The intersection of Islam and the LGBT question is complex and sensitive. It is often overshadowed by solid emotions and deeply held beliefs, according to the Yaqeen Institute. To address this topic effectively, we must establish an Islamic framework that respects religious principles and human dignity. Yaqeen Institute’s article “Islam and the LGBT Question: Reframing the Narrative” discusses these critical issues.
Yaqeen Institute on the LGBT Matter
To begin constructing an Islamic framework, we must reject the Western sexual identity framework, which categorizes individuals based on desires Islam deems illicit and unnatural. Islam's perspective is rooted in divine command and perfect justice, not subjective social justice.
Islam categorizes sexual acts, not identities, as halal or haram. Halal relations are within Islamic marriages, while haram acts include fornication, adultery, and sodomy. Understanding this distinction is vital in addressing the LGBT question within an Islamic context.
Many faithful Muslims experience same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria, leading to questions about their worthiness in the eyes of Allah. We must emphasize that Islam defines individuals by their belief, devotion, and obedience to God, not their inner feelings. Struggling with these challenges can even be seen as a means to attain a higher spiritual rank.
Muslims Focusing on Forgiveness and Support
Falling into sin does not render one unworthy of God's love and mercy. We must remind individuals that the door of tawbah (repentance) is always open. Muslims dealing with such attractions need support from trusted community members and resources tailored to their needs.
Specialized resources within the Muslim community, such as the podcast "A Way Beyond the Rainbow" and support networks like the Straight Struggle Discord group and the Strong Support Foundation, offer guidance and understanding for those facing these challenges.
LGBT and Islam: The Identity Paradigm
It's essential to reject the prevalent gay identity paradigm, which insists on labeling individuals based on their attractions. Muslims do not define themselves by their sexual drives but by their submission to Allah and His purpose.
Contemporary Western liberalism has unraveled the interconnected dimensions of sex, reproduction, and marriage while conflating desire, action, and identity. We must challenge this framework that reduces morality to subjective desires.
Reclaiming language is crucial. We should use descriptive terms without identitarian baggage to discuss unchosen tendencies. When addressing prohibited behaviors, we should convey the moral shame attached to the Shariah.
Establishing the Islamic Principles - Keeping the Right Path
The Muslim community must confidently establish an Islamic gender and sexuality paradigm independent of the Western one. We affirm gender differences as real and God-given while critiquing post-sexual revolution norms. The LGBT project's imposition on the Muslim world is a form of neo-colonialism. We should question this imposition and not blindly accept Western ideologies.
Yaqeen Institute LGBT: Muslims do not identify individuals by their sexuality. We should avoid essentialized identitarian language and emphasize that desires should not become one's identity. There should be no exceptionalism for same-sex or gender-bending acts. We do not allow or promote what Allah has prohibited, but we also do not stigmatize or single out those struggling with these issues.
Balancing individual and communal needs, subjective feelings, and objective truths is crucial. Supporting Muslims dealing with same-sex attractions or gender identity issues requires empathy, understanding, and access to specialized resources. We should be there for general support and guidance.