Thursday, 12 February 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A MUSLIM QUEER

Confessions of Sulayman X
by Sulayman X 
November 11, 1999

Sulayman X is an American who converted to Islam in the early 1990s. He lives overseas for almost two decades and currently works as the editor for a small newspaper in Mississippi. His work frequently deals with the intersection between religion and sexuality. His first book, Bilal's Bread, is a Lambda Award nominee.



Published by DreamSpinner Press, his young adult books "Tears of a Dragon" and "King of Storms" are fantasy genre novels featuring young gay and lesbian characters.



Although no longer a Muslim, Sulayman X remains a spiritual seeker and the Buddhist influences in his work are evident. He also writes murder mysteries and screenplays.


This article is written as a response to the many people who have asked for more information about who I am. 

I am an American convert to Islam. I made my Shahada, or Profession of Faith, at a mosque in Kansas City on June 4th, 1993, in the presence of several Muslim brothers after due instruction and a great deal of personal research and soul searching.

Childhood was difficult, filled with poverty, abuse, alcoholism, and tragedy -- the deaths of parents, a sibling, and that of a close childhood friend in an accident at age 10 in which I survived and he did not -- which lead to a life of drugs, hustling, booze, a nervous breakdown and several suicide attempts. It took years of counseling to sort out the mess that was my life.

In my mid-twenties I rejected 'god' as a concept that had no relevance to my life. Having been raised Catholic, I was infused with Catholic guilt over my supposed 'sins'. Being gay as well, I was also filled with self-rejection and self-hatred -- most of it courtesy of Catholic doctrine which taught that I was evil, instrinsically disordered, immoral and so on and so forth. I was certainly not taught that it was okay -- or even remotely desirable -- to be who I was. Years of trying to be someone else had failed.

It was in the midst of this suffering and despair, this inability to love myself because I was not allowed to, that I discovered Islam.

In my early twenties I had to decide whether or not I wanted to live: I decided I did. Plagued by self-pity, one of my worst battles was learning to stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with living. Life is not fair. All that can be done about it is to move on. Having skipped high school completely, I studied for and obtained a GED, then enrolled in a local college and earned a degree. I learned, slowly but surely, to stop abusing myself, to stop repeating the past, to start being honest, to start dealing with reality. I crawled my way out of the gutter.

Part of the reality I needed to deal with was that I could no longer believe in God. But when I read the Qur'an, as part of research for a history class I was attending, something changed. Perhaps it was the frequent Qur'anic injunctions that widows and orphans -- me, in other words -- should be cared for, that just and fair societies should be created, that all men and women were equal in the eyes of Allah, that there was to be no priesthood -- no men dressed in black dispensing guilt as a means to control and manipulate -- these things were profounding moving.

At that time, in Kansas City, most Muslim converts were Black. I was not. I was quite frequently the only white face staring up at the Iman during his sermons. Given the racial tensions of the time, I expected to be kept at arm's length, but I found just the opposite: these Black men, these Muslim converts like myself, made no issue of race. I was welcomed as any other Muslim would be.

I discovered that these Muslim brothers were, like me, struggling to put their lives together, and had found, in the Qur'an, a way to do that, a belief system that supported their desires to be contributing members of society, good husbands, good people. They were not perfect; neither was I. But Islam, with its emphasis on personal responsibility for one's life and actions, provided a framework on which to build. There was a sense of community, of brotherhood, of support, of working together to create a world where we could contribute, be valued, be treated with justice and fairness. Such a world, as you could imagine, appealed to me greatly -- and still does.

When I made my Shahada, in their midst, I chose the name 'Sulayman' as my Muslim name, and that is what they called me. I chose the name 'Sulayman' because it is the Arabic form of Solomon, said to be one of the wisest kings who ever lived. I aspired to wisdom and felt an affinity with this name. They said I needed two names, however; I said they should choose the second. So it became 'Sulayman Muhammad.' This became shortened, as a form of protest, to 'Sulayman X' when I began to be told that the Prophet Muhammad said homosexuals should be thrown off the tops of high buildings. (After a great deal of thought, I have decided that I do not believe the Prophet -- Peace be upon him! -- ever said such a thing. It would be unworthy, in my opinion, to attribute such statements to a man of his spiritual stature.)

But, why Islam?

