pbuh) times it was a sin and will always be a sinful act that was created by satan himself if you read more online or in books you can see that. Also Allah sent down Angel Jabreel to help Prophet Lut (pbuh) and the angel from their wings end destoyed the area by lifting it to the sky’s then turning it upside down and stone of rain fell on those when the angel said to the rest along with the Prophet to run and not look back but those who did were it by stones.

all the sinful acts are created by satan himself.

life is like an exam were you prepare by studying and revising and when you take the test you get to know if you pass or not.

when we are born till the age we understand what is right and wrong is the studying and revising part. Then we we grown to the day we die is the exam put to see what you have learnt between right and wrong have you used it in your life. Then the day to be judged is to see if you have pass or not.

if you want to love and respect Allah ask for his help and guard you to the right path.

even in the religious Allah has put before Islam (Judaism and catholic) it is a sin other are man made if you worship Satan then you can not call yourself a Muslim and you are not a Muslim if you go against the word of the QUR’AN (which is the word of Allah) to understand the Qur’an you need to learn Arabic and not in English. not believing every word of the qur’an is a sin too.

sin like being gay, murder rape, child abuse, changing your gender is ruining the creation of Allah.

Allah made Prophet Adam and their wife Hawa not 2 men or 2 lady or if there is any other sin the humans or Satan has created(made up).

being a women has it peaks and have you even tries to love a woman not just sexual but with your heart you love your mother more then you love your father. we all have some sort of problems and by praying to Allah and reading the Qur’an you may feel more close to Allah and things would be better for you here and the life after.

if you have any problem to to someone about it like your mother.

Or just to talk to Allah and your heart will feel lighten.

in the Qur’an it is said for a man to marry a women and a woman to marry a man the benefits are so many. one of the biggest is to have children and see them look like you and how you make them as a human being.

being gay is sinful and the one that turns his back on the sin i a Muslim because the big desires that is a sin has gone makes Allah happy and Satan sad. But turn in to being gay makes Allah Sad and Satan happy.

So that depends on who you want to make happy. that is also a reason that helps me stay away from sinful acts

Try keeping yourself busy with reading the qur’an too and with other stuff to take you mind off this sinful act.

everyone is born a muslim and pure it what we learn that makes us what we turn out to be.

if a gay and any other forms or unhuman beings say that we are born like this then the same can go for murders, rapist child abuser to say the same that we are born like this.

i do not see a 2 week old baby have the time to be gay.
i did not even know about sexualuty till my later teen know the age is 4 or five when they say they know who their are.

inncocenets is stolen by the media and people making laws.

15. Qusai - February 25, 2007

Salam,

Thanks Rasheed.

First of all let me back my last statement, as you demanded, by quoting the American Association of Psychologists definition of sexual orientation:

“… Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality….”

Notice the terms exclusive homosexuality and exclusive heterosexuality. You may call upon your expertise as a trained Psychologist to challenge the definition otherwise you may refrain from not accepting this and not accepting that.

Let me quote you:

“…I agree that SSA are “true and present”, but I don’t extend this like you do to the concept of “homosexuality”. The former are an experiential reality. The latter is a philosophical construct.”

Does this make any sense?

Splitting homosexuality from SSA is simply splitting hairs. I have metioned once before that splitting feelings from thoughts is pathological and I wasn’t joking. You can’t follow that line of reasoning not because it is inherently fallacious but because it is absolute madness!!

If I say I am homosexual then this means I feel sexual attraction towards members of the same sex. I may or may not act on them but that is an entierly different matter, that would be behaviour not orientatation. But I am still essentially homosexual.

It makes little sense to buy into SSA and reject sexual orientation. They are two sides of the same coin. Moreover poeple refuse to act on their inclination because of the threat of torment not because action is seprable from desire. Action is the fullfillment of desire and desire is a pre-requisite for action. You can not approve one an disapprove of the other. You can stop actions if you coerce poeple by threatening them with punishment but that’s about as much as you can achieve. To go one step further and try to justify this essentially immoral action is one step too far. An audacious belligerence worthy of nothing but contempt.

In effect you are saying: (please note I said ‘in effect’)

Islam accepts same sexual feelings but doesn’t want you to act on them, not because the feelings are wrong but because they are inappropriate. Splitting the atom is only appropriate description applicable to this line of methodolgy.

Furthermore you said:

“The concept isn’t rejected, nor is one who experiences/suffers SSA to be deemed sinful”

Really?

So it is wrong (becuase you desire what is prohibited) but not sinful. Wrong but not sinful, bad but not punishable. Acceptable but not acceptable, this is what your message appears to be. If you don’t see the flaw in this sort of reasoning then maybe we will never know where the other is coming from.

Further along you say:

” It just won’t hold to say that because someone is racked with guilt and frustration, they should be allowed to do whatever frees them from the guilt and relieves the frustration.”

Mean and assertive but completely misses my point. I am not frustrated at my own self I am frustrated with the conclusions that you reach. I do not wish to be granted permission to act on my inclinations I am trying to make sense of the presence of such inclinations in this worldly life. If one scholar is brave enough to say that we should endure SSA just like any other ailment and that we should expect Jazaa in the hereafter in line with any form of Ibtilaa I would thank them.

But SSA is not seen as a God inflicted test but rather as an artificial subconscious product of free will that has trickled into human thought/behaviour out of no where. Try saying out loud in public (in a muslim country) that you experience SSA and that you are controlling your emotions for reward in the hereafter. Say you’ve tried to reverse it and you couldn’t. What do you think the response would be? Jazaka Allahu Khayran? No, I gurantee you. I was brought up in that culture.

The concept of SSA as a seperate entity is artificial not empirical as you would want us to believe. I would still give you credit for using it but I am warning you that you may need to adopt a different strategy as this one is false.

I feel the conclusions of present day Islamic thinkers are derived from irrelevant proof. The story of the poeple of Lut is that of intentional disobedience in the presence of a perfectly sound alternative. I mean a practical alternative not merely a conceptual option as you suggested in the last reply.

You have quoted a Hadith prohibiting men from lying together under one cover. This is more relevant to a disussion on the legitimacy of the present day notion of homosexuality. Not the story of the ugly mob that wanted to rape prophet Lut’s guests. That’s not us, I mean practising Muslims non practising Gays.

