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Is there room in Islam for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Muslims? By Dr. Omid Safi. The pronunciation key is intended to give English-speaking readers a close approximation of the word in Arabic. It can not provide a perfect equivalent, however, because some Arabic sounds do not exist in English. Common Era dates end in CE. MPV thanks the generous contribution of the Human Rights Campaign for making this adaptation possible. In early Islamic history, sex was seen as a positive part of human life.
Early Muslim scholars talked about sex in a very straight-forward way as a normal, positive part of life.
Al-Ghazali, a Muslim scholar who lived more than years ago, called sexual pleasure a blessing from God. It affects how people relate to each other. Some people understand it to mean sex acts other than intercourse. There are limits. Most of those limits have to do with relationships between people who have sex. For example:. This limit prevents men and women who are closely related from creating children who may have serious health risks.
This limit helps ensure that children will be cared for and supported by both parents. This limit was especially important for women at a time when men had more opportunities to work and earn money. Clear relationships also help both people in a relationship to know what they can expect from each other—what rights and responsibilities they have.
In other cases, it is not so clear. Scholars today often talk about Islamic law as if it were always clear and simple. Actually, Islamic law is pretty complex. Some of those sources disagree with each other and most are based on the opinions of human beings.
In some cultures, Islamic law follows the teachings of scholars with one viewpoint, while in other cultures Islamic law may follow different scholars with different views. There is more about Islamic law, below. Sex was allowed as part of a of relationships. Most of these relationships involved a kind of contract, or agreement.
Some relationship contracts were formal. A formal marriage would include witnesses and the marriage agreement might be written down and ed. Other relationship contracts were informal—they were understood by the community at the time but might not be written down or include a formal ceremony with witnesses.
Some relationship agreements are written down and legally tie people together, while other relationship agreements are made orally by talking. Not necessarily. There were a of reasons why Islamic law focused on relationships between men and women. For one thing, Muslim jurists saw straight, or heterosexual, relationships as the major concern because they led to pregnancy. Same-sex couples may have or raise children but, for them, having children is not an accidental side-effect of having sex. The early Muslim jurists wanted to avoid situations where was born without the support a father could bring.
At that time, men earned the most income and few women had substantial income of their own. Because of inequality between men and women, having a man in the family helped the family financially and socially. Another reason Islamic jurists talked a lot about straight relationships is that they were trying to address the needs of most people. Since most people are straight or heterosexualtheir needs were the primary concern of scholars. Rules about sex and gender can be used to keep men in positions of power over women. For example, in many Islamic cultures, when women have sex with men before marriage it brings shame on them and their families.
When the rule is bent to bring more shame and harsh punishments on women, it means women have a lot to lose if they have sex before marriage, while men do not face the same risks. The rule works to control women, but it allows men to do what they wish. Many Islamic countries were colonized by non-Muslim European countries. The colonial rulers replaced Islamic legal systems with European laws. Even after the colonial rulers left, many Muslims felt as if their way of life was threatened.
Some Muslims who immigrate to the U. When people feel threatened and fearful, they often try to keep control over whatever they can. Not exactly. Sexuality is a modern concept. However, classical scholars did not talk about the difference between sexual acts and identity.
Yes—and it is an important difference. So sex may be part of sexuality—but sexuality is much more than sex. If a woman is raped, she has sex—a sexual act occurs to her body—against her will. Rape does not have anything to do with her sexuality. The sex act of rape is not related to her desire or her identity. This is true when the victim of rape is male, as well. Sometimes a man has desire for other men, but does not have sex with men.
His sexuality includes his desire for men, even if his behavior does not include sex acts with men. It even protects diversity of religion, by instructing Muslims to protect other religious groups, such as Jews, living under Muslim rule. We know that homosexuality exists, among human beings with free will. Islam itself can not say anything. So where can we look for answers? It does not refer to gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. In fact, scholars had to come up with a term for homosexuality in Arabic.