Islam is a beautiful, elegant religion, free of the doctrinal difficulties encountered in Christianity, with a positive message for mankind. There is no strange ideas about a 'trinity' of gods, or of God having a son who had to die in order to redeem the world, or of original sin, or of worshipping the 'mother of god' or saints, or a priestly caste -- no, Islam has none of these things. It's simple, yet highly profound: there is only one God. Acknowledge this God; submit to this God. Do good to others and build just, fair societies. Don't cheat people in your business dealings. Be moderate in all that you do. Avoid intoxicants and lewdness. Help widows and orphans. Remember that you were created by Allah, and unto Allah you will return -- and you will be asked to render an account of yourself.

When I first read the Qur'an, it was like a bolt of lightning flashing through me. Suddenly I knew that God did indeed exist, and that there was a religion in which I could feel at home, a religion that would not offend my sense of reason by demanding belief in absurdities, a religion concerned with the plight of people here and now, a religion that valued the things I valued. It was, in a way, shocking. I had never thought, up until that point, that religion could be anything other than endless disputes over doctrine, guilt, condemnation, self-rejection and self-hatred. But in Islam, I found a positive message that literally changed my life and, in a way, saved my life.

It helped me to begin to think of myself as a member of the community, a 'brother' to other brothers and sisters in Islam, someone called upon to be successful and to take care of my own, someone called upon to contribute. I was told that reason and intelligence were valued, that Islam had a proud past filled with achievements in the arts and sciences. I believed that the ideal Islamic society was something worth striving for, something worth achieving, that in such a society injustice would give way to fairness, the poor would be cared for, learning would be valued. Rather than 'slaves, be subject to your masters' and 'turn the other cheek' I was told to fight for Islam, to stand up to those who bar entrance to the 'holy places', and that a 'good Muslim does himself what he would do for his brother.'
I believed those things. I became a Muslim because of those things.

Never once in all my study and research preparing for this change in my life did the subject of homosexuality present itself. In every book in every library that I searched, the issue was not mentioned. Concerning sex, I was told that it was a gift from Allah, to be enjoyed, that there was no sin in it, no reason for shame or guilt. A Muslim man was allowed to have up to four wives, if he could treat them all fairly. I did not see any signs of prudishness, only a heathly sense of reality: sex is human. Nothing more, nothing less.

By the time I made my Shahada, I was too infatuated with Islam to even ask about homosexuality. I assumed -- wrongly, it seems now -- that it was a non-issue. If it was not important enough to be discussed in any of the many Islamic books and magazines I had access to at that time, it was probably not much of an issue.

So I became a Muslim, but I kept my past -- and my sexuality -- to myself. But one day I decided to set up a web site devoted to the issue of Islam and homosexuality. I wanted it to be a resource for others like myself, and I also wanted to hear from other gay and lesbian Muslims -- I wanted to know what their lives were like, how they addressed the issue, what they thought.

The result was Queer Jihad.

The response was simply overwhelming. I had no clue, no idea whatsoever, that there was such a homophobic streak in Muslims, that Muhammad was supposed to have said that all homosexuals should be 'killed wherever you find them' or 'thrown off the tops of high buildings' or that if you 'come upon two men doing what Lot's people did, kill the one who doing it and kill the one it's being done to' and on and on.

I was completely shocked by the amount of hate mail that arrived in my mailbox, at the intense anger and hatred my site stirred up, and at the numerous death threats and the profanity that came my way each day. I was completely at a loss, dismayed, saddened, angered, and many times wanted to leave Islam. I thought often of going back to Catholicism, of finishing my studies for the priesthood -- I even, at one point and not so long ago, enrolled in a seminary and was preparing to start over with my studies to be a priest.

I stopped going to Friday prayers and associating with Muslims. I stopped my Salat. I wanted nothing to do with Islam. While I was out there telling other gay and lesbian Muslims that they shouldn't let the homophobia of a few drive them away from their mosques and spiritual homes, I was not following my own advice. I was letting myself be driven away by the hateful and the foolish, and in so doing, I was accepting their judgement of me -- that I was not worthy to be one of them. That I did not deserve to be a Muslim.

But I have come to realize that I have no wish to be anything other than a Muslim. I still believe in the Islam that I learned back in Kansas City, the Islam that valued the dignity of each person, the Islam that called for the building of just and fair societies, the Islam that respects human rights, the Islam where Muslims 'do for their brothers what they would do for themselves.' I have not lost my belief that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.