That’s only one way of approaching the real and genuine problem of homosexuality but I still would prefer re-defining the condition in light of our new understanding of the concept.

As I’v already pointed out in the case of the penalty of apostasy, Islamic jurisdiction can evolve and still remain within the boundaries of sound Islamic thought if we only try.

Salam

16. Rasheed Eldin - February 25, 2007

Qusai, salam. I do appreciate your contributions, and I hope that our discussions will be of some benefit to me, to you and perhaps to others reading. When things get complicated, I admit to Allah my weakness and can only pray that I can fulfil this role which properly belongs to people of greater knowledge.

I can only try and come back to a few points from your last comment, because it’s very long and things could get longer and harder to keep track of!

I don’t think you quite backed up your assertion, unless I just misunderstood it originally.

“I’ve learnt the hard way that homosexuality is true and present. What definitely does not exist is the capacity of heterosexuals to perceive it. But again they wouldn’t as this is exactly what defines them.”

So if I am classed as “heterosexual”, by definition I cannot “perceive” homosexuality? What would such a perception consist of? And does that conveniently exclude me from holding my views? That’s what I took issue with.

I can continue accepting or not accepting, as I am dealing at the conceptual level and may call myself a philosopher (however amateur). I am NOT, as you said, “splitting feelings from thoughts” – I am splitting feelings/thoughts from personal IDENTITY. I deny that there is an “arrow” pointing one way or the other, which must be either left alone because it is immovable, or otherwise tweaked or magnetised until it flips over. This is not how I prefer to conceive of sexuality. Not only is such my right, but it is my considered opinion based on my scriptural interpretation. Deal with it as you wish.

“If I say I am homosexual then this means I feel sexual attraction towards members of the same sex.”

— Do you deny that someone could describe such an attraction but not be considered a homosexual? Deny it absolutely? Simple counter-factual.

“In effect you are saying: (please note I said ‘in effect’)
Islam accepts same sexual feelings but doesn’t want you to act on them, not because the feelings are wrong but because they are inappropriate.”

WRONG. First of all, I don’t like speaking of “Islam” as if it’s a sentient being. I’m not nitpicking to say so, as it affects our ability to reason together. What does God “accept”? He accepts THAT we experience temptation, and does not judge us for it. He only accepts from us that we obey Him, and do not commit acts of disobedience. But He accepts the repentance of the sincere.

“So it is wrong (becuase you desire what is prohibited) but not sinful. Wrong but not sinful, bad but not punishable. Acceptable but not acceptable, this is what your message appears to be.”

Again, not true. I say that desires, even intentions, could be called “problematic”, i.e. they present a problem for the one who holds them. But even intentions (good or evil) only play a role in judgement insofar as they are acted upon.

“If one scholar is brave enough to say that we should endure SSA just like any other ailment and that we should expect Jazaa in the hereafter in line with any form of Ibtilaa I would thank them.”

This could be said, in my unqualified opinion. I don’t consider SSA are “an artificial subconscious product of free will that has trickled into human thought/behaviour out of no where”. Even if they are some kind of product of free will, why does that contradict their being divine tests also? I also don’t think using the dramatic example of open declarations in Muslim countries has much bearing on our discussion.

On the use of the story of Lut (peace be on him) – I agree, it should only constitute a part of the discussions over homosexuality, as there is so much else to consider. Above all, “homosexuality” is a very modern concept, with its newly evolved subtopics. We need recourse to more than just these 8 or so Qur’anic passages, even though they are much richer for analysis than even Muslim scholars have given them credit for.

And on the point of evolving and re-defined Islamic jurisprudence: I don’t really know what you mean, but I’m not opposed to the idea if it comes from sound principles. You mentioned Qaradawi, a most respectable name. But pardon me if I’m rather short-tempered with those charlatans who pop up claiming to be reformists while they have nothing to stand on, nor do they seem to care.

17. Rasheed Eldin - February 25, 2007

NO NAME–

I genuinely feel for you, and wish I could answer all your questions. I don’t doubt your honesty, nor do I think it’s evil of you to have such questions or doubts in your mind. However, these go much deeper than the sole issue of homosexuality, so you would be much better off speaking in depth to someone who has a sound understanding of Islam. Perhaps someone locally whom you could meet? You wouldn’t need to bring up homosexuality in particular, if you don’t want to.

I don’t mean to be nasty when I say that there is a big problem with just assuming that God is “very very happy” with your feelings, and also that He created you a certain way, but also that you’re “hated by God”. I don’t believe for one moment that He hates you, but rather you are experiencing a difficult trial. Why is there pain and suffering in this life? Brother, this is too deep a question for me to answer like this.

I pray for Allah’s mercy upon you, and if further thoughts come to me, I hope to share them with you. But by the way, I can’t get in touch directly if you don’t leave an e-mail.

18. Qusai - February 26, 2007

Salams Rasheed and thanks for your time once more.

I agree things have started to get a bit complicated. If you allow me let me to suggest something different.

In 24:31 I read: وِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيْرِ أُولِي الْإِرْبَةِ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ

I know the verse probably refers to eunuchs but I also know that this interpretation is not unique to the verse (Al Tabari). In other words the Quran refers to a variation in the theme of sexual orientation which, although not homosexual, is definitely not heterosexual. Does that not persuade you to reconsider your views on the validity of sexual orientation as a genuine notion with real consequences?

Would be interested to hear your thoughts on that or to direct me to an article that I can refer to.

Salam.

19. Rasheed Eldin - February 26, 2007

Salam. I haven’t looked into this in great detail, but there are some notes from myself and others (see in particular Mujahid’s note #2) here:
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/12/23/ugh/

I agree with my colleague who said: “What I understand is that the reference is to people with learning difficulties or stunted development (to use more politically correct descriptions). It could encompass people who are of sound mind but for some reason are asexual.”

Thus it doesn’t affect my views about “arrows of orientation”, because the absence of desire doesn’t seem to me to be anything that could be described in that way.

By the way, what opinion are you referring to from Al-Tabari? I’ve just skimmed his tafseer and found the same explanations as we referred to there. Only that it seems that instead of saying “with no sexual desire”, these exegetes (i.e. Tabari narrates many opinions) used equivalent expressions (of course not truly equivalent – just in their context of time and understanding): “with no need for women” or “knowing nothing of women”. Surely they didn’t mean “needing men instead”, or else they would have indicated so.

