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Shabir Ally on sexuality, rights and punishment December 16, 2012

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Shari'ah.


1. davidgeebooks - December 17, 2012

Interesting, Rasheed, to hear so much Compassion from a Muslim preacher on the “thorny” subject of homosexuality. Is it possible that 50 years from now there might even be Acceptance? The Christian view of homosexuality has gone through a massive change since the mid-20th century. The current debate about Gay Marriages shows that there are still two firmly opposed camps even in a “liberal” society like the UK.

You may remember that I (impertinently!) wrote about Arab homosexuality in my first novel SHAIKH-DOWN (2009). This year I published my second novel THE DROPOUT (with only one – heterosexual – scene in Bahrain), dealing with how a straight man copes with advances being made by a gay man. I do not, it must be said, deal with this from a theological viewpoint, since for most men in the West this is purely a “sociological” problem. I imagine this dilemma is not unknown in the Arab world.

You can read extracts from both my books (and two future ones) on my website www,davidgeebooks.com

I hope sites like yours will continue to try and encourage Sympathy towards homosexual men and women. I write as an Agnostic, but I prefer the notion of a God who listens and understands to one who only condemns and punishes.

Rasheed Eldin - December 17, 2012

I certainly value the role of compassion in this matter, in the sense of trying to empathise rather than merely judge. As for acceptance, that depends on what is being accepted. There can be no change to what is provided by revelation, and this speaker affirmed that just as he should, while pointing out that the matter of punishment is not spelled out (as we have acknowledged numerous times before). Any comparison with Christianity should take into account that that religion does not have the sort of scripture-based law found in Islam.

2. M. A. al-Hakeem - December 17, 2012

“Is it possible that 50 years from now there might even be Acceptance?” I’m sure there will be acceptance for incest in the west very soon as long as people’s views and morality change because there is no objective judge of morality transcending human subjectivity and relativity of right and wrong.

People think Islam has to change to suit “modern” society and values like any other “religion,” but the thing they don’t understand about Islam is its immutability and, more importantly, its being a complete way of life that cannot be reduced to the modern definition of “religion.” We do have “renewal and reform” but these concepts are within the boundaries of Islam that were established and have no room for change, and this means that Islam is brought into the modern world, and not vice versa.

Regarding Christianity’s views on homosexuality, it isn’t in any way a surprise for an ever-changing religion.

If by “acceptance” you mean trying to treat homosexuals and, like we should treat any other sinners, then yes, we have that. But of you mean we should redefine and change Islam to suit their sin, then no. We have no special prejudice against homosexuals; it is a sin, albeit with different degrees, like any other sin such as impermissible heterosexual sex, stealing, murdering, etc..

3. MildlyBaffled. - January 7, 2013

Do you mind doing a post on transgenderism? From what I understand there is a divide in Islam. I would like your input as you seem to have a lot of sense. I have desires to be the opposite gender but I do not want to commit haraam actions. If it is haraam, I am willing to fight these desires, but if it is okay to be transgender, I would like to act on these desires.

If you are interested in doing this post, please consider scientific arguments for transgender people, as it seems that what divides people is the validity of these arguments.

Thank you.

Fariha - January 27, 2013

Yes, I was also wondering if you could also do another post on that. It’s very interesting, and I never really could get my questions answered on that. As in, What if someone were born as a hermaphrodite? Thank-you!

4. Gerry - January 9, 2013

SA It is completely irrelavant if you like or dislike or believe or disbelieve or you think you are knowledgable or not. There are homosexual muslims and that is the way it is.I do not choose my orientation as you do not choose your own.I would ask the owner of this blogg to concentrate on his or her own sins and let the rest of us concentrate on our own an our retionship with Allah. Salaam.Allah has allowed a new gay Mosque opened in Paris. Allah alone can prevent this or allow it.

Rasheed Eldin - January 9, 2013

You have answered your own comment, as what you have to say is no more relevant than anyone else, and why don’t you focus on your own sins rather than commenting here? Etc. etc.

And Allah will indeed judge between us all on the appointed Day.

5. Gerry - January 9, 2013

And the other thing is, who would chose to be hated by their family and their Propher (PBUH) and by Allah?Who would chose that? No one.It is biological, and this web site is homophobic.Please brother do not lecture me on where I can comment or not.If you do not like my opinion then block me with your ‘compassionate’ application.Let me tell you I could pray next to you, in front of you or beside you and you will never know my sexuality or who I am, because when I pray to Allah ,only Allah knows, because Allah is all hearing and all knowing.I wish you a peaceful day.AS and I will pray for you.

