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Choosing Hell? June 26, 2010

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Queer Muslims.
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One Kash Amin has written article about “Being Gaysi”, apparently a cute contraction of “gay desi”, i.e. South Asian. The article is mainly about culture, and therefore not particularly of interest at this blog.

It is full of relativism, such as when the author says: “There have been many-a-times even I have woken up asking who/what the f*** I did last night? But so have many of my straight friends.” Visitors to the article should also be aware that there is some explicit imagery.

What particularly drew my attention was Amin’s assessment of his future:

I have accepted the consequences of a gay lifestyle in the Muslim context. I don’t mean this in a self-loathing, self-deprecating way, but I have to accept that, in the context of Islam, I am going to spend time in hell. But there’s this sense of knowing and accepting these consequences that has both empowered me and allowed me to begin to map out my “gay” future.

I cannot take much satisfaction from the fact that he has refrained from promoting his own re-interpretation of the Islamic texts in order to pretend that homosexual acts are not forbidden. I am troubled for someone who can feel “empowered” by the idea of going to Hell. Does he know what Hell is??

This is a succinct expression of “choosing this life over the Hereafter”. It’s not too late to wake up and change, if talk of “the context of Islam” implies that he actually believes in Islam. For me, this is a confirmation of our view that true faith and proper understanding are indeed key to this issue as any other.

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1. Anil - June 26, 2010

Let’s put down the Koran and think for ourselves for one moment. Religious fanaticism restricts free thinking.
No words of wisdom are absolute and applicable to all circumstances/time periods. Mohammed consummated his marriage to a 9 near old girl when he was 50. He had sexual intercourse with a 9 year old, one who was not even through puberty. This is a profound offense against today’s laws. He would be considered a pedophile today. Is he considered a pedophile? No, since times were different. Laws were different. Let’s extend that forward and know laws/opinions from the 8th century are no longer applicable.

Word of advice – Think of your own salvation, and don’t do us any favors. We don’t need your judgment.

Think outside the book. Thanks.

Rasheed Eldin - June 27, 2010

Hello Anil. I’m not sure what in this post inspired you to comment, and generally this blog is addressing Muslims. I do hope that God opens your heart to truth, which is far more important than secondary issues such as sexuality. You evidently believe it’s worthwhile to express your opinion, and so you have done. And while I wouldn’t stoop to your level and accuse you of fanaticism, I shall oblige with a reply to your analogy. And no, I won’t be using the Qur’an, because simple logic will do.

You talked about “words of wisdom” then cited an occurrence (not words) from the Prophet (peace be on him). Historically, there are different views as to Aisha’s age at the time of consummation, but one thing is agreed, which is that she was indeed in a post-puberty age. There is nothing biologically to contradict this. Some people (perhaps including yourself) do indeed call the Prophet such names as “pedophile”, but that is based on their own ignorance and malice. It’s not because another age is subject to a completely different standard.

True, some Muslims make a relativity argument in this respect, saying that it was not uncommon in 7th-century Arabia and other societies for people to marry young girls (post-puberty), and while there is something to this, it’s not to be exaggerated as you did.

I think you would agree that plenty of laws and opinions from long ago ARE still applicable, so the question really is which ones are, and which are not, and HOW we distinguish one from the other. THAT is a useful discussion, while the idea of rejecting something because of its age (which could equally be used to recommend an idea that lasted the test of time), completely misses the mark.

If you’re just going to write back and ask us to abandon our religion, please don’t bother. Thanks.

Anam - June 29, 2010

rasheed

that was awesome and thank you

2. @li - July 9, 2010

Salam,

I’ve commented before on some of your articles and I would like to bring something up that’s sort of driving me crazy. This has nothing to do with the present article, however (just as a sidenote, being “gaysi” isn’t fun).

So, we all know homosexual acts are not permissible. BUT, is it possible homosexual men can qualify as the eunuchs discussed in the Quran and Hadith? Because gay men are “lacking” in the area of desire, and some Hadith do mention “effiminates” (not meaning to be stereotypical).