Al-Tabari himself states that al-irbah (from al-arab) is equivalent to al-haajah, i.e. NEED. This contradicts Faris’s claim (see other link) of it meaning “defining skill”.

For ease I reproduce the whole of the relevant text from Al-Tabari. Sorry I can’t seem to right-align it.

يقول تعالـى ذكره: والذين يَتْبَعونكم لطعام يأكلونه عندكم، مـمن لا أرب له فـي النساء من الرجال، ولا حاجة إلـيهنّ، ولا يريدهنّ.

وبنـحو الذي قلنا فـي ذلك قال أهل التأويـل.

ذكر من قال ذلك:

حدثنـي مـحمد بن سعد، قال: ثنـي أبـي، قال: ثنـي عمي، قال: ثنـي أبـي، عن أبـيه، عن ابن عبـاس، قوله: { أوِ التَّابِعِينَ غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } قال: كان الرجل يتبع الرجل فـي الزمان الأوّل لا يغار علـيه ولا ترهب الـمرأة أن تضع خمارها عنده، وهو الأحمق الذي لا حاجة له فـي النساء.

حدثنـي علـيّ، قال: ثنا أبو صالـح، قال: ثنـي معاوية، عن علـيّ، عن ابن عبـاس، قوله: { أَوِ التَّابِعِينَ غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } فهذا الرجل يتبع القوم، وهو مُغَفَّل فـي عقله، لا يكترث للنساء ولا يشتهيهنّ، فـالزينة التـي تبديها لهؤلاء: قرطاها وقلادتها وسِواراها وأما خَـلْـخالاها ومِعْضداها ونـحرها وشعرها، فإنها لا تبديه إلا لزوجها.

حدثنا الـحسن، قال: أخبرنا عبد الرزاق، قال: أخبرنا معمر، عن قَتادة، فـي قوله: { أوِ التَّابِعِينَ } قال: هو التابع يتبعك يصيب من طعامك.

حدثنا ابن بشار، قال: ثنا عبد الرحمن، قال: ثنا إسماعيـل بن عُلَـيَّة، عن ابن أبـي نـجيح، عن مـجاهد: { أوِ التَّابِعِينَ غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } قال: الذي يريد الطعام ولا يريد النساء.

قال: ثنا عبد الرحمن، قال: ثنا سفـيان، عن ابن أبـي نـجيح، عن مـجاهد، مثله.

حدثنـي مـحمد بن عمرو، قال: ثنا أبو عاصم، قال: ثنا عيسى وحدثنـي الـحارث، قال: ثنا الـحسن، قال: ثنا ورقاء جميعاً، عن ابن أبـي نـجيح، عن مـجاهد، قوله: { أوِ التَّابِعِينَ غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } الذين لا يهمهم إلا بطونهم، ولا يُخافون علـى النساء.

حدثنا القاسم، قال: ثنا الـحسين، قال: ثنـي حجاج، عن ابن جُرَيج، عن مـجاهد، مثله.

حدثنا إسماعيـل بن موسى السُّديّ، قال: ثنا شريك، عن منصور، عن مـجاهد، فـي قوله: { غيرِ أُولـى الإِرْبَةِ } قال: الأَبْلَه.

حدثنا أبو كريب، قال: ثنا ابن إدريس، قال: سمعت لـيثا، عن مـجاهد، قوله: { غيرِ أُولـي الإِرْبَةِ } قال: هو الأبلَه، الذي لا يعرف شيئا من النساء.

حدثنـي يعقوب، قال: ثنا ابن عُلَـية، قال: ثنا ابن أبـي نـجيح، عن مـجاهد، فـي قوله: { غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } الذي لا أرب له بـالنساء مثل فلان.

حدثنا أبو كريب، قال: ثنا ابن عطية، قال: ثنا إسرائيـل، عن أبـي إسحاق عمن حدثه، عن ابن عبـاس: { غير أُولـى الإرْبَةِ } قال: هو الذي لا تستـحي منه النساء.

حدثنا ابن حميد، قال: ثنا جرير، عن مُغَيرة، عن الشعبـيّ: { غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ } قال: من تَبَع الرجل وحشمه الذي لـم يبلغ أَرَبه أن يطلع علـى عَورة النساء.

حدثنا ابن بشار، قال: ثنا يحيى بن سعيد، عن شعبة، عن الـمغيرة، عن الشعبـيّ: { غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ } قال: الذي لا أرب له فـي النساء.

قال: ثنا عبد الرحمن، قال: ثنا حماد بن سَلَـمة، عن عطاء بن السائب، عن سعيد بن جُبـير، قال: الـمعتوه.

حدثنا الـحسن، قال: أخبرنا عبد الرزاق، عن معمر، عن الزهريّ فـي قوله: { أوِ التَّابِعِينَ غَيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } قال: هو الأحمق، الذي لا همّة له بـالنساء ولا أرب.

وبه عن معمر، عن ابن طاوس، عن أبيه، فـي قوله: { غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرّجالِ } يقول: الأحمق، الذي لـيست له همة فـي النساء.

حدثنا القاسم، قال: ثنا الـحسين، قال: ثنـي حجاج، عن ابن جُرَيج، قال: قال ابن عبـاس: الذي لا حاجة له فـي النساء.

حدثنـي يونس، اقل: أخبرنا ابن وهب، قال: قال ابن زيد، فـي قوله: { أوَ التَّابِعِينَ غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ مِنَ الرجالِ } قال: هو الذي يَتْبَع القوم، حتـى كأنه كان منهم ونشأ فـيهم، ولـيس يتبعهم لإربة نسائهم، ولـيس له فـي نسائهم إِربة، وإنـما يتبعهم لإرفـاقهم إياه.

