Gay Iftar: A friendly response

Assalamualaikum, everyone. Hope everyone’s been having a splendid time. I too, like the rest of you, felt compelled to say something and I’m genuinely happy to see familiar faces taking interest in this aspect of Islam and Islam in general. Still better than apathy. Following that, there is no one here that I regard as an enemy, an opponent that needs to be taken down, we’re all brothers and sisters. The words in this post are not meant to be taken personally and in shaa Allah, we can all benefit from it, myself included.

In Islam, on the one hand, there are things we can have opinions about, things we can take different stances for valid justifications, things we can argue in the spirit of Islam. On the one hand, there are things we simply have no say, things that leave no room, at all, for discussion. The latter include for example, the five daily prayers. Under normal circumstances, it’s gotta be 5 times, it’s obligatory and applies to all Muslims. Any suggestion of modifying this ibadah is nothing less than a deviation, and deviations are sinful.

I wholeheartedly believe everyone is on the same page. Islam forbids homosexuality. Period. This falls under the latter of what we talked about. How do we know this? Al-Quran, hadis and sirah (history) can tell us why.

Allah commands in Surah As-Syu’araa’, ayat 165 and 166:
“Do you approach males among the worlds
And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing.”

A Prophet’s hadis as narrated by Al-Baihaqi, from Abu Musa:

إذاأتىالرجلُالرجلَفهمازانيانوإذاأتتالمرأةُالمرأةَفهمازانيتان

“If a man approaches another man (engages in sodomy, gay sexual activity), then they are both fornicators, and if a woman approaches another woman (lesbian), then they are both fornicators.”

Allah commands in Surah Al-Isra’, ayat 32:
“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.”

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So, we have the first evidence. Now, a little blast into the past. Remember what happened to the people of Lut? No? Hopefully I can do it some justice. Prophet Lut’s people were very actively engaged in homosexuality. It became so ingrained and incorporated into that society. The noble prophet clearly warned them against this and carried out his responsibility as a messenger. The people received the message but simply ignored it. Consequently, Allah flipped the earth and the disbelievers were swallowed into oblivion. History of the prophet or Sirah Nabawiyah is a means for us to learn from the mistakes of the people who came before us. This negates excuses for deliberately refusing to learn from mistakes in Allah’s court.

Now, if we all agree that homosexuality is not okay, what’s next? To enjoin good and stop evil ( amar makruf, nahi mungkar).  “What if I don’t want to?”. Let’s entertain that thought.

Allah commands in Surah Al-Anfal, ayat 25:
“And fear a trial which will not strike those who have wronged among you exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty.”

Let’s talk about 3 groups of people. The first, is those who do evil and persist. The second, is those who are good but keep to themselves, not trying to stop the prevalent evil. The last group, those who are good and genuinely, actively trying to stop evil. Allah saves only the last group of people. But wait, the second group were okay people, no? They didn’t carry out amar makruf nahi mungkar, they concealed the truth. They allowed the evil to stay. That too, is an evil by itself. This also coincides with ‘co-existence’. Co-existing between two entities mean that there is harmony, stability and no one side dominates or overpower the other. Did Prophet Lut pursue co-existence? No, he wanted change. He was clear on his responsibility to deliver the message and change that warped society. If he ‘co-existed’, then he would be destroyed along with them.

This isn’t about stoning or killing every homosexual on sight. This isn’t about isolating sinners. This is about drawing a clear line where it should be. We don’t tolerate homosexuality but we approach and interact with homosexuals so that we may deliver the message that’s been sitting in that outbox. Hate the sin, not the sinner. Sins don’t change, but sinners do, can, and should. The problem with this iftar? Iftar is iftar. Not a big gay iftar, but just iftar. Good and bad will not mix. Iftar and gay shouldn’t be in the same sentence. We don’t blur the lines. If it does blur, something is wrong somewhere.

Observe the last ayat in surah Al-Kafirun which means, We have our religion, others to their own. We can be friends, but Islam trumps whatever humanity has created with their hands. We don’t co-exist but we change. With power, and if not, with voice, and if not, by hating the evil, and that is the weakest of iman.

*drops mic*

I apologise if I hurt anyone’s feelings or if I didn’t explain anything properly. I’m only here to do my part in helping all of us, myself included to understand Islam better, in shaa Allah.

Assalamualaikum.

Aiman Haziq Zulkifli
ISMA New Zealand Activist

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