Gay imams and taboo subjects

While looking for material on women in the Gulf I came across an interesting article (Tackling a Taboo Subject – Gulf News – 20/01/07). The article argues that sexual promiscuity and homosexuality is spreading amongst the Muslim youth in the UAE because sex education is not given to them as part of school curriculum. The article makes special mention of lesbianism and I’ll summarise the major points made in the article below:

Psychologists and social counsellors in the UAE say sex education must be part of the educational system as it would prevent many inappropriate practices, and would serve the right of the youth to understand the topic in a scientific and unbiased manner, within the context of religion and culture… ignorance about sexual instincts is the reason behind the high divorce rates, troubled marriages, and the increase in psychological and sexual disorders later on in life… The western media are widely advertising homosexuality, which is influencing the youth. The issue might begin as a likening or imitating of the opposite sex, but in many cases it develops into physical intimacy [homosexuality]… The reason behind the psychological illness is that pupils are not properly brought up. Many of them are raised by foreign housemaids and tend to pick up alien behaviour. He said it is commonly witnessed among pupils of grades 7 to 9 and it is dominant among females, in comparison to males. Some parents are willing to address the issue when they find out that their child is homosexual but most are ashamed and in denial

The article does not offer very good argument but, it does show a “taboo” side of the society which is not discussed openly in Muslim societies for which I give it credit. However, to be honest I was a bit disappointed (but not surprised) to read such negative words about homosexuality. Homosexuality is considered a sin by majority of Muslims and I know that but there are also many Muslims who don’t think it is a sin and who believe that homosexuality is just as much determined by our genes as heterosexuality. Nature Vs nurture is an ongoing debate but both voices should be heard, shouldn’t they?

In some societies that allow freedom of speech, gay Muslims have found a voice and they have come out to say that they can be Muslim and gay. In fact, modern Islam has its own gay imams! There is Imam Muhsin Hendricks from South Africa and Imam Daayiee Abdullah is an openly gay Muslim from Washington, D.C who is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Religious Leadership Roundtable. Imam Abdullah uses Quran and Sunnah to establish that homosexuality is not a sin in Islam. He says in an interview,

There’s nothing in the Koran that speaks against homosexuality. The Lut [a.k.a. Lot] story speaks about heterosexual men who use homosexual sexual acts as a form of punishment. When you read it literally, it says, ”men who turn away from their wives or mates.” Gay [men] don’t tend to have [female] mates unless it’s a cultural situation they’re forced into, by family or culture… [The Prophet] never had a legal case that dealt with homosexuality… So if it’s not something he did, those Haddith — or stories about the Prophet — that came out later are fabrications.

Similarly Imam Hendricks denies that the People of Lot were punished for being gay. He says,  

The situation in Sodom and Gomorrah was one of male-to-male rape. It was the abuse of sexual power. We’re dealing with a civilisation that was very patriarchal – the men had all the sexual rights. They had legitimate wives but … within the whole setup, sodomy also happened.

Imam Abdullah conducted funeral prayers for gay Muslims who had died from AIDS and had no one to do their funeral prayer. Now he conducts same-sex marriage ceremonies for both Muslim women and Muslim men. He also conducts inter-faith marriages since his partner of 10 years is a Christian man.

Imam Hendricks was involved in the production of Jihad for Love – “the world’s first documentary film on the coexistence of Islam and homosexuality” for which the director “filmed with a very devout lesbian couple in Turkey who were completely out and comfortably with their sexuality [and] an Egyptian lesbian and her Moroccan partner who were so religious they found it hard even to articulate the word ‘lesbian’.” However, Imam Hendricks thinks that in these difficult times for Islam, Muslims have greater battles to fight than acceptance of homosexuality.