I found this hadith and I cannot find any sources confirming its authenticity:

It is related that one of the Prophet’s companions, Abu Huraira, went to the Prophet, saying that he was a “young male” who “feared torment for his soul,” but that he “did not find the wherewithal to marry a woman” . The Prophet remained silent, even after Abu Huraira repeated his statement three times. Finally after the fourth time, Muhammad said: “O Abu Huraira, the pen is dry regarding what is befitting for you. So be a eunuch for that reason or leave it alone.”

http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/Qurannotes.htm

The link at the bottom is very interesting, though I definitely DO NOT agree on some points (pedophilia, permissibility of passive homosexuality, etc.) but it is worthing checking out.

Jazakullah Khayr and Wassalam!

3. @li - July 9, 2010

Oh, and that Hadith was Bukhari LXII 8 apparently (from an internet source).

Oh, and just to address the issue, once an “effeminate” was turned out of a house because it was discovered he held an attraction towards women. Also, being gay is different from cross-dressing (as the matter is mentioned in some hadith).

4. Rasheed Eldin - July 9, 2010

Salaam Ali,

Just very briefly, this seems to be a matter of categorisation without a very strong bearing on what the rulings on homosexual acts will be. That is why, despite our addressing the issues you’ve mentioned a number of times in the comment sections, we haven’t seen the need to compile a detailed article. It all seems a bit of a “red herring”.

In short, the “men lacking sexual desire” in the Qur’an 24:31 refers most plausibly to what we now call “asexuality”.

A “eunuch” is physically incapable of any sexual arousal or activity due to castration.

A man being “effeminate” is to do with how he behaves, and is sometimes linked to hormonal issues, but does not have any intrinsic connection with same-sex attraction, let alone homosexual activity.

As for the hadith concerning Abu Hurairah (RAA), I have read Faris Malik’s fanciful interpretation, and the whole thing falls down because history records that Abu Hurairah did, later, marry a woman. The whole thing is merely about him not having enough money at that time to marry, and fearing the sin of fornication.

Imam Ibn Hajar said in the commentary on this hadith that the words “be a eunuch” (i.e. castrate yourself) were not intended as a literal command from the Prophet, or even a permission, but rather as a warning, like the Qur’anic verse: “Whoever wishes, should believe, and whoever wishes, should disbelieve.” (18:29) In other words, the point is that removing the organ is not the solution to the problem, but the requirement is to trust in Allah until He provides the wherewithal.

Hope that helps clear the matter up. If you still find there is something to their arguments, we can discuss it, in sha’ Allah.

5. @li - July 9, 2010

Salam,

Thank you for the insighful reply. The reason why the issue is important, in my opinion, is that it can greatly change the general Muslim attitude towards same-sex attracted people. Unfortunately, many people still think it is a choice and/or believe people are homosexual through fault of their own, and can change (behavior is different). If it is seen that Islam DOES recognize same-sex attracted people, that would make gay people less afraid of rejection or being ostracized, which is all too real. And it would stop people from comparing same-sex attraction to the desire to murder and steal, which many of my family members frequently do without realizing there is a homosexual in their midst. Science already shows that gay men have no reaction to female pheromones.

I don’t know how it is in the UK, but here in the States it is legal in 29 states to fire or refuse to hire someone based solely on sexual orientation. I think if Muslims see homosexuals under a different classification, they would be more tolerant and subsequently SSA Muslims wouldn’t need to lose faith and/or go through depression. They may even find the strength and support not to act on their feelings. Unfortunately here in the States, many Muslims remind me of crazy Evangelical Christians.

Ali - September 6, 2010

Dear Brother @li

I agree on what you have said.SSA people need to be loved and accepted by their muslim community.I live in Egypt where people think ssa is a western life style.I once asked a very cultured muslim scholar about my issue with ssa,he replied me that ssa is a deviation that the western countries has exported it to us.This scholar is currently living in London.It hurts as you can feel.
But if muslims could know that ssa is as old as humanity and there were many ssa people during the time of the Prophet ,that would change their perspective on ssa.