Rasheed Eldin - January 9, 2013

I am saying: look at your own attempt to silence us. Then ask yourself why you are more worthy. I’m not interesting in blocking anyone.

Gerry - January 9, 2013

I do not want to silence anyone.But I have to defend myself and those who are like me.You and yours always talk about us as a 3rd party.You never attempt to engage with us.Lets sit brothers and discuss?No its always we are wrong and you are right.There is no sensible discussion.Its always negative.You will never change any thing with your type of rhetortic. Your hate is old.I have made my point on the subject. I do not want to argue with a brother, but it is very difficult as it is, being born homosexual.And then the lack of support from those who are supposed to love you uncodiotonally makes it ten times worse.One can only wish you peace and hope you find it in your heart to love and stop hating.This is not the message of Islam or of the Propher (PBUH). I have never thought myself as more worthy of anyone. Not ever.But if you think you can create a blog on homosexual Muslims and not be challenged, then you are mistaken.Again SA.

Rasheed Eldin - January 9, 2013

You make it clear you have read little on this blog, or the discussions we have engaged in over the past decade. You like to characterise our stance as “hate” but dislike being judged yourself. A little introspection would go a long way. Peace.

Laila - January 22, 2013

I really don’t agree with this; people are choosing to become gay because a) in terms of family the psychological factors are that you want to be a victim and b) after years of convincing yourself you are a homosexual you decide that it is far more important to you than your own religion. Otherwise you would, as I have done, prayed to Allah (SWT) to remove these sinful thoughts (not desires) and concentrated on your deen rather than sexuality.

Layla - September 14, 2014

Laila, it’s not just ‘sinful thoughts and/or desires”, it’s everything… your whole being. your whole life. LOVE.
Instead of sexual orientation, the act of loving somebody should be called love.

6. Gerry - January 10, 2013

You are very UN Muslim.And very judgemental.I would suggest you look with in your self before judging others.Allah hates those who think they are righteous.Meaning you. Your arrogance is astonishing.

Rasheed Eldin - January 10, 2013

What’s more astonishing is your inability to see the irony in calling me “judgemental” and “UN Muslim” (whatever that means) in the same breath, and then telling me that God hates me?! I was tired of this useless conversation a long time ago, so do us all a favour.

7. Arif Ali (@DonArif89) - January 24, 2013

This video is misleading. It says that the word used in the Quran is “lutness” and that this can indeed apply to two men, two women or a man and a woman

So how can it jump from that, and acknowledging that homosexuality may not be condemned in the Quran, to still jumping to the conclusion that it is haram… I was raised Muslim, and this very issue is the issue which has driven me away from the religion. How can a religion which teaches of compassion and love be one which hates gays so much?

Read my blog and tell me this is not more compassionate

Rasheed Eldin - January 24, 2013

Arif, you are jumping between topics. “Hate” is an emotion which you are attributing to a religion. Islam prohibits homosexual acts. Compassion is not to deny this fact with weak attempts to reinterpret the Qur’an. Compassion is to recognise human struggles and point to a way forward, rather than just condemning and casting people out.

This is something to read:

8. Fariha - January 27, 2013

I wanted to request a post on how someone would cope with the loss of a gay relationship, or if someone wanted to break-up their relationship. Even though my friend’s relationship is going great, he wants to stop because he knows he’s doing the wrong thing. I was hoping to hear from you or maybe someone about how I could help my friend.

9. Umut - May 1, 2013

Umut- May 1, 2013
If the act of homosexuality is harram then why does the attraction and feelings not go away. I always knew that I was different from a young age, very young age. I spoke to many imams about it and they all recommended that I get married to the opposite sex. I tried that because they told me that the gay feelings and emotions “will go away.”However, please note that two weeks after the engagement, I started getting depressed. I end up hurting myself and her. I was lying to her everyday telling her how I feel and I was forcing myself to have sex with her. Forcing myself to be with someone that I forced my self into that I couldnt handle.
Before that I tried to get engaged with girls and when I was getting to know them, I started get depressed and miserable. During all this time, I was suppressing my feelings and thoughts and did my best to submit to Allah and be with “my wife”. I realised that these imams had a big mouth for nothing. Imams should not speak about an issue that they have no clue about and they should just say that Allah knows best!