حدثنا الـحسن، قال: أخبرنا عبد الرزاق، قال: أخبرنا معمر، عن الزهريّ، عن عروة، عن عائشة قالت: كان رجل يدخـل علـى أزواج النبـيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم مُخَنَّث، فكانوا يعدّونه من غير أولـي الإِربة، فدخـل علـيه النبـيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يوماً وهو عند بعض نسائه وهو ينعت امرأة، فقال: إنها إذا أقبلت أقبلت بأربع، وإذا أدبرت أدبرت بثمان. فقال النبـيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” لا أرَى هَذَا يَعْلَـمُ ما هَا هُنا، لا يَدْخُلَنَّ هَذَا عَلَـيْكُمْ فحَجَبُوه ”

حدثنـي سعد بن عبد الله بن عبد الـحكَم الـمِصريّ، قال: ثنا حفص بن عمر العَدَنـيّ، قال: ثنا الـحكم ابن أبـان، عن عكرمة فـي قوله: { أوِ التَّابِعِينَ غيرِ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ } قال: هو الـمُخَنَّث الذي لا يقوم زُبّه.

واختلف القرّاء فـي قوله: { غير أُولـي الإرْبَةِ } فقرأ ذلك بعض أهل الشام وبعض أهل الـمدينة والكوفة: «غيرَ أُولـى الإرْبَةِ» بنصب «غير» ولنصب «غير» ها هنا وجهان: أحدهما علـى القطع من «التابعين»، لأن «التابعين» معرفة وغير نكرة، والآخر علـى الاستثناء، وتوجيه «غير» إلـى معنى «إلا»، فكأنه قـيـل: إلاَّ.

وقرأ غير من ذكرت بخفض غَيرِ علـى أنها نعت للتابعين، وجاز نعت «التابعين» ب«غير» و«التابعون» معرفة وغيرُ نكرة، لأن «التابعين» معرفة غير مؤقتة. فتأويـل الكلام علـى هذه القراءة: أو الذين هذه صفتهم.

والقول فـي ذلك عندي أنهما قراءتان متقاربتا الـمعنى مستفـيضةٌ القراءة بهما فـي الأمصار، فبأيتهما قرأ القارىء فمصيب، غير أن الـخفض فـي «غير» أقوى فـي العربـية، فـالقراءة به أعجب إلـيّ. والإربة: الفِعْلة من الأَرَب، الـمثل الـجِلسة من الـجُلوس، والـمِشية من الـمَشْي، وهي الـحاجة يقال: لا أرب لـي فـيك: لا حاجة لـي فـيك وكذا أَرِبْتُ لكذا وكذا: إذا احتـجت إلـيه، فأنا آرب له أَرَبـا. فأما الأُرْبة، بضم الألف: فـالعُقْدة.

20. Qusai - February 26, 2007

Rasheed salams,

I did say al Tabari allludes to an orientation that was neither homosexual nor heterosexual. I agree ‘asexual’ can not be described as an orientation as such but all I can see in al Tabari is a clear referrence to a type of people who have no interest in females. Now a lack of interest in females neither implies nor precludes a lack of interest in males.

Moreover ‘Mukhannath’, meaning effeminate behaviour, is classified among this group.

Now imagine if that unfortunate individual experiences SSA throught his life. If there is still no room for female attraction then you find yourself talking about a homosexual. Note: I am not implying that every effeminate man is homosexual but a subset may fall (literally!) under this group.

By the way, your unaccomodating views on sexual orientation need a bit of flexibility. Not to compromoise your pragmatic views but to allow for an understanding of a greater spectrum of human behaviour. For instance you can try thinking of sexual inclinations as vectors rather than ‘arrows’.

By using ‘arrows’ that, of course can not point bothways at the same time, you have restricted the concept of orientation to narrow boundaries and this automatically restrcits your ability to explore the concept. In other words you are prejudiced. The figurative analogy you are giving is not entirely compatible and it would be no crime to listen to a voice of man who has a ‘vector’ overwhelmingly pointing to a direction that you don’t want to recognise.

If an expert in human behaviour (a psychologist) cocnludes that human attraction can be ‘exclusively homosexual’ (see definition above) you may think of that as a state of persistent irrevocable SSA. That must be a genuine orientation. Substitue that for homosexuality and you’ve found a common grounds from which we can push this dialogue further.

So, what say you?

21. Qusai - February 26, 2007

Salams,

Sorry but I need to answer questions you posed earlier:

Q: “… if I am classed as “heterosexual”, by definition I cannot “perceive” homosexuality?..”

A: No you can’t. If you accept the AAP definiton then if you are exclusively heterosexual you can’t essentially experience any homosexuality.

Q: “…What would such a perception consist of?…”
What perception? Of homosexuality? Don’t know what you’re talking about !!

Q: “..And does that conveniently exclude me from holding my views?..”

A: No it doesn’t. It just makes your conclusions barely applicable in the real world.

Kindest Regards

22. Rasheed Eldin - February 27, 2007

I’ll have to come back to this later, as I’m busy. But as for your Comment 21, I’ll need you to answer one of the other questions I posed earlier, in order to reply more fully.

QUSAI: “If I say I am homosexual then this means I feel sexual attraction towards members of the same sex.”

RASHEED: “Do you deny that someone could describe such an attraction but not be considered a homosexual? Deny it absolutely? Simple counter-factual.”

Where I’m heading with this: surely many people’s experiences, especially in the peak years of development, contradict this notion of people “by definition” not being able to “perceive” (your word, not mine!) attractions that properly ‘belong to an orientation that is not theirs’.

23. Qusai - February 27, 2007

Sorry if I did not make myself clear but I honestly thought that the definition I quoted answered your questions:

“Do you deny that someone could describe such an attraction but not be considered a homosexual?”

Of course, this is what ‘sexual continuum’ refers to. But I refuse to let you ignore the fact that that continuum includes people at both ends who are truly oriented in different directions to each other.

I can see where you’re coming from. That people may indeed go through a phase where they honestly think they are homosexual only to revert to heterosexual feelings or bisexuality later.

But this applies to adolescents. Do you think three decades of exclusive SSA don’t make you homosexual? That there is a chance one may revert? I might have already gone past the half mark of my life span and the function curves of my various organs have already started to drop. If I become heterosexual you’ll be the first to know. I don’t want to fool myself and I don’t want others to encourage me to do so.

Salam

24. sjessi - March 2, 2007

Who ever it is that runs this site. I suspect you are not gay. So why waste your time? There are better thing you could do as a Muslim. Your brother and sisters need you. For example, work towards uplifting your societies – which across the board are an underdeveloped, illeterate mess – through some real work. I mean its easy to use Western language, use west-created technologies and tools, and rant medieval non-sense. Try some real work, like creating the technology to drill out your own oil, instead. Until your self-glorified kind has something to show for its existence on Earth, please spare people the torture of your ‘wisdom’. You can cite as many books as you want…its all pointless if your societies are nothing more than hellholes with the exit gates jammed.