Rasheed Eldin - September 7, 2010

To the new visitor Ali, as-salam ‘alaikum.

I’m not sure what you’re referring to here as SSA. Same-sex attractions are not any sort of “lifestyle”. If you are talking about a lifestyle or actions based on such attractions, then no doubt they are forbidden by our religion and it really doesn’t matter whether they’re “Western” or whatever.

If you mean simply the inner feelings and temptations, then I fully agree that people should not be treated any differently for having them, but I also don’t see any need – under normal circumstances – for them to declare such feelings openly and seek acceptance on that basis.

@li - September 7, 2010

I’m so sorry to hear that! Usually scholars refrain from saying things due to lack of knowledge but it seems cultural prejudice towards SSA people is an exception…it angers me when scholars I resect and trust say such ignorant things. One scholar, however, was very sensitive to the issue but was clearly uneducated on why people are gay.

Rasheed, I have to agree that there is no need to openly declare such feelings but the fact of the matter is that people will and we need to know how to respond to it. Also, what if it is obvious someone is SSA by the way they act?

6. Imam - September 5, 2010

In a previous post with the title “Heba Kotb goes global”, Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Concepts, Islam, Responses.

Mr.Rasheed Eldin wrote the following sentence:

“Spiritually, SSA could also be described as symptomatic of a “disease of the heart”

[edited]

Rasheed Eldin - September 7, 2010

I have reposted this comment in the relevant thread, and replied there, so that context is provided.

http://gaymuslims.org/2006/12/06/heba-kotb-goes-global/#comment-15148

7. reyaaz - October 3, 2010

asalaamu alaykum my respected brothers. Firstly i want 2 say shukran 2 u, especially rashied for showing ur deep love 4 islam. My brother dnt accept that u myt go 2 hell bcoz dat means dat u are unsure of allahs mercy, u shud have faith in him. Im nt justifying homosexuality, bt al im saying is dat im attractd 2 men nd not women nd i didnt choose 2 b, nd i dnt thnk any of us did. I thort its shaitan bt then i realizd im stl gay in ramadaan wen shatan is lockd up and has no influence ova me. I believe that my creator made me the way i am nd i dnt believe that he makes mistakes. So he made us gay nd lesbian 4 a reason. My intention is nt 2 make u accept my opinion bt rather 2 thnk 4 urzelf nd choose wateva u want. Its cnt haram 2 b attractd 2 the same sex bcoz its natural 4 us nd we hav no cntrl ova it .If we want 2 knw wetha acting on our 4eelings is haram then i suggest dnt directly condemn urselves bt seek knowledge as our creator has askd us 2. The quran shud b our primary source, and the nly reference 2 homosexuality is the story of nabi lut, sodom nd gomora nd the quran condems wat these men hav dun bt if u luk into history u wil find that these men wer nt gay! Nd they wer married and have wives. They usd 2 Rape the traveling men goin past. The quran dus nt condem being attractd 2 men or being inlve wid men, it nly mentions man 2 man rape. If we luk at hadith, jst remember that nabi Muhammad (saw) neva lied nd everythn he said was true, bt hadith was nly recorded 200yearz afta he pasd away nd hadith was recorded nd writen by man nd sumtyms hadith wer lied about. The hadith mentions rajm, stoning 2 death, bt the quran dusnt, it nly says 100lashes 4 those wu comit zina. Im nt sayn dnt follow hadith, bt if it contradicts the quran and dusnt seem like the loving nabi we knw then it cnt b accurate. And if u believe that ths is a disease we hav then we must read our quran, allah says that in it is a cure 4 every disease. People hav different opinions, i just want 2 clear that ths is nt a choice nd allah has creatd us ths way. Bt y? Sum believe that ths mite b a test 4 us, nd nt an easy 1, bt if we always strive 2 b on the str8 path knw that allah wil b pleasd with u. Otherz 4eel that its nt haram 2 love a man since quran condems rape. Sum men, even muslims i knw get married 2 the same sex, they 4eel allah gave them the ability 2 love nd shaitan dus nt knw love. My brotherz u decide wat 2 follow. Bt wateva u do, i ask, dnt lose ur imaan, make ur salah, perform ur haj nd fast, live a gud life nd inshallah ur creator wil judge u according 2 that. If ths is a test then we must ask allah 2 make us strong nd 2 guide us. If loving a man is wrng then ask allah 2 remove ur 4eelings nd c whetha they go away or nt. Bt seek allahs mercy nd guidance, u wil neva go wrng. Inshallah we wil al c each otha in janatul firdous