I read something the other day which summed it up quite well. It was an instruction, used during funerals in an Islamic country, to help the deceased navigate his way into eternity, and it goes like this:

"When they ask you who is your god, and who is your prophet, and what is your Imam, and where is your quibla, and who are your brothers and sisters, then say: 'Allah is my god, and Muhammad is my prophet, and the Qur'an is my Imam, and Mecca is my quibla, and all believers and all Muslims are my brothers and sisters.'" 

In recent years I have begun following the path of Sufism and mysticism, and because of this I have become increasingly tolerant and have come to realize the importance and value of compassion and love for all beings. I do not care much about doctrines or externals -- I will haply assent to whatever is at hand. They are not what's important, after all: only Allah is important. And anything that helps a soul approach closer to Allah has value and is of worth.

It is for this reason that I urge gay and lesbian Muslims to accept themselves, to come to terms with who they are, to embrace what has been given to them, and then -- well, then, to move on. Allah is waiting. One cannot approach Allah when one is in a state of confusion and tension and filled with self-hatred and self-rejection. But if you can navigate through these things, and approach Allah, then Allah can guide you the rest of the way.

That is what I wish for: that gay and lesbian Muslims remain true to their Islam so that they can break through the barrier and begin the approach to Allah. For it in approaching Allah, in coming to understand who and what Allah is -- and is not -- that healing will be found, and peace, and joy.

By leaving Islam, gay and lesbian Muslims deprive themselves of this rich source of comfort and personal growth, and they become far less than what they could have been. It is this which saddens me, and angers me whenever I come across messages from 'Muslims' stating that gays and lesbians have no place in Islam. If not Islam, then where? And how have we come to this pass where a Muslim brother tells another Muslim brother it would be better that he leave Islam? What purpose does this serve aside from satisfying the need some homophobic souls have of rejecting and hating other people who are different?

Each and every day I am told that I cannot be gay and Muslim, and yet, I wonder, what else can I be? You can frighten me so that I stay away from your mosques and celebrations, but in my heart I believe that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is his prophet and his messenger. That will not change. You can exclude me but you cannot stop me from being a Muslim.

Sometimes I scratch my head: how can I be anything else but gay? That is what I am. No amount of trying to change that has ever produced results. There is no 'cure'. There are millions of people just like me, who say the same thing: we are what we are, and we cannot be anything else. When will people listen?

There was a time when I followed the debates religiously, reading endless material on the finer points of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and what the Prophet did and did not say about homosexuals, and so on and so forth -- but these days, to be honest, I no longer care. The issue is really quite simple, and there is no need for endless talk: gay people are human beings with human feelings and needs, and spiritual needs too, and the love they feel for others is the same love anyone feels for anyone else. Rejecting or hating them serves no useful purpose. Just because some homophobic people get a buzz from hating gays and lesbians does not mean that Allah agrees with them.

We have been silent, until now, unware of how many of us there really were; I suspect that silence is now coming to an end. We are here; we are what Allah has made us to be; it is time to stop apologising and to start being ourselves the way we were meant to by the One who created us. Life will go on. 

It has occurred to me, of course, that I could be wrong, that in encouraging gay and lesbian Muslims to accept their homosexuality, I could be leading them astray.

Many have accused me of this. They could be right. I might find myself standing before Allah with a great deal to answer for.

If I'm wrong, then I'm sincerely wrong. Not wickedly wrong, or obstinately or perversely or unrepentedly wrong, but sincerely. Wrong because I loved my fellow brother and sister Muslims too much, and wanted to help them end their suffering. Wrong because I wanted them to be able to accept themselves and be at peace, and gave them the only advice that ever worked for me: be yourself. Be who you are. Be what you were made to be. Wrong because I wanted them to learn to love Allah, to get through the rough patches so that they could wake up one day and realize what a beautiful thing life is, and how wondrous is it to have been created -- and to have a home to go to when this earthly life is through.

Does the Qur'an condemn homosexuality? I don't know. It sounds that way. But the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is open to many and varied interpretations: the inhabitants could have been destroyed for being gay, or for many other reasons (much more likely, in my opinion). How can I know? I wasn't there.

Does Allah condemn homosexuals? If so, then why create them in the first place? The logic -- if there is any -- escapes me.

Did Muhammad really say homosexuals should be thrown off the tops of high buildings? I don't know. But I'm willing to bet that a man of his spiritual stature could have found a more compassionate answer than that.

