Abdal Hakim Murad on homosexuality
OP - May 04, 2013, 05:59 PM
And, here I suppose one should pause briefly to recall the sharia’s emphatic, unqualified condemnation and prohibition of all forms of homosexual behaviour. Ours is the deen-ul-fitr, and stretch your imagination as you might, you cannot conceive of any abuse of the form which Allah has given human beings which is more extreme, more blasphemous a denial of its manifest created purpose then the crime of the people of Lut.
It’s the ultimate inversion. It’s not just one abuse of the body amongst many. It is the paradigm of a refusal to acknowledge the manifest purposes of the divine in the human body.
Lut said “Do you come to men with desire rather than women? You are an ignorant people”. Why ignorant? Because you don’t even understand what your bodies are for. How ignorant can you get? Even the animals know. So this is a form of extreme defiance of Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala. It is not just some strange sexual orientation. This is a flagrant defiance of God’s good purposes.
And they say nowadays, “Ah, but the McKinsey report shows that ten percent of American males are regularly engaged in some form of activity of this kind. Thirty six percent of McKinsey’s respondents said they had had an experience of this kind. And nowadays, allegedly, people are born with this as a genetic pre-disposition.
Now, our response to that, and we need to have a response because this is constantly being hurled at us, we are ‘fundamentalist bigots’ , don’t forget. We are not reasonable people. Our response has to be, the fact that somebody is born with a tendency is no moral argument for the actualising of that tendency. The genetic scientists are saying that a number of human forms of behaviour are indeed to do with genetic patterns rather than as a result of socialisation.
Arson, for instance. The very strange passion a small number of people have for burning buildings down is attributed by many modern scientists to a certain genetic configuration. That configuration appears more commonly amongst convicted arsonists than in the general population.
That is no argument at all for legalising what they do. So, the claim that a human being is born with this particular tendency means that it should be legalised is neither here nor there. Even the most obvious secular argument doesn’t hold water. But we would also want to look at those scientific results more carefully. The McKinsey report has been widely discredited. Because if you look at the kind of people that McKinsey was doing his research with, this is the early in the 1950’s, McKinsey himself a very strange, perverted individual. If you read his biography it’s quite hair raising. You will see that he did a lot of his surveys amongst prisoners. A people amongst whom there is inevitably a higher proportion of unnatural vice than in the population at large. Ten percent of the population is an absurd extravagance. Probably we’re talking about something like two or three percent.
Moreover, the most recent research by geneticists which was done in Canada suggests that the claim that there is a basis in molecular biology and genetic science for homosexuality as some kind of inherited trait. That evidence is very thin. The most recently published evidence suggests that actually there is no evidence to suggest any molecular, chromosomal pattern is associated with these practices.
The argument continues, but for us it doesn’t matter because it is prohibited in revelation, we know that the human body means something, that it isn’t just there to maximise human pleasure before we die, to gratify our desires, but is something that is part of our whole project to become better illuminated human beings. So it’s not ultimately an argument amongst ourselves, but if we’re dealing with non-Muslims we need to have some kind of take on this. But it’s important to recollect that it is certainly no established by the geneticists that this is an inherited trait.
Another point that of course needs to be made is that this vice inevitably plays a greater role in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases than the more normal promiscuity. Interesting aberration in the modern world that there is a great war against cigarette smoking, rightly I suppose, smoking damages your health, but there is no campaign at all against the vice of the people of Lot, even though that demonstrably exposes you to far greater risk of infection of sexually transmitted diseases than more usual vices. No, no, that is something that is sacrosanct, in our societies now it’s the human practise that you can never send up or satirise of criticise in any way. You’re ‘homophobic’ if you do.
You’ll remember Ghazali acknowledging this problem existed in his day. He gives a number of other sayings. One of the salaf said, “There shall be three kinds of sodomites in this Ummah: those who look, those who hold hands, and those who act. To gaze at adolescents is therefore a very serious matter to the extent that an aspirant is unable to lower his eyes and control his thoughts, the appropriate thing is that he should break his desire by marrying. There are many souls whose cravings cannot be subdued through hunger.”
Another point to remember here is that even in the case of those few individuals that do appear to have an incurable tendency towards this inexplicable aberration, if they do not act upon the tendency, they are not sinning. If it really is a power within them, then this merely has to be integrated into the larger policy of disciplining the nafs and conforming to the sharia, and the will of Allah, and they can be rewarded for their successful control of it. So we do not say that the tendency is a sin. We say acting upon, and gratifying the tendency is the sin.