25. Taleb Haqq - March 3, 2007

Hi SJesse,
I am a contributer to this blog and I deal with same-sex attractions. I don’t feel that this is a waste of time, was it a waste of time for you to come and comment here? Personally, I live in Canada, this is where my “society” is. The rest of your post is nothing but racist non-sense. It’s also a fact that Muslims are not “others”. This mentality is nothing but discriminatory rhetoric that you should be more intelligent not to use. Guess what: Muslims come in all different shapes and colours, they are not confined to somewhere “over there”. Learn to deal with it.

26. Rasheed Eldin - March 3, 2007

Qusai, coming back to your points, which seem to me to indicate a misunderstanding of my attitude:

“By the way, your unaccomodating views on sexual orientation need a bit of flexibility. Not to compromoise your pragmatic views but to allow for an understanding of a greater spectrum of human behaviour. For instance you can try thinking of sexual inclinations as vectors rather than ‘arrows’.”

My views about ATTRACTION are very accommodating! I just don’t go to the extent of labelling something as an ORIENTATION, because it is precisely such that is in fact rigid thinking. Let’s try harder to make this clear…

“By using ‘arrows’ that, of course can not point bothways at the same time, you have restricted the concept of orientation to narrow boundaries and this automatically restrcits your ability to explore the concept. In other words you are prejudiced. The figurative analogy you are giving is not entirely compatible and it would be no crime to listen to a voice of man who has a ‘vector’ overwhelmingly pointing to a direction that you don’t want to recognise.”

I’m listening.

By the way, I didn’t invent this “arrow” analogy. I don’t know where I heard it, but I understood it to be one of the popular (homosexualist) images that has been used. But I can’t substantiate that at the moment. I’m happy to take vectors as an alternative, but the basic point still remains: these are vectors of attraction (which you can feel free to call orientation), but NOT – and this is the crucial point for me – something inherent to identity. Identity built around that is a social (artificial… sinful?) construct.

“If an expert in human behaviour (a psychologist) cocnludes that human attraction can be ‘exclusively homosexual’ (see definition above) you may think of that as a state of persistent irrevocable SSA. That must be a genuine orientation. Substitue that for homosexuality and you’ve found a common grounds from which we can push this dialogue further.”

It’s conceptually impossible to establish an “exclusive orientation”, because anyone who has such could still one day look at a member of the opposite (or same) sex and think “Wow, he/she is attractive.” What does this do to the theory of orientations?

27. DrM - March 4, 2007

Very interesting discussion. As for the idiotic troll and his silly comment about using “western technology,” go read a history book you racist ignoramus…maybe you can learn to concoct your own oil when you’re not stealing it. Maybe you could stop using zeros while you’re at it.
Dont let the “jammed” exit hit your behind on your way out.(insert innuendo)

28. Qusai - March 4, 2007

Salam Rasheed,

Good to have you back.

I think the theory of sexual orientation pertains to the practicalities of sexual attraction. That attraction needs to be spontaneous and, more importantly, sustainable for it to be meaningful.

29. sonia - March 13, 2007

i’m interested in the notion that environment plays a large part – in shaping us, which naturally would include sexuality. WHich of course – then goes both ways – not just about homosexuality – one could similarly say there’s no reason to assume God made us heterosexual either – is there, by that line of reasoning. In any case, one has to keep an open mind since we know very little about the interface between genes and environmental factors.

However, I am interested in what people think about the [possible] links between a) assuming that actually people are ‘naturally’ heterosexual ( let’s go with that assumption, shall we, for argument’s sake) and then b) what happens as a result of segregation from the opposite sex, and resultant ‘attraction’ or ‘relations’ between members of the same sex. I read an interesting article on Pederasty in the Middle East, I wondered what others thought of it.

30. Taleb Haqq - March 13, 2007

Sonia: I’m interested in what the Qur’an and Sunnah say about the matter and about sin in general 🙂 The fact of the matter remains that God ordered us not to sin. Same-sex relations are a sin (no matter what is the cause of them), as such, we are encouraged and rewarded for what we stay away from. As for “gene” theory, it has been opposed and has never been proven It’s like when people tried to prove that there are “natural born killers” amongst us. (And no, I’m not equating SSA to murder).

31. Riz - March 14, 2007

So if I’m gay and control my urges my entire life and remain celibate (because lets face it, i’m gay and have absolutely no desire to have sex with a woman), then how am I rewarded? Will I get 72 virgins in heaven? Because …. that’s not really a reward for me, seeing that I’m gay and all.

32. Taleb Haqq - March 14, 2007

Riz: I will leave you with God tells us about Heaven in the Qur’an: “They will have whatever they wish for therein…and we have plenty more (to give)”.

33. Rasheed Eldin - March 14, 2007

Sonia, please read my account of sexuality here. If you have any questions, please post them there:
https://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/02/18/l-g-b-and-t/

34. MZ - July 16, 2009

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/narth/medconsequences.html#_edn21

some history and science. well worth the read

35. ‘Gay Muslims’ comment on Eastenders « Eye on ‘Gay Muslims’ - July 30, 2009

[…] Let me share with you my simple scriptural proof against ’gay marriage’ as presented here: Therefore, whatever actions are carried out in pursuit of fulfilling sexual desires must be deemed […]

36. Muslim Brother - September 6, 2009

Okay okay…but how do you explain why gays are attracted to other men and not to other women. Why? And if it is incorrect then how do they change it? Can someone offer them a cure that can make them straight? I mean sheesh I’m sure they’d pay anything to have that cure just so that they can gain the pleasure of ALlah!!!

37. Rasheed Eldin - September 14, 2009

Brother, it is not my job to explain something so complex, as our lack of understanding about the reasons behind a problem do not change the fact that it is a problem, or change our attitude towards it (resisting sin).

Nevertheless, you can find a lot of discussion about such questions on sites such as NARTH, which I’m sure has some truth to it while not necessarily being 100% correct.

To please Allah does NOT require some sort of “cure”, but requires perseverance over the test, and I do believe that for many people this can result in even getting rid of those unwanted desires.

