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A Message from a Homosexual Devout Muslim Young Man!

 

A Message from a Homosexual Devout Muslim Young Man!

 

Was published in Arabic in November 7, 2011

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

 We have published part of the following message in the section of our fatwas on our website. We later on have received a phone call from the writer of the message. Since this issue is sensitive and important, we have decided to dedicate an article to it on our website. Here's the entire message, anonymous of course, and then it is followed by our reply:

Firstly: the message:

  (I confess to you frankly that I am a 31-year-old devout Muslim who is also a homosexual. I just cannot help it; since my childhood, I feel I am not attracted to females but to males. Please do not tell me that I have to repent, for I cannot. I am not asking you here about repentance, but about my problem; I am born that way with this orientation, without choice on my part. All that I desire in this life is to find mutual love with a male youth, and we would live together in peace, not harming anyone. Will God punish me in the Afterlife for this? I feel I have no choice in my sexual orientation. I have not committed any mistakes or sins before; everybody praises my morals, generous nature, and good behavior. Will my sexual orientation make me enter into Hell in the Afterlife and make me lose all the merit of my good deeds in life and my devout acts of worship? Personally, I do not think that my destiny in the afterlife would be similar to the people of Prophet Lot; they were not only homosexuals, but they were disbelievers and unjust aggressors. As for myself, I never act unjustly toward anyone; on the contrary, I feel nothing but love toward all human beings and I keep to performing charity and good deeds with others. But my homosexuality worries me; sometimes I wonder and feel pangs of remorse because of my homoerotic feelings, but I cannot help thinking about such feelings all the time. What shall I possibly do? I am posing this question to you because when I have read your articles archive, I have found that your attitudes differ a lot in comparison to Wahabi/Salafist websites. Do you personally think that people of my type ought to be killed?! Please do not ignore my message this time again as done before. I feel no doubt that you have a reply addressed to me; please do not spare it. Thank you in advance.)

 

Secondly: our reply:

 

 We have to admit that we have previously ignored your message because we felt it improper for publishing. After this second message and your phone call, we have decided to publish your message along with our reply in an article form. During the phone call, shyness prevented us from posing certain types of questions to you about further details. Writing removes any feelings of shyness. Your problem has reminded us of several cases of similar people who have sent us an avalanche of emails and questions pertaining to the same subject, which we have ignored before. Yet, as such cases of people exist everywhere and as this issue is tackled transparently and objectively in the West, we have decided to do just the same. Hence, we have decided to dedicate an entire article to this issue in order to view it from a Quranist point of view for everyone concerned.

 Let us state clearly the following Quranic facts:

1- No human being is immune against committing mistakes; even prophets, as per the Quranic narration and discourse, had their mistakes. Yet, some human beings do repent and correct and guide themselves, and later on become among the winners in the Day of Resurrection.

2- The very first condition of repentance is to confess and acknowledge one's sin or mistake, not to justify sinning. Those who try to justify sins can never repent later on. The worst of them all are those who turn their sins into acts of worship; they fabricate an earthly, human-made, fashioned creed that reminds us with the following verse: "And when they commit an indecency, they say, "We found our parents doing this, and God has commanded us to do it." Say, "God does not command indecencies. Are you attributing to God what you do not know?"" (7:28). This is the most prominent feature of human-fashioned creeds. In the same vein, killing people is a sin that has been turned into a jihad in the Sunnite creed. Likewise, homosexuality has been turned into an act of worship in the Sufi creed in the Mameluke era in Egypt. Similarly, intentionally causing one's body to bleed, for adults and children, has been turned into an annual religious ritual in the Shiite creed.

3- Please stop the justifying attitude of claiming that you are born that way and cannot help feeling attracted to males. Everyone can know and feel the inner recesses of one's soul only with being truthful and frank with oneself, without self-deception and that sort of delusional justification or rationalizing. "And humankind will be evidence against themselves, even as they present their excuses." (75:14-15). The issue of one's intentions and ulterior motives and the possibility of rejecting homosexual feelings or not is your own personal problem to solve between yourself and your Omniscient Creator.