Imam Abdullah makes an important point that,

“One of the problems that’s always associated with the Muslim faith — and sometimes mirrored in other faiths — is that homosexuality is all based on sex, the sexual act. It’s not based upon one’s orientation. If you don’t have sex, you can still have a gay orientation. So the issue is not really about sex. It’s about how people interpret the way in which they are able to love another individual. That’s one of the things I try to stress with parents, with other people who are non-gay but also Muslim.”

As a Muslim Feminist how do you feel about all this? Do you think that Muslims can’t be gay? Do you think having gay imams to represent gay Muslims is a breath of fresh air we have been waiting for? How do you feel about the article claiming that homosexuality is a “psychological illness” that is learned?

More importantly do you think you must support homosexuality because you are a Muslim Feminist? Are there MFs who think homosexuality is a sin?


Here is a list of links on rising homosexuality in Saudi Arabia and some of these links have further links.

Gay Muslims, a documentary

Trembling before G-d

Love Jihad

“Segregation is spreading homosexuality like wildfire in Afghanistan.”


43 thoughts on “Gay imams and taboo subjects

  1. susanne430 says:

    “The reason behind the psychological illness is that pupils are not properly brought up. Many of them are raised by foreign housemaids and tend to pick up alien behaviour. ” — Wow!

    Yet in many of those foreign countries are the housemaids subject to the extreme segregation that happens in many parts of the Muslim world because I sometimes wonder if that is part of what “causes” homosexual behavior in some countries. This is all very interesting. I wonder how much is true homosexuality by birth (natural orientation) and how much is homosexual activity because one only has male/male and female/female friendships for much of their lives. I suppose if one believed we are a still-evolving species how much of homosexuality is an adaptation to the culture we belong to? If we are constantly around only females, do we evolved to love only females? I think of the weirdest stuff sometimes!

    Very intriguing topic. I’m interested in what others have to say.

    • Metis says:

      “If we are constantly around only females, do we evolved to love only females? ”

      That is a very good question. I once read a study that was exploring why many gay men are the youngest of the siblings with three or four older brothers and these men grow up around these older brothers bonding strongly enough to begin loving men. Like everything else homosexuality could be nature and nurture both. How many times have we really considered WHY we are heterosexual? Aren’t we also *nurtured* to become heterosexual – society expects us to be attracted to the opposite gender.

  2. susanne430 says:

    While we are on the subject…

    Do you know any homosexual couples and are they forced later to marry men/women in order to have society-approved marriages and produce children? I’m wondering if those who stay with their partners are able to pursue having children by IVF, adoption and other means or if they must stay hidden and without children?

    If you ever see information on these topics especially as homosexuality spreads where you live, please let us know!

    Also from the article, it’s interesting that they say sex education teaching in an unbiased manner would help with some of these taboo practices.

    “ignorance about sexual instincts”

    Would that be that men are supposed to like women and women like men? Or did people’s “instincts” get thrown off kilter because of

    1) lack of sex ed
    2) they are unnaturally segregated so their sexuality adapts to being attracted to the same sex?

    • Metis says:

      “Do you know any homosexual couples and are they forced later to marry men/women in order to have society-approved marriages and produce children? ”

      Oh yes definitely. Muslim gays are always forced to get married and have families and most (but not all) of these gays are gay because of segregation.

  3. Zuhura says:

    I believe that both Muslims and feminists must support human rights—including the right to sexual self-determination—for all people regardless of their sex, gender or sexual orientation. This does not mean “supporting homosexuality” (whatever that means) but rather supporting human rights. I don’t think this is required in order to *start* labeling oneself a feminist (nor, clearly, a Muslim), but that once one begins really thinking through feminist issues and reflecting on the message of mercy in the Qur’an, such support will come naturally.

    I know Muslim men who have sex with men in Zanzibar are still expected to marry women and have children with them, even if everyone knows (but doesn’t talk openly about) their sexual preferences. I find this really unfair to both the men involved and their wives (not to mention dangerous to the health of the women).

    Love Jihad is a great movie; I recommend it.

    • Metis says:

      I really, really like this comment, Zuhura. Agree with you fully. I haven’t see Love Jihad but will look for it now.