38. Update to “Sodomites” essay « Eye on ‘Gay Muslims’ - May 4, 2010

[…] Update to “Sodomites” essay May 4, 2010 Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Uncategorized. trackback Why were the Sodomites destroyed? […]

39. Brother - May 20, 2010

To be fuel for the fire…
(lament of a gay Muslim)

Far below, black flames await
Sitting patiently for its day of Independence
When it will be fuelled by men in a hopeless state
Oh! Is that a just comeuppance?

For men who serve the Earth no purpose,
But by default were made to be as outcasts.
Without choice being given, their identities are hidden.

Ah! But a rose without thorns is no rose,
Such is the meaning of life for the outcasts.
As thorns are essential, so too is fuel for the abode of the pit-ridden.

Rasheed Eldin - May 20, 2010

As-salam ‘alaikum Brother, and thanks for sharing your thoughts in this poem. I get the impression that your view is that some people are created as “homosexual” and condemned for being so, such that they will eventually go to Hell.

We don’t agree with those ideas, for the following reasons:

1. Allah creates every person with complete potentiality to use whatever he is given to please Him and thus receive His eternal reward. (Those who suggest that we are without free will are trading on a philosophical point that is quite irrelevant to the choices they know they are able to make.)

2. Even though people don’t choose to feel attractions to the same sex, they choose how to deal with them, and whether or not to act upon them, so judgement from Allah is on the basis of this choice, not on the feelings in their own right.

3. Anyone who strives against temptations to disobey Allah will be rewarded abundantly for their restraint.

40. Donya - May 31, 2010

Hi rasheed i do appriciate so much your work,really i do!I m a muslim girl,who is in LOVE with another muslim girl and she loves me back too.Our love is very pure and deep,i may give my whole life for her happiness,i ve never loved someone like this and i m sure i wont be able someday to love someone else.We re both very very religious,i have very strong faith in Allah and do accept everthing from my CREATOR,i know my religion condamnes homosexual relations,as it condamns any other type of lust,sex out of the bond of marriage,i m aware of it.I know ISLAM is a religion of chastity and pureness,not of lust.But please one second tell me how is that possible that i may choose somenting like beeing homosexual,how comes that so many religious say it is because the shaitan whispers you,well how the shaytan could whisper me when i was only a 5 years old girl?From that age i knew i was different,i used to fall in love with my female teachers,with my female school mates,and here in europe there s nothing like separating boys and girls at school,if i was straight i would have been fallen for a boy,dont you think?Now i m in the early 20`s i have so many male friends,but i ve never felt attracted to one of them,i like them to be friends but not more!I could die if a man touches me,it really disgusts me,for about 5 years when i was a little girl,some friends of my father used to sexually abuse of me,one of them was my uncle,i ve never told my father about it,cause i didnt want to create problems in my family,i told myself i dont wanna ruin his children life by telling what their father did,maybe he repented to Allah,and i forgive him.But the thing that makes me sad is when Imams talk about homosexuals like they re criminals,what about straight people that abuse of children as they did to me?Really this world is very complicated,i put all my trustes in ALLAH SWT.So i have 3 questions for you and i hope you ll give me your opinion,according to your knowledge of Islam.My family at a certain point will want me to get married.Well i know i will never be able to marry a straight guy,and live my life lying all the time and feeling like i m raped everytime he touches me.I cannot tell my family about who i really am because i dont want to be the cause of their pain,i want them to be proud of me,and islam teaches to be good with your parents,but what am i supposed to do?All i know is that i want to please Allah,that s all i know.

Am i supposed to marry a straight guy?
Should i tell my family the truth when they propose me to get married?
Would it be a good solution to marry a guy that has my own feelings,so that we could marry and share the same struggles as two friends,but i have to underline that the marriage will never be consumed,so would it be considered as a sin because we are lying about something very important like this?
In front of Allah my love for this girl is something good or bad?i swear that i have LOVE,pure,chaste and tender feelings for her not sexual feelings!

Hope you ll answer back soon and that your answers may help others in my same situation.May Allah bless you

Rasheed Eldin - June 1, 2010

As-salamu ‘alaikum dear sister Donya,

Thanks for sharing your questions with us, and all I can offer are some points of view that I hope will help you find how to carry on with your life in most fulfilling way.

On one hand, I’m very glad that you came here to ask, but on the other I’m a little concerned that you seem to consider yourself somehow linked to “homosexuality”, while my personal impression from what you’ve written is that this may not be the case at all.

Let’s split the issues so we can think about them individually.

1. You have a very close bond with another Muslim sister, and as you say, this love is pure and chaste. In that case, there is nothing wrong with this at all, because there is nothing sexual about it. As long as you’re always encouraging each other towards goodness and love each other for His sake, this is something praiseworthy in front of Allah.

Being in your early 20s, you’re still young and it’s not strange to have strong emotions and feelings for your dear friend, and inshaAllah this will be a friendship that lasts a lifetime. Still, perhaps as you continue to grow up, you will make new bonds and you’ll develop a slightly different perspective on this one friendship.

2. What I mean is that getting married to a man is a normal part of life. Not that it’s an absolute must, but people would generally expect it for themselves, and as you said, your family expects it from you too. I understand that this is putting a lot of pressure on you, but I think the starting point is to consider the possibility, and then figure out what is making it unappealing to you at this stage.

You’ve stated that you have a feeling of revulsion at the idea of being touched by a man. That doesn’t mean you’re “homosexual”, it just means that you have issues with intimacy with the opposite sex. Why should this be so? Well, you also mentioned the criminal abuse you suffered as a child, at the hands of men. I’m not a psychologist, but it’s well known that being victimised in that way very often leads to difficulties later in life, including what is known as sexual dysfunction.

What I would suggest, if this makes sense to you, is to consider seeing a qualified Muslim psychologist (if you can find one where you live) who could work through these issues with you, and I hope this would help you reconcile to the idea of getting married. If a Muslim is not available, still others could help, as long as they are not going to promote unacceptable beliefs.

Maybe it’s best to do this in advance of the issue of marriage being raised by your parents, and if you think they’ll be understanding, perhaps you can explain to them that you have intimacy issues that you need to work through before marriage can be an option. There’s no need to suggest that you have “identity” issues, because – as far as I can tell – that’s not the case.

May Allah make it easy for you, sister.