All I know for certain is what's here, now, my reality, my life. I am a gay man. That has never changed. And there has been no end of gay men who have testified to the same truth: we cannot change. We are what we are. And nobody gets to choose their sexuality.

I am an intensely spiritual person and talk to Allah every day. I have only felt acceptance, compassion and love from Allah. I have never felt condemnation or rejection. Indeed, it seems as though Allah has 'bent over backwards' to help me accept myself and get on with my life, assuring me that nothing He has created is worthy of hatred or rejection.

My conscience does not trouble me. My heart is at peace. I have begged to be made 'whole', to be 'normal' -- such prayers were never answered. I have told Allah again and again that if He is displeased with who I am, then I will change, that nothing matters to me as much as pleasing Him and living my life honestly and decently. At any point in time He could have laid it upon my heart that homosexuality was wrong. He has not. Why? Should I continue begging Him to condemn and reject me, or should I arrive at the conclusion that I am what He made me to be and leave it at that?

If anything, I have been gently 'pushed' onto the path of love. The more I have loved in my life, the more I have healed, even when that love was expressed sexually with another man. It never seemed 'sin' to me: it seemed beautiful, healing. Still, I crossed the line at times, and then it did feel like 'sin' -- I was selfish, wanted to gratify my sexual desires without regard to my partner. It felt wrong. It was wrong. But whenever I loved -- no, that was never wrong.

I am celibate now, and that seems to be the case because I have become increasingly preoccupied with Allah, like a whirling dervish spinning around his imaginary 'center' -- no time for anything else. I know now, thanks to age and experience, that nothing will satisfy me as much as Allah will and can and does. Nothing.  I wish everyone could know that and experience it for themselves. And the more I spin around Allah, the more I feel how right it is to be myself, to be who I am, to be honest, to throw off the shackles of duplicity and hiding and just be me, without apology, without fear.

Will Allah destroy me? It's hard to conceive such a thought. It would be a grave injustice since I have repeatedly surrendered to Him and begged Him to teach me the right way to go, the right path, the right attitude, the right mind. He has had all manner of chances and occasions to set me straight. To wait until the time of my death and then inform me of His displeasure -- no, I cannot conceive of such a thing.

For so long I was told not to love myself, that I was unworthy of love, that I did not deserve love, that my love was a perversion, a travesty, a sin, a disgrace. And for so long I believed that, and it almost killed me, in the end. I believed it so much I went crazy, for a time. And I still have slash marks on my left wrist from 15 years ago -- a little monument to remember all of it by. If we ever have the chance to meet I'll show you my little monument and we can talk about the foolishness of trying to hate yourself.

How could love ever be a sin? Perhaps those who say such things confuse love with lust, as they are wont to do. Perhaps that says more about them then it does me. 

If I have spoken at length about myself, and shared intimate details, even embarrassing details, it has been only because I have become weary of being accused of not being a Muslim, or of working for some government to undermine Islam, or of being  Jewish, or of seeking to promote filth. I am simply what I have said I am. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have never been approached by any government and asked to help undermine Islam -- I was certainly refuse, in any case. I have never received any monies or any sort of compensation for this web site, or for any of the work I have done on behalf of gay and lesbian Muslims. I have never claimed to be an Islamic scholar.

I am simply one person who came from a difficult past and found, in Islam, a wonderful source of spiritual comfort and strength. Islam has done much to ease the suffering in my life, and has helped me to become successful and at peace with myself. I have no wish to turn my back on it, no matter what others say.

I believe Islam has value, and has a place, in the lives of other gay and lesbian Muslims, and that is why I urge them to remain try to Islam, to educate themselves on the issue of homosexuality, and to learn to accept themselves and move on. Rejecting Islam provides temporary relief, but has severe consequences in the long run. 

I am currently in my mid-thirties, and have been celibate for quite some time. I am not adverse to a relationship with another man, should the right partner come along, but that has not happened. I no longer engage in casual sex, and neither have I found participation in the 'gay community' to be of much use. In general, anyone wishing to maintain a spiritual life will find little acceptance among gay people who have become fixated on sensual pleasure and rejection of anything remotely religious or spiritual.

I perform Salat and read from the Qur'an daily, and have recently begun attending services again at a local mosque.

I have studied Islam extensively, as well as Buddhism, Sufism and Christianity. I can speak or read several different languages, including Arabic, and have traveled all over the world.