Rasheed Eldin - November 5, 2010

Wa ‘alaikum as-salam Reyaaz,

Thank you for the sincerity you have shown in your comments. That being said, I’m concerned about a number of misconceptions in the points you’ve mentioned. So in the spirit of seeking truth, let me mention these with extreme brevity, in the hope that you will look deeper and consult with people of knowledge.

1. Unfortunately people nowadays are promoting a complete distortion of the story of Lut (PBUH) and his people in the Qur’an. I analysed that story in the following post, and established the clear truth which is that homosexual acts of all types are forbidden by the texts of the Qur’an as well as the Sunnah. Please read this with care:

http://gaymuslims.org/2007/02/23/why-were-the-sodomites-destroyed/

2. The Sunnah is the indisputable second primary source of Islamic law, even if some people try to confuse you with doubts concerning authenticity. While there are weak and fabricated reports that are known and identified by the scholars, the hadiths that are AUTHENTIC are in fact the MOST authentic of all human narrations after the Qur’an.

If you’re not sure about the issue, the only safe thing to do is “Leave what makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt” – and that undoubtedly means abstaining from any sexual relations with the same sex.

May Allah guide us and you.

8. Chritian Gankaico. - October 14, 2010

I am glad to have found this site.I find this site to be very informative especially on where Muslims stand on the issue of Homosexuality. To whoever made this I thank you.

I am a homosexual man but I do not practice the Islamic Faith. I must admit however –and please forgive my blunt honesty– that I do have a fear of Muslims.

I grew up in a very liberated country with very liberated parents. They have accepted me for who I am, and I believe I am lucky to have such support. However, My father warned me that being a homosexual is not something everyone will accept. True enough, as i became more experienced in life, I found that there were so many religious individuals who did not accept me for who I am. The Catholics were among the most vocal. However, It was the Muslims whom I was feared the most. Although the religious Catholics around me were always telling about what I could expect in the life Hereafter (hell), it was the religious Muslims around me who believed that I should suffer in this life. This the reason why I fear the Muslims. I was afraid they would physically hurt me. I know we have differences but does that really mean I do not have the right to live in this earth?

If you would be so kind to address these fears.
Is homosexuality in your culture punishable by death and/or torture? Are there really Islamic laws that promote violence and torture towards homosexuals? Even though killing and torturing is illegal in most countries, just the thought of someone who thinks about killing me is scary and disturbing enough.

P.S: I hope I am not offending anyone. These fears I have stem from real life experiences I have with Muslims in my country.

Rasheed Eldin - November 5, 2010

Dear Chritian,

Thank you for coming to this site and sharing your feelings. In truth, it makes me very sad to know that someone has a fear of Muslims, even though it is no surprise in our times.

What I would say is that while people are living in societies built on tolerance and affording people the right to live as they choose (within reasonable limits of course), then Muslims have to respect the rights of people they disagree with in any number of fundamental ways, including homosexuals.