    • Nahida says:

      This does not mean “supporting homosexuality” (whatever that means) but rather supporting human rights.

      YES! This!

  4. Zeina says:

    Question: If anal sex is impermissible in Islam… this clearly applies to homosexuality as well (in the guys’ case at least) so how are they to have a relationship? Will it be platonic?

    the only problematic part for me. please do note that I wrote “if” at the beginning of the question because I know that not all Muslims believe in that. Allahu A3lam.
    Definitely not a reason to reject and condemn homosexuals. Just like I wouldn’t appreciate it if Muslims come and reject me for listening to music – it’s all relative.

    • Zuhura says:

      Seeing anal sex as impermissible is one interpretation of a Qur’anic verse. But even if you interpret that verse as suggesting anal sex is impermissible, there is more than one way to have sex, even between men. But that aside, straight Muslims do a lot of things that the Qur’an says are impermissible, so why shouldn’t gay Muslims have the same right?

      • Zeina says:

        Oh, I was definitely not using that as the basis of an argument.
        At the end of the day, it’s no one’s business.
        I was just wondering.

      • Coolred38 says:

        Perfectly reasonable assumptions. Why are straight Muslims allowed to transgress into the haram but still be considered Muslims…but homosexual Muslims…are…well…not considered Muslims at all regardless of how well they live their otherwise “sinful” lives? Hmmm?

        • Zeina says:

          And to add to that, under what authority and who is claiming the right to call/judge people as Muslim or non-Muslim to begin with…

  5. Coolred38 says:

    It shouldnt be whether you accept homosexuality or not, it should be whether you accept that people who have nothing what so ever to do with you have the right to make their own choices in life…whether those personal choices sit well with you or not has no bearing or relevancy. You can condemn the act without condemning the person, so to speak, if you feel the act needs condemning.

    Considering that homosexual sex is rapant in the Muslim/Arab world due to enforced segregation…I find this one of the most hypocritical stances for Muslims to take. Sex between two consenting adults, whether god sanctioned, unmarried or married etc, has got to be hands down more moral then say sex between an adult male and a young girl…yet that is sanctioned in the Muslim/Arab world. Go figure.

    • Metis says:

      “You can condemn the act without condemning the person, so to speak, if you feel the act needs condemning.”

      That is true but under sharia every sinful act is condemned by punishing the persons involved. I can understand the stance about the message of mercy in the Quran but Quran is also very stern and dictates that “let no compassion move” the punisher when he is punishing. How does one then not condemn the person?

      • Coolred38 says:

        Which I find to be such and oxymoron in this respect. As Muslims, you are meant to show no mercy for those “unfortunate” enough to find love, the most sought after of all emotions, with the same gender. There is so much hate in the world and we add more by condemning and punishing those that have managed to find some love among all the hate. How very merciful of god to expect punishment for that.

      • almostclever says:

        wasn’t that sentence meant for God though, not people? As in, when God punishes there will be no compassion.

        • Metis says:

          I was referring to Quran (24:2) on flogging, “The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.”

          I read a great post by Sara (I think it was) in which most people said in the end that we shouldn’t condemn gays even if we think homosexuality is a sin and it didn’t occur to me then but I suddenly remembered this verse when I read Coolred’s comment and wondered how others feel about it. As I read it not only must we as Muslims condemn the act but are also required to punish the ones committing that act. The punishment is meant to be a deterrent which is why it must be witnessed by people and not to be done in private. It is a straight-forward verse and allows for no compassion. What do you all think?

          • Nahida says:

            But in order to prove adultery you need 4 witnesses.

            Not likely that anyone would catch them in the act–never mind FOUR people.