4- In one's relation with God, one can never deceive God; rather, one would be thus deceiving oneself unawares, like the hypocrites: "They seek to deceive God and those who believe, but they deceive none but themselves, though they are not aware." (2:9). Hence, the logical commencement step is to acknowledge that you are in the wrong. You are not forced by nature, genes, or innate in-born mechanism to become a homosexual, as some people assume. Let us suppose that for psychological reasons during your upbringing, you feel negative or neutral toward females; i.e., you feel no sexual desire for females, but your sexual feelings, for some reason or the other, have been channeled toward males. This is not a grave sin in itself, provided that you ram such homoerotic feelings/fantasies deep inside you without showing them or putting them into action or sexual behavior of any sort. The problem is when you commit homosexual practices. This is free choice of one's own accord, without coercion or forcing oneself. This is the sin that you ought to avoid.

 Let us give an example for further illustration: females are usually attracted to males; yet, some women become nuns in monasteries, forgetting all about sex and men. Likewise, there are some widows who care for their offspring and forget all about sex, men, and remarriage. What we mean to say here is that sexual instinct can be controlled and restricted, if so one is willing. This is a matter of free choice of one's own accord. Consequently, your homoerotic feelings that run contrary to instincts, in our opinion, can be neutralized, concealed, restricted, harnessed, and controlled, at least in a manner that prevents them from being put into action or practice. Males are usually attracted to females; yet, some male innocent adolescents fall in love platonically and cannot imagine themselves having sex with the beloved females. If so can they in their heterosexual feelings, i.e. normal in our opinion, then it is possible – and easier – for homosexual feelings or orientation to be suppressed. You have to compel yourself not to practice homoerotic acts, whether you did them before or not. Moreover, you can compel yourself to forget all about feelings of homoeroticism by the psychological way called "sublimation", which goes with what you have said about yourself that you like to perform good deeds and charity to others. Spend your spare time in charity institutions, human rights institutions, helping the oppressed, the ill, the deprived, the hungry, and the poor. There are countless alternatives to busy your mind, heart, and soul, instead of claiming you cannot help becoming a practicing homosexual. We speak in terms of your wish to repent sincerely.  Sincere and true repentance will make you get over this dilemma.

5- Let us suppose that you had sex before with men. You have to admit to yourself that this is a sin and you ought to feel guilty and bear this responsibility with pangs of conscience and feelings of remorse. No one is faultless or without sins and mistakes. What matters is repentance and atonement. The problem lies in the attitude to be addicted to sin after acknowledging it to be so by trying to justify it as the only sin they commit that coincides with other redeeming qualities like acts of worship and piety and charity. You have to clear your heart and faith from sins of practical polytheism in acts of worship (as in deification, sanctification, and worship of persons, tombs, things, and buildings) and notional and intellectual polytheism (belief in the so-called hallowed ancient tomes of hadiths, theology, and worshipping of imams and clergymen). A true believer must avoid at any cost as well the polytheistic demeanor of injustice, coercion in religion, and so-called religiously sanctioned killing and bloodshed. Moreover, when a believer avoids serious sins like fornication, injustice, avarice, etc., and get busy with doing good acts and deeds to expiate and atone for mistakes and sins, this is the path to Eternal Paradise in the Afterlife. Good deeds are not confined merely to acts of worship (prayers, pilgrimage, fasting, zakat alms, etc.), as they include charity and all good action that adds to the benefit of one's society. The Quran asserts that spending money in alms, zakat, and charitable deeds atone for one's sins: "Others have confessed their sins, having mixed good deeds with bad deeds. Perhaps God will redeem them. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (9:102), "That you believe in God and His Messenger, and strive in the cause of God with your possessions and yourselves. That is best for you, if you only knew. He will forgive you your sins; and will admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow, and into beautiful mansions in the Gardens of Eden. That is the supreme success." (61:11-12), "And race towards forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous. Those who give in prosperity and adversity, and those who restrain anger, and those who forgive people. God loves the doers of good. And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know." (3:133-135).