41. Donya - June 1, 2010

Jazaak Allahu Khairan,thanks for your reply Rasheed,may Allah bless you for this,and for your support to all the people like me facing those problems.As you have said i have a very very strong bond with this friend,and its not a frindship like i have with others,it s the type of feeling that you feel when you are in love,that s why i want to make sure that i m doing nothing wrong in front of Allah,but i really care for her,make always duaa for her,everything that may be good for me i dont want it all i want is her to be happy.And Allah knows the best what is in our hearts,i always cry in my salat because i know i will never be able to marry a man,i don think i m sick or something like this,this is what i ve been since i was a little girl,even before those men did what they did to me.In the past years when i felt in love with other girls i felt some sexual attraction to them,that s why i identify myself with homosexuals but i ve always been a religious girl and i knew that my religion doesnt encourage any type of lust,and any type of sexual relation outside the marriage,so i suppressed it and tried to purify myself from those thoughts with prayers an zikr.Now i m strong enough and i have a strong imaan ,elhamd le ilah,i know i wont be a victim of my feelings,so i know and i m sure i wont act upon it cause i fear Allah more than anything,but as Allah is the ALL KNOWING he knows i will never be able to love someone else in this way,and that my love for her is really sincere and comes from the deepest part of my heart.I even thought about not talking to her and separating from each other,but i m really sad without her,as long as i know that she s fine i become happy,every night before fajr adhan i wake up to pray ,cause i know that in this time Allah is very close to us,and i ask him about helping me trough this situation and to make her always always happy,in this life and in the hereafter.I dont know if you may understand the type of feeling that i have for this girl,maybe you never felt like this so it s a bit hard for you understand something you never felt,but believe me i could never marry a man,and of course a straight one expecting me to love him and to take care of him,while my heart lies with someone else other.I will condamn myself to the eternal unhappiness,you may say that this life is nothing compared to the hereafter,i know it very well,but i ve asked and read so many issues about marriage in islam,and so many Imaams say that is totally wrong to force a girl in marriage,to marry someone she s not happy with,on the other hand i cannot be selfish and care about me and my feelings and tell my parents about the truth,it will cause pain to them,and i cant stand the fact that the cause is me.Thats why i ve thought about marrying a guy who s in my same situation,someone who is first of all a good muslim,and wants only to please Allah and leave everything that doesnt please HIM.I cannot expect it to come from a straight guy,he will never be ok with a chaste marriage.Tell me then what am i supposed to do???I know in this world there are so many worse things than my situation and el hamd le ilah i accept everything from my CREATOR,even it s very painful,i accept GOD`S will,and i have to do everything just for HIS SAKE.I ask you then a chaste marriage,is sinful in Islam?

MAy ALLAH bless you.Wa SALAM

Rasheed Eldin - June 1, 2010

As I mentioned, there are a number of things in the mix here, which is why talking it through with a qualified counsellor could be very beneficial. That is not an admission that you’re “sick”, in fact I’m against any sort of labelling that holds you back from self-improvement, including the idea of “homosexual”.

You know yourself much better than I do, of course, but I have to say that I’m a little sceptical of how sure you can really be that these feelings started before you suffered abuse, because it was such a very young age. You could be right, but I suggest not pinning too much importance on that supposition, because after all, much has happened since then.

You’re right, life is a struggle for all of us, and we each have our own challenges to face. I hope you can at least aspire to the idea of marriage, but certainly if you don’t get married, there’s no sin in that. Indeed, if ultimately you feel that you just couldn’t fulfil the role of a wife, it would be wrong to get married.

Regarding marrying a man who is similarly uninterested in women, I haven’t heard scholars discuss this specific question, but personally I find it to be an unrealistic solution. I can see how people might resort to it just to avoid questions from family, but really it just seems to open up all sorts of new problems. Allah knows best.

I think you would benefit from this support group if you’re not already a member: http://www.straightstruggle.com

42. Donya - June 1, 2010

Thanks for your reply again and may Allah guide all of us.

43. ali - June 6, 2010

Salam Rashed, we’ve had a discussion before on a different article.

I appreciate what you’re doing here and had a quick question: do you have any idea why homosexual actions/marriage isn’t allowed? Usually there is a clear reason as to why something is haram. Is it because semen is “wasted”? But then why would birth control be halal?

Rasheed Eldin - June 6, 2010

Wa ‘alaikum as-salam Ali.

Certainly it’s our belief that anything that Allah prohibits us from must be harmful to us in one way or another, whether we perceive and understand that harm now, later, or only after we leave this world.

If what you mentioned is a reason (as can be surmised from verse 7:81, which says they are a “wasteful” people, which means putting things in other than their proper place), then it’s only a minor reason. As you said, it cannot stand by itself because we know that contraception in various forms is acceptable.

Various explanations are offered by writers, classical and modern, which are convincing to varying degrees. In olden times it was (and to many, many people, still is) simply obvious that such actions are disgusting and against the nature of humans. Nowadays, people have newly shaped views of what is “natural”. Also, “love” is brought to the fore of what this issue is about, and many people (even supposed Muslims) have no concern for what is prohibited by indisputable revealed texts.

Perhaps this is something I can prepare more thoughts on in the future, and if you come across any interesting perspectives, please do share. You can also email at the address mentioned under “About”. Sorry to be very brief just now.

44. ali - June 8, 2010

Hmm, I’ve thought about the theory before about homosexual actions being forbidden due to it being “disgusting”. Being SSA myself I don’t view it as such myself, but it is true for majority of the population. Islam is very strict on sexual purity, so perhaps it is based on the fact some gay couples may perform anal sex (I find THAT disgusting myself)? Because to what I know there was no concept of oral sex in the Prophet (SA)’s time.

Rasheed Eldin - June 8, 2010

Again, this could be part of the answer, but perhaps not complete in itself. There’s some discussion of it here:
http://gaymuslims.org/2010/01/04/georgetown-symposium-08/

45. Dave Lennon - July 21, 2010

If in our different ways, we all love “God”, then, in every religion, he/she created all things, so “God” loves all things too. Is that not enough for anyone to believe??

