Islamic Texts: A Source for Acceptance of Queer
Individuals into Mainstream Muslim Society
Muhsin Hendricks1 Queer2 Muslims face a multitude of challeng- the international queer sector's demand for
es, of which one is rejection. This is anchored human rights, has placed pressure on ortho- by the belief that homosexuality is a major sin dox Muslim clergy to defend its religious texts in Islam and punishable by death under Sha- and to publicly authenticate their position riah law.3 The Inner Circle4 has documented on non-hetero normative sexualities. These
through engaging with the local Muslim com- events provided an opportunity for progres- munity of Cape Town that most people who sive Muslim thought to re-emerge. Hence, we react harshly towards queer Muslims do so observe progressive Muslim individuals and from a position of fear and ignorance of the organisations re-opening the discourse on challenges facing queer Muslims.
Islam, gender and sexual diversity in the last decade. Scholastic work such as that of Scott There have been attempts in the past to raise Siraj al-Haqq Kugle and Kecia Ali8 was pos-
the topic of homosexuality within Islam and sible due to the re-emergence of progressive to highlight homoeroticism within Muslim Muslim thought around homosexuality and communities.5 Yet there is a lack of literature sexual ethics in Islam.
on the issue from a theological perspective. This perspective is necessary as most clients "And say: Truth has now arrived, and who approach the Inner Circle for help seek falsehood perished: for falsehood by its na- a theological answer for their inability to rec- ture is bound to perish."9
oncile their faith with their sexuality.
It is an Islamic belief that the trajectory to- Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle6 examines this need wards unravelling matters is a universal
in his book "Homosexuality in Islam"7 and process through which truth authenticates
braves the waters of addressing the issue itself over falsehood. Those who perceive from a theological point of view. However, themselves to be the custodians of the truth the book is an academic piece of work and would attempt to justify and defend their po- it does not provide uncomplicated answers sition as if it were the only truth, until such to the ordinary Muslim. This article therefore a time when new information is presented attempts to meet this need.
to them, compelling them to change their Islam, its sacred texts and their authenticity have been under more scrutiny in the West Orthodox Muslims who justify their con- since 11 September 2001. This, coupled with demnation of homosexuals often use verses The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
from the Quran10 and hadith11 to support Quran 39:55 makes it clear that Muslims are
their position. While Islam, through the very instructed to extract, out of the many possi- meaning of the word, promotes peace in all ble interpretations, the interpretation that spheres of life, many queer Muslims struggle achieves the greatest good. If divine guidance to find peace with a representation of Islam is ignored and interpretations are personally that does not include them. This often instils motivated and unconsciously made, it can feelings of alienation from their communi- lead to both individual and social distress.
ties and rejection by God, friends and fami- lies. Research undertaken by the Inner Circle "We have indeed sent our messen- reveals that for many queer Muslims, casual gers with the evidence and we sent down sex, alcohol and substance abuse, attempted with them the Book and the Balance so that suicide and apostasy have become outlets for humankind can continue to exist in equity."14
negotiating the dilemma between Islam and their sexuality.12
This article explores alternative interpreta- tions of divine texts and develops their po- This article attempts to reveal that Islam, at its tential to reinforce the Quran's inclusive na- very core, does not condemn non-heterosex- ture which promotes equality and freedom ual sexual intimacy. Instead, it is embraced as of choice. All Muslims agree that no other part of a divine plan. Islam, in its true mean- laws, extrapolated from secondary sources, ing of peace and justice, accommodates the may contradict the Quran. Consequently, this individual's sexual orientation as an intrin- article also zooms in on some of the contra- sic part of their biological and psychological dictions in secondary sources such as hadith makeup. Kecia Ali alludes to the fact that the that contradict the Quran on the issue of ho- prohibition on same-sex marriages in Islam mosexuality and the punishment for public do not stem from the Quran, but from the le- sexual offenses. It challenges the Shariah law gal construction of marriage and that sexual which criminalises homosexuality and dem- relationships are both gendered and hierar- onstrates that such law is inconsistent with chical.13 However, her study does not focus the Quran.
on the Quranic texts that can be interpreted to support non-heterosexual marriages. This Hadith were collected in the second half article highlights some of these verses and of the second century of Islam's existence. presents their positive interpretations. Their late development as a source of Is- lamic law is due to the Prophet Muhammad's The Quran through its poetical form of ex- (pbuh)15 prohibition of their collection. Nu-
pression is itself open to numerous interpre- merous hadith collections report on these tations and meanings that are divinely in- prohibitions.16 The companions and follow-
tended to accommodate scientific discovery, ers of the Prophet (pbuh), such as the first human development and diversity within four Chaliphs17 Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan
humanity. Muslims who limit themselves to and Ali, as well as the Prophet's personal one interpretation, or oppose different inter- scribe, Zaid bin Thaabit, refused to record pretations of the Quran inhibit the potential sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) in compliance of the Quran to promote social and spiritual with the Prophet's order. In the second cen- tury AH,18 the Chaliph Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz
issued an order to permit the writing of ha- The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
dith believing that it would put an end to the the existence of Islam). It also corroborates widespread lies about the Prophet Muham- that the current interpretation of the story mad (pbuh). Although this might have been a of Sodom and Gomorrah is a flawed result noble exercise at that time, hadith collection of the influence of patriarchal perceptions of has been and remains a challenging science masculinity.
for most progressive Muslims and progres- sive Islamic thought today. Apart from the Hanafi20 school of thought
in Sunni Islam, there is unanimity among Hadith contain many inconsistencies, con- mainstream Sunni and Shi'a scholars that tradictions and distortions of facts. As defini- homosexuality is an adulterous act for which tive and reliable sources of Islamic law they Hadd21 punishment applies. There is also
are deeply problematic. It is no surprise that a consensus that this sin is punishable by hate crimes against homosexuals, including death. Scholars only differ in the style of ex- the justification for their execution, stems ecution. This author argues that stoning to largely from the hadith. Nonetheless, it does death is not a Quranic concept and that in- present an interesting window into the histo- stead the Quran adopts a pro-life stance. ry of Islam, the mindset of early Muslims and the kind of early leadership that shaped the It should be pointed out that Islam is not a face of Islam. Therefore, I would not discard homogeneous faith. Although the fundamen- this source in its entirety and many progres- tals of Islam extrapolated from the Quran sive Muslim scholars would agree that hadith remain unchanged, diverse cultures and which do not contradict the Quran present a geography influenced different manifesta- useful elaboration on Quranic verses.
