Tuesday, April 6, 2010

3rd part الجزء الثالث ---مع الامام محسن هندريك

Muhsin Hendricks is a sheikh who lives in South Africa. In 1998, he found Al-Fitrah, the first queer Muslim organization in his country.

Muhsin also differentiates between homosexual love and homosexual sex. Does this refer to a platonic homosexuality?

I was differentiating between the homosexual relationship based on love and mutual respect vs. a homosexual sexual encounter based on lust, which can include sodomy/pederasty/bestiality and male-to-male promiscuity.

Love, affection, care, muhabbah, mawaddah or whatever you wish to call it; these are all human emotions which has no gender, or is not confined to a specific sexuality, so anybody can show love and affection to anybody and everybody else, if the meaning of love is fully understood.

In Islamic countries the holding of hands and hugging of men is quite an acceptable form of expressing love to the same sex. The Nabi (s) use to sleep on the lap of Abu Bakr (r.a). The mystical poet Rumi had a deep loving relationship with Shams and when Shams eventually departed, he poured his heart out in poetry expressing his undying love for Shams.

The examples of same sex love is endless in the Islamic world; and I am not for one minute suggesting that all these are of a homosexual nature. I'm simply asking the question. Why is it so horrific and frowned upon when homosexuals display this kind of affection, yet not knowing whether those people are involved sexually or not? Are they not worthy of expressing their love to the same sex?

Another example of how prejudice our Muslims are, is the question of Zina. It has become quite an excepted thing in our society and it is even "rectified" by our Thursday night must marriages. Yet the Quran orders them to be flogged with 100 stripes without compassion for them, and the punishment should even be carried out in public. But when a homosexual only says: "I am attracted to my same-sex, without acting upon it", the whole city condemns him.

Some man said to me a few days after my article was published in The Argus: "Yes, I understand your point, but why let the whole world know about the fact that you are attracted to the same sex." I didn't answer him. A few lines down his rhetoric. He recons: "Gees, in the fast the only thing on my mind is women", and he was quite comfortable in saying this.

So it seems to be okay for the heterosexual to tell the world about his sexual fantasies, but the homosexual must shut up. So attempts are even made to control the thoughts of a homosexual. If this is not prejudice, then I swear the pope is Jewish.

As regards to a platonic homosexual relationship, I have no problem with that. I haven't found enough evidence in Islam to prohibit such a relationship, based on love and friendship. So I believe that a homosexual relationship, if any, should stay platonic as far as society can see into your life. Whatever happens beyond that, is entirely a matter between the parties involved and their Creator.

How does one counsel homosexuals, with the aim to bring them back to heterosexuality or to accept their sexual orientation?

Again another prejudice, thinking that homosexuals need to come back to heterosexuality. It's pointless sending someone to the Antarctica to sell ice, so why try to take a person to a sexuality foreign to him.

So the only other alternative would be to assist the homosexual on to a sexuality that he is comfortable with, and teach him the ethics around that sexuality, and if he eventually goes back, (as you say) to heterosexuality, then he was'nt homosexual in the first place.
Studies have been made to determine the success rate of conversion counseling, which is a therapy designed to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals.

We had therapies such as: Recovered memory therapy, Multiple personality disorder treatment, There were also professionals who believed in Satanic ritual abuse which they claimed helped the vast majority of their clients recover memory of childhood Satanic ritual abuse, i.o.w they were believed to be "dukumed".

There is also Therapeutic touch therapy in which is believed that they can heal people by balancing energy patterns in their patient's body.
And then there are many other forms of aversion therapy / reparative therapy, that are now forbidden for psychologist to practice, simply because of its ineffectiveness. The need for accurate information on the long term results of reparative therapy is obviously of great importance.
So most therapists today counsel their clients to improve their self- esteem and accept their orientation as a fact of their lives.

The American Psychological Association publishes an undated brochure titled "Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality." They state:

"...many scientists share the view that sexual orientation is shaped for most people at an early age through complex interactions of biological, psychological and social factors."

"...psychologists do not consider sexual orientation for most people to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed."
"...homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or emotional problem."

"There is no evidence indicating that homosexuals are more likely than heterosexuals to molest children."

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a report in DEC-1994 which calls for "non-judgmental recognition of sexual orientation by physicians." They suggest that psychotherapy be directed to help homosexuals "become comfortable with their sexual orientation."

The Academy of Pediatrics and the Council on Child and Adolescent Health have also stated that homosexuality is not a choice and cannot be changed.

These are the views of skilled professionals who have done extensive studies and experiments on the subject. So if we still feel that we cannot accept their findings as authentic, then we really have to come up with something more substantial, if we still believe that homosexuals can be converted to heterosexuals, instead of mere emotional rhetoric.

How should Muslims respond to homosexuality?

We need to change our perception on homosexuality and get rid of the stereotype that a homosexual is a sodomite and that every homosexual is sexually active.

I don't think Muslims should respond to the subject at all if they haven't made the effort to inspect and understand it first. The very first command to the Nabi (s) was to read and to study.

A thorough study on the subject will then give us a basis from where we can make judgements. But to solely judge a situation on the basis of emotions is un-Islamic.