If homosexuality and the act is harram, and homosexuals cannot form a stable relationship with a woman, how should they live their lives? if homosexuals cannot be married to a woman and it is almost impossible, should they just be singles and not act on their sexuality and not have any gay relationships. Is this is the answer from the Quran?

Rasheed Eldin - May 1, 2013

The short answer is that they need to stay away from what Allah has forbidden. If that means remaining celibate, then so be it. But for those who are able to address the issues that would hold them back from being with the opposite sex, then marriage could be in their destiny one day. There are many cases of this working out, but that doesn’t mean that anyone (like Imams) should prescribe it as a magic wand.

Someone - May 17, 2013

Eh, lots of people have many different desire to do prohibited things, so why those desires exist? For us to struggle with, duh.

Btw, same sex attarction (ssa) is not haram but the act is. Now, please don’t generalize people with ssa into one, because it is a spectrum. For some ssa muslim, they can be happily married with opposite gender but have an attraction to same gender. Some may purely attracted to same gender. Some other lies in between the spectrum. I know that because I’m also a muslim with ssa and i have several discussions about that with another ssa muslims.

Anyway, I just wish lots of people and islamic community to be more emphatic regarding this issue. Some poeple are just so judgemental and easily condemn people with ssa. SSA is a complicated issue and how to deal with this is also complex because, beside the sexual attraction, there are other factors such as family and society. Once islamic community sees this issue as something that community needs to support with a great degree of empathy and understanding, than it will make thing much easier for ssa muslim to find the best solution on how they will cope with this condition.

Sorry for my english. 🙂

Hyde - May 21, 2013

SSA or gay impulses, or whatever you call them are a sign of the times we live.

Born Gay Chose Islam - December 25, 2013

re: Hyde. No it’s not. It’s been a feature in all times.

Hyde - January 2, 2014

Yes homosexuals have existed since time immemorial but the absurdity and pathetic retribution that they have instigated is surly part of the zeitgeist.

And I quote:

“Michelangelo Signorile, a prominent gay activist, urges peoples in same-sex relationships to “demand the right to marry not as a way to adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter archaic institution. They should “fight for same -sex marriage and its benefits and then once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, because the most subversive lesbians and gay men can undertake…is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”

-What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense
by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T Anderson and Robert P George

10. Ali Abdullah - November 25, 2013

Rasheed, I just need to tell you that your replies to Gerry was far from compassionate. Granted, he came with a strong statement, but that should be understood by you, because this is a very difficult and emotional issue that he has dealt with…Since you have stated you are providing a compassionate approach you should sincerely check your attitude in answering people and silence your ego…Since your attempting to represent Islam here, you have to practice the highest responsibility and not shut people out because you are offended by what they say..You should be ready to hear things that are offensive in such a controversial and emotional matter and deal with it maturely….He wasn’t attacking you personally in any of his statements, just criticizing your views…and the fact that you took this personally and started shutting him out really disappoints me and reduces the credibility of your statements and this website… So please be mindful of your ego and don’t let it interfere with sound replies or analysis of the concerned issues. This is a very sensitive, personal topic that requires complete empathy and understanding…Jazak Allah khair,


Rasheed Eldin - November 25, 2013

Salam Ali, thanks for your advice. I have re-read the exchange between Gerry and me, and I’m afraid I disagree with your assessment. If it’s empathy you advocate, then put yourself in my shoes for a moment if you can. I’ve been running this site for over 7 years and it’s a minority of comments that are intelligent and/or respectful (like yours). I admit that I lose patience with people suffering from irony deficiency disorder. All the best brother.

Hyde - January 2, 2014

Oh brother your in my prayers. PLEASE do not let this blog go ary.

Hyde - January 2, 2014

The brother is and was very understanding, yet at the same time one must be defensive to defend what one thinks is worth defending.

11. bella kemp - December 14, 2013

It’s clear that Islam will become more accepting of gays as time moves on and fresh understandings are revealed. The movement is steady and unstoppable. Allah will see to that.

Born Gay Chose Islam - December 24, 2013


Hyde - January 2, 2014

Pathetic. Islam will become so diluted that indeed every form of intolerance will be tolerated.
Fresh understandings ?? No the wheel has been already invented.