His wife, Umm Salama, had a mukhanath friend named Hit. If the Prophet had ever done so, his companions would have simply referred to his decision. Some scholars try to connect fahisha, fisq and homosexuality. Some scholars also try to connect zina and homosexual acts, by saying homosexuality is like adultery.
Human jurists are the ones who say there is a connection. This is not a common condition, but it does exist. People can read literally: reading word for word, using exact definitions. It can lead to misunderstanding the whole passage and sometimes it is just confusing. The stove is hot! To make things even more complicated, meanings can change over time. A semantic reading looks at the word in context.
Above, we saw how a word can mean different things in different contexts. Even when a word means the same thing in different contexts, the overall meaning can be different. From this, the reader can tell more about whether the words refer to sexual acts and whether the words are used to mean something good or something bad. Thematic readings let readers think about the bigger picture of what they are reading. Classical stories of the Prophets, called Qisas al-Anbiya, also contain thematic readings. They are not intended to be read as fact. Men were not the only ones punished in the destruction of Sodom.
That does not seem to be a reasonable conclusion. A thematic reading of the story of Lut can be found in the Qisas al-Anbiya classical stories of the Prophets. They were showing that they could take what they wanted from others. In that way, people became afraid to raid the city. This showed aggressiveness, stinginess and greed—all things that would justify their punishment.
This is clear from the context of the story of Lut, which is placed among other stories with the same theme. This is an example of rape, not an example of sexual desire. Rape is about power. It is used to coerce, control or punish the victim. In another hadith, someone asked the Prophet Muhammad about the penalty for stinginess and the Prophet told the story of the people of Lut. Based on this reading, the story of Lut can instruct Muslims to:.
The only hadd crimes are: murder, highway robbery, theft, adultery and false accusation of adultery. They are drawing an analogy between zina or adultery and homosexuality between men. However, this analogy is not clear. Being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not a sexual act—it is a sexual identity. Several schools of Islamic thought do say that it is a hadd crime, but Hanafi and Zahiri jurists do not. Hanafis do say that anal sex between men is immoral, yet they insist it is not a hadd crime.
In fact, the Hanafi jurist Al-Jassas cites two hadith that say that it is injustice and oppression to apply a hadd punishment to something that is not a hadd crime. Stoning, because of the analogy they are making between homosexuality and adultery. The Prophet Muhammad PBUH never described homosexuality as a crime and he never punished anyone for being gay, lesbian or bisexual. Some people feel that homosexuality is wrong because of a personal prejudice. If someone is heterosexual and only knows heterosexual people, he or she may feel that it is the only natural way to be.
Without knowing any gay, lesbian or bisexual people, they may prejudge—or show prejudice—against homosexuality. Prejudice against homosexuality also may come from sexism. They feel it is a kind of corruption that came from outside Islamic culture. Some people feel that homosexuality is wrong because early Muslim scholars concluded it was. Later scholars often simply referred back to those same rulings. Some of these issues have already been addressed and others are discussed below.
Sexism le people to believe men should act certain ways and women should act certain ways. These different rules for men and women keep men in power over women, something that is easy to see in some traditional families. Records show that sexual diversity existed in Islamic civilizations from the earliest times. This was one of the reasons Christians were determined to reconquer Spain when it was under Muslim rule. Islamic law also is based on culture norms, secular non-religious laws, and patriarchal ideas that existed before Islam and continue through to the present day.
In Islam, there is a solid basis for respect and acceptance of diversity—including sexual diversity. Although historically many Muslim law-makers forbade homosexual acts, it is important to remember that Islamic law is not the word of God. Islamic law is the result of reasoning by law-makers, so the law is made by human beings.
Many Muslims do not accept homosexuality because of prejudice or sexism—and many jurists share these views. It originated in the Arabian city of Mecca around CE. Muslims see Islam as following from the same monotheistic tradition as Judaism and Christianity.
The three religions together are sometimes called Abrahamic faiths, because they trace their history back to the Biblical figure, Abraham PBUH. For example, we may talk about Islamic history, an Islamic nation, or Islamic art.Woman wants sex Paradis Louisiana
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