I have been married, separated and divorced, and have one son, now about seven years old, whom I love very dearly and with whom I spent a great deal of time.

I am a journalist and I live in the Far East. 

9 comments:

  1. An interesting read.
    But I find his confusion about what Islam teaches about homosexuality to be puzzling. At its simplest: he professes to have extensively read the Qur'an and NOT found explicit criticism therin concerning homosexuality. He mentions other 'beliefs' (for want of a better expression) that homosexuals should be "thrown from high buildings etc"
    To my way of thinking if condemnation is not explicitly stated in the Qur'an, then other 'criticisms' (again for want of a better word) of homosexuality are simply the malign beliefs of other individuals, and as such should be disregarded for the reasons he states at length.
    His problem of course is dealing with the narrow persecutory preoccupations of those who find an outlet for their latent aggression in whatever is 'different' or difficult to understand.
    His criticisms of catholicism were very appropriate.
    MourneManMichael

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    Replies
    1. (3) Third example of Sunni morality –
      SUNNI ‘ULAMA HAVE RULED ON PERMISSIBILITY OF HAVING SEX WITH WATERMELONS
      That was not a typographical error. Ibn Qayyim continues this discussion, which exemplifies the morals espoused by Sunni Islam:
      “If a man makes a hole in a watermelon, or a piece of dough, or a leather skin, or a statue, and has sex with it, then this is the same as what we have said about other types of masturbation [i.e., that it is halaal in the same circumstances given before, such as being on a journey]. In fact, it is easier than masturbating with one’s hand”.
      COMMENT:
      All the Muslims should certainly be grateful that Ibn Qayyim has offered this advice on the easiest way to masturbate, and clearly Ibn Qayyim has done a lot of personal research on this issue. This is the ruling of the “saved sect”: Contracting temporary marriage with a woman is haram, but contracting temporary marriage with a watermelon is halaal. In his defence, perhaps Ibn Qayyim only meant that it is allowed to marry a watermelon with the intent of divorcing it, for doing Mut’ah with a watermelon would clearly be an act of fornication.
      Let us remember the words of Dr. Salamah quoted at the beginning of this book:
      Mut’ah, on the other hand, is an open license for sexual pleasure with as many women as one can financially afford. The women who engage in Mut’ah are hired women; thus, it can be performed with all women irrespective of their age, character, conduct or religion. It requires no witnesses, nor is there any obligation on the man’s part to provide food and shelter to the woman.
      • Well, it seems that in the Nasibi logic having sex with as many women as one can afford is utterly immoral, but having sex with as many watermelons as one can afford is not. Based on this, let us ask him some questions about the Ahkam related to having sex with watermelons: Are there any conditions as to the age of the watermelon? For example, is it allowed to perform a marriage with the intent to divorce with a newly grown watermelon, or must one wait until the watermelon is nine years old?
      • Must it be a pious watermelon, or is it permissible to contract a marriage with the intent to divorce with a watermelon that is known to “get around”?
      • May a pious brother share his watermelon with another pious brother, or would the second man’s marriage with the intent to divorce constitute an act of fornication unless the watermelon observes proper ‘iddah?
      • Are witnesses required in the marriage with the intent to divorce of a watermelon? May other watermelons serve as witnesses in that marriage, since according to Sunni fiqh all marriages require witnesses? Applying the Sunni principle of Qiyas (analogy), we can strongly argue that if it is allowed to marry (with intention of divorce) a watermelon, than certainly it is allowed for a watermelon to bear witness to another watermelon’s blessed and chaste marriage.
      • What about oranges?
      Really, we have to ask all reasonable Muslims: would you rather follow ‘ulama that rule on the permissibility of having sex with fruits and vegetables, or follow the pious path of the Holy Imams (as), of whom Allah (swt) has said:
      We intend, O Family of the Prophet, to remove from you all impurity, and to give you a through purification.
      Al-Qur’an, Surah Al-Ahzab, Ayah 33

