Thursday, January 26, 2006

Gay and Muslim

The idea of being gay and Muslim seems irreconcilably mutually exclusive, given the Quranic injunctions on the matter:

"Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!"
[26:165-166]

"Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant!"
[27:55]

"For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women : ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds."
[7:81]

"And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): Then see what was the end of those who indulged in sin and crime!"
[7:84]

Channel 4 earlier this week aired the Gay Muslims documentary, so obviously the idea of being homosexual and Muslim is entering public conciousness. Especially after Iqbal Sacranie of the MCB came out with the injunction that homosexuality was "harmful". A statement for which he had to suffer the indignity of a police investigation. Way to go Sir Iqbal - just when you needed another PR indignity like a hole in the head.

Anyone would think that Sacranie is being overly defensive. Either that or he has no idea of just how widespread homosexuality is in the Muslim world, not just Muslims in the West, but also in its history. Homosexuality is widespread in Muslim countries today - even if societies dare not speak its name. Historically, there have been many Muslim saints who have chastely adored the male form as a path to gnostic enlightenment - as recorded by Ibn Arabi in his writings of travels amongst Andalucian saints. So, there's certainly a spiritual precedent of conciliation.

Still, one hopes that blogs that tackle this matter head on get all the support they need. And such a blog is Eye on Gay Muslims.

7 Comments:

At January 30, 2006 8:29 am, Anonymous Nasser said...

Historically, only a handfull of Sufis have written about the possibility of approaching the divine by looking into eyes or the faces of beautiful youths. They spoke in terms of "God is beautiful and He loves beauty" (al-hadith), or "The apparent is the bridge to the Real" (Najmuddin Qubra).

There is *nothing* to do with homosexuality in any of this. "The path to gnostic enlightenment" is a process by which the vagaries of the human state become united by means of focusing on the One, and only after this integration can there come about the transecending of the human state into en-lightenment. The means by which this focus is maintained, be it prayer, meditation, music, whirling, work, or gazing into the faces of youths, is merely part of the process.

So to repeat: there is nothing at all to do with homosexuality about this. When sufis see God in the face of a person, they are seeing God. There is no "homo" and there is no "sexuality". This may impossible to understand (and easy to ridicule), or it may be the easiest thing in the world to understand (to the point of needing no explanation) - but that depends on one's psycho-spiritual constitution.

The few Sufis who have written about this were therefore ridiculed and scapegoated by those who find it necessary to scapegoat.

Ibn 'Arabi may have documented it in others he met in his travels. As far as is known, he never experienced it himself. Although he did experience a theophany (the seeing of God in His creation) when he looked into the face of a young Perisan lady while circumbulatig the Ka'bah. This experience resulted in him writing the "Futuhat al-Makkiyah" (The Meccan Revelations), the opening chapters of which contains the line: "The vision of God in the form of the beauty of Woman is the most perfect of all").

It should be remembered that in a society where God-consciousness no longer exists, religion has already lost its value and transformational power. What is left is an empty shell of stark injuctions and prohibitions. The vast majority of people - those who follow the predominant thinking of the times - will only see an ireconcilable contradiction between religion and homosexuality - and because for these people homosexuality is "real" and religion is a "theory", the latter will suffer further ridicule, compromise and devaluation.

But the tiny minority who can - or choose - to focus on the consciousness of God in these times can see the real value of religious injunctions and prohibitions. For them, the prohibition of homosexuality becomes a saving grace - even (and maybe especially) for those who experience psychic turmoil as a result of finding homosexual tendencies in their selves. For them, sooner or later, there will remain no contradiction between religion and "homosexuality", or indeed any human tendency which seeks to pull one away from the "primordial" state. There is simply no competition.

To quote Frithjof Schuon: "A civilization is integral and healthy to the extent it is founded on the “invisible” or “underlying” religion, the religio perennis, that is, to the extent its expres-sions or forms are transparent to the Non-Formal and tend toward the Origin, thus conveying the recollection of a Lost Paradise, but also—and with all the more reason—the presentiment of a timeless Beatitude. For the Origin is at once within us and before us; time is but a spiral movement around a motionless Center."

 
At February 02, 2006 8:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.occri.org.uk/Articles/Gay%20Muslims.htm

 
At February 04, 2006 7:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sup mang, that blog you linked to (eye on gay muslims) doesn't sound too sympathetic

kulvindercaps

 
At February 19, 2006 3:16 pm, Anonymous Rasheed Eldin said...

We can be sympathetic, but I'm not sure what you expect sympathy to look like. Anyway, my colleague posted something referring back to your comment:

http://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/2006/02/14/the-spirit-of-al-fatiha/

 
At March 01, 2006 2:18 pm, Blogger Caraf said...

not so sure, but wasnt jelalludin rumi (my hero) also 'in love with' shams, and hussam.. ?

also, homosexuality is all over the WORLD, was accepted in all cultures in ancient times... so its quite crazy how in our times everyone wants to make a big noise about it/

 
At March 17, 2006 11:37 pm, Anonymous Nasser said...

Dear caraf,

Shams was Jalaluddin's teacher and guide. And yes, Jalaluddin was in love with him.

Ere's a teaching poem to you written by your hero Jalaluddin about Shams (which, by the way, means Sun in Persian)


- "Not Intrigued by evening" -

What the material world values does not shine the same in the truth of the soul.

You have been interested in your shadow. Look instead directly
at the sun.

What can we know by just watching the time-and-space shapes of each other?

Someone half awake in the night sees imaginary dangers; the morning star rises; the horizon grows defined; people become friends in a moving caravan.

Night birds may think daybreak a kind of darkness, because that's all they know.

It's a fortunate bird who's not intrigued with evening, who flies in the sun we call Shams.

 
At October 09, 2007 5:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It disgusts me. Homosexuality is unnatural

If you believe your gay, calm your self and be patient in order to over come your "Desires"

There is no such thing as "Same sex marriage" do not alter the definition of marriage.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/straightstruggle/
http://gaymuslims.wordpress.com/

 

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