            • Metis says:

              That is true but it doesn’t mean that Muslims are allowed or even encouraged to forgive someone who has committed adultery. Demanding four witnesses only makes people more cautious not necessarily more moral. The problem is that we all have different views on what is sin. I don’t think homosexuality is a sin but many other Muslims don’t agree with me. There are Muslims who think that it is ok to do what you want as long as it is not public basing their argument on the same verse, while there are also Muslims who think that there is no such thing as a private life when you are part of the ummah and so sin is sin whether it is private or public.

              • almostclever says:

                I think only looking at legal dimensions fails to incorporate the “whole” of Islam. We cannot only look at shariah as it is only one dimension and we must use all three dimensions when deciding on something.

                I think literal readings of any religion leaves us in a dark place. This is also why there is no Muslim country that succeeds at using Shariah.

                The prophet told us to help heal those who are struggling. In fact, in a recent documentary I watched about a doctor (non Muslim) helping ease end of life pain for Aids patients – he quoted the prophet and asked “what would Muhammad had done were he to see all this suffering? Would he have put on a mask and gloves and pushed Aids patients away for fear of contracting the disease, or would he have embraced the struggling?”

                The prophet always surprises us in many accounts, he forgives transgressions when we think he is least likely to… Should we not follow his examples? If we only use the dimension of law in our thinking, the world becomes a harsh place – but when we think in all three dimensions at all times, our compassion can surprise us. As “good people” I think most decent people think in all three dimensions. For those that think in only one dimension, well – they are the assholes, the murderers, the ones who cause suffering, etc…

                When we are farthest away from God it is called Tanzih, and is compared with all the harshness of God – when we are closest to God it is called Tashbih, and is compared with all the mercy of God… So… if we live our lives wanting to be closest to God, striving to be close to God – does this not mean we would choose mercy over punishment?

              • Nahida says:

                That is true but it doesn’t mean that Muslims are allowed or even encouraged

                Actually, I would say that they are encouraged.

                Verse 24:8: But punishment shall be averted from her (the accused) if she calls God four times as witness that he (the accuser) is indeed telling a lie.

                Of course, that isn’t as much forgiveness as it is fearing the wrath of God if they make a mistake in sentencing, but I feel that many so-called righteous people who enforce the shariah overlook this verse and that’s part of why there’s so much disaster.

                • Metis says:

                  Nahida, I suddenly had a brainwave 🙂 I think sharia is sometimes unfriendly to women because those implementing it and indeed even those who create it look more at hadith than Quran. This could be because Quran gives rules whereas hadith shows how those rules were used in various situations. I was going through research on hadd punishment in Pakistan and it seems like there are at least two ahadith (definitely in Malik’s muwatta) which show that a woman’s witness for herself are to be rejected if there is no other evidence that she is teling the truth! I was shocked that it’s even in a reputable sahih because it looks obviously odd. Again one can argue that Quran only lays down laws but they were indeed implemented in various ways and there could have been situations where a woman’s witness was rejected. WaAllahu Alam.

                • Nahida says:

                  That hadith is infuriating! The shariah would be fairer for everyone if implemented by women. Men have twisted and ruined all they touch!

  6. Lat says:

    ” The western media are widely advertising homosexuality, which is influencing the youth”

    I don’t know if one can just put the blame on the media.Yes,the media is doing a lot of influencing stuffs but to say that it promotes gay relationships is not quite right.It depends on how one is given the opportunity to take and apply it in their lives.

    ” Many of them are raised by foreign housemaids and tend to pick up alien behaviour”
    As if the behaviour is not known in the Arab lands! When I read this line,I found it a little offensive.No no you shouldn’t blame yourselves,blame it on the maids instead, kind of rhetoric is getting old.It’s about time they grow up.

    I think it’s good to have sexual education in school but how one teach is also important.It must reach across to the youth such that they know what it means to engage in any sexual relationship and be aware of the consequences as it not only affects the person but also those he/she loves.I believe gay relationships are also included in this education as well.In recent studies I’ve read,sexual diseases see an increasing trend not just in youth but also in adults.And they are not mostly caused by gay relationships.

