As the national debate around same sex marriage heats up (awaiting a Supreme Court Decision), American Muslims may be called upon to take a public stand on the issue; especially if it passes. Either way, this matter and the reality of homosexuality and lesbianism in America, will remain at the forefront of national discussion for a long time to come. The homosexual lobby is relentless as this is an important fight for Shaitaan and there seems to be no letting up until everyone in America accepts this unholy lifestyle. Privately, most Muslims are very clear about homosexuality and lesbianism; they reject it outright, and it is clearly prohibited in Islam. Same sex marriage for most Muslims is out of the question. Whether or not homosexuality exists in the Muslim world, is a matter of debate. Lots of evidence points to the affirmative but that is another discussion altogether. Still, public discussion one the question of same sex marriage is difficult for many Muslims, and much of the Muslim political leadership are reluctant to take a definitive stance on it. This is for a couple of reasons; the first is that during such a time as now when some of our own religious rights and liberties have come under fire, gay and lesbian groups and individuals have been limited allies to Muslims in our own struggle for religious equality in the United States. Thus, any public stance on the matter by Muslims leaders, Imams, and political activists, risks the potential backlash from that group and from liberal America, and the potential loss of issue support for Muslims. By the way, that’s called politics.
Another reason is that in the effort to be as mainstream as possible, we have in some ways backed ourselves in a corner, and coming out, (no pun intended) on the wrong side of the same sex marriage debate will signal that we as Muslims are definitely different, and it will highlight the fact that the moral roots of our faith, which are markedly conservative, are not in sync with the current national trend of the rest of the country in accepting same sex marriage and by proxy, homosexuality. “And to Lut, too, We gave Judgment and Knowledge, and We saved him from the town which practiced abominations: truly they were a people given to Evil, a rebellious people“. [21:74].
Some Muslim leaders, including some imams have remained on the fence about the same sex marriage issue, some are nervously silent, and some have already capitulated and we are already starting to see gay Mosques and gay friendly communities of Muslims in Europe and in the United States. So let me get this out of the way; I declare here and now that I am against it, and against the practice of homosexuality on the grounds that it is hated by God and that He has destroyed an entire people because of it; “We sent against them a violent Tornado with showers of stones, (which destroyed them), except Lut’s household: them We delivered by early Dawn” [54:34]
Let’s face it; homosexuality has become ingrained in our society, and admittedly, gays and lesbians make valuable contributions to the society like everyone else; in medicine, industry, law enforcement, the military, social services, science, education, and of course, the arts. That is a fact. So it is not totally implausible that people may empathize with them as a group, or with individuals that they know personally, even if they do not agree with the practice of homosexuality itself. Even the Prophet Abraham/Ibrahim pleaded on their behalf at first;” When fear had passed from (the mind of) Abraham and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with us for Lut’s people“. [11:74].
Many of us, have gay or lesbian co-workers, neighbors, employees, associates, and family members, who do us no personal harm so the issue for many of us, is closer than we would like. Because of this and because of the aforementioned political considerations, it is difficult for some Muslims to even talk publicly about the issue of homosexuality or lesbianism with any conviction. This is another reason why we hardly see it addressed by Muslims publicly in the United States.
Nevertheless, as the issue is being heaved upon the public like a ton of bricks, to the extent that a person could lose his or her job for being anti-gay, bolstered by such arguments that; homosexuals and lesbians are good people, or they are my relative, or that we shouldn’t judge, or they can’t help it, it is understandable although lamentable that some Muslims are starting to crack and accept the practice of same sex marriage. I’m not saying I agree; I’m just saying it’s understandable since all of the above may be true, and granted, there is hardly anyone who is all bad in every aspect of their lives. However, There are murderers who give generously in charity are good people otherwise, there are pedophiles who teach grade school, and are otherwise good people, there are thieves who smile in your face, and help little old ladies across the street and are otherwise good people, there are rapists who volunteer at charitable organizations and do a good job, and there are criminals of every type who readily engage in their crimes, but are otherwise are good people. However, none of that excuses the sin or the nature of it according to our understanding as Muslims.
Open or Hidden Sin
It’s not the just the sin itself that we are talking about; everyone commits one sin or another, based upon the prophetic tradition; “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you did not commit sin Allah would do away with you and bring people who would commit sin then pray for forgiveness.” [Narrated by Muslim] It’s one thing to commit sin, if the homosexuals are overwhelmed by their lower desires, and men have sex with men and women have sex with women, while acknowledging it to themselves that they are committing sin. Then this has been the case for thousands of years, before they came out of the closet. However, it’s another thing to openly pronounce that your sin, is not a sin, when God has said otherwise, and it’s still another thing to say openly and proudly that you are a homosexual, that there is nothing wrong with it, and wanting society (Muslims included) as a whole to accept that there is nothing wrong with it, all the while we have scripture that we believe is the divine word of God Almighty saying otherwise.