6- Homosexual practices have no punishment in this life to be applied from a human being to a human being. Homosexuals are not to be killed or flogged as some Sunnite and Shiite corrupt clergymen claim. In the real Islam, the Quran alone, practicing homosexuals are to be admonished, rebuked, warned, and advised to repent. No coercion or compulsion is allowed here for others to force them to repent or to stop having sex. This is the punishment mentioned only in the Quran. This is very mild and fair. This punishment of verbal rebuke is mentioned in the following verse: "If two men among you commit it, scold them both. But if they repent and reform, leave them alone. God is Redeemer, Full of Mercy." (4:16). Yet, it is clear that homosexual practices are grave and serious sins like fornication. No doubt can be cast on this fact. Remember and reflect on this verse: "If you avoid the worst of what you are forbidden, We will remit your sins, and admit you by a Gate of Honor." (4:31); i.e., those who will enter into Paradise are the ones who avoid the worst sins like fornication, adultery, same-sex copulation, blasphemy, polytheism, killing, stealing, robbing, injustice acts, etc. in spite of the fact that no one could escape committing small mistakes like verbal abuse, lustful looks, bad intentions, etc. These small mistakes can be atoned for and expiated and one would attain repentance and enter into Paradise if the major grave sins are avoided. Verbal rebuke is the only visible punishment mentioned in the Quran for homosexual acts; the reason of this is that the practice of same-sex copulation is a matter of mutual consent between two persons to commit this sin with no violation of the rights of anyone else or the rights of society. Yet, same-sex copulation remains a grave serious sin like committing suicide.

7- As for grave sins, let us be reminded by the following Quranic facts:

7/1: All sins can be forgiven except polytheism and unbelief that one persists and insists upon until death: "God does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives anything less than that to whomever He wills. Whoever associates anything with God has devised a monstrous sin." (4:48). "God will not forgive that partners be associated with Him; but will forgive anything less than that, to whomever He wills. Anyone who ascribes partners to God has strayed into far error." (4:116). Polytheism and unbelief are linked to addiction to grave and serious sins and disobedience of God without repentance, expiation, and atonement before one's death. "Repentance is available from God for those who commit evil out of ignorance, and then repent soon after. These-God will relent towards them. God is Knowing and Wise. But repentance is not available for those who commit evils, until when death approaches one of them, he says, "Now I repent," nor for those who die as disbelievers. These-We have prepared for them a painful torment." (4:17-18). That is why we find the divine call for all of us to readily repent while we are still alive, before we leave this world unwillingly: "Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves: do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. He is indeed the Forgiver, the Clement." And turn to your Lord, and submit to Him, before the retribution comes upon you. Then you will not be helped. And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord, before the punishment comes upon you suddenly, while you are unaware." (39:53-55).

7/2: To obtain mercy and forgiveness from God, both should be asked imploringly in our lifetime: "Whoever commits evil, or wrongs his soul, then implores God for forgiveness, will find God Forgiving and Merciful." (4:110).

7/3: It is of paramount importance that you do not insist on going on committing sins to the extent of addiction as if sins were normal behavior. If one implores God for mercy and forgiveness while not stopping one's serous and grave sin can never be deemed to be acceptable behavior toward God.  Desire to get rid of sin addiction should be followed by strong will to stop sinning. You should ask God' aid and keep on imploring for forgiveness of past sins you have committed and have stopped committing them. This is part of the traits of the pious ones: "And those who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God and ask forgiveness for their sins-and who forgives sins except God? And they do not persist in their wrongdoing while they know." (3:135).

7/4: Accordingly, we can perceive the meaning of the following verse: "Your Lord knows best what is in your minds. If you are righteous-He is Forgiving to the obedient." (17:25). One has to keep on imploring and supplicating to God for forgiveness and true repentance all one's life. This is part of traits of the pious believers as we see in 3:135. In the Day of Resurrection, people will be divided into two groups: Paradise dwellers, the pious ones, and the Hell dwellers, the unjust polytheists and unbelievers. "Those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in throngs…" (39:71) and "And those who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs…" (39:73). Prophets of God are surely the first type the pious ones Those who follow the divine messages that have come with prophets are the second type of pious ones. "But he who promotes the truth, and testifies to it-these are the righteous.They will have whatever they please with their Lord. Such is the reward for the virtuous. God will acquit them of the worst of their deeds, and will reward them according to the best of what they used to do." (39:33-35). We remind you here that piety is not confined to prophets and does not mean never committing any sins or mistakes or mishaps; any prophet and any believer ought to seek God's mercy and forgiveness all their lifetime. Let us give examples among prophets of God: "Be patient in the face of what they say, and mention Our servant David, the resourceful. He was penitent." (38:17) and "And We granted David, Solomon, an excellent servant. He was penitent." (38:30).