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    2. (4)Fourth example of Sunni morality –
      A SALAFI WOMAN CAN SUCKLE A SALAFI MAN WITH A BEARD
      We read in Sahih Muslim Hadith Number 3426:
      Ibn Abu Mulaika reported that al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abu Bakr had narrated to him that ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Sahla bint Suhail b. ‘Amr came to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: Messenger of Allah, Salim (the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa) is living with us in our house, and he has attained (puberty) as men attain it and has acquired knowledge (of the sex problems) as men acquire, whereupon he said: Suckle him so that he may become unlawful (in regard to marriage) for you He (Ibn Abu Mulaika) said: I refrained from (narrating this hadith) for a year or so on account of fear. I then met al-Qasim and said to him: You narrated to me a hadith which I did not narrate (to anyone) afterwards. He said: What is that? I informed him, whereupon he said: Narrate it on my authority that ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) had narrated that to me.
      COMMENT:
      This reference is especially for Dr Salamah who has accused the Shi’a of being filthy proponents of Mut’ah, what right do you have to attack us when have the above Fatwa of Ayesha allowing your women to suckle men with beards so as to make them mahram? How many pubescent Salafi men has your mother suckled so that they can enter your house? When your madhab allows your mothers / daughters to breast feed men with beards what gives you the right to attack the practice of Mut’ah? If today any Nasibi tries to suggest that this practice no longer exists in their school and it was only Ayesha who had issued the fatwa then we shall present the thoughts of their Imam Ibn Tamiyah as quoted by one of the revered scholars of Salafies Ibn Uthaimeen:
      واختار شيخ الإسلام ابن تيميه رحمه الله التفصيل وقال إذا دعت الحاجة إلى إرضاع الكبير وأرضع ثبت التحريم
      “Sheikh ul-Islam ibn Taymia (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) chosed to explain in details and said that if the breast suckling by an adult was necessary and he suckled, then the prohibition (of marriage) is established.”
      Fatawa Nur Ala Aldarb, Volume 10 page 204
      Imam Ibn Hazm records:
      ورضاع الكبير محرم ولو انه شيخ يحرم كما يحرم رضاع الصغير
      “The breast suckling by an adult prohibits (marriage) even if he is an old man just like it prohibits (marriage) in the case of suckling by a child”
      Al-Muhala, Volume 10 page 17
      Now compare this morality to the comments of a contemporary Salafi scholar from “Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women” compiled by Muhammed al-Musnad and translated by Jamal Zarabozo. In Chapter 19, Questions of a Miscellaneous Nature under the sub heading Ruling Concerning Women Driving Automobiles’, Imam of the Salafi Nasibi Shaykh bin Baz stated:
      There have been numerous questions concerning the ruling of women driving automobiles. The response is the following:
      There is no doubt that such is not allowed. Women driving leads to many evils and negative consequences. Included among these is her mixing with men without her being on her guard. It also leads to the evil sins due to which such an action is forbidden. The Pure Law forbids those acts that lead to forbidden acts and considers those means to be forbidden also. Allah has ordered the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the women of the believers to remain in their houses, to wear hijab and not to display their adornments to non-mahram males as that leads to promiscuity that overruns a society.
      Now on the one side these moralistic Salafi have this kind of fatawa prohibiting their women from (Allah forbid) driving a car as this may cause promiscuity, and on the other hand they deem it permissible for their women to suckle men with beards! Women driving ‘leads to many evils and negative consequences’, but if the same women were to remain at home suckling men with beards, that’s fine!

