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‘Gay Muslims’ comment on Eastenders July 30, 2009

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Queer Muslims, Responses, Shari'ah.

Remember Pav Akhtar, the one whom Muslim students were asked to support in NUS elections? That same sore loser who went crying to the Muslim Weekly with the following lies after most Muslims didn’t back him?

Pav said that his sexuality was something he was personally “contending with” and insisted he has never recognised homosexuality as permissible in Islam.

I posted written and pictorial evidence back then that he was in fact fully “out and proud” (his words), and now he is the Chair of Imaan, a London-based pro-homosexuality group who have obviously featured on our blog before. According to today’s Guardian:

Pav Akhtar is not usually a fan of soaps. But the 30-year-old local councillor and Unison worker has been paying special attention since EastEnders introduced its first gay Muslim character. Akhtar, the chair of Imaan, an organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Muslims, advised the BBC on the storyline in the hope that the character of Syed Masood would help tackle the double discrimination of homophobia and Islamophobia that many gay Muslims face.

The Guardian article – What’s it like being a gay Muslim? – features various voices, none of whom are Muslims who choose to resist their same-sex attractions, as Syed is presently doing on the show. That course of action is what mainstream Muslims would advise any person in that situation. Yet the implication of the article, probably constructed with the advice of Pav and Imaan, is that those people are not “true to themselves”, which I suspect will also be the eventual message of Eastenders.

It also states that “The Muslim theologian Amanullah De Sondy said recently that the vast majority of Muslims were ‘deeply homophobic'” – massaging his ego by making him a “theologian” when he’s just a recent PhD in Sufi poetry with vanishingly meagre credentials in Islam. Oh, and mightn’t he have just a bit of bias in this question? Also, given that he’s not a sociologist or anthropologist, how did he gather this “vast majority” data? Ah, doesn’t matter does it, it’s only journalism.

Let’s take a look at a few of their comments…

Javaid, 34:
But although I am out to my immediate family, I’m not out to my community, so I don’t want to identify myself fully. I couldn’t reconcile my sexuality with their teachings, and so I lost my faith. I was religious up to my mid-teens, but once I started to understand my sexuality, I became confused.

That is a tragedy, and at least part of the blame must go to the Muslim community for not providing support to people questioning their ‘sexual identity’. We need to promote ideas like in this important essay of Mujahid Mustaqim, namely that being Muslim should be the basis on which one’s sexuality is interpreted, not the other way round.

My understanding was that in Islam homosexuality was seen in the same way as adultery. That sends a message that being gay is something to be ashamed of and not socially acceptable.

The whole “being gay” is what we question, and regardless of what message you feel it sends, it is obvious that homosexual acts are comparable to adultery in the sense that it is sexual activity outside of marriage. There is no notion of ‘gay marriage’ in Islam.

Farzana Fiaz, 37 Journalist
Eventually I saw a meeting advertised in the Pink Paper looking for gay Muslims for a support group. Through Imaan, I listened to scholars and open-minded imams, and discovered that, like many things in the Qu’ran, there can be different interpretations about homosexuality.

Ah, we have met this Farzana before – not in any real sense of course, since Imaan have shown no willingness to engage in proper discussion, even online. Are they open-minded enough to engage with proper imams? God knows who they came up with to justify their behaviour to them. There can be different interpretations about many things, but the ruling on homosexual activity – absolute prohibition – is a matter of scholarly consensus proven by source-texts.

Ibrahim, 40s Charity worker
I’ve worked with rabbis and imams and the one thing they agree on is that gay men should either marry women or abstain. But abstinence is not an option to most human beings and I always ask, “Would you marry your daughter to someone you knew was gay? Do you think they would be happy with him?” The nikah (Islamic marriage service) is not gender-specific, so why not just let gay Muslim men marry each other?

Many Muslims think gay culture is about promiscuous sex, drugs and drinking. But being a gay Muslim can mean committing to one relationship. If gay Muslims marry each other, it would discourage double lives and promiscuity. The imams I have said this to agree with me, but say they can’t say that in public.

How convenient that they agree with this blatant nonsense ‘privately’. Let’s just refute the idea that the nikah is not gender-specific. One of the essential items of a marriage contract is the mahr (dowry) paid by the man to the woman. Who pays whom in one of your imagined ‘gay marriages’? Need I go on? OK here are a few more…

  • A man may not marry his sister or mother. Can he marry his brother or father? Provide us some scriptural backing.
  • A Muslim man may – if the law of the land permits – marry up to four women. Would you suggest the same for each man, resulting in a big complex web of men all married with each other?
  • A man has the full obligation to provide for his wife and children, while the woman’s money is her own right to spend or keep as she wishes. What system will you devise into Islamic law for two men?
  • In the eventuality of divorce, there is a difference between the procedure by the husband as compared to the wife. Which of the ‘gays’ gets the right to pronounce talaq?

In short, ‘gay marriage’ is a notion completely incompatible with Islamic law in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Nobody educated in Islam would agree to such a preposterous idea. 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 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? [Qur’an 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.


1. Gaandu - November 5, 2009

what a gathering of pathetic and bitter social judges who sit and analyse the behaviour of people whom they have never known and never will know….stay in your own little worlds and the rest will be realised on the day of YOUR judgement by YOUR god…whatever HIS name may be?
Have you ever thought of analysing what is occuring throughout the MUSLIM world around the globe and expressing anger towards the murderers, rapists, paedophiles, thieves who hide behind the teachings of Islam? No of course not, that is an apple too big to bite into and lets leave that hidden shall we and attack those who have the courage to be true to themselves and true to the world of humanity…over and out…

2. Rasheed Eldin - December 1, 2009

What a collection of self-righteous assumptions on the part of someone who knows neither me nor the other writers on this site, let alone what personal experiences they have and knowledge they have gained in order to write on this subject.

And of course he/she is also unaware of what we may say and do concerning other issues of importance, but chooses to assume that we write about homosexuality and do nothing between posts (which are often months apart)!!

3. Rasheed Eldin - March 2, 2010

Farzana recently commented about this blog of ours on the (closed) Imaan forum:

“The guy that runs this site has been hounding LGBT Muslim groups inc/ Imaan for a few years now. He’s obsessed.”

How sad. This group cannot even bring themselves to respond to a single substantive point such as those made in my article above, but they stoop to personal attacks.

If my having a site defending mainstream Islam is “obsession”, what about setting up a group in celebration (not even reasoned defence) of your sexual desires??

4. tmk - September 3, 2010

If there is a justification for fear of muslims or islamaphobia, your blog is it. How quickly you judge (condemn) others’ personal struggles based on your faith. This is what the Catholics do and it is just as reprehensible. It makes appeals by muslims to non-muslims asking for tolerance and understanding offensive.

Rasheed Eldin - September 7, 2010

TMK – why not be clearer: if you think that Islamophobia is justified, don’t resort to hyperbole about this blog.

I don’t think I’ve ever condemned anyone for struggling, in fact struggle (spiritual jihad) is central to the message we promote.

I may criticise some people’s choices, but only in order to argue for the path that leads to God’s pleasure. Muslims want good for their brethren in faith and for all people.

An accurate eye will note that my opprobrium above is reserved for people trying to twist the teachings of faith, rather than conform to them.

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