7/5: When one keeps on seeking and imploring for forgiveness, the insistence on or addiction to sins comes to a crossroads; in a certain level, one has to choose either to resist or submit to sins, especially unlawful carnal lusts, for the rest of one's life. If one is a hypocrite, seeking and succeeding in hiding one's sinful lusts and practices from people by doing good deeds of charity, one can never hide them from God. Our psyche contains both tendencies to evil and to goodness and we have to choose: "And the soul and He who proportioned it. And inspired it with its wickedness and its righteousness. Successful is he who purifies it.Failing is he who corrupts it." (91:7-10). The successful ones are those who reach sublime levels of seeking God's mercy and forgiveness by true faith and good deeds and crushing of sinful desires inside their minds and hearts. The crossroads is when the fruit of atonement is never going back to the path of sins. This is the nurturing of the superego that will lead to Paradise in the Afterlife: "But as for him who feared the Standing of his Lord, and restrained the self from desires. Then Paradise is the shelter." (79:40-41).

7/6: Crossroads in one's life is when one is 40 years old. One ought to review one's life and acts wisely and rationally and get ready for the curve of life that will go down for the rest of one's lifetime. Let us remember this Quranic verse: "We have enjoined upon man kindness to his parents. His mother carried him with difficulty, and delivered him with difficulty. His bearing and weaning takes thirty months. Until, when he has attained his maturity, and has reached forty years, he says, "Lord, enable me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to act with righteousness, pleasing You. And improve my children for me. I have sincerely repented to You, and I am of those who have surrendered."Those are they from whom We accept the best of their deeds, and We overlook their misdeeds, among the dwellers of Paradise-the promise of truth which they are promised." (46:15-16). Reaching the age of 40 is the crossroads of one's life; keeping one expiating for one's sins and asking God imploringly for forgiveness and mercy should result in gradual forsaking of sins.

7/7: This does not mean that people allow themselves to be wild in their sins and carnal lusts before reaching the age of 40.  Sins are inexcusable and unjustifiable at any stage of one's lifetime. It is not permissible to commit a sin with the intention of expiation and atonement later on. This is hypocrisy. One has to repent as soon as possible in the prime of youth, because we do not know the time of our death hour. "Repentance is available from God for those who commit evil out of ignorance, and then repent soon after. These-God will relent towards them. God is Knowing and Wise. But repentance is not available for those who commit evils, until when death approaches one of them, he says, "Now I repent," nor for those who die as disbelievers. These - We have prepared for them a painful torment." (4:17-18). Let us remember this verse to be God-fearing believers: "Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord, send me back. That I may do right in what I have neglected." By no means! It is just a word that he utters. And behind them is a barrier, until the Day they are resurrected." (23:99-100). "O you who believe! Let neither your possessions nor your children distract you from the remembrance of God. Whoever does that-these are the losers. And give from what We have provided for you, before death approaches one of you, and he says, "My Lord, if only You would delay me for a short while, so that I may be charitable, and be one of the righteous." But God will not delay a soul when its time has come. God is Informed of what you do." (63:9-11). Repentance in the right time allows for us the chance to do good deeds and acts for more expiation and atonement: "Except for those who repent, and believe, and do good deeds. These-God will replace their bad deeds with good deeds. God is ever Forgiving and Merciful. Whoever repents and acts righteously-has inclined towards God with repentance." (25:70-71). God's judgment of either to accept or refuse the atonement and repentance of the over 40-years-old people will be known only in the Day of Judgment: "Others are held in suspense, awaiting God's decree, as to whether He will punish them, or accept their repentance. God is Aware and Wise." (9:106).

 

Lastly:

 Let us remind you that you have a good trait; you admit that a problem exists, and you are not in a state of denial. You are seeking a solution. Other old men and women who claim being Muslims live in sins of various sorts and consider them normal demeanor. Many of them wait (in vain) for the supposed intercession of the Prophet Muhammad in the Afterlife for those condemned to Hell. This is a falsehood. This illusion leads so many to go on living all their lives; as if their entering the Paradise is 100% possible for their merely born as Muslims! This is a devilish notion indeed. Another example is those who kill or massacre innocent people and deem their crimes as jihad. In our opinion, your case is far better than such people we have just mentioned; you are better than the terrorists and the hypocrite clergymen of the Muhammadans (Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi clergymen). Let us remember that among the fanatic extremist clergymen, preachers, soldiers, sheikhs, and adherents, there are countless practicing homosexuals who are addicted to this sin while believing they can deceive God and people, but in fact, they are deceiving themselves unawares.                                


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