    “More importantly do you think you must support homosexuality because you are a Muslim Feminist? Are there MFs who think homosexuality is a sin?”

    I think like Zuhura said,it should come under human rights.There’ll always be groups of MFs who support, those who don’t and those who don’t know where they stand when it comes to homosexuality.It’s not going to be easy for it’s acceptance if the religion is not inclining towards it,but if gay Muslims can successfully bring forth arguements to support their stand,then they need to be acknowledged.

    • Metis says:

      Lat, I too found it offensive to blame maids. Terrible reporting skills!

      Thanks for your comment. I agree with your points.

  7. Becky says:

    I agree with everyone else that we need to support homosexual rights, but, like has already been pointed out, what we are supported are HUMAN rights, and the right for people to make their own life style choices.

    As for the young girls, I would like to point out that it is quite natural for young teenage girls to experiment with same-sex relationships (usually only to the point of kissing and the like). I know I did that myself with some of my close female friends, and (at least for us) it was never lesbian relationships, rather, the other girl was a “stand-in” for the boyfriend(s) we didn’t have.

  8. Pure Muslim says:

    Forgive my abrasiveness but anyone who thinks homosexuality is not a sin in Islam is a damn fool. Allah (swt) calls the Quran a clear guidance and there can’t be any doubt about what is in it. How can any Muslim then argue that homosexuality is not called a sin? Were the Khulifah al Rashideen wrong in punishing homosexuals?

    Shariah may be a fancy word for you people but it is not pulled out of thin air. The Prophet (pbuh) was fully merciful and he knew what he was doing by punishing people according to the laws of Allah (swt). Homosexuality is a grave sin and justifying it is also a sin. Those who argue that the people of Prophet Lut were punished for rape and not for homosexuality base their argument on the passage from the Bible not from the Quran. Allah (swt) very clearly says in the Quran that the people of Prophet Lut came “to males in lust besides females.” In Arabic homosexuality is called Liwaat from Lut, what other proof does one need to know that in Quran the people of Prophet Lut were punished for being gay? In the Quran homosexuality is punishable (4:15-16). I am shocked that those women who call themselves Muslim can talk like this. Gay men calling themselves imams are imposters and hypocrites. Do these sinful men know Islam? Have they understood the Quran in Arabic? Strangely everyone commenting here in support of homosexuality is not Arabic speaker. Please stop high jacking Islam and bringing foreign warped ideologies into the pure religion of Allah (swt). Stop calling these sinners imams. They should be stoned not respected!!

    • Zeina says:

      Pure Muslim, first of all, I have a problem with your name. And I appreciate more when people refrain/hesitate from calling themselves Muslim rather than blatantly call themselves a “pure” one…whatever that even means.
      Anyway, that’s not the issue. The issue is your coming, in a bird’s eye view, and lashing at everybody who commented on this article, the one who wrote the article (who are all just trying to have a critical and constructive argument) as “damn fools”. Now, as a “pure” Muslim, I realize you do know that damning someone is far from allowed. Calling people names isn’t that much recommended either.
      Moving on, as a “pure” Muslim, you must know that the Quran is not only interpreted in one way. In fact, whenever they find a scientific miracle that abides by the Quran, it adds a layer of interpretation to the verse at hand which was understood in a much different way before the miracle. Everybody accepts that. But when it comes to something that touches on their beliefs and the way they see things, they get all defensive and say that the Quran is clear and doesn’t allow for such a reinterpretation. But… you just accepted that one, no? Does that not fall a wee bit under hypocrisy? Hey, I’m not pointing fingers.
      Next, as a “pure” Muslim, I think you do know that even if you do think people are committing sin, you’re supposed to try and advise them kindly, not call them names and talk to them as if you’re ten steps better than them.
      And, as a “pure” Muslim, it is not the best to assume something on the behalf of someone (like that they are not Arabic speakers, just because they speak English fluently) and then use that as an argument for their false interpretation and obvious sinning. أن بعض الظن اثم، لا؟
      And most importantly, as derived from my comment above, the people who think anal sex as haram in Islam, will definitely see as two men having anal sex as haram. But not all people think that it is haram. That’s A. And B, as Zuhura pointed out to me in her reply, their are other ways or having sex, which don’t exactly fall under نكاح and therefore don’t need a matrimonial contract to being with. And isn’t “al zanee wal zaniyato” considered if they are committing fornication, that which doesn’t apply for homosexuals who don’t practice anal sex per se for the reasons i just stated above?
      I didn’t even start mentioning lesbians, who are also homosexuals, by the way… They are not even mentioned in the Quran! It’s only the men of Lut, so are women allowed to be lesbians? And please, if you’re going to answer by yes, but that applies to women as well, I’m going to have to go ahead and ask why you don’t apply that logic when the Quran gives the man the right to beat his wife. Or when it allows the man to marry four wives. Or do we tailor the Quran the way we want to? Shu, rje3na hypocrisy?
      Now, seeing as I am of the people who believe that anal sex is a sin. This does not dub homosexuality as a sin in any way. Of course, as a “pure” Muslim, you would know that their were homosexuals at the time of the Prophet, and they were even allowed to see the veiled women’s hair, and their wasn’t a problem (until one person started describing the women to the men and it was then that the Prophet asked him to leave). And P.S: The word لواط “Liwat” only started to refer to homosexuality AFTER the Quran, and AFTER that verse was revealed and it was related back to Lut. As a very fluent arabic speaker, I’m sure you know that the proper term for homosexuality is actually Mukhannath مخنث and not لواط and that actually many people, more “pure” Muslims, ask to refer to homosexuality as مخنث or مثلي mithliyy and not to use the term liwat because of its direct link to the Prophet Lut, who is actually not a homosexual.
      PPS: All imams are sinners… you know, seeing as we’re all human. And as for what qualifies an imam, it’s simply someone the people admire and like listening to, someone knowledgeable and tries to abide by the Islamic teachings. And you don’t know that this gay imam has anal sex, you don’t know whether he should be stoned or not, and accusing someone of having fornicated without being a witness and without having 3 witnesses alongside you is worthy of 80 lashes.
      قال عليه الصلاة والسلام ” خيار ائمتكم الذين تحبونهم ويحبونكم وتصلون عليهم ويصلون عليكم وشرار ائمتكم الذين تبغضونهم ويبغضونكم وتلعنونهم ويلعنونكم ”
      Homosexuality, as I understand, in my limited knowledge, is not a sin. It is the impermissible sex that homosexuals do that is a sin. And I believe that that is what is meant by the فاحشة in Surat Al-Araaf when it refers to what the people of Lut are committing.

      Finally, I’d like to say that I’ve been following up on many of the feminist blogs lately. Many posts of which I don’t agree with the content. And, instead of lashing at them, calling them unislamic hypocrites, damned fools, insert bad words about them, I either state that I do not agree with that and engage in a constructive, friendly, non-authoritative argument (for of course, I could be wrong) or I refrain from simply saying anything to begin with. In both cases, I pray to God, and I ask him to Guide all of us to the straight path. I ask him to show them the right way if they are wrong, and help them get rid of all blurriness around what’s right and what’s wrong. And I ask him to show me the right way if I am wrong, and to help me get rid of all the blurriness around what’s right and what’s wrong.

      For, “pure” Muslim, you are no where near pure. And neither am I. Neither are they. We are only human, sinners, attempting at purity.

      a human striving to be a pure Muslim

      • Zeina says:

        forgive my “their”s and “there”s being all jumbled up together..
        was caught in the moment and didn’t care for grammatical errors much.

      • Zuhura says:

        Great response, Zeina.

      • Becky says:

        Thank you Zeina for such a beautiful and eloquent response.