To many readers I know such a statement will be surprising, looking like a contradiction, since according to them, this whole site is about “depriving rights” to homosexuals. For some more discussion on this point, you could see this old post:

http://gaymuslims.org/2006/04/12/mcb-to-fight-homophobia/

Regarding your question about worldly punishment for homosexual acts, let me underline two important points:

1. Islamic law is NOT supposed to be enacted on non-Muslims, except in certain general ways when they consent to live in an Islamic state (if such exists).

2. Even in an Islamic state, punishments of any kind are ONLY the right of the authorities, after proper processes.

So it is very unfortunate that you feel fear of your Muslim neighbours, and if they have caused it, they ought to know better.

You can have a look at the following link for more details, especially the PDF document that is linked to within it:

http://gaymuslims.org/2006/10/22/imam-backs-shariah-shock/

Best wishes,
Rasheed

9. Abdul Rahman - October 31, 2010

this is on a completely different topic

I have the solution for the mosque controversy in NY. I am a gay muslim of asian heritage, but i live in NY. I m openly gay and have been in a long term relationship for 9 years.

My personal believe is that a mosque should be and could be build anywhere..but what i think this NYC close to ground zero mosque should further embrace is to be a LGBT friendly and accepting mosque, if they can do that, it will show strength of tolerance on all side. You treat all humans equally, without judgement.

If muslims are willing to accept others, other will accept them.

Rasheed Eldin - November 5, 2010

A mosque is a place where anyone can come in to repent to the Almighty.

10. Jane - November 6, 2010

I don’t understand why gays choose to follow Islam when homosexuality is clearly forbidden in the Quran and you could be killed for being homosexual in most Muslim countries. Gay rights and Islam cannot co-exist peacefully. Most Muslims, like it or not, simply aren’t interested in tolerance and acceptance of homosexuals. I’m bisexual and I feel lucky that I wasn’t born into Islamic culture. I’m sure I’d be targeted for murder if the Muslims around me were to find out about my bisexuality. If you choose not to follow everything in the Quran, why bother with any of it? You can’t ignore Islam’s anti-homosexuality just because it suits you. That would be like a Christian choosing to have sex before marriage just because he finds it inconvenient to court and marry the right woman.

Rasheed Eldin - November 21, 2010

Hello Jane,

I agree with you that we must follow the whole Book to the best of our abilities. That being said, I don’t believe in cutting off people who are failing in one aspect or another. As long as they continue to have faith in the whole Book, they are still our brothers and sisters in faith.

Also, as I have mentioned, repeated and emphasised many times throughout this site, Islam and Muslims do not have a problem with anyone for “being” anything. We are only accountable (before God, and sometimes before people) for what we do.

11. Jane - November 21, 2010

Thank you for being civil in your response.

I just don’t understand how you can devote yourself to Islam, as a homosexual male, while fully knowing that your fellow Muslims would kill you without a second thought. There is nothing wrong with being homosexual, so why should you follow a religion that condemns it? why worship a god who condemns you for a part of yourself?

Do you repress your homosexuality? Stay celibate?

Rasheed Eldin - December 13, 2010

Your comment is full of presumptions. Regardless, I am one of many people who believe that our relationship with God is more important than any worldly concern or desire.

12. khaled - November 23, 2010

I have been attracted to men my entire life and have absolutly NO ATTRACTION TO WOMEN WAT SO EVER… I have tried speaking to imams cos i thort they’d be one’s that have big hearts and wud be as humble and frendly as the prophet (saw) but they are totally unhelpful very judgemental as if they are god himself and have even told me to go bury myself! Are u serious! How can i fix myself from this if the imams are all fake hypocrites! And ok say i take the pain of marrying a women that i have totally no attraction or feelings towards and accept the torture of being with her… How then can i do it wen in my heart i know its all a fake act and a total lie? Iv tried everything under the australian sun to put my feeling of being gay away but its IMPOSSIBLE FULL STOP! Wat a strait man feels for another man i feel that way towards a women. Iv tried talkin to god begged him for a sign or help or anything all my life and got Nothing! Im sick of people telling me to pray more be more patient bla bla bla im 34years old and am lost as if im blind and deaf and with no arms or legs trapped in hole! I cant find anything inda koran other than gods anger and wrath of hells and fires torments more fuel for fires and Fear me bla bla bla. If he wants me to fear him then wat sort of loving message is that! If there is ONE JUST ONE BROTHER OUT THERE THAT CAN AND WANTS TO HELP ME FROM HIS HEART NOT FOR ALLAHS SAKE WHICH EARNS HIM A REWARD BUT FOR THE SAKE OF JUST HELPING THEN PLEASE HELP.