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    3. (5) Fifth example of Sunni morality –
      BESTIALITY CAN BE PERFORMED DURING HAJJ
      Sunni Imam Abu Bakar al-Kashani (d. 587 H) records in his authority work ‘Badaye al-Sanae’ Volume 2 page 216:
      ولو وطئ بهيمة لا يفسد حجه
      “If he had sexual intercourse with an animal that will not make his hajj void”
      (6) Sixth example of Sunni morality –
      PEDOPHILIA, BESTIALITY & NECROPHILIA CAN BE PERFORMED WHILST ONE IS FASTING
      In Bada’i al-Fuwa’id of Ibn Qayyim, page 603:
      “It was narrated by Ahmed that a man came to him that feared that he would ejaculate while he was fasting. Ahmed said: “What I see is that he can release semen without ruining the fast, he can masturbate using his hands or the hands of his wife, If he has an “Ammah” whether be it a girl or a little child, she can masturbate for him using her hands, and if she was a non-believer, he can sleep with her without releasing (his semen), if he released it in her, it becomes impermissible”.
      Bada’i al-Fuwa’id of Ibn Qayyim, page 603
      Not to be hard done by, the Hanafi’s follow suit. In Fatawa Qadhi Khan, Page 820, the learned Hanafi scholar Allamah Hassan bin Mansoor Qadhi Khan sets out those acts that do not invalidate one’s fast, and he includes:
      “Sex with animals, dead people and masturbation, does not invalidate one’s fast provided ejaculation does not occur”
      Fatawa Qadhi Khan, Page 820
      COMMENT:
      What can we say about such Fatwas of morality? Fasting in Islam, is viewed as a means via which a believer purifies himself, via self-discipline, he dedicates that time to the remembrance of Allah (swt) and keeps aloof from sinful thoughts and acts. That is the theory, but the Hanbali and Hanafi madhab allows a man (whilst fasting) to have sex with kaffir women, animals, and dead people, the only proviso being that no ejaculation takes place! Ibn Hanbal was however more considerate to his adherents allowing for a man to ejaculate whilst fasting, providing the deed is achieved via masturbation, and to this end he can do it himself, or seek the help of his wife or a small child! Is this is not evidence that Ibn Hanbal was endorsing paedophilia? Would any decent man (Muslim or Non Muslim) find it appropriate to use a child for sexual stimulation? If we put together these type of fatwas one shudders to think of the image of these great Salaf, entering the war whilst fasting, their buttocks exposed, having sex with melons at the ready. This image would have terrified the opposition!

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  2. Very good points M. But I thought I should give space to a Muslim gay man's thoughts.

    It does show me that ALL muslims do not think the same.

    But the worry is still fundamental Islam :-(

    ReplyDelete
  3. And you do right Pat. The more we listen and try to understand others perspectives the better it is for us all.
    Fundamentalist Islamists, like traditionalist Catholicism, believing they alone possess absolute unchanging truths, have been a source of most awful behaviours in the past: Inquisition etc, and at present, the inhuman behaviours evident in Middle East in pursuit of a form of Islam far removed from what most devout Muslims believe in.
    MourneManMichael

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  4. It's no wonder so many Gay's and Lesbians have walked away from faith organisations so they can simply live their lives as best they can. We go seeking bread but are offered stones; metaphorically we are symbolically stoned by western religions and literally stoned to death in places run by ISIS and fundamentalist Islamic Countries.
    I have just read Gareth Thomas' Autobiography PROUD (Welsh Rugby International who is Gay) who said it was his Christian upbringing that drove him to attempted suicide. He was able to break through his struggle and come out, but he had to leave the baggage of religious indoctrination behind him. Yet, he still believes in the God of truth and Love, he has a crucifix tattooed on his back to remind him of that love and the crosses he is expected to carry in his life and he has a Tattoo of praying hands close to his heart to remind him every day that he must live this life he has been blessed with in truth and keep his part of the bargain to remain close to his creator.
    Basically, as the younger generations spring into adulthood they are turning their backs en mass on doctrines that condemn in preference for a Liberty of equality for all. However, there will always be a significant minority who will gravitate towards fundamentalist doctrines out of insecurity within themselves - I have no problem with this as long as they don't lift their stones and aim them at me!
    Gerry

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    1. All well said Gerry.

      For years I have been saying that gay people should ignore churches but keep the God who made and loves them.

      One of the challenges is to build a robust gay theology and spirituality - in other we gay people need to reject the stones of the fundamentalists and bake our very own bread.

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    2. Agreed Pat.
      When I face my judgement I'll face it alone and I hope God will see that I've tried to live my life as honestly as I can, in love for Him, my neighbour and by being true to myself.
      My sexuality is not a choice - but I believe it's a great blessing.
      I have found the love in a man - he completes my life.
      I worship God with open integrity - my conscience before Him is clear.
      I painfully walked away from organised religion - best thing I've done.
      To live openly is a wonderful way to be - the struggle makes you stronger.
      To be free to live the life ordained for you - it's pretty awesome.
      So it's important that a theology for gays - or more of a concrete spirituality - is established for generations to come; Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu ....
      However, we must speak out for the rights of all LGBT brothers and sisters across the world who live in countries where their rights are repressed - mainly my the prejudices of fundamentalist religious voices. And, in countries such as ours we must make sure that the rights we have achieved and fought for aren't belittled by the same fundamentalist voices who would love to see all equality laws repealed because they are convinced it's "God's Will".
      So - let me live my life and if you believe in God - let Him be the judge of what I have done; when you are there you might be pleasantly surprised with His openness to his Queer Children.
      Gerry

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