At that point, the believer has to make a decision; do we accept the premise that God’s word is not true, that His promise is not true, that His judgment is not true, that His Prophets (AS) Lot, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad all were not telling the truth; that they all were liars? Or do we accept the premise that Allah Himself, be He Exalted and Glorified, was unjust when he punished the people of Sadam for homosexuality? The current ideological onslaught is not to get people to engage in homosexuality and lesbianism; it is simply to get people to accept that it is okay, that it has no moral consequence, and that it shares the same status as heterosexuality. For the Muslim, this is enough to constitute heresy. This is how the Shaitaan/Satan attacks; he goes after the heart and the belief system first, then after that, the body is sure to follow. The dilemma here is that accepting any of the above, constitutes heresy according to what we believe. This is America and people are entitled to do as they please, believe as they please, say what they want and advocate whatever they want. So we are not trying to force our beliefs upon anyone else, but at the same time, we are not supposed to change what we believe, in order to satisfy homosexuals, and lesbians.
Human beings have built within them, an inclination to do sin of all types, which is why the Prophet (SAWS) said: “all the sons of Adam (mankind) commit sin and the best of those who sin are those who repent” [Narrated by at-Tirmithee]. However, the issue of religious sanctity is that we recognize moral standards according to what Allah revealed and that we work to suppress our lowly desires, or to channel them in ways that are permissible. Some people, if not most, or all of us, struggle with sin their entire life. That is the nature of being tested in this life. However, once we abdicate the commitment to uphold the truth, then there is no sense to being a Muslim at all.
The issue with same sex marriage is that Allah has ordained that marriage as something that occurs between a man and a woman or women. When Eve was created, she was already Adam’s wife. Thus if anyone believes that the divine marriage design matrix as fashioned by Allah, is not the proper way, the best way, the ordained way, and the way that is best for human beings living on the planet earth that Allah has created, then they are saying that Allah’s plan and design for men and women is faulty, that it is flawed, and no matter how you slice it, that is disbelief.
Regardless how any one of us feels personally about a gay or lesbian that we may know, or a family member; it is still against God’s divine law and an abomination, no matter how nice they are, how well they dress, and how helpful they are in other areas. We are not responsible for their homosexuality and lesbianism; however, we are responsible for what we believe about homosexuality, lesbianism and gay marriage. Especially after our scriptures and sacred religious cannons are clear on the issue. We as Muslim Americans are obligated by God to hold fast to our beliefs, and not give in to modern trends where there is no moral right or moral wrong; where everything is neutral for that is the worship of hawaa [whim].
Time magazine has on its cover, a picture of two men kissing each other and a picture of two women kissing one another cover under the caption: “Gay marriage already won”. So for anyone who is still under the delusion that Iblis is not directly engaged in spiritual warfare and that this is not a battle for the souls of people, then wake up, and think again ; “And on them did Satan prove true his idea, and they followed him, all but a party that believed“. [34:20].
I do not ask people about their sexuality: it is none of my business, and if they want to keep it private to themselves that is fine with me. Furthermore, I would not refuse to hire someone, work for someone in a lawful enterprise, or buy or sell from someone because they are gay, nor do I advocate that any Muslim or non-Muslim do such a thing. Nor would I refuse to feed, clothe, or extend charity, kindness, or assistance to a gay person who is not fighting me in my religion and not trying to remove me from my home, based upon the verse; “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just“[34:20]. Nor will I go around, or advocate calling gay people detestable names in their face, or harassing them because neither our Lord be He Exalted and Glorified, nor our Prophet (SAWS) commanded us to do such. The Prophet (SAWS) did not harass the mushrikeen (polytheists), and worshipping gods other than Allah is the greatest sin. Homosexuality is also a grave sin but not as grave as polytheism. The Prophet (SAWS) did business with the polytheists and unbelievers, he showed kindness and charity to them, and he instructed us to do the same, under normal circumstances. So gays and lesbians deserve no less.
Although we are on different sides of this debate, we should keep our disagreement with homosexuals in perspective. Gays and Lesbians are free to believe what they believe, and we are free to believe what we believe. They are free to uphold their whims and lowly desires and we are free to uphold our scripture. They will have their reckoning on the Day of Judgment and I will have mine. I cannot help them and they cannot help me. Our job as Muslims is to simply deliver the message, to hold fast to what we believe, and to practice our religion the way we ought to. Therefore, I will never accept the moral legitimacy of homosexuality; not ever. And no Muslim who believes in our scriptures ever should. The fast trending tide towards global immorality is a sign of the times and a reminder to Muslims of just how crafty Satan is in that within a span of less than fifty years or so, he managed to convince the majority of Americans, mostly who are Christian, that something that was considered an abomination for thousands of years, should now be an acceptable and supported practice. It is also a sign for us as Muslims, how easy it is to drift into heresy, and that we must step up in practicing our faith, calling to it, and remaining steadfast in the face of this heinous ideological onslaught.
Imam Luqman Ahmad is the imam of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento CA, and the author of the recently released book “The Devil’s Deception of the Modern Day“. You may visit his web page at imamluqman.com, or contact him at imamluqmanmasjidibrahim.com