      • Metis says:

        Zeina, something in your comment stood out for me. Now when I read the Quran I feel there is a lot of emphasis on فاحشة rather than on sex between two unrelated people. What I mean to say is like you pointed out as well that punishment is not arbitrary – anyone fornicating, round them up and whip/stone them, but it is in response to فاحشة. What do you think?

        • Zeina says:

          Hmm.. maybe it’s my extended lack of sleep, but I’m going to have to ask you to clarify this “What I mean to say is like you pointed out as well that punishment is not arbitrary – anyone fornicating, round them up and whip/stone them, but it is in response to فاحشة. “

  9. Metis says:

    @*Pure* Muslim, why are you so angry? I am sorry that you had to lash out like this. Perhaps you can return when you are in better mood and continue the discussion with us “damn fools” 😀 Cheer up!

    @Zeina, we should have a Like button for comments on WordPress 🙂 Thanks!

  10. Coolred38 says:

    *snap* 🙂

  11. Helene says:

    There is something not right in the post from Pure Muslim. His post purports an orthodox ideology. His conviction that a studied understanding of Arabic is required to understand Islam is in keeping. And he goes on to say: “Strangely everyone commenting here in support of homosexuality is not (an) Arabic speaker.”

    However, his vocabulary, sentence structures, and paragraph content give me the impression that whatever his own handling of Arabic is, it is not native.

    Don’t fall prey to these types.

  12. Zeina says:

    Thank you guys. Unfortunately, going back at my post, I’ve noticed a few errors. Will fix soon inchallah.

  13. Daayiee says:

    As-salaamu alaykum. Really appreciate the comments made by those who wrote. It is also really great to see people challenging the status quo–traditional interpretations–and having the ability to see this question in much broader terms and conclusions. It is my humble opinion most responded well to each other and the depth of understanding shows we are moving to a different level– elevating our thinking from the mimicry of taqlid that is informed by myths of total acceptance of all “sunnah” and ahadith , to a standard of what is Muslim in the heart, mind and soul as informed by Quran. We must always consider how the world operates and question/challenge Quran for guidance at the level, minimally, to obtain and maintain respect for humankind–the UNDHR is a good foundation to start. It will be through our words which may agree or disagree on the subject at hand, but it will be our actions and deeds that shows whether or not we bring suffering to others or not.

    More directly, to respond to Coolred38 and Zeina, the answer is culture. @ Metis, time, place and actors. Culture and personal admiration strongly influences “acceptance” of traditions. We may be in the same geographical locations, but actors and times have changed–so do we need to revamp based on those two factors in reaching standards that do not oppress and maintain injustice against others, Muslim or otherwise?

    Also, on the concept of ijraa–postponement of judgment by humans and leave it to Allah on Judgment Day. This was a concept settled many centuries ago, and I wonder why the question of judging based on “shari’ah” (actually fiqh) is still an issue today. @ Almost clever, great comment and we need to learn more about “tanzih” and “tashbih”–we’d all live a bit happier lives without the responsibility of judging another human being. @ Zeina, very nice response to Pure Muslim, and I think Pure Muslim has some underlying issues as to why they seek to be so “pure” when purity is a goal and not a “particular place” along a continuum. They may be struggling with the issue of sexual orientation and selects to stay closely tied to tradition. Upholding standards of mercy does not mean one has to blindly accept what you may find unacceptable. It is what you do with your mouth and hand that makes the difference.

    Keep up the great discussion and looking forward to reading other commentaries on various subjects.

    Daayiee Abdullah

    • Metis says:

      Dear Imam Abdullah,

      Thank you so much for finding the time to comment on this post. I am truly honoured. I agree with what you have said particularly about place and actors.

      Thank you!

  14. Hebah says:

    homosexuality is a sin, a big sin at that to, just read the holy Quran its very clear on the issue for gayness, so for an imam to be gay——he has lost all my respect—-as a leader of the muslim faith.

  15. Sarah says:

    Are you open-minded enough to accept the alternative?

Comments are closed.