Rasheed Eldin - December 5, 2010

As-salam ‘alaikum Khaled,

Thank you for expressing your feelings and thoughts. Of course, if that’s what these “imams” said then they ought to be slapped around the head (putting it mildly), as unfortunately there are unqualified people (in the religious and pastoral sense) filling these roles too often.

The most important thing for you and all of us is to continue improving your relationship with Allah, having faith in Him and seeking to please Him with good deeds and abstaining from doing those things that are prohibited by the Qur’an and Sunnah.

If your reading of the Qur’an draws out the aspects of Allah’s anger, then unfortunately this is only the projection of your feelings, and Allah’s overwhelming attribute is His mercy. Walk towards Him and He will “come to you running” as the hadith expresses it.

If you have no faith in Allah (and I very much hope I am misunderstanding what you wrote) then your problems are much worse than homosexuality. May Allah guide you and us.

As for getting married, undoubtedly that would be the wrong move for you, though we hope you could get there one day. Perhaps by this stage it won’t happen, but by no means is that an excuse to do anything contrary to the divine law.

You are in our prayers, and if you would like to discuss more details about the path of self-development, you could join the Yahoogroup located at http://www.straightstruggle.com.

13. Dawud - December 15, 2010

Rasheed, have you ever in your life once considered questioning the qu’ran or the hadith, the writera or anything. Or are you quite content to follow what you have been told. You seem to be quite the robot.

Rasheed Eldin - January 1, 2011

You have a wrong-headed attitude to religion. Our religious understanding is based on the revelation and supported by reason.

Not that I know what “writera” means.

14. Tamur - December 24, 2010

What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, And leave the wives your Lord created for you ? Nay, but ye are froward folk.–26:165-6

Need I say more? Please brothers and sisters, stop the bida, do not follow the path of kafirs and accept forbidden acts as lawful acts. It also says in hadith that when a man mounts another man, the throne of Allah shakes, irregardless Of whether the two men are married or not.

15. Farid - April 23, 2011

Your understanding is supported by bigoted hetero guys’ reason.(also bigoted bisexual guys who think EVERYONE is like them. Have you noticed how bi guys think everyone is bi?)
Its not true, logical reason.

It is clearly only str8 guys taking out their lust on other guys that is the sin. (and in the Lut case it is compounded by attempted rape)
It is made more clear that this is the case by those Quran verses pointed out by Ali. (they are great! I honestly havnt noticed the true meaning of them before!- its no wonder only Allah can understand the Quran : ) I already know that Allah made me gay and does not hate me for it but I will show these to my ex-boyfreind, he will find it very helpful. He is just another of thousands of gay muslims who suffer so much pain because of all this ignorance and hate. This antigay interpretation has become so ingrained that no-one ever questions it. If the Quran was so perfect it wouldnt need “interpretation” – it would be clear to all.

Rasheed Eldin - April 23, 2011

Farid, apparently you’re not a Muslim (as you consider the Qur’an imperfect), and judging by another (unapproved) comment, you are also not one of those respectful non-Muslims who come here to ask questions or share a point of view. Please do not presume to teach us our religion. The Qur’an is very clear on the prohibition of homosexuality, and if you should wish to educate yourself, you may start here:

http://gaymuslims.org/2007/02/23/why-were-the-sodomites-destroyed/


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