46. other - January 22, 2011

Thank you for this fascinating discussion. Very interesting reading.
I am not a Muslim and have only a very tenuous grasp on Islam, hence why I am reading this blog in the first place. I am gay (or I “suffer” from SSA). I will not comment on the Essay or the subsequent discussions as I know too little about the subject matter. However, my emotional response would be Hurrah for Qusai!!
The question I have, which does not seem to be addressed above is – why?
Why is homosexuality considered a sin in Islam? I realize that this discussion is not about the “why”, but could you perhaps point me in the right direction as to where I could access such information?
The society in which I live is supportive and inclusive of Homosexuality (apart from a small religious minority) and I wish to gain a better understanding of their objections.

Thank you for providing a medium for discussion in the first place, recognition is a step towards acceptance.

47. Hassan - June 13, 2011

I really never did care about Prophet Lut’s story (on his enduring soul be peace).

These two entities sufficed plenty:

“If two among you (men) commit it (fornication) punish them both.If they repent and mend their ways leave them both”.(Quran 4:16)

A man must not look at a man’s private parts nor must a woman look at a woman’s private parts; neither should two men lie naked under one cover, nor should two women lie naked under the same cover. [Muslim]

Will the people who claim to be of the understanding not take heed?

I strongly believe that,contrary to common belief,Islam comes from the word taslim which means ‘submission’ and not ‘peace’.(though if we subject ourselves to God’s will peace will be an inevitable outcome of course)

A true Muslim submits himself to God entirely and should care more about the punishment he shall suffer at the hands of Al-Mulk (All Powerful King) in the hereafter rather than at the hands of men.

I so often hear about Muslims not engaging in homosexual acts out of fear that people in their society may find out and they may suffer condemnation/punishment.
I fear they may willingly indulge in unlawful acts if the fear of man’s wrath is removed.
What about the wrath of Ad-Daar (The Distresser)?

That is NOT supposed to be the main intention behind the acts of Muslims!
We are to try to please Allah,The Mighty!

Often Muslims (who wish to commit disliked or forbidden acts) say “how forbidden is it?” in regard to any act…
My response:It does not matter if it’s makrooh or haram or how much it is stressed upon…if it is mentioned with distaste in the Quran,Sahih Hadith or Hassan Hadith ONCE then END OF MATTER!
Instead of trying to actively seek the pleasure of Allah they just wish to isolate themselves from Allah’s wrath (that too to an extent)!
This attitude is just plain wrong…

That is why I believe going into detail about the story of Lut (Peace Be Upon Him) is…well…a useless act for a true believer (what I wanna become!).
Slight,but concrete,evidence is more than enough if it is made clear (I don’t know how much more clear it can be in this matter though! =P ).

Thank You for your ongoing efforts in trying to make those who disbelieve understand.
May Allah reward you plenty and aid you greatly in your endeavors.

And sorry about my looong post…
Force of habit! =P

Wassalam

48. Sara Awan - February 22, 2014

Verily Allah is not ashamed to propound a similitude, be it of a gnat or of aught above it. Then as to those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. And to those who disbelieve, they say what intendeth God by similitude? He sendeth many astray thereby, and He guideth many thereby, and He sendeth not astray thereby any except the transgressors, 2;26

49. adnaan - April 23, 2015

Salaam ,
Having a particular belief ( that is based on false perception / misinterpretation ) and finding specific ‘evidences’ to justify following a particular line of thought does NOT mean you are right , ESPECIALLY when your line of thought speaks out against a harmless and therefore rightful nature of a certain people .
What harm does a homosexual cause to others ? He merely has the same sexual attraction and desire a heterosexual holds , except only the object of desire is different .
You say its immoral ?? Well , there is a reason God forbade ‘immoral’ actions , in them being harmful to someone or a transgression ( abuse of desire ) .
The people of Lut were intoxicated in their abuse of sexual lust ; see quran 15:72 . It is like one abusing alcohol/drugs to achieve the state of ‘high-ness’ or drunkenness which are pleasurable states — likewise, those people were abusing their libidos to achieve the sexual pleasure .

Do you see every gay person behaving like the people of Lut ? Do you see them in intoxication , wandering blindly ? NO .

I’m not saying all gay people dont behave like that . There are all kinds of people (straight/gay/bi) who abuse their libidos just to experience that sexual pleasure again and again .

So what i’m saying is , it is all about transgression
( 7:81) and crime ( 7:84 , 15:58 ) and wrong-doing (11:83) and wilfull disobedience (21:74) .

50. adnaan - May 21, 2015

Then again, you dont want to acknowledge the existence of sexual orientation. You should know that this concept gained recognition mainly in the 20th century . It is a more appropriate understanding of human sexuality.
Discrimination on sexual minorities ( what one may call perverts ) led to the sexual revolution and hence, the concept of sexual orientation gained significance. This concept was not thought of before, and homosexuals were “considered” perverts who engaged in their acts just to satisfy their sexual lust ( a misperception ) .
Even if you dont acknowledge this concept, it does not mean that people will stop being attracted to and oriented towards a certain sex sexually. Attractions and orientations existed long before the concept of sexual orientation got recognition.
I dont know exactly why you wish to not acknowledge sexual orientation. I would think its because you think the Quran does not support that concept, when actually it does.

Rasheed Eldin - May 23, 2015

OK then, how does the Qur’an support it?

adnaan - June 28, 2016

I had already posted a reply long back. But your moderator did not pass it, even when it did not contain any vulgar language.

You will find in Quran 3:14, talking about lusts (shahawat) of women. You will find in 24:31 the acknowledgement of those who lack the wants/interests of men (which may include the old, sexually retarded and also asexuals, gays). So there are different sexualities.

It’s really stupid to think to not acknowledge something that’s not there in the Quran. The Quran is not an encyclopedia.

51. adnaan - May 25, 2015

The Quran gives brief insights in its support for it.
In 26:166 , God mentions “maa khalaqa lakum rabbukum” meaning “what/those created FOR YOU your Lord”, and “min azwajikum” .
“Azwajikum” is a word used in the Quran taken to mean “wives” though “zawj” basically means “mate/partner”.
So God is mentioning that those people already HAD mates/partners/wives . Plus God is mentioning that He created FOR THEM women (a small indication for heterosexuals).
I understand if you will not accept that as a support. Then see Quran 3:14. God says “shahawati min an-nisaa” meaning “desire of women”. The noun word “shahawat” is derived from sha-ha-wa which means “intense want/craving/longing” . Heterosexuality ??


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