We need to then be open to debate about the subject and deal with it in a very rational way, especially because its a sensitive subject and because we are dealing with people, who have feelings and souls. As the Quran says:
"udh'u ilaa sabeeli rabbika bil hikma, wa mou'idhatil hasana, wa jaadilhum bil latee hiya ahsan."

"Invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and employ means of discussion that are best."

Often people who deal with the subject irrationally and emotionally are probably the people who fear that they will have to question the authenticity of their own sexuality.
We must remember that homosexuality is not a condition unique to a specific kind of people. It can be your closeted father, brother or son. And just think of the hurt and the harm you are causing them with your insensitive remarks about homosexuals. And by doing this, instead of helping them to find themselves, you are pushing them further away into a life full of misery and inner turmoil.

I think the road ahead regarding the acceptance and understanding of homosexuality is still long, but if we allow ourselves to be open to things we do not understand, and not merely closing up because we are not comfortable with the subject, then I think we will be on the road to enlightenment as to what our purpose in life is and where we fit in, in this whole grand cosmic plan of Allah.

What qualifications do you have to make assumptions that Homosexuality is allowed in Islam?

We are products of secularism, that's why we ask questions like this. None of the messengers of Allah had PhD's. Yet they made such an impact on the lives of nations. I'm just an ordinary person who did an independent study on a controversial subject such as homosexuality, which I think is a subject many so-called "straight" Islamic scholars are too reluctant to take up.

I have four years of basic Islamic Education behind my back, done at the Islamic University of Karachi, Pakistan, I have a good command of Arabic Grammar, if I may mention this, that in my second year of Arabic I had 99% for Arabic grammar. I think my limited studies in Islam has given me the necessary knowledge to deal with independent study on controversial issues such as Homosexuality.

Also Allah says in the Quran: "those who study the book as it should be studied, those are the ones who truly believe in it"

What does Islam really say about Homosexuality according to you?

The word "homosexuality" does not appear in any original form in any Arabic dictionary, nor does it appear in the Quran. There are new dictionaries that have included the word into its list, but these words are constructions.

The word "Sodomy" does not appear in the Quran either. It is a word, deduced from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah , (which is open to interpretation). If you look at some Arabic dictionaries, they have the word "liwaat" to mean both "sodomy" and "homosexuality" and there is clearly a big difference between the two.

So the Quran refers to Sodomy yes, but not to Homosexuality as a perverted sexuality. The only verse that speaks out against Homosexual promiscuity is the one in Sura 4:16 but it does not condemn Homosexuality as a form of sexuality.

Is Homosexual sex permissible in Islam?

To go on to a question of this nature is a bit premature, when people are still struggling to understand the definition of homosexuality.

Sex is a private issue and I prefer it to stay that way. When it is publicly witnessed, it becomes punishable for both homosexual and heterosexual.

I am not here to prove a sexual relationship between two men lawful, each one needs to take responsibility for their own actions but whenever his/her actions, has negative repercussions on society, they need to be reprimanded.

Is a Homosexual marriage permissible in Islam?

Marriage in Islam is a contract, just as any other business contract with conditions that needs to prevail before such a contract can be valid.

Marriage as prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) is an institution for heterosexuals.

To view a homosexual commitment of whatever level of intimacy, in the same light as a heterosexual marriage is preposterous and an insult to the Islamic system of jurisprudence.

Homosexuals have commitment ceremonies, in which the two parties contract to share their lives and sometimes belongings with one another. If this is a long term agreement, it needs to be documented as the Quran instructs.

If two homosexuals want to have a bondage of intimacy, based on love and loyalty with each other, I do not have a problem with that, as long asit is not viewed as synonymous to a heterosexual marriage.

To what extent this relationship goes, within a confined space (non-public) is entirely a personal matter.

The Quran says: "If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, take the evidence of four reliable witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men are guilty of lewdness punish them both, If they repent and amend, leave them alone, for Allah is oft returning, Most Merciful." Quran 4:15&16. Is this not proof enough that homosexuality is not permissible?

No. It is proof that homosexual promiscuity and public indecency is punishable. This Aayah is not to be used as a blanket condemnation for homosexuality.

In the case of Heterosexual sex, when Allah says:

"Wa laa taqrabu zinaa Innahu kaana faaghishatan wa saa'as sabeela"

"Do not come nigh to adultery, for it is an indecency (lewdness) and an evil way indeed." Surah 17:32 and

"Az-zaniyatu waz zani fajlidu kulla waahidim minhuma mi'ata jalda, wa laa ta'gudkum bihima ra'fatun fee deenillahi in kuntum tu'minuna billahi wal joumil aaghir wal yash-hadu adhaabahuma taa'ifatum minal mu'mineen."

"The male and the female guilty of lewdness, flock each of them with a hundred stripes and do not let compassion move you regarding them, if it is you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment." Surah 24:2

Here the Quran refers to heterosexual promiscuity and public indecency. Would we use these verses as a condemnation for Heterosexuality?

Muhsin Hendricks is a sheikh who lives in South Africa. In 1998, he found Al-Fitrah, the first queer Muslim organization in his country.


serry900 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
serry900 said...

thank you for quothing those articles. I really liked to read them.
حاولت دخول الرابط الخاص بمقالات المدون الإماراتي عن الإسلام والمثلية فلم أجد مدونته، هل يا ترى تحتفظ بهذه المقالات؟

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