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Why don’t you answer questions about LGBT issues?

Why don’t you answer questions about LGBT issues?


Salaam alykum. As someone who seems comfortable and open-minded when it comes to tackling various issues concerning Islam/Muslims in the “West”, am I correct in assuming that you consciously avoid addressing LGBT issues because it’s traditionally been seen as taboo to discuss in Islam? I’d love to hear your opinion on LGBT issues/LGBT Muslims using your understanding of The Quran and the hadith. If you are hesitant to, please just say so. I’ll understand and avoid asking related questions.

Wa alykum as-salaam,

I do not think that it has been “taboo” to discuss anything when it comes to the tradition of Islam. It was abundantly clear within any Islamic Institution (which was the place, historically, in which the study of all fields, science, medicine, etc was conducted) that there was nothing that a Muslim would be forbidden from learning about.

What we, today, call “LGBT issues” were covered, in various forms, by the traditional scholars.

The absence of my opinion on the matter is indeed conscious, but not because it is “taboo,” and quite frankly, I feel that there is a fetishisation of what is perceived to be “taboo” in Islamic/Middle Eastern contexts by many, who like to imagine that Muslims and Islamic scholars shift uncomfortably and dread certain questions. In my experience, the questions they dread are generally ones that they find particularly useless, not difficult. For example, I find discussions over eyebrows to be of negligible value.

My reticence towards the issue does not stem from fear, whether over how my opinion will be understood or some “loss of face” on the internet, but rather because the medium of the internet is a horrid place to have discussions of issues as complex as this, especially as I have yet to see anyone formulate an opinion that transcends hackneyed paradigms.

Those being, either attempting to create parallels between “scientific fact” as a method towards proving or disproving homosexuality’s relative credibility or the use of, highly effective, although ultimately faulty and unreliable, personal anecdotes that attempt to connect the reader to the story, and make them experience something so that they may change their view.

Add onto that, the unending definitional debate, where the overwhelming majority of these debates lie, and unfortunately, the majority of the debates center around two people who are debating from two very different set of assumptions and thus encircle each other, which then descends to name-calling from one party, another speaks of loving everyone (which is unappreciated), cue Tumblr reblogs, indignation, attempts at bringing harmony, questions over how/why Muslims are so terrible to each other, then the dust settles, nothing being achieved, no one having learned anything.

Observing this, why would I want to wade into, what is somehow, deemed “a debate”? The reactions are as predictable as the contractions before a child is born, and what actually bothers me is that an opinion, asserted in either way, becomes what defines that person, and thus creates a wedge between people, prevents people from understanding more, from learning about people different than themselves.

As far as my understanding of these issues in relation to The Qur’an and Hadith, I avoid this “debate,” again, because people will simply adopt the viewpoint that they desire.

Do I have an opinion? Of course I do. Do I wish to enter into this debate on Tumblr? Again, absolutely not. Let me put it to you this way: I have to write disclaimers on my jokes, I would have to write a legal code to discuss this issue.

Is it out of fear or some inability to deal with what is “Taboo?” I don’t believe in “Taboos,” and I feel the real “Taboo” in any society are not over issues that can occupy the front page of a Newspaper, rather, the issues that are seldom discussed, that are restricted to the coverage of C-Span (if you will), those are the “Taboo” because they impact our lives in far greater effect, yet, they do not elicit the same simplistic responses of “agree!” or “disagree!” and therefore are placed to the side, so that we can squabble over the issues we want to think are central, because we are socialized into being self-centered people who think in the short-term.

The only comment I will share, publicly, on this issue is this: if you identify as LGBT, do not let go of your Faith. I can only imagine how difficult it is, but do not let the pressures of other people influence you in your connection to Almighty God. Do not let go. Everyone has their trials, and this is not your only trial, but remember that God says in The Qur’an: “God does not burden any human being with more than He has given him – [and it may well be that] God will grant, after hardship, ease.” [65:7]

Insha Allah, I hope that everyone understands my position, and that I am open to answering questions to the best of my ability, and if anyone would like clarification, please do not hesitate to ask me.

I pray that this finds you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.

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