Muslim Scholar on How Islam Really Views Homosexuality

What Does Islam Say About Gay
Shout for Variety

Jonathan AC Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown U., and associate director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding. His books include “Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy” (Oneworld, 2014).

I’ll be conservative: There is a lot of misinformation about Islam in the media. A religion of some 1.5 billion people around the world, people who wake up every morning to the same hopes and anxieties as Americans, is boiled down to images of barbarity.

I sometimes tell my students that Islam is Judaism Redux — bigger cast, bigger budget. Like Judaism, questions of right and wrong are conceived of more in the idiom of law than in a more abstract sense of principles. Like Judaism, Islamic law (Shariah) has been developed by a clerical class that has always been more scholars than priests. Like Judaism, these Muslim scholars (ulama) have derived the Shariah from a core written revelation, the Quran (analogous to the Torah of Moses), read through the prism of an originally oral scripture, the Prophet Muhammad’s precedent (analogous to the oral Torah inherited by the rabbis), a process added to and influenced by the ulama’s own methods of reasoning, interpretation and their cultural assumptions.

Also like Judaism, the Shariah is first and foremost concerned with questions of proper worship, ritual purity, prohibited or permitted foods, sacred times and sacred places. Only then does it expand to encompass areas like contracts, property, marriage, inheritance, civil and criminal law.

When looking at the issue of gay marriage, two main features of the Shariah are most pertinent. First, the Shariah is law. It is concerned primarily with actions as opposed to emotions or wishes. Second, marriage in the Shariah is not a sacrament. Stripped of all the cultural accretions Muslims have added on, and minus the obviously crucial elements of love and companionship, marriage is nothing more than — literally — a contract between a man and a woman in which the man provides the woman with financial support in return for exclusive sexual access. It’s a contract that makes sex and reproduction legal in the eyes of God and legitimate in the eyes of society. Since marriage is a contract premised on vaginal intercourse and financial obligation between a man and a woman, same-sex couples could not engage in one. They could construct an arrangement for inheritance and shared property that mimicked marriage, but it would not be marriage.

The focus on actions in the Shariah means that desires or inclinations have no legal substance. The Shariah doesn’t have a position on homosexual desire. Indeed, it can be quite normal. Like ancient Athenians, classical Muslim scholars and litterateurs regularly marveled over the beauty of young boys. Heirs to the Greeks, Muslim scholars found it expectable that men would be attracted to young boys or beautiful males, since they manifested the same feminine beauty as women. Many Muslim scholars even prohibited men from gazing at beautiful young boys, and encouraged parents to dress such children in veils when in public.

But the Shariah does have a clear position on sexual acts. All sexual contact between unmarried men and women is forbidden. Sexual contact less than vaginal intercourse is punishable by the judge’s discretion. Based on the Quran, vaginal intercourse between an unmarried couple is punishable with 100 lashes.

The Quran deals explicitly with Sodomy (Liwat, named after Lot and his people). The holy book recounts the story of Sodom several times, condemning its people’s overall immorality, and specifically criticizing its men for “going to men out of desire instead of to women.” Sodomy, understood as anal sex, was thus prohibited by the consensus of Muslim scholars (Muhammad’s condemnation of anal sex with wives added hetero anal sex to this as well). Muslim scholars set the punishment for anal sex between men as anywhere from a relatively light one at the judge’s discretion (since Sodomy could not result in illegitimate children), to the same punishment as fornication (based on analogy to hetero-sex), to execution (based on a command from Muhammad of disputed authenticity).

Because sexual contact between women does not involve penetration with a penis, it never received the same legal categorization as Liwat. Called Sihaq (‘grinding’), it was prohibited under the general rule against sexual contact outside marriage.

The issue of gay marriage in America is a tough one for Muslims. On one hand, it’s nigh impossible to construct an argument by which sexual contact between men, let alone anal sex, is considered permissible in God’s eyes. On the other hand, attempts to ban the Shariah in the U.S. threaten Muslims’ ability to have their own marriage contracts. Like gays, they want to be able to define marriage free from majoritarian cultural biases. So many Muslims are willing to support the rights of other Americans to shape marriage according to their particular beliefs. Muslims expect their beliefs and relationships to be respected in return.

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  1. christopher earl says:

    “All sexual contact between unmarried men and women is forbidden” Should read “All sexual contact between unmarried “Muslim” men and women is forbidden”

    This hadith provides the context for the Qur’anic verse (4:24):

    The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Abu Dawud 2150, also Muslim 3433)

    So please be aware it is permitted to have sex with the wives of your captured enemy.

  2. Asalaam-u-Alikum…..
    When a person is reaching orgasm unwantedly……
    Then, masturbation seems the only way to get rid off it………Otherwise,,,,,,, he gets frustrated for the images and scenes made in his mind about sex…….
    How to save oneself from getting into sexual images and scenes which involuntary keeps making in the mind…..?????
    with respect………
    What is the way out for this????

  3. izzicornnn says:

    it’s one thing to be tolerant of a religion, and another to expect people to literally “respect” the “belief” that gays can be punished or even executed just for what they were born as

  4. Zahri Atan says:

    If the God I believe in says homosexuality is a big sin and so is extramarital sex I accept it. The modern world and many of its people especially in the West believe that sex is a personal right straight or otherwise. If a Muslim believes so then he’s not a Muslim.

    In Islam the world is a test for everyone. Every one faces it small or big. You may have the wrong sexual inclination, you may be weak against the temptation of sex outside marriage, you maybe physically disabled, have cancer, be blind and so forth, these are nothing but tests you are facing in this temporary world. If you don’t believe in the afterlife so of course anything goes and if you are living for the Now of course it’s a cruel God to do so and why doesn’t he make everyone perfect and live in peace, harmony and luxury until death.

    Back to homosexuality. It’s a big test just like being blind, handicapped and living in abject poverty. If you pass the test then you are amply rewarded in the after life more than those with “lesser” tests. However the biggest test that you can fail is if you abandon the religion.

  5. fcallen says:

    Why is Variety running muslim propaganda?

    • Mohammedian says:

      So we can be assimilated
      Resistance is futile

      I just wish Islam would be honest
      And admit that people who will not
      Submit need not apply
      I.e. gay muslim, feminist muslim , self-aware muslim

    • timgray2013 says:

      Is it propaganda or is it simply a guest column? This was one of 60 interviews/columns that we ran last year, in a special issue devoted to equality. The issue came out right after the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. Here’s a link to the entire package.

      • Yes, why is a guest article called propaganda? I call it freedom of speech and very interesting. I am not a Muslim and am interested in finding out more about their take on these modern issues which have led to changes in state laws on civil same sex partnerships or marriage. If you don’t want to read what you call propaganda, nobody is forcing you to.

  6. ANDY says:

    Marriage in Islam from the laws of God Almighty in the universe that made reproduction in Earth

  7. S. Schlage says:

    That last paragraph made little sense. Are Muslims against homosexuality or are they not?

  8. PABLO LOPEZ says:

    ” Like gays, they want to be able to define marriage free from majoritarian cultural biases”.

    No one in the United State is lawfully allowed to define marriage free from majoritarian cultural biases, the right to marriage is equal to all. There are not different types or level of marriage licenses. So this point is wrong or false. Gays never sought for a unique or different right to marry the sought to the same right to marry as the rest of society. No more no less.

  9. Arthur Kuper says:

    The article equates Islamic and Jewish legal codes and procedures, and while there are obvious parallels, the author ignores major differences. In Judaism all of the many death penalties prescribed in the Torah (or “Old Testament” in Christian parlance) have been reinterpreted and radically softened by the Talmud which is considered authoritative in Judaism. The Talmud puts so many restrictions on the death penalty that it makes it virtually impossible to carry out. “For instance, it is ruled that two witnesses are required to testify not only that they witnessed the act for which the criminal has been charged but that they had warned him beforehand that if he carried out the act he would be executed, and he had to accept the warning, stating his willingness to commit the act despite his awareness of its consequences. The criminal’s own confession is not accepted as evidence. Moreover, circumstantial evidence is not admitted.”

  10. Neil Jenky says:

    Nice snow job.

  11. saulbejarano says:

    And they never answer the facts about Islam and homosexuality, they kept talking about Judaism.

  12. Zara says:

    I was reading about pederasty during the Greek civilization (Socrates/Plato) era, and came upon this article. I was born Muslim, and lived my whole life in New York. I consider myself liberal, I was not raised in an extremely religious household, and feel that equality is important for all individuals. I rediscovered my religion in my undergraduate college life, and realized there is no religion in the world that makes sense except for Islam. The Quran itself is a miracle from God. There are so many people that think that the Quran was written by the prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h.), but if you even try to read this miraculous holy book, you come to see that this is not a creation of human beings. This is the religion of God. Islam means submitting to the will of GOD. The Sun and the Moon are following Islam as they orbit the eart and giving us day and night. The messengers of GOD that include Abraham, Moses, Noah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Lot, Joseph, David, and Solomon, (Peace be upon them all) came to the earth to give us the same message of the oneness of GOD, that all power resides in the Almighty. Our life is a test, and nothing in life is promised except for death. The Quran lets us know what is forbidden, and what is allowed. We are all children of Adam and Eve, and our real home is in paradise. May we all be able too reach paradise one day, by the will of GOD (Allah). Glory be to God the Highest.

    • Michael says:

      YAWN. And your position on the Qur’an demanding Muslims kill: non-Muslim missionairies, women seeking equality, gays, adulterers, Jews, non-converts, etc.?????

  13. Robert de Groot says:

    The intellectual dishonesty of this article is just staggering. Why is this Muslim cleric not openly explaining that homosexuality is punishable by death according to the respective scholars of all sects in Islam? Where does he get the authority to speak for ‘the Muslim’? The fact that there are Muslims out there who say that homosexuality should not be a crime, or only punished as much as heterosexual adultery, or that it only deserves a prison sentence, does not negate this fact. This headline suggests that an Alaweed cleric represents ‘true Islam’, when this group make up only 2% of all Muslims. One what basis can someone pick this guy as the true Muslim and not the cleric of Islamist Wahabis? The only basis is wishful thinking, intellectual laziness and bias. Talking to Muslims and analyzing what specific Muslims do is pointlessin such a divided Ummah. We simply need to analyze the prophet Muhammad and Allah. We won’t be able to say what version of Islam is true Islam (but neither can this Alawi), but we can see that the radical and violent version of Islam is NOT a perversion and a logical interpretation of the doctrines. We can also see that the Muslims who might argue that homosexuality/apostasy/sexual slavery etc, is not allowed in Islam, is arguing from ignorance or perhaps deliberately misrepresenting the Quran, Sirat and Hadith which clearly state differently. That is all we need to realize that all the violence and hatred we see today does find its basis in Islam itself.

    • RD says:

      And somehow you are the scholar of Islamic knowledge. Your statements are based on fear-mongoring and illegitimate false pretenses. There are no facts from Islamic jurisprudence to support your statements.

  14. ManyMuslims says:

    I believe Muslim men should have the freedom to be gay or not. It is between them and God is how I view it. Some of the Muslim dating sites like Qiran won’t allow a man to contact a man and vice versa.

  15. nsterDickDaddy says:

    ISIS please stop killing Christian’s Syrians and American Soldiers with the weapons Hillary Clinton sent you and come Party and Play with us Gay’s in Palm Springs California . A couple of bareback group orgies at one of our many downtown all male sex Resorts will cure you of that silly old Muhammad. Doing what Hillary Clinton and Madonna want us to do. LOVE is LOVE ‪#‎NOHATE‬.

  16. Jimmy Jones says:

    It’s Sharia Law that is the problem here.
    I don’t hate Muslims in anyway shape form of fashion.
    My religion is not about hate but love for everyone.
    I expect the same treatment from everyone else in return.
    We can agree or disagree but we have certain rights that man can’t take away.

    • I have a Manic Depressive Artistic Intuitive Temperament and have discovered that this is the only way to experience Divinity. With mania you can experience GOD or ALLAH. GOD in the Old Testament is all powerful and therefore purely evil. Jesus Christ represents the HUMANIZING of GOD. Immortality is a curse. I will quote the TALKING HEADS “Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.” I was raised Catholic but the same principal applies with the Muslim Religion. The Partnership between two men or two women is exactly that, A Partnership, not a Marriage. Had France or the Supreme Court of the United States realized this there would be approximately one hundred and seventy people alive today who were murdered because of this. The Muslim woman in San Bernadino California suffered from postpartum depression. Some women never recover from this. The Hospital where this woman gave birth to her child is guilty of CRIMINAL NEGLIGANCE. In the future women should be monitered for a full year after giving birth to a child. Homosexuality is here to stay, punishing someone for Homosexuality is not going to change a persons sexual inclination. The phrase HOMOSEXUAL PARTNERSHIP is the correct phrase. To quote or misquote Shakespeare, since I’m not quite sure this is exact, “There is nothing either right or wrong Horatio, but THINKING makes it so.”

  17. jacewright says:

    I respect islam. I do not agree with it, but I respect the logic of it and have met many Muslims who where very kind people. It has many of similarities to my religion.

    • jacewright says:

      I think This article is kind of weak. Trying to please Muslims, Atheists, and Christians, and enraging all three, which is ironic, because Atheists shouldn’t care about anything, and therefore not get mad, because their entire religion is based on the philosophy that nothing exists, and us Christians and Muslims are taught to not be angry.

      • Yusuf Mahommed says:

        Atheism: “disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.” Your definition of atheism is embarrassingly incorrect. It isn’t a religion and atheist can have different philosophies or not even focus on philosophy at all. They are just people lack the belief in God.

  18. Samhain says:

    Dr. Brown, I converted to Islam after reading your books. You are the man, you have straight objective answers, and everyone here who is hating clearly doesn’t understand your article or already hates Islam.

    People, there’s a difference between the ethics of marriage and law, Jez. Does the judge demand to show proof of love before marriage? No its a legal contact in the court and about love in the homes.

  19. Jacques Strappe says:

    The dogma for all the major world religions was written by old men who believed the earth was flat. This author’s explanation of Islam is just another reason why I align with no religion, Harm no one, treat others with respect and mind your own business–it’s really not that complicated for those seeking a moral code to live by. Oh, and make your own heaven on earth while you’re alive because when you’re dead, I’m betting that you totally cease to exist in any realm but if I’m wrong you score bonus points in the afterlife. So many of the self proclaimed religious faithful are so focused on getting into heaven, they forget to live while they are alive while arrogantly assuming their own religion and God are the only legitimate ones in existence and that those who don’t believe in and follow their religion are inferior and even flawed or evil people. All religions and everyone who follows them can all go to hell, metaphorically speaking.

    • VoiceOfSparta says:

      I understand that many of the major world religions tend to be written by old men who believed the world was flat, but the thing is, the Qur’án actually mentions that the world is round. And religion in my opinion is a VERY good thing. What it teaches is self-discipline and good self management. And I am not quite sure what you mean by make your own heaven on Earth, I understand the idea of wanting to do things on Earth, I do them to, but basically what you are saying is no holds barred, just do whatever the hell you want do merely because you can. Honestly, I think that is a horrible idea. Religions usually teach that you should make others as happy as ethically possible. Would that not mean that you would still make your own heaven per se? If many were religious and pious, then you wouldn’t HAVE to make your own heaven on Earth, as OTHERS would be MAKING IT FOR YOU. Hope I didn’t offend anyone, all the opinions I have mentioned are very subjective, I don’t tend to hate on atheists but really if they don’t care about religion, then quite honestly, DON’T CARE ABOUT A RELIGOUS ARTICLE. :P

      • Zahri Atan says:

        The world is spread out like a carpet doesn’t mean the same as the world is not round. To you and me wherever you are on earth the earth is flat. That’s literal interpretation by you of what the Quran says. Unless the Quran says you may fall off the world’s edge then you have a point. The Qiblat is not an issue in a round world unless by your literal interpretation it means someone could be praying facing Jupiter actually because the world is round?

      • Yusuf Mahommed says:

        The Quran says the Earth is spread out like carpet. Also, Muslims were told to pray towards the Kaaba in Mecca. But if you are in a different place on Earth how can you face Kaaba when the Earth is round? Unless if Muslims thought the Earth was flat? There is a certain verse Muslim scholars have interpreted as ‘Earth is like ostrich egg shaped’ but critics say that it is referring to the place where ostriches lays egg so like on a flat plain. Also, the Quran is not shaped like an ostrich egg. It is shaped more like an egg but not ostrich specifically.

        Atheists have the right to care about whatever hell they want. How can you speak for all atheists and say they don’t care about religion? Narrow minded assumption indeed.

  20. cherylgross says:

    Time to enter into the 21st century.

    • jacewright says:

      Principles don’t change upon entering the 21st Century. Homosexuality has been tried in ancient civilizations before. That didn’t turn out too well. Sodom and Gomorra were destroyed, Greece fell upon trying out homosexuality, and it won’t turn out any different for us. Don’t be surprised.

      • Mary Knapstein says:

        I have a Manic Depressive Artistic Intuitive Temperament and have discovered that this is the only way to experience Divinity. With mania you can experience GOD or ALLAH. GOD in the Old Testament is all powerful and therefore purely evil. Jesus Christ represents the HUMANIZING of GOD. Immortality is a curse. I will quote the TALKING HEADS “Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.” I was raised Catholic but the same principal applies with the Muslim Religion. The Partnership between two men or two women is exactly that, A Partnership, not a Marriage. Had France or the Supreme Court of the United States realized this there would be approximately one hundred and seventy people alive today who were murdered because of this. The Muslim woman in San Bernadino California suffered from postpartum depression. Some women never recover from this. The Hospital where this woman gave birth to her child is guilty of CRIMINAL NEGLIGANCE. In the future women should be monitered for a full year after giving birth to a child. Homosexuality is here to stay, punishing someone for Homosexuality is not going to change a persons sexual inclination. The phrase HOMOSEXUAL PARTNERSHIP is the correct phrase. To quote or misquote Shakespeare, since I’m not quite sure this is exact, “There is nothing either right or wrong Horatio, but THINKING makes it so.”

      • I meant to put an, “e” after, “hat”.

      • I don’t hat homosexuals. That’s like hating people with cancer because I hate cancer, or murder victims because I hate murder. My heart goes out to these poor people who have this terrible trial to deal with. Fortunately, the trial will no longer be there on the other side. God could take away our agency if he wanted to, but he doesn’t. Instead, he blesses us, but never makes us do anything. The devil wants to take away agency, but is not powerful enough to do so. Talking Heads lied about Heaven. Heaven is a place where we are eternally creating. Hell is where nothing happens. I don’t want to punish homosexuals or compel them to do anything or keep them from doing something that doesn’t violate anyones rights. That does not mean at all that we should accept that sin is okay, it will only hurt them. I do not think anything is wrong with homosexuals themselves, but the action is certainly wrong.

        P.S. I think that recognizing homosexual partnership like you said would be a much better option than trying to bend the definition of a sacred word.


        Jace Wright, the Ignorant Scholar

      • russofrevo says:

        Greece didnt ‘fall’ because of homosexuality. Greece was never a unified imperial power like Rome so it never had to “fall”, they simply were defeated first by Macedonians (Alexander the great had a male lover and somehow conquered half the world) and then by Rome.

        This article is a weak attempt at apologia of something that cannot be defended. Religious hatred of gay people inspired by a ‘holy’ book written by a delusional and charismatic warlord-merchant.

      • I don’t believe in the Quran, by the way.

      • I don’t hate anyone, I hate the evil action. I also didn’t say anything about causation, I merely pointed out a correlation.

  21. Nanny Mo says:

    There’s also a lot of truth out there in the media about Islam. I want not part of them.

  22. Nedim says:

    How on earth this man came to be Chair of Islamic Civilization, and also funded by an Arabic Society. He misses completely the moral side of Islamic teaching, and puts forward some arguments that have no connection whatsoever with Islam. Who on earth, being knowledgeable of Islam, can claim that the problem of gay marriage is related to the way partners copulate, and not about the sexual extravagance that is the biggest threat to family as a nucleus of every healthy society. ?! Terrible!

  23. Bull says:

    The ignorant illetarate boy who wrote this article has never read the Holy Quran at all !!!

    • muadhkhan says:

      What exactly did you feel contradicted the Holy Qur’an? This article affirmed that the Qur’an does not allow homosexual actions. Not sure why you’re insulting Dr. Brown.

      • RD says:

        I don’t think they know either. Somehow we have a lot of people who seem to know a whole lot of what’s in the Quran but keep babbling the same false facts.

  24. Jason says:

    This is very wishy-washy, and very boring. It amazes me how seriously in-depth people will delve into interpretations of bronze-age myths, and scriptures that have no relevance as to how we should base our moral code and social/ethical standards as human beings in the modern age. Who cares what ancient Islamic, Christian, ..etc texts have to say about homosexuality, or anything related to ethics, morality, and law, at all?! We have Science, Logic, Philosophy, Reason…. Free your minds people!!

  25. Reema says:

    This is an absolutely ridiculous article by someone who appears to be a ‘scholar’ only in name. It’s been a while since I’ve read rubbish and this is it. His perspectives are clearly ones from some with very primitive and literal observations of Islam, and are jam-packed with patriarchy to boot. Does the author sincerely believe that any Muslim woman would want to get married under the terms of his described contract? For God’s sake, marriage (& Islam for that matter) isn’t simply about sex and control. At the very core of marriage in Islam is a loving and respectful partnership between two people, a union to that helps and supports each person to be the best they can be. There are other ideals too, but that right there is the basic purpose of marriage in Islam, not ‘exclusive sexual access.’ Just repulsive and a lie.

    • RD says:

      I agree. Marriage in Islam is so much more than the author claims.

    • Ustaz_Elias says:

      whatever happened to basic reading skills. He said this is in light of LAW… ” Stripped of all the cultural accretions Muslims have added on, and minus the obviously crucial elements of love and companionship, marriage is nothing more than — literally — a contract between a man and a woman”.

  26. Gazi Hafiz says:

    Amazing article that every Muslim should read .
    But I had one issue when the writer talked about shariah marriage: ” a contract between a man and a woman in which the man provides the woman with financial support in return for exclusive sexual access.”
    Which sounds totally wrong! Since Prophet Muhammed’s ( PBUH) first wife was his boss and owner of the the business where Muhammed (PBUH) worked at. Here Khadijah provided financial support; no ?

  27. Someone says:

    Interesting read.

  28. Taimur tareen says:

    A silly explanation of Islam. He seems to be utterly ignorant or willingly twisting Islam. Talal bin Walid should be vigilant enough not to employ such ignorants.

  29. Ibn Awf says:

    He is a scholar with this limited understanding? Im not gonna comment. But just say that God will always win. Those who trangress nature and Gods way, the ending will always be the same.

  30. Siraj says:

    This is laughable. Is the author really a Muslim scholar? Sounds like someone’s really desperate to pass their views under a disguise in an attempt to make them more commonly acceptable

    • muadhkhan says:

      Did you read the article? He’s not saying Islam condones homosexuality. He stated the standard Islamic scholarly position.

  31. Muslim guy says:

    You keep referencing “Shariah law”.

    “Shariah law” was written by men, not God.

    Not a small detail. Pretty relevant when the foundation of Islam is that Muslims believe that god is infallible and men are not.

    • muadhkhan says:

      Sharia law is humanly taught and applied but it is based on the divine sources, ie the Quran and the Sunnah, and interpreted using principles taught by the Prophet (saw). In the Sharia, a consensus ruling by the entirety of Muslim scholarship, such as there is regarding homosexuality, is binding for the Muslim who believes.

  32. James says:

    same hopes and anxieties? really?

  33. James Sinclair says:

    Where in the shariah laws does it give allowance for the MASS MURDER of homosexuals, which seems to be one of the favorite past times? Comparing Islam to Judaism is laughable.

  34. dropOfOcean says:

    This opens many doors to other troubling ideas. Ok, so if we allow marriage to be redefined from 1 man & 1 woman, what about gay Imams who want to preach inside the mosques? Will we lead prayers behind an Imam who is openly gay? Would we hair a youth director for a mosque who is gay? If we are to accept the new definition of marriage, then we leave the door open to other vices entering our mosques. It’s sad that Muslim leaders and scholars of our time have begun to barter their religion and sell the words of God for a miserable price, as pointed out in the Quran. At this time, I have more respect for the Christian leaders and Republicans who have taken a stand against this issue. Muslim leaders in the U.S. have once again taken a back seat and making lame excuses that if we support gay marriage, someone they will support Muslims. Fear the creator, not his creation.

    • Ibrahim says:

      “what about gay Imams who want to preach inside the mosques? Will we lead prayers behind an Imam who is openly gay? Would we hair a youth director for a mosque who is gay?”. Why is it a concern that the Imam is gay or straight? Let’s say the Imam’s sermon that day is 100% aligned with your beliefs (the importance of Zakat), if you found out that the Imam who was delivering that sermon were gay, does this mean that his sermon is not invalid?

      I’m also trying to understand your concern about an openly gay youth director…you’ve statement implies you’re concerned about this, however now where in your comment do you say why. What imagined threat do you think will happen?

  35. Thank you Dr. Brown for speaking the truth on this issue. There’s a lot of confusion out there and it’s important to unequivocally state our position. Please keep up the great work you are doing.

  36. AbuMilkSheikh says:

    I appreciate Dr. Brown’s explanation of this issue in clear, plain English, without any of the equivocation and hand-wringing that has become the norm among American Muslim discourse.

    He has conveyed the 1400+ year consensus of Muslim scholarship as understood from the Quran and authentic Prophetic Traditions.

    Dr. Brown has an advantage here against revisionists and their heretical reinterpretations, that apologists from a more traditional background don’t. He’s an American convert to Islam who was trained in, and made his bones in Western academia. The “patriarchal, medieval, cultural interpretation” argument can’t be used.

    • Aisha Musa says:

      Dr. Scot Kugle and Dr. Amina Wadud are also American converts to Islam who are “trained” and “made [their] bones” in Western academia, and they have drawn very different conclusions from in depth study of 1400+ years of Muslim scholarship than Dr. Brown draws on this issue.

      • idesireranks says:

        Failing to affirm the unlawfulness of gay sex expels one from Islam.

        I think Muadh misunderstands. We may refrain from declaring an obvious apostate a kaffir because there is a step by step procedure to do so and that can’t be done in a land not run by Shariah.

        Just because we refrain from calling them disbelievers due to their open apostasy doesn’t mean they aren’t apostates it just means they got away from the accusation in this life.

        If someone fails to affirm it’s sinfulness then he is a kaffir and will be in the fire forever.

      • Aisha Musa says:

        You move directly from the logical fallacy of appeal to the majority to the logical fallacy of ad hominem, without every addressing the disconnect between what Dr. Brown has claimed as the Islamoc view of marriage, and what the Qur’an actually says about marriage. Let us review what Dr. Brown says is the Islamic view of marriage:

        ” marriage is nothing more than — literally — a contract between a man and a woman in which the man provides the woman with financial support in return for exclusive sexual access”

        Not only is this not what the text of the Qur’an actually says, it is not even based on what the text actually says. Let us begin with the purpose for which God tells us He created spouses, as given in 30:21: { لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ }, so that you live peacefully with them, and He has made loving friendship and compassion between you. Nowhere is there mention of “financial support in exchange for exclusive sexual access.” Indeed, there is no mention of sex at all. Moreover, when we look at the verse that discusses the contractual aspect of marriage in 4:24,, we find that the Qur’sn specifies that the financial arrangement is not to be for the sake of lust (أَن تَبْتَغُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُم مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ ). The problem with the juristic opinion is that it reduces women to their vaginas and their vaginas to property purchased by men to slack their lust. This goes against the clear verses of the Qur’an. Sex is lawful according the Qur’an in a mutually contracted arrangement ( وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ
        ِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ ). That mutually contracted relationship is one loving friendship (لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ), not a mere exchange of money for a sexual access (أَن تَبْتَغُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُم مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ ). The juristic view of marriage provided by Dr. Brown goes directly against the prima facie. meanings of these verses of the text that God has sent down to us.

      • muadhkhan says:

        Just because a Muslim holds a belief, does not make it an acceptable Islamic belief. How many have there been Muslims who have held heretical beliefs, yet by the mercy of God and the wisdom of the scholars in applying Islamic law, takfir was not made of them. If you’re indeed the same so-called Muslim scholar Prof. Aisha Musa, I’m not surprised you favor some revisionist view that includes any and every sin. Liberals have their values, and seek to read them into Islam, ignoring what the text is trying to say, being a message. A deviancy of ontology.

        As a Muslim with some Islamic education, even I know about the concept of ijma’ and the weight of the Prophetic statement, “My Nation will not agree upon error.” The ijma’ regarding the prohibition of homosexuality is clear. And Islamic scholarship is well aware of the dangers of becoming as blameworthy as the rabbis and priests of past nations, and so their arguments are sourced in the divine texts, and even the layperson can see the evidences for themselves. You want to change Islam, you cannot do it with weak textual evidences. I’ve seen the arguments made by “progressives” like yourself for various liberal agenda items. They’re islamically laughable.

      • Aisha Musa says:

        muadhkhan says:

        July 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm

        “Neither of those two bases their conclusions on any traditional scholarship or what Muslims believe.” So, you approve of what Dr. Brown has said because it agrees with your perception of traditional scholarship and what Muslims believe. One of the flaws in your argument is, of course, that both Dr. Kugle and Dr. Wadud are Muslims, and therefore, their beliefs are the beliefs of Muslims. What you are arguing is an appeal to the majority, which is a logical fallacy, which is moreover, directly condemned in the Qur’an ( تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ) [6:116]. This condemnation applies to the majority of believers, as well (وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ) [12:106]. Following what those before us have done because it is “traditional” is also problematic from a Qur’anic perspective (وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ اتَّبِعُوا مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ) [2:170]. This applies to religious scholars (اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ) [9:31]. This verse speaks of previous communities, but the Prophet Muhammad clearly stated that the problem was because the scholars declared things lawful or prohibied for people and the people followed their rulings (‏”‏ أَمَا إِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَكُونُوا يَعْبُدُونَهُمْ وَلَكِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا أَحَلُّوا لَهُمْ شَيْئًا اسْتَحَلُّوهُ وَإِذَا حَرَّمُوا عَلَيْهِمْ شَيْئًا حَرَّمُوهُ ‏”‏) [al-Tirmidhi, Chapters on Tafsir Hadith 3378].

      • muadhkhan says:

        *the conservative demagogue

      • muadhkhan says:

        Neither of those two bases their conclusions on any traditional scholarship or what Muslims believe. Jonathan Brown has the credentials of the western academic, and it is an asset because he can explain Islam to his audience with the appropriate rhetoric. But the western credentials aren’t what truly give him respect from the Muslim community. That comes from how he teaches about Islam.

        Jonathan Brown has shown an immense respect for the traditional scholarship of Islam, free from the usual condescension shown them by the western Orientalist approach, and so he teaches Islam as Muslims understand it, not Islam how those with an agenda would like it to be. Islam is not what a consecutive demagogue screams it is, but it is neither what the liberal agenda would like it to be (see Kugle, Wadud, etc) Both of those think they know better than the established consensus of the Muslim world, because of their true liberal beliefs, but they end up with arguments so flawed that a beginner student like myself could poke holes through.

  37. Aisha Musa says:

    This article demonstrates a disconnect between classical fiqh (at least as Brown presents it here) and the Qur’an. To quote Brown, “minus the obviously crucial elements of love and companionship, marriage is nothing more than — literally — a contract between a man and a woman in which the man provides the woman with financial support in return for exclusive sexual access.” What Brown describes may be the classical fiqh understanding. Given his facicility with the sources, I expect that he would be able to quote jurisconsults in support of his definition. It is not, however, the Qur’anic definition of marriage. The Qur’an clearly states the purpose for which God has created spouses in 30:21. There is no mention of money in exchange for exclusive vaginal access. What the Qur’an gives as the essential purpose of marriage is living together in tranquility with loving friendship and compassion (لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً )–the things which Brown, inspite of referring to them as “crucial” elements, has casually subtracted in favor of juristic opinions.

    • Khadija says:

      The purpose of a thing, its definition, and its contractual obligations are separate matters. Nothing you said negates what Dr Brown wrote above.

      • Aisha Musa says:

        I made no attempt to “negate what Dr. Brown wrote.” As I said directly, “Given his facicility with the sources, I expect that he would be able to quote jurisconsults in support of his definition.” My reply points to a serious problem with classical fiqh–it is often disconnected from the principles, purposes, and definitions given in the Qur’an. Your assertion that the “purpose of a thing, its definition, and its contractual obligations are separate matters” is problematic from an Islamic perspective. Indeed, purpose, definition, and obligations that arise from them are inextricably linked. As we read in the Qur’an 26:89, everything depends on a sound heart [إِلَّا مَنْ أَتَى اللَّهَ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ]Hadith also confirms that actions judged only by intention/purpose [إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ] (al-Bukhari, Book: Revelation – Hadith 1). What Dr. Brown demonstrates quite clearly just how far classical fiqh is from the Qur’an where marriage is concerned.

    • Aisha Musa says:

      *facility, that is, not *facicility.

  38. Nanny Mo says:

    Sorry, Brown, I’ve seen what Islam does and can do. I want no part of it!

    • Ilyas L. says:

      Was there an implicit invite that I missed?

      Or do you just go around the internet saying no to Islam on g.p.?

  39. John Shea says:

    A rather long-winded way of saying ‘NO!’

    “Stripped of all the cultural accretions Muslims have added on, and minus the obviously crucial elements of love and companionship, marriage is nothing more than — literally — a contract between a man and a woman in which the man provides the woman with financial support in return for exclusive sexual access.”

    Or vice-versa or not at all, as the case may be, for the great majority of people who do not use that particular Shariah definition of marriage. And Mr. Brown omits the fact that the man may marry more than one woman but the woman may not marry more than one man. And the Sodomites’ crimes were murder and rape, not anal intercourse.

    Mr. Brown’s views are essentially the same as those of Christian Fundamentalists and other opponents of LGBT rights and the rights of women.

    • Dr. Maximus says:

      Here Mr. Brown is talking about the meaning of marriage in the Islamic tradition and how that meaning cannot be stretched to support same-sex marriage. As in the Arabic word itself Zawaj means a pairing of opposites. Therefore you can name it what you want but you can’t call it Zawaj. So there’s no fundamentalist assertion in his article. And I quote “Since marriage is a contract premised on vaginal intercourse and financial obligation between a man and a woman, same-sex couples could not engage in one. They could construct an arrangement for inheritance and shared property that mimicked marriage, but it would not be marriage.”

      As for the crimes of sodomites, he’s referring to the Qur’anic story of Lot not the Biblical tradition. The story of the Qur’an states only that their crime was sodomy nowhere does it mention rape and murder as far as I can tell. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

      • John Shea says:

        Muadhkhan, that is your opinion, and also the opinion of Prof. Brown, and, I would guess, of a majority of Muslims. But not all, as you admit.

        A significant minority of Christians similarly see Christianity as legalistic, and some of those Christian legalists also declare the auto-excommunication of those disagree with them. But I’ve never heard an antilegalist speak so arrogantly, thank God.

      • muadhkhan says:

        John Shea, Islam is quite intrinsically legalistic, and cohesively so- rejecting any part of the whole is a well known way of leaving the religion. This is the view by and large of most if not all Muslim sects. It’s not really possible to be anti-legalistic Muslim.

      • John Shea says:

        Thanks, Dr. Maximus. I felt Professor Brown did not emphasize strongly enough the narrow legalistic Islamic perspective he has chosen. I expressed the anti-legalistic Christian perspective I have chosen. There are of course legalistic Christians, and quite possibly anti-legalistic Muslims. I use the word ‘marriage’ in the sense used by most Americans, who recognize no essential conflict between religious and secular definitions of the term.

        I referred only to Biblical story of Lot, which is of course the oldest by several thousand years. The habit of defining ‘Sodomy’ as anal intercourse remains common among Christians, despite its lack of any Biblical basis.

      • Actually, the people of ‘Aad (the sodomites), as told by the Qur’an, weren’t punished solely for sodomy. In fact, the Qur’an clearly states that corruption, violence, and pedophilia were common. Two angels were tasked by God to bring down the torment upon the sodomites and while on their way there, they stopped at Abraham’s (peace be upon him) house. When asked, they replied, “We have been sent to a people who are criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners”. (Quran 15:58) Here we can see that the people of Lot were punished for more than just homosexuality.


  40. Jebediah Springfield says:

    “So many Muslims are willing to support the rights of other Americans to shape marriage according to their particular beliefs. Muslims expect their beliefs and relationships to be respected in return.”

    And that’s they should go to muslim countries and apply sharia law there.

    The reason is simple. If they (muslims) “expect their beliefs and relationships to be respected in return” there is no reason for other people to also expect the same.
    How about conservative Christian views, beliefs and relationships? How about atheist views and their beliefs and relationships”? What about satanists’? Etc.

    Why is it that we should only do this to ONE religion and it’s followers? It’s should be – all or none.

    In modern countries, we have ONE law for all. Laws are a concensus of the population and must be applied to all. Christians, muslims, atheists, satanista… All.

    • muadhkhan says:

      This is a country where the beliefs of all are to be respected. I don’t know why you’re assuming the author is calling for respect for Muslim beliefs and not also for respect for Christian, Satanist beliefs, etc. He’s actually saying that although Muslims won’t consider homosexuality and civil marriage between its practitioners religiously permissible or a a religiously sanctioned marriage, the same legal protection they are afforded from the Christian majority is what Muslims also depend on.

  41. Enquiring Mind says:

    Thank you for clarifying the Islamic position on this. Up until now I had no idea that Islam had codified homosexual behavior as illegal and that marriage in general was a form of prostitution. I suppose I can now add bigotry and misogyny to “acts of barbarism”.
    Also the description of Muslim scholars marveling over beautiful young boys sounds more like pederasty than homosexuality. Should I add that to the list too?

  42. As a GU graduate, I am really shocked that such drivel would be allowed to stand for quality scholarship, particularly coming out of mouth, Mr. Brown. I will only speak to 3 issues raised that were based on straw-person argument. (1) All sex is procreative. Why is it that the vagina and penis, dog-and-pony show is pushed out as the only truth about Islam. You statement is not absolutely true, for not all sexual activity between males and females will result in pregnancy and delivery of a child (hopefully, a healthy one), usually when they are beyond the age of reproduction. But there are younger people who cannot have children for a variety of reasons yet they are sexually healthy. Thus, sex is encouraged for enjoyment far more than the ideal that it is only for procreation…are you speaking about Islam or Judaism/Christianity? Since marriage is the foundation for sexual relationships, same sex marriage meets that standard for human shariah (and if you really did study the Quran, you would never have said that the people of Lut were about homosexuals relationships, but rather heterosexual male-on-male rape of non-consenting men. I would advise more reading on the Lut story to get your perspective is in order. (2) If you want to play the numbers myth, then the Quraish should have won the battle in Mecca, but those who have a deeper understanding of what the Quranic message promotes for all of humankind for all of human time is learning how to deal with change. Wasn’t it a small groups of people, led by Prophet Mohammad–along with Allah–who thrived and changed Mecca in the long run, right???. So it is not about numbers, Mr. Brown–and when you talk about consensus, you play the game of “all of us believe xyz, and therefore, it must be true.” Really??? Consider all the Muslims who claim one thing and find out later it is not true, ooops there it is, sir, it doesn’t quite fit the picture frame of perfection you are trying to promote…no kewpie doll here. (3) Have you read the book, Tyranny of the Majority by Lani Guinier? Do you understand the legal concepts related to majority rule and how it can negatively influence minorities to suffer under such a system? Mr. Brown, in the US, majority rule is limited and there is always a balancing act of rights and privileges. Leave it up to your line of thinking, and others who think they know-it-all, would have a whole set of peoples of various religions and ethnicities would be in very serious trouble. What is more shocking is that you, Mr. Brown, said such a thing at GU, a school that prides itself on its diversity. I do hope the GU Administration will let you know you are not promoting GU’s level of acceptance for all its students, gay and non-gay!!!. (Oh, by the way, I was the first treasurer of the GU Gay Student Association in 1991 after the lawsuit was won by the GSA and the GU changed its attitude towards its LCBTQI students, faculty and staff.) Mr. Brown, sadly, your comments is an embarrassment to the fine high-quality education I received at GU, and you have really done GU a disservice–whether it is the student body, the faculty, the staff and in particular, the Saudi-funded Alwaleed bin Talal Center. It makes me wonder why you wrote this nonsensical piece, with all it’s fallacies? I would hope that Dr. Esposito sits you down to better educate you to what GU stands for as an educational institution. You have failed significantly if your goal was to impress by your association with GU.

    • muadhkhan says:

      This is so stupid a response, it doesn’t merit an answer from the author. But someone needs to set you straight, at least for the benefit of those you’re currently deceiving.

      1) Nowhere does Islam or the author in explaining its position base its prohibition to homosexual acts on the fact that it is not between a penis and vagina. There are clear texts from the Qiran and the Sunnah that do this. This is the true strawman argument you’re making.

      2) In Islam, the majority opinion is considered hugely important, a unanimous opinion even more so- the all important ijma’. I know you’re not too knowledgeable about Islam so let me explain that word means, consensus in the Islamic legal conversation. The Meseenger of Allah said, “My Nation will not agree upon error.” This is the evidence for this concept of consensus.

      3) Cry all you want about diversity and bigotry, it’s a false accusation. The author nowhere calls for any policy changes or lesser legal acceptance for gays at GU or anywhere, quite the opposite actually. He is merely explaining the established Islamic legal position on this subject, in his capacity of a scholar of Islam. You wouldn’t know anything about that. But you can’t shut him up just because you don’t like the facts he’s teaching.

      I understand this may be difficult to accept because your whole schtick is “first gay Imam” when you clearly lack the credentials or knowledge to be Imam of anything. But those who are willing to hear what Islam is telling them, rather than trying to make their own religion with an Islamic flavor, will get it.

    • anon says:

      This is such an idiotic response. It criticizes the post for “strawperson” arguments when that is exactly what the post is, from start to finish.

      In no place does Dr Brown state “all sex is procreative” and this is why homosexual behavior is prohibited. He states that some judges gave lighter punishments, reasoning no illegitimate children would come of it. In no way does this imply that this is what his whole article states.

      The rest of your post is progressivism outrage porn. Dr. Brown has outlined the position that virtually every Muslim scholar, past and present, has held on homosexual acts via not only the story of Lut, but as well on the prohibition of anal intercourse (also for heterosexuals). Pointing out historical fact is not intolerance, it’s intellectual honesty.

      You want to frame this as misinterpretation, as though for 1400+ years virtually every single person reading these passages has misread them, that is the tyranny of the majority over the minority, but abherrent readings are always a minority. A reading that allows for incest is also a minority reading, but the fundamental principle is not about consenting adults, but about which types of sexual relationships are sanctioned and which aren’t. Jihadi readings that allow for the wholesale slaughter of civilians as legitimate targets is also an ahistorical minority reading, we’d have to give them a pass under your reasoning.

      Progressives argue that homosexuality is natural, that it can be found in statistically significant percentages in all populations – can you please point out where in Islamic history, meaning the Prophetic generation, where such marriages were sanctioned, contracted, condoned, and so on? For something so obvious, I would expect clear guidelines and historical practice from his generation to exist.

      • Vanessa Klinsmann says:

        Also, Mr Abdullah. How can you make an analogy between the consensus of the pagans in Makka and Muslim scholars? When the Quran itself supports the consensus of Muslim scholarship: “Whoever breaks away from the Messenger after the truth has become clear and follows OTHER THAN THE WAY OF THE BELIEVERS (that’s majority right there), We shall leave him to what he chose then throw him in the fire, and what a bad end.” Basics of islamic law: this was the verse that supports consensus & majority.

      • Vanessa Klinsmann says:

        If the people of Lot were guilty of rape, then why did he offer his girls and say “This is purer.” And what about the clear statement, “Do you approach (approach, not rape) men with sexual desire, to the exclusion of women?” Had nothing to do with rape. It had to do with acting on homosexual desire. I’m not even Muslim and I know that.

    • Mo says:

      Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the most perfect example of intolerance and bigotry in the above reply by Mr. Daayiee. Really, dude? You want to make these condescending and extremely arrogant remarks and then call Dr. Brown an embarrasment? You sir, are the embarrassment to GU. If not for your incoherent response, then certainly for your lack of manners.

    • La liwata fi al-din says:

      You seem awfully intolerant of diversity and academic freedom. Keep talking: it just makes it clear to others just how silly and bigoted your agenda really is.

    • suru says:

      I love this comment
      these things were actually going through my mind
      this article is very omitting and non-comprehensive

  43. A Guy In The Corner says:

    To the title of the article, as I am processing this (and do correct me): marriage under Shariah Law is purely a contract for the sake of exclusive sexual access, while male homosexual acts of intercourse are forbidden. So male to male marriage would effectively be a nullified option under Shariah Law, while female to female unions are – if not allowed – not expressly forbidden. Correct?

    As to the article’s summation, we move into the contrasts between “beliefs” of marriage definitions. I would argue that the Supreme Court merely affirmed what the US Constitution already declared as – not a belief – but as “self-evident.” That all men are created equal. So by extension, to legally restrict one group of people from forming their own legal unions runs contrary to that.

    Shariah Law allows for Polygyny, but not Polyandry. The current US legalities of either practice aside, would Shariah law be as flexibly progressive as our Constitution in allowing women to have multiple husbands?

    • idesireranks says:

      Both are expressly forbidden and completely sinful. All forms of gay(gay or lesbian) sex is unlawful in this religion.

    • muadhkhan says:

      Hey, no one seems to have answered your questions. Maybe Dr. Brown will get around to it, but maybe I can take a crack at it in the meanwhile.

      There are different aspects to marriage, different considerations involved in the whole deal, in Islam and otherwise. What Dr. Brown mentioned was, intentionally, solely the legal aspect of marriage- under Islamic law, what two spouses owe each other upon being married. Of course in Islam marriage has other aspects, spiritual and emotional, teaching the spouses how to love and be good to one another.

      The Constitution is a product of liberalism in the Enlightenment era, and though it claims its stated beliefs are self-evident, they are hardly so. But it is the supreme law of the land, and that’s accepted, so Muslims don’t put forward a legal objection to the SCOTUS decision. That said, we reserve the right to our own sources of morality, and the right to consider something moral or immoral based on them.

      As for polygyny, the Sharia wouldn’t allow that. It is an unsubstantiated belief of the “religion” of liberalism that achieving it’s goals is human progress, and society is continually “progressing”. While a product of liberalism has been the philosophy that deems it good and just to grant men and women exactly the same rights and responsibilities in society, the Sharia does not accept the same premises as liberalism. Both men and women are equal in worth in the sight of Allah, the worth of their deeds is the same. But they are conferred different rights and responsibilities in this worldly life, believing that this world is a test for people in the obedience of God. Islam does not equate any particular right, such as the ability to marry multiple spouses, to human worth. A Muslim believes that Allah knows better for humanity than we can ever do and so we’ve maintained the religion since the time of the Prophet (saw), even if the Sharia jars in any era with contemporary philosophies/religions.

      • Ibrahim says:

        HUH? @muadhkhan.

        In Islam, unless something has changed (which I believe it has in certain countries but not in sharia), two women votes are equivalent to one man’s vote. That is not granting men and women the same rights. In fact, in some Islamic states women still aren’t able to vote. Saudi Arabia just began allowing (again) women to vote in 2005. I could be wrong, but Saudia Arabia follows sharia law.

        In terms of polygyny, you appear to be contracting yourself. 1.Using 150+ words to answer a simple question of is polygyny allowed. 2. Using some pretty impressive run on sentences filled with “quotes” and some pretty words. 3. Avoiding the word “yes” in your response…doesn’t negate the fact that “Sharia wouldn’t allow that”, yet/but/however a man is in fact able (under specific circumstances) able to marry up to four women. However women are not permitted the same. Polygyny is allowed under Sharia law!

        In terms of human worth, why is it that something is good/ok for one gender yet not the other? This screams that “human worth” is placed higher for men than it is for women.

  44. Conscientious Objector says:

    Since Muslims are considered “peoples of color,” whatever their view on gay marriage is, is right on. After all, that’s called “celebrating diversity.” If white Christians come to the same conclusion, they deserve to be mocked ceaselessly. After all, 400 years of oppression, white privilege, whatever stew of words you want to use. Why am I reading this in a show business magazine, anyhow?

    • jroland928 says:

      Not all Muslims are of color bright one!

      • Conscientious Objector says:

        Yes, I also see the college age white girls in headscarves who have joined in to get back at their parents for, I don’t know, sending them to expensive private colleges and leaving them with big trust funds. Some white people join the regligion to assuage their white guilt by participating directly in “diversity.” But the real deal in the Middle East are Arab.

  45. Some of the things Mr. Brown ails to mention are he the theological and secularist

    • GKN says:

      The man is simply giving his view of what Islam says about homosexuality (and btw, the Bible says nothing about lesbians either, both being based in ancient mores). All this dickering over his views and these ‘Arab go home’ invectives is juvenile, at best. When are we as a people going to finally understand that we have freedom of religion in this country? AND the right to pursue happiness? What you personally think of another’s beliefs has no bearing on ANYTHING of any importance. No US law obliges you to share those beliefs (as most Christian countries DID for centuries). No law obliges you to become a homosexual or marry someone of your sex. No law even obliges you agree with the OPINIONS of someone of your own religion, about that religion. GET IT??? So please everyone, grow up and realize we are not obliged to bow to your OPINIONS either, as the only sacred truth. It’s been like 250 years since we chose those laws. (And for obviously very good reasons!)

      • jacewright says:

        How does changing the definition of marriage allow people to pursue their happiness more fully?

      • Assalaamu alaikum to all the Muslims male and female,I began with in the name of Allah Most Gracias Most Merciful.The prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) said that there will b a time when the Muslim will so lost,ignorant and clingy to others and this life that if the other people crawled in a lizard hole the Muslim would follow them.I respect all the comments of everybody but Allah Ta ala tells us wherein we dispute refer it back to Allah and His last messenger (Quran&Sunnah)not leaning on our own opinions and and desires.Allah also tells us that what He has decreed and revealed through His prophet the believing men and woman shall have no dispute, opinions,indifference etc…Be mindful dear Muslims of things you vie against or things you accept.I love you all for the sake of Allah.Assalaamu alaikum

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