12. Born Gay Chose Islam - December 24, 2013

This website is important, because even if I don’t agree with it, it is important to hear voices from all sides. The best of Islam and Islamicate civilisations grew from wrangling over issues. Only a kind of tyranny reigns when one voice alone monopolises the public space and seeks to shut out all others.

I remember Shabir Ally from my university days and must confess the slight shock at seeing him so aged. I appreciate what he has had to say and wonder how he accomadates the allegations of those vociferously opposed to gay rights activists who claim different ahadith prescribe hadd punishments after all.

My own thoughts re: the topic links to Shabir Ally’s oversight with regards Muslims who have homosexual inclinations being ‘tested’. This presents another way to approach the topic. I want to suggest that homosexual inclinations present an aporia within the established Islam-narrative adhered to by most mainstream scholars and seminaries. Few religious thinkers and theocrats have honestly attempted to deal with gay and lesbian people and their inclinations on a par with heterosexual inclinations. The latter is deemed natural and the former unnatural – the result of shaytan’s interference and that of homosexuals’ own evil ‘nafs’. Yet few can explain the ubiquity of homosexual Muslims’ claim that they have had their feelings from the earliest age. A so called perversion felt from childhood before they could perhaps even comprehend the fullness of their feelings. So ingrained and so established that it lurks invisible with them forever like the very shadow that their body casts. To have the child ‘tested’ so early seems capricious if we are to assume the mainstream Islam-narrative. Then, as the child grows up, the social set up promoted by that self-same narrative, thrusts these now young adults in the direction of that sex/gender whom they have a latent attraction toward, in a benign heterosexual assumption in the virtue of segregation of sexes. Finally, that self-same narrative acknowledges the power of the sexual drive and recommends marriage as solution – for the heterosexual man, the possibility of four marriages and thus four sexual partners (not to mention, those whom your right hand possesses). For people who have homosexual inclinations however, celibacy is peddled as one possible answer – even though, that self-same narrative presents celibacy as neither desirable nor practicable for heterosexuals. This aporia leads to yet another – given that no individual is asked whether they wish to be tested, their being brought into existence, saddled with desires that make them possible prey for a predator who has also been created to deceive man and womankind and then told they have to prove themselves worthy to deserve eternal bliss or else suffer eternal damnation, makes the whole notion of existence baffling. Were I to not exist – something our imagination cannot even conceive, for that is how we have been designed – I would not disappoint my Creator; yet it is He who brings me into existence with the potential to disappoint. And for gay Muslims in particular, we even have the inclination placed in us – OR is it in everyone? Do you heterosexual men see men, and heterosexual women see women, and recognize a feeling of sexual desire for them? Do you feel it and then ignore it? Should we take it that it is in everyone, but the homosexual Mulim is not ignoring it as you are? OR is it rather, that homosexual people have such a feeling specifically, in which case it has been placed in us – albeit dormant, waiting for shaytan’s was’wasa no doubt – but there nonetheless it is. And so then, while the heterosexuals’ desire (similarly there from the start presumably) is catered for through the mainstream Islam-narrative (marriage), that of the homosexual Muslim is not.

I submit therefore that homosexual identities present an important aporia within the mainstream Islam-narrative and this is partly the unsaid, invisible, unconscious drive for the specific ire against them.

Hyde - January 3, 2014

Few religious thinkers… again no point of reinventing the wheel. Muslim scholars never had to write tomes about preventing incest either; most assuredly the next fitna.
Homosexual Muslims’ claim that they have had their feelings from the earliest age… sure that is the ubiquitous claim…no it is not. Homosexuality can be readily seen as a form of indulgence as well. Statistics have shown that heterosexual men who become addicts of pornography eventually dull their senses enough that they must “excite” over new forms of “pleasure”. So the general idea of being born gay is quite polemical even though you may be one of those who actually were born gay.
Blaming God is oldest trick in the book… as the devil himself…literally. Would not there be no evil in the world if Lucifer did not exist…and who created him? And Why?
I would not disappoint my Creator… neither would have Iblis, right?
Homosexual identities present an important aporia within the mainstream Islam…NO they do not. Interesting but certainly not important as you perceive it to be. If Muslim jurist discussed bestiality, I’m quite sure homosexuality was toughly examined as well. Islam is complete. Not incomplete to leave homosexuality out of the circle of life.
Your writing was lush, but it could have been easily transformed by citing incest or any other form of “perversion” instead of sodomy and in this day and age, if not certainly in some years’ time it would be validated as “current and contemporaneous” as well.

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