tions and perceptions of Islam. Popular Mus- lim belief holds that the Quran remains the The Inner Circle has noted that there is a re- only book in history that has not undergone siding belief amongst Muslim clergy that ho- changes in the last 1400 years. Unlike the mosexuality is a phenomenon which is non- hadith, which has a more complicated and existent in the Islamic world both past and sometimes questionable history of compila- present. In places where it does exist, it is tion, the Quran is believed by most Muslims either an idea imported by the West, or prac- to be the direct word of God to Muhammad ticed by ignorant or uneducated Muslims: "Homosexuality is a moral disorder. 2. "The Best of What Was Revealed"
It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption… No person is born homosexual, just like no "And follow the best of what was one is born a thief, a liar or a murderer. Peo- revealed to you from the One who has au- ple acquire these evil habits due to a lack of thority over you, before distress takes you proper guidance and education."19
by surprise and while you are in a state of This article demonstrates the implausibility of this belief by showing that the act of men Let's make no apology that there are verses having sex with men existed during the time in the Quran that left even the Prophet Mu- of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and dur- hammad (pbuh) uncomfortable. While the ing the golden period (first two centuries of Quran gives a husband polarised options for The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
dealing with his wife's disobedience, from ef- "O ye who believe! stand out firmly fectively communicating with her to beating for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and her, the Prophet (pbuh) never adopted the let not the hatred of others to you make you latter option. Even though such verses may swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be appear to critics of the Quran as being prob- just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For lematic, there is wisdom in its revelation.
God is well-acquainted with all that ye do."25
Muslims approach the Quran as individuals "And why should ye not fight in the of diverse temperaments and worldviews cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, who are shaped by our own experiences. In are ill-treated and oppressed? – Men, women spite of the multiple interpretations revealed and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Res- in a particular Quranic verse, Muslims often cue us from this town, whose people are op- accept those observable through their per- pressors; and raise for us from Thee one who sonal experiences. Consider that one of the will protect; and raise for us from Thee one reasons for the revelation of the Quran is to who will help!"26
make communities workable. Exercising ex- treme measures for social problems does not Traditional, patriarchal views on gender contribute to creating workable communi- and masculinity are one prominent histori- ties; instead it more naturally leads to social cal reason why women and effeminate men distress. In order for humanity to be success- have been marginalised and rejected in dif- ful, polarised extremes are presented in the ferent societies. Through its commitment Quran as a criterion by which individuals are to the principles of equity and justice the reminded to assess, evaluate and keep things Quran makes it clear that it offers no justi- in the balance. However, these extremes are fication for male authority over ostensibly not divine licences to exercise wanton de- weaker actors in society. Islamic history is filled with examples of the emancipation of peoples from slavery, the social advancement "And from everything we created in of women and the care for the most vulner- contrasting duo so that perhaps you would able, including orphans. It is consistent with be reminded."23
the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), that the vulnerable and discrimi- It is through contrast that we come to appre- nated against should be protected. It seems ciate the positive things in life. We can only evident that, had homosexuality, as a sexual appreciate light when we have experienced orientation and identity, been a pressing so- darkness. Similarly we appreciate love and cial issue during the time of the Prophet Mu- justice with the knowledge of what rejection hammad (pbuh), he would have spoken for and injustice feels like. the rights of homosexuals.
As the following verses make clear the Quran The Quran was revealed in a patriarchal, male places great emphasis on equality, justice chauvinistic seventh century AD Arabian so- and the saving of life.
ciety. Thus, its principal addressees are the aristocratic males of a society that contrib- "In the Law of Equality there is the uted to the appalling status of women and saving of life to you, o you men of understand- innately effeminate men. In a span of twenty ing; that you may restrain yourselves."24
three years, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
managed to raise the status of women and lay er rejects evil and has faith in God has indeed the foundations for improving gender equal- grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold ity. A common mistake that most Muslims that never breaks. And God hears and knows make is to consider that the process started all things."30
by the Prophet (pbuh) was conclusive. This has stifled the equity initiative begun by the Although these two verses generally encour- Prophet (pbuh) which aimed to elevate and age people to adopt faith and reject disbelief, maintain the status of women and sexual mi- they clearly set out that the system of Islam norities as we evolve over time. cannot be forced upon anyone. At the same time neither should an individual pursue Is- Most Islamic historians agree that Ijtihad,27 lam half-heartedly. Islam, therefore, provides
once a prized possession of Muslims and a humankind the freedom to choose how they key process in achieving a workable society, wish to live their lives, yet this freedom is not has been lost to religious control and politi- unfettered. cal agenda. Ijtihad was still in practice until the tenth century AD. By the twelfth century, "And if they accuse you of falsehood, believing that Ijtihad led to human error and say: "My work to me and yours to you! You excess, most Sunni authorities declared that are free from responsibility for what I do and the doors of Ijtihad have been closed. Mi- I for what you do!"31
nority views continued to discuss and sup- port Ijtihad, but with little effect. Taqleed28 Assuming responsibility for one's actions
replaced Ijtihad as a means of controlling precedes the freedom of choice and expres- religious liberalism. Progressive Muslim sion Muslims are afforded in the Quran. It scholars today suggest that Islam is unable to places responsibility on Muslims and gives adequately respond to many contemporary those with different beliefs the freedom to social problems because the doors of Ijtihad responsibly express their difference. In effect have been declared closed. The independ- this Quranic injunction promotes a healthier, ent reasoning promoted by the principle of more tolerant understanding and apprecia- Ijtihad which permits a clearer examination tion of others. of the relationship between Islam and homo- sexuality has been used extensively to arrive Verses 109: 1-6 of the Quran also acknowl- to some of this article's conclusions. edge freedom of belief: 3. Freedom of Choice and Expression
"Say: O you who have denied faith! I do not worship that which you worship and Verse 2: 208 and verse 2:256 of the Quran neither do you worship that which I worship and I will not worship that which you wor- ship and neither will you ever worship that "O you who have attained to faith! which I worship. So therefore, unto you your
Enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow way and unto me mine!"32
not the footsteps of the evil one; for he is to you an avowed enemy."29
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was perse- cuted by the Quraishi33 regime at the begin-
"There is no compulsion in religion: ning of his mission through denying his free- Truth stands out clear from error. Whosoev- dom of speech and belief. It was the Quran The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
that gave him freedom to spread his own the questions of gender, sexual diversity and beliefs and to employ the measures through choice of religion without diverting from its which his vision can be realised. Those who constitution? (iii) Are Muslims re-enacting followed his beliefs did so out of their own the past fears and mistakes of their early free will and in spite of the persecution they Quraishi adversaries when they were con- suffered. It would be insincere for any Mus- fronted with change? lim to ignore the fact that Islam came into existence through similar struggles for free- 4. The Quran and Diversity
dom of expression. Indeed, to deny the rights and freedoms to others which enabled the "And among His signs is the creation Prophet (pbuh) to undertake his mission of the heavens and the earth, and the vari- would be inconsistent with his teachings. ations in your languages and your colours: Verily in that are signs for those who possess God instructed the Prophet Muhammad knowledge."36
(pbuh) not to use force as a measure in his "O mankind! Verily We have created you male and female, and have made you "We know best what they say; and into nations and tribes that you may come to you are not to subdue them by force, but know. Truly, the noblest of you, in the sight of through reminders in the Quran and to such God, is the most God-conscious amongst you. who fears My warning."34
Verily God is the Knower, the All-Aware."37
In addition, Muslims believe that they are the The Quran illustrates the diverse nature of people God chose to bring guidance to the human beings in order to contrast it with the uniqueness of God. Language, culture, race and ethnicity were the obvious elements of "You are the best of people evolved diversity by which seventh century Arabs for mankind. You enjoin what is right and were challenged. However, modern global di- you forbid what is wrong and you believe in versity is evidently more extensive. Diversity God. If only the people of the book believed is therefore a divinely intended phenomenon (in this message) it would have been better that challenges humanity to pursue a unify- for them; amongst them are believers, but ing trajectory.
most of them are iniquitous."35
"Glory be to God who have created Consequently, Muslims face the challenge all the different pairs/partners from what of demonstrating to humanity that Islam is the earth produces and from themselves (hu- a good model for overcoming current social mankind) and from that of which they pos- problems without using force. There is also sess no knowledge."38
a need to explore and consider the follow- ing sub-challenges: (i) How can Islam be Scientists and psychologists broadly concur instrumental in a technologically advanced that homosexuality has existed since time information era, while there is resistance immemorial and occurs naturally in the ani- to transformation on the part of its leader- mal and plant world.39 The argument made
ship? (ii) What answers will Islam present to by some orthodox Muslims is that, unlike The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
animals and plants, human beings have the attraction to a person of the same sex, but it capacity to make choices. To lust after one's is sinful to act upon that attraction.
own sex is a choice that can and should be disconnected from one's identity: All civilisations and cultures throughout his- tory have discriminated on the grounds of "Homosexuality as a predisposi- gender and sexual orientation. Patriarchal tion can be disconnected from one's identity religion, often operating through the link when one makes the choice to abandon that between the church and the state, has had a great influence in justifying and supporting this discrimination through conservative in- Although there might be psychological help terpretations of ambiguous scriptural verses. available for compulsive social behaviour I would like to present a few examples of how today, most psychologists believe that ho- Quranic verses pertaining to sex and sexual mosexuality is not pathological and cannot behaviour have been used to justify the con- be cured. A research study conducted by demnation of homosexuality.
the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) failed to 5. The Homosexuality That Is Not in the
prove that their reparative therapy for homo- Quran
sexuality was successful. The study showed that only 34.3% of the 882 men in the study Terms such as homosexuality, bisexuality showed some change in sexual preference af- and heterosexuality, by which modern soci- ter therapy. Yet, the study's findings remain ety classifies human sexuality, are not used questionable and it failed to examine the in the Quran. Nonetheless, a theme of sexu- long term effects of such treatment.41
ality, sexual permissibility and sexual pro- hibition pervades the Quran. It addresses a Most scientists would also agree that homo- heterosexual audience, and is largely silent sexuality is harmless and poses no threat to about non-heterosexual sex. It is important humanity. Indeed techniques employed to to recognise that this does not automatically combat homosexuality, such as reparative imply condemnation of the latter.
or aversion therapy, cause serious harm to the individual.42 It can thus be inferred that Traditionalists often justify the blanket con-
as homosexuality poses no harm or threat demnation for homosexuality through refer- to humanity it is a natural and divinely in- ence to the parable of Prophet Lot (pbuh) tended diversifying factor which challenges contained in the Bible and the Quran and humanity's fear of others. drawing parallels between the sexual per- versities of his people and homosexuality.
Other orthodox Muslims take a different stance on homosexuality, advocating that one In order to appreciate and do justice to this must hate the sin and not the sinner. This per- beautiful Quranic parable, one has to take in spective views homosexuality not in terms of consideration the milieu against which this sexual orientation, but rather as a sexual act parable is recounted.
which involves anal penetration. Therefore, some orthodox Muslim clergy would preach "Do you approach the men and cut that it is acceptable for someone to have an off the highway and commit atrocities in The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
your councils (circles)? But his people gave insomuch that they no more remembered no answer but this: they said: "Bring us the the benefits that they had received from Him, wrath of God if you are telling the truth."43
hated foreigners and avoided any contact with others. Indignant at this conduct, God "And he warned them of Our power, accordingly resolved to chastise them for but they disputed about the warning and at- their arrogance, and not only to uproot their tempted to seduce his guests: whereupon We city, but to blast their land so completely that obliterated their sight. So taste then My retri- it should yield neither plant nor fruit what- bution after the warning."44
soever from that time forward."45
Sodom was undoubtedly the wealthiest city It would not be correct to single out male-to- on the biblical Vale of Siddim in Babylon. Ac- male sex as the sole purpose for destruction cording to Verse 15:16 of the Quran, the city of Sodom. Sexual practices in historical Baby- was situated directly on the trade highway lon should also not be seen in isolation from known today as the Arava highway. Archaeo- idolatrous beliefs and patriarchal pursuits for logical findings and historical usage of the power and dominance. Sex under repressive highway confirm that merchants often traded conditions and in exploitive societies has of- with Sodom and passed from opposite sides ten been used to assert dominance by patri- through this highway. Sodom, known for its archal chauvinistic men. Non-consensual sex amenities and location on the highway, was a which is tantamount to rape has much more necessary resting point for travellers.
to do with an associated need to dominate rather than sexual gratification. In the case Prophet Abraham (pbuh), the uncle of Proph- of Sodom the victims were not only virgin et Lot (pbuh), enunciated the divine law of girls but also young men coerced into having honouring visitors and showing hospitality sex with temple priests as part of their idola- to guests and foreigners and thus Sodomites trous rituals. According to the Quran, Sodom were compelled to give rest to travellers. Be- stands to be the first nation ever to commit cause of the selfish nature on the part of the the crime of subjecting vulnerable men to co- aristocratic male rulers of Sodom and Go- ercive sex with the aristocrats.
morrah, they refused to share resources and common space with foreigners. They carved Temple prostitution was seen as an offer- for themselves luscious hidden gardens for ing to the Gods. Every father in Babylon was personal enjoyment and enjoyed the best of compelled to offer his virgin daughter to the what Sodom had to offer, while common peo- Temple of Ishtar. The virgins were then com- ple and foreigners were subjected to harsh pelled to have sex with strangers as an offer- social and economic treatment.
ing to the God Ishtar so that the virgins may be purified and made ready for marriage. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, has Prophet Lot (pbuh) defied this custom by repeatedly deferring the ritual when he was approached by the rulers to offer his daugh- "Now, about this time the Sodomites, ters to the temple. As a last resort, and in overwhelmingly proud of their numbers and compromise and utter hopelessness, he of- the extent of their wealth, showed themselves fered his daughters to the aristocrats to pro- insolent to men and impious to the Divinity, tect his guests who were God's angels sent to The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
warn him of the coming destruction of the In fact, considering the parable in its entirety, cities. He responded, with a frail heart, that it may be deduced that the justification for perhaps in this hopeless situation his daugh- the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah re- ters would be purer for their rituals than the lated to other factors, including: rape of the angels of God.46
1. The people of Sodom were not monothe- To quote the Greek historian Herodotus: ists and their idolatrous beliefs dictated sexual proclivity and social and economic "The worst Babylonian custom is injustice.
that which compels every woman of the land once in her life to sit in the temple of love and 2. Their inhospitality to foreigners and guests have . intercourse with some stranger . the confirms social discrimination and xenopho- men pass and make their choice. It matters bia.
not what be the sum of money; the woman will never refuse, for that were a sin, the 3. The robberies on the trade highway are money being by this act made sacred."47
indicative of voracity and disregard for for- Ishtar was the primary goddess of love and war. Ritual prostitution was performed in her 4. The people of Sodom exercised coercive name. In Cyprus where Ishtar was known by power through sexual gratification.
the name Aphrodite, it was the custom that unmarried women should prostitute them- 5. The unjust laws and practices in their selves at the goddess' sanctuary and give the councils were constituted to serve the patri- profit to the goddess. In Ishtar's temple in archal elite.
Babylon, all women, without regard to their class, acted as a prostitute at least once.48
It can thus be concluded that the parable of Lot in the Quran cannot be used as a blan- This indicates that the questionable sexual ket condemnation of homosexuality. To do interactions amongst the people of Sodom so would contradict the many verses in the and Gomorrah, as the two leading cities in Quran which promote the idea of unity with- ancient Mesopotamia, were not just among in human diversity. Moreover, a spiritual path men. Hence, it would be incorrect to draw towards the Creator requires a complete ac- the conclusion that the cities were destroyed ceptance of diversity and difference without primarily due to same-sex conduct or orien- judgment. This is not to say that same-sex tation. In the entire Quranic parable, which conduct or orientation should operate in a spans over seventy verses, there is no allu- social or moral vacuum. It merely disproves sion to sexual orientation or that the aristo- the belief that the parable of Prophet Lot cratic men in question were having consen- (pbuh) condemns homosexuality. Scott Siraj sual sex with one another. Strong Quranic al-Haqq Kugle's recent analysis draws simi- terminologies however suggest that the acts lar conclusions: that the parable of Prophet were deeply rooted in coercion and sexual Lot (pbuh) in the Quran does not suggest primacy as opposed to consensual hetero- that consensual same-sex conduct is a sin.49
sexual or homosexual sex. The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
In addition to the parable of Prophet Lot entation operates within this deeper sense (pbuh), orthodox Muslim scholars have also of diversity and such phenomena often cause quoted other verses from the Quran to sup- us to fear these diverse characteristics of port their contempt for homosexuality.
"other" people of whom we have little under- standing. This verse speaks to our own na- "If any of your women are guilty of tures calling us to be true to ourselves and to lewdness, you must produce four reliable return to the very core of who we are as spir- witnesses from amongst you against them; itual beings. It places judgment in the hands and if they testify, then they should be con- of the Creator and confirms the divine inten- fined to houses until death does claim them, tion to permit freedom of choice. or God ordain for them some (other) way."50
"And tell the believing women to low- "If two men are guilty of lewdness, er their gaze and be modest, and to display of both of them should be reprimanded. If they their adornment only that which is apparent, repent and amend, leave them alone, for God and to draw their veils near to them, and not is oft returning, Most Merciful."51
to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or The imprecision of these verses weaken any their sons or their husbands' sons, or their conclusion that they refer to sexual violations brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' among homosexuals. In reality, it makes more sons, or their women, or the followers (of
sense to appropriate these verses to cover a Muhammad) amongst the men who have
wide range of possible public indecencies re- no desires for women, or children who
gardless of gender and sexual orientation. The know naught of women's nakedness. And word "faahishah" used in the above verses is let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal loosely translated from Arabic as "lewdness" what they hide of their adornment. And turn or "public indecency". It is a term which can unto God together, O believers, in order that be used to describe many acts of a shameful ye may succeed."53
and sexual nature for which four witnesses are required in order to prove guilt. The high Verse 24:31 of the Quran may be considered standard of proof required to prosecute such by many in the West as dictating the mod- conduct operates more as a deterrent to peo- esty of women and denying them the right ple from randomly or spuriously accusing in- to choose their own modesty. Yet, it has been dividuals of such public indecency. extremely liberating for women at the advent of Islam when they were perceived as mere 6. The Recognition of Non-heterosexuals chattels of desire. By lowering their gaze and
in the Quran
donning an extra piece of garment in pub- lic, women were demonstrating their desire "Say: Everyone acts according to to be appreciated for more than just their his own disposition (nature): But your Lord physicality. This demonstration would be knows well who is best guided on the way."52 unnecessary in front of the category of men
"who have no desires for women" and poses Verse 17:84 is a profound divine statement no threat to them. One such category of men that recognises a deeper sense of diversity would be the men who have no natural incli- beyond religion, race and gender. Sexual ori- nation towards women as they would clearly The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
not pose a threat to their womanhood. In this attributed to their behaviour as opposed to way the Quran makes it clear that such a cat- their sexual orientation. egory of men do exist in society.
7. Homosexuality and the Prophetic
"As for women who sit inactive and Teachings (hadith)
have no hope for marriage, it is no sin for them if they discard their (outer) clothing in There are numerous recordings of hadith in such a way as not to show adornment. But which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for- to refrain is better for them. God is Hearer, bade the collection of his traditions for fear Knower."54
that they might be (i) held in higher regard than the Quran and (ii) fabricated. It should There are different categories of women who also be noted that Islam today is significantly do not actively seek to marry. Undoubtedly influenced by tradition as opposed to the these categories of women include those Quran. As described above, the traditions who have no sexual attraction towards men. collected during the Prophet Muhammad's Rabi'a Al-Adawiyyah, a venerated Sufi saint, time were all discarded at his command and refused to marry her entire life. Although they only resurfaced in the latter part of the this choice might not have been related to second century after his death. The fact that her sexual orientation, she still defied a social these traditions were collected through sec- norm which she struggled to relate to – even ondary sources and through an eliminatory though marriage by orthodox Muslims has process raises significant questions about been proclaimed as a prophetic command. not only their validity but also the science of Her refusal to marry could also have been at- the collection of hadith. tributed to her earlier experience with men. At a tender age, Rabi'a was kidnapped and It is beyond the scope of this article to ven- sold to a rich slave master. Part of her serv- ture into the hadith discourse, but it is note- ices to this master was to offer sexual favours worthy that Imam Bukhari (265 AH), the ma- against her will. This, as can be observed in jor contributor to the collection of authentic many cases of women coerced into sex today, hadith, stated that he only selected 7,300 out may have had a significant psychological im- of 600,000 narrations for fear that the others pact on her relations with men.
may have been fabricated.55 The mere fact
that such a huge number of fabricated hadith Although the Quran largely, and rightfully so, may have existed puts the authenticity of the addresses heterosexuals, it is not completely remaining hadith in doubt. Unlike the Quran, unmindful of the diversity on the continuum hadith has many contradictions with respect of sexuality. Had there been a case of homo- to sexual offences. One such contradiction is sexuality that necessitated a legal response striking.
from the Prophet (pbuh), the Quran would have mentioned it. However, the Prophet A narration by Abdullah ibn Abbas, states: (pbuh) rarely engaged with mukhannathun (effeminate men) in the hetero-normative "The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) society of Medina. Often his reprove for said: If anyone has sexual intercourse with some individuals amongst them, as can be an animal, kill him and kill it along with him. observed in some hadith narrations, was I (Ikrimah) said: I asked him (Ibn Abbas): The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
What offence can be attributed to the ani- similar characteristics with modern day mal? He replied: I think he (the Prophet) dis- transvestites and effeminate gay men, how- approved of its flesh being eaten when such ever not exclusively so. According to Everett a thing had been done to it."56
Rowson, it should not be assumed that all these men were transgendered or castrated. In a subsequent narration Abdullah ibn Ab- They had influence in the arts of poetry and music and were socially identifiable through their attire. It is interesting to note the duali- "There is no prescribed punishment ty in the reports on how the Prophet Muham- for one who has sexual intercourse with an mad (pbuh) related to these men.60
"A'isha reported that a mukhannath The stark contrast in both narrations which used to come to the wives of God's Apostle were collected and narrated by the same (pbuh) and they did not find anything objec- person and recorded one after the other in tionable in his visit, considering him to be a the same book of collections illustrate the male without any sexual desire. God's Apos- problematic nature of the hadith. One con- tle (pbuh) one day came as he was sitting solation is that there are no references to with some of his wives and he (the mukhan- homosexuality in the more authentic hadith nath) was busy describing the bodily charac- collections of Imam Bukhari and Imam Mus- teristics of a lady and saying: As she comes lim (regarded by Muslims as the two most in front four folds61 appear on her front side
authentic collections out of the six famous and as she turns her back eight folds appear compilations of hadith). Furthermore, no on the back side. Thereupon God's Apostle hadith report an actual incidence in which (pbuh) said: I see that he knows these things; the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ordered the do not, therefore, allow him to enter. She killing of homosexuals. The other four au- ('A'isha) said: Then they began to observe the thentic compilations of hadith do record, in veil in front of him."62
various forms, his condemnation of the "act of the people of Lot" usually in the form of a This hadith narration is commonly used by command to "kill both the active and passive orthodox Muslim scholars to justify con- partner." However, in light of the beautiful tempt for effeminate men and transsexuals character of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and is used as proof that Muslims should not so portrayed in the Quran, it is unthinkable allow them in their houses. However, this that he could have given such an unyielding narration makes it plain that the Prophet Mu- hammad (pbuh) did not find any objection in the mukhannath working for his wives while 8. Homosexuality in the Midst of Prophet they were unveiled. His condemnation of one
particular mukhannath is neither an indict- ment on all of the mukhannathun nor was Transvestites or effeminate men were re- it based on the mukhannath's sexual orien- corded to be present in the city of Medina tation. Rather the Prophet's condemnation at the time the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a response to his actions in this particu- came to make it the centre of Islam. These lar situation.
men were called mukhannathun59 and had
The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
Abu Dawud's collection of hadith provides ity would be seen as less problematic. While another interesting narration. It states that: females having sex with one another was "A mukhannath, who had dyed his hands and deemed to be insignificant because there is feet with henna, was brought to the Prophet no penetration involved, a man having sex Muhammad (pbuh). He asked, ‘What is the with a group of females at the same time was matter with this one?' He was told, ‘0 Apostle considered to be prolific. It is therefore un- of God, he imitates women.' He ordered him derstandable why there is little said about to be banished. They said, ‘0 Apostle of God, female homosexuality in Islamic law. shall we not kill him?' He replied, ‘I have been forbidden to kill those who pray.'"63
Quranic verse 4:15 quoted above is used by some orthodox Muslim scholars to refer to Again a number of interpretations can be female homosexuality. However, most pro- read into this hadith. Nonetheless, it must be gressive Muslim scholars would disagree, be- read in light of the Quran which teaches that lieving that the verse must be interpreted to life is sacred.64 The Prophet Muhammad's include all forms of sexual indecencies that
final response in this narration indicates are publically staged and for which four wit- this commitment to the sacredness of life. nesses can be produced. Ultimately, there is A number of themes surface when we piece only one hadith narrated in Al-Tabarani's col- together the many such narrations that re- lection of hadith65 which explicitly reports on
late to the Mukhannathun. One theme is the lesbianism. It reports that the Prophet Mu- Prophet Muhammad's prioritisation of social hammad (pbuh) apparently stated that les- justice and public morality over the private bianism is adultery between women. Again, or the sexual orientation of the individual.
this hadith, as many others discussed above, which have elaborated Islam's condemna- Female homosexuality is not mentioned in tion of homosexuality, has questionable au- the Quran and is only hinted to in some ha- thenticity and the fact that it is mentioned so dith. This is attributed to patriarchal percep- explicitly reinforces the impression that even tions of masculinity and femininity, with the the sexuality of women and the perception of latter being inferior to the former. Islamic that sexuality was controlled by men.
law is almost exclusively patriarchal in in- fluence and interpretation. Masculinity and Themes in the Quran such as social justice, its perception even before the advent of Is- gender equity, inclusiveness of different lam have shaped how Muslim men perceive faiths, diversity in humanity, the prophetic themselves and how they perceive feminin- example and a forgiving and merciful God, ity in society. More attention is given to the make it difficult to dismiss people of differ- disgust in male homosexuality due to the fact ent sexual orientation or gender identity who that the sexual act between two men directly have played a significant role in many civili- impacts on a man's masculinity. While homo- sations. Taking stock of the contribution that sexuality was socially accepted, it was only homosexuals and transgendered people have accepted to the extent that the masculinity for centuries had to the growth of humanity, of the man is not threatened. In other words, it is a mistake and contrary to the core prin- he becomes the penetrator and not the pen- ciples of the Quran to perceive these classes etrated. Under these social circumstances it of people as detrimental to social institutions is understandable why female homosexual- such as marriage, the family and even soci- The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
ety as a whole. There are certainly many in- "And thus have We ordained for the cidences in Islamic history that point to the Children of Israel that if any one killed a per- social contributions which homosexuals and son, except in retaliation for murder or for transgendered people have made, whether spreading mischief in the land - it would be as it is in the arts, entertainment or politics. if he had killed the whole of mankind: and if Their presence was felt by many before the any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved advent of Islam, during the Umayyad66 and the whole of mankind. Verily there came to
Abbasid67 dynasties, and after the demise of them Our Messengers with clear signs, yet,
the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and are felt, even after that, many of them continued to respected and sought after today.
commit excesses in the land."70
9. Execution of Homosexuals Based on the
"Say: "Come, I will rehearse what God hath (really) prohibited you from": Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to Homosexuality is criminalised in Shariah your parents; kill not your children on a plea law under Hadd punishment. It therefore of want - We provide sustenance for you and falls within the same category of offense as for them; come not nigh to shameful deeds, adultery. Under Shariah law the punishment whether open or secret; take not life, which for homosexuality is death, although there God made sacred, except in justice: thus are some differences in opinion regarding doth He command you, that you may learn the style of execution. This view is held by wisdom."71
most Islamic schools of thought in the Sunni and Shi'a world.68 Execution through stoning
"Nor take life which God has made has been justified on the basis that God used sacred except in justice. And if anyone is brimstone to destroy the notorious cities of killed wrongfully, we have given their heir Sodom and Gomorrah. I would like here to recourse for justice. But let him not exceed examine the concept of stoning to death for bounds in the matter of taking life, because adultery and in light of the Islamic principle he is being assisted."72
that Shariah law may not contradict Quranic injunctions prove that the death penalty for Consequently, on the Quranic continuum of any sexual offense is not a Quranic concept. punishment for sexual offenses there are By implication, the killing of homosexuals is at least three distinguished levels – none of therefore also un-Islamic. which decree the death penalty. First, on the personal level, those who have committed an Before we can do this, it would make sense to offense and ask God for forgiveness will find identify the Quran's position on the sacred- forgiveness and a pleasant eternal abode: ness of life. Various Quranic statements con- sidered collectively emphasise the Quran's "(forgiveness and heaven is for)… pro-life stance.
those who, having committed a shameful deed, or wronged their own souls, earnestly "And for you, in the Law of Equality, bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness there is saving of Life, O you with understand- for their sins, and who can forgive sins except ing; so that you may restrain yourselves."69
God - and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in what they have done."73
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At the second level, where the sexual offense ishment would be doubled to her, and that is has been witnessed by at least four men, easy for God."80
the punishment is dependent on the degree of the offense and is at the discretion of a "If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed free believing women, they may wed believing girls from among those "If any of your women are guilty of whom your right hands possess: And Allah lewdness, you must produce four reliable hath full knowledge about your faith. You are witnesses from amongst you against them; one from another: Wed them with the leave and if they testify, then they should be con- of their owners, and give them their dowers, fined to houses until death does claim them, according to what is reasonable: They should or God ordain for them some (other) way." 74 be chaste, not lustful, nor taking paramours:
when they are taken in wedlock, if they fall "If two men are guilty of lewdness, into shame, their punishment is half that for both of them should be reprimanded. If they free women. This is for those among you who repent and amend, leave them alone, for God fear being compelled; but it is better for you is oft returning, Most Merciful."75
that ye practise self-restraint. And Allah is The third and most extreme level points out Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."81
the limits of punishment for sexual offenses: "Do not approach zina76: for it is a shameful The word "stoning" (rajm)82 does not appear
deed and a way abating!"77
in the Quran. Throughout Islamic history at- tempts have been made to claim that such "The woman and the man guilty a verse was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) of zina – flog each of them with a hundred but was either lost or abrogated. For exam- stripes: Let not compassion move you in their ple, some hadith have narrated: case, in a matter prescribed by God, if you be- lieve in God and the Last Day: and let a party "Umar said: "I am afraid that after of the Believers witness their punishment."78 a long time has passed, people may say, ‘We
do not find the Verses of the Rajm (stoning Based on the Quranic system of equity and to death) in the Holy Book,' and consequently the prophetic teaching of moderation, a bal- they may go astray by leaving an obligation ance should always be struck between the that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the polarities the Quran points out. Even though penalty of Rajm be inflicted on him who com- complete justice, an eye for an eye, is prac- mits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already tical in the case of retaliation, the Quran fa- married and the crime is proved by witnesses vours forgiveness.79 Muslim scholars would or pregnancy or confession." Sufyan added, "I
agree that a hundred lashes are not definitive have memorized this narration in this way." because the number of lashes can differ de- 'Umar added, "Surely Allah's Apostle carried pending on the severity of the crime. The sta- out the penalty of Rajm, and so did we after tus of the person also influences punishment him."83
handed down in the judgment: Furthermore, it is recorded in Sunan Ibn Ma- "O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of jah that the Prophet Muhammad's wife Aye- you were guilty of a shameful deed, the pun- sha said: The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
"When the verse on "Rajm" (Ston- Conclusions and Recommendations
ing) descended, it was written on a piece of paper and kept under my pillow. Following Muslims would agree that the Quran serves a the demise of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) personal and a social purpose. The Quran is a goat ate the piece of paper while we were a vehicle towards God-consciousness and the criteria to judge between what is appropri- ate and what is destructive for society. Hence, These hadith narrations contravene verse the Quran should be instrumental in building 2:106 of the Quran: a healthy society in which everyone is free to choose as God intended, but at the same time "None of Our revelations do We ab- co-exist inter-connectedly and in harmony. rogate or cause to be forgotten, but We sub- Muslims are not asked to take responsibility stitute something better or similar: Know you for the world's problems, but they are chosen not that God has power over all things?"85
according to the Quran to be the community that is instrumental in the workability of so- If these hadith were in fact some two of the ciety through encouraging what is appropri- many thousands of fabrications identified ate and discouraging what is not.87
by Imam Bukhari, then it would suggest that there was a conscious attempt to preserve Iran is a good example of an Islamic state and continue the practice of stoning to death which has a system that is not in the best in- as a form of capital punishment. In the event terest of its people or the society. The emi- of such a case, the following Quranic verse gration of Iranians to the West due to irrec- oncilable issues with religion such as forced marriages, sexual orientation and Hadd pun- "But there are, among men, those ishments has left Iran's Islamic model ques- who purchase idle tales (hadith), without tionable. The Iranian government has not knowledge (or meaning), to mislead (men) "purified" its society from the perceived evil from the path of God and throw ridicule: for of homosexuality; neither has it assisted indi- such there will be a humiliating penalty."86
viduals on the path of salvation by executing them. It is evident that the purpose for which There seems to be no Quranic support for the the Quran was intended is not manifested in notion of stoning to death. Those who justify this society or other Islamic states. stoning to death of people who commit the offense of adultery do so in direct contradic- It can only be concluded that there is another tion of verses 33:30 and 4:25 of the Quran. face of Islam, other than the one propounded Both of these verses describe scenarios in through the Quran, that has taken power which the women in question are married, through the employment of secondary Islam- yet they prescribed that their punishment is ic sources. The Islam we are engaging with either halved or doubled. While it is possible today seems to be an Islam that has usurped to half or double the number of lashes a per- religious power for political gain. This has a son may receive, the absolute nature of the huge impact on the lives of Muslims who are death penalty makes implementing halving afraid to utter their discomfort with certain or doubling of the punishment prescribed by issues pertaining to Islam, as the religion it- the Quran impossible.
self teaches blind-following and obedience to The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
This article has argued that sexual expres- could be alleviated by increasing dialogue sions are only punishable when an evidently between Western and non-Western Muslims; private expression of sexual intimacy be- this would enable many projects which seek comes a public one which was witnessed by to promote LGBTI rights to achieve a sense at least four people. This injunction is to safe- of legitimacy in the Muslim world. It is also guard individuals from being falsely accused important for non-Muslims to ally with Mus- of public indecency. There are many institu- lims on common social issues. tions these days that pass fatwa (religious judgment) which dictates actions around The Inner Circle's research and alternative personal issues such as masturbation, sex interpretation of the Quran is perhaps one with one's legal partner and contraception way in which Muslim authorities can re-eval- and which many progressive Muslims have uate Islam's position on the matter of sexual started to question.
orientation and gender identity in order to bring about an equal and workable Islamic The poetic nature of the Quran is such that it world. It is imperative that funders who can be interpreted in many ways. It depends seek to create transformation within Muslim on the personality and disposition of the in- communities enable progressive Muslim or- terpreter. However, the liberty of interpreta- ganisations to publish and disseminate their tion that this noble book affords us was never views to those who have not had access to intended to disregard diversity or to exploit alternative interpretations of Islam.
its subject's freedom of choice, right to life and freedom to co-create. Other religions such as Christianity and Juda- ism have similar issues with homosexuality Islam will continue to grow as a way of life for and it is to no surprise that their progressive many millions of people across the globe. It is clergy developed similar conclusions as that one of the most influential world religions. As of The Inner Circle and other queer Muslim such, polarising the debate on sexual orien- organisations. An interfaith voice creating di- tation and directly opposing Islam will likely alogue in the hope of bringing forth progres- only create stronger opposition within the sive religious interpretations on the issue of Islamic world. It is important that structures sexual orientation and gender identity could are promoted which enable progressive Mus- have a stronger impact in the transformation lim thought to flourish. Organisations such process. At the same time human rights or- as The Inner Circle in South Africa, Sisters in ganisations should collaborate with progres- Islam in Indonesia, Muslims for Progressive sive Muslims who are open and sensitive to Values in the USA and indeed organisations human rights issues. Building coalitions with that have the capacity to bring forth alterna- Muslim feminists who feel marginalised in a tive understandings of Islam that value hu- similar way to queer Muslims would allow man rights offer important pathways into the progressive Muslim voice to be amplified starting this process.
and the destructive voice exposed. Some Muslims consider that anything ema- Many conservative Muslim organisations nating from the West is a ploy to destroy Is- that operate in the West are selective in their lam. Even something that could be beneficial human rights work and are hesitant to en- to humankind can be criticised simply be- gage with topics such as homosexuality, safe cause it has Western origins. These charges sex and abortion. Such organisations should The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
be co-opted to accept public debate and re- thenticity of the Quran. In the last five years evaluate their stance and its effects on the of The Inner Circle's engagement with Mus- rights of individuals. lim clergy, it was noted that there is much ignorance around homosexuality in their It is important to remember that Muslims are arguments. It is thus crucial that conclusive not opposed to reason, logic, scientific (in- evidence on the nature of homosexuality and cluding biological) and historical evidence. on the psychology behind this sexual orien- Indeed, Muslims pride themselves on the tation is made available to Muslim clergy.
belief that science continues to prove the au- 1 Imam Muhsin Hendricks is the Director of the Inner Circle, a queer Muslim organisation based in Cape Town, South
Africa. Established in 2006, the Inner Circle gives support to queer Muslims locally and internationally and has a number of empowerment programs for queer Muslims and the communities they come from. It also hosts an Annual International Retreat that brings together queer Muslim activists from different queer Muslim organisations across the globe.
2 The term "queer" is controversial as it may be considered a derisive and derogatory term by many people. However,
it saw substantial changes over the course of the 20th century. Many LGBTI people have reclaimed the term as a means of self-empowerment and embraced the term to describe a sexual orientation and gender identity or gender expression that does not conform to hetero-normative society.
3 The Shariah is a code of law derived from the Quran and from the teachings and example of Muhammad's lifestyle.
The Shariah is developed though consensus of early Muslim scholars. Muslims are subjected to this law specifically in Islamic countries.
4 See above, note 1.
5 See Murry, S. and Roscoe, W., Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature, New York University Press,
1997; see also Wright Jr., J. W. and Rowson, E. K. (Eds.), Homoeroticism in Classical Arabic Literature, Columbia University Press, New York, 1997.
6 Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle is the first Muslim to publish widely on the issue of homosexuality and transgender
identity in Islam. He is an independent research scholar in Islamic studies and has taught at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, and the University of Cape Town.
7 Kugle, S., Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims, Oneworld
Publications, 2010.
8 See, for example, Ali, K., Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur'an, Hadith and Jurisprudence, Oneworld,
Oxford, 2006. Kecia Ali teaches religious studies at Boston University. She previously held research and teaching fellowships at Brandeis University and Harvard Divinity School.
9 Quran 17:81.
10 The Quran is the revealed book of God and regarded as the direct word of God to the Prophet Muhammad. It is
also the primary source of law on which the Shariah law is based.
11 The Hadith are oral narrations originating from the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad and later recorded
as normative text. Muslims view Hadith as a secondary source to the Quran.
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12 This research was conducted by Core Krystal (Cape Town) after The Inner Circle saw a need to establish local
Muslim responses to homosexuality, sexual practices and HIV. See also Kugle, S., Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims, above, note 7.
13 See above, note 8.
14 Quran 57:25.
15 Pbuh stands for Peace be upon him, an acronym used with the name of Prophets of Islam as a sign of respect.
16 Al-Khatib Al-Baghdadi, Taqyid al Ilm, pp. 29-44.
17 The word Caliph comes from the Arabic word "khalīfah" which means "head of state", "successor" or
"representative". It is also the title of the leader of an Islamic community under Shariah law. The early leaders of the Muslim nation following the Prophet Muhammad's death were called "Khalifah rasullallah" – the political successors to the messenger of God (referring to Muhammad).
18 AH stands for "after the Hijrah". The Hijrah is the migration of the Prophet and his followers from Mecca to Medina.
This incident marks the start of the Islamic calendar and is equivalent to 622 A.D.
19 See Robinson, B.A., "Islam and Homosexuality: All Viewpoints", available at:, 16 November 2002.
20 One of the four major schools of thought in Sunni Islam started by Imam Abu Hanifa (150 AH).
21 Hadd, meaning limit, usually refers to the class of punishments fixed for certain crimes that are considered to be
"claims of God." They include theft, fornication, consumption of alcohol, and apostasy.
22 Quran 39:55.
23 Quran 51:49.
24 Quran 2:179.
25 Quran 5:8.
26 Quran 4:75.
27 Ijtihad means independent reasoning – the endeavour to derive a rule of divine law from the Quran and Hadith
without relying on the views of other scholars.
28 Taqleed means imitation – the acceptance of a legal precedent without questioning. It is the opposite of independent
reasoning (Ijtihad).
29 Quran 2:208.
30 Quran 2:256.
31 Quran 10:41.
32 Quran 109: 1-6.
33 "Quraishi" means belonging to the ruling tribe of Quraish in seventh century AD Arabia during the time of the
Prophet Muhammad and before the advent of Islam.
34 Quran 50:45.
35 Quran 3:110.
36 Quran 30:22.
37 Quran 49:13.
38 Quran 36:36.
39 Soble, A. and Power, N., The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings, Fifth edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 2008,
pp. 11-12.
40 Alexander, S. A., "Homosexuality", Burhanol Islam, Volume 35, April 2000.
The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
41 Nicolosi, J., Byrd, D., Potts, R. W., "Retrospective Self-reports of Changes in Homosexual Orientation: A Consumer
Survey of Conversion Therapy Clients", Psychological Reports, Volume 86, June 2000, pp. 1071–1088.
42 Lamberg, L., "Gay is Okay with APA—Forum Honors Landmark 1973 Events", Journal of the American Medical
Association, Volume 280, 1998, pp. 497-499.
43 Quran 29:29.
44 Quran 54:36-37.
45 Jewish Antiquities, 1:194-195, available at: chapter.html.
46 Quran 11:78.
47 Dening, S., The Mythology of Sex, Macmillan General Reference, 1996.
48 Harding, E., Woman's Mysteries: Ancient and Modern, Perennial Library, New York, 1976.
49 See above, note 7.
50 Quran 4:15.
51 Quran 4:16.
52 Quran 17:84.
53 Quran 24:31.
54 Quran 24:60.
55 Ahmad, N., Qur anic and Non-Qur anic Islam, Second Edition, Vanguard, 1997.
56 Dawood, Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Report 4449.
57 Ibid., Report 4450.
58 Other Hadith compilations that are regarded as secondary add a little more detail. Some have set out that sexual
relations between women constitute a form of fornication. Some have declared that men marrying boys is a sign of satanic power prevailing. Others offer varied views on the appropriate form of punishment for sodomy, as well as purported (but mutually inconsistent) reports of actual cases of execution for the offense by the early Caliphs, beginning with Abu Bakr. It is interesting to note however that the reporters of these Hadith are either questionable or not very well known and that the offenders are invariably anonymous.
59 Mukhannathun, meaning "effeminate ones", or "men who resemble women", is the classical Arabic term for people
who would now be called transgender women, perhaps poorly distinguished from eunuchs. Hadith often makes mention of them. Outside of the religious text they are strongly associated with music and entertainment.
60 Rowson, E. K., "The Effeminates of Early Medina", Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 111, Number
4, 1991, pp. 671-693.
61 Arabs in seventh century Arabia found fat women attractive. The folds that fat creates on the woman's body were
seen as desirable and desert women with fat were seen as healthy.
62 Abu Dawud, Adab, Number. 4928, 4:282.
63 Ibid.
64 Quran 2:179.
65 Abu al-Qasim Sulaiman ibn Ahmad ibn Al-Tabarani (360 AH). He narrated numerous Hadith.
66 The Umayyads, headed by Abu Sufyan, were a merchant family of the Quraish tribe centred at Mecca. They had
initially resisted Islam, not converting until 627 AD, but subsequently became prominent administrators under Muhammad and his immediate successors. Following the murder of 'Uthman, civil war ensued, and although Ali was initially triumphant, eventually Abu Sufyan's son Mu'awiyah, then governor of Syria, emerged victorious, establishing himself as the first Umayyad caliph.
67 The Umayyads were considered too secular and discontent erupted into major revolts in Syria, Iraq, and Khorasan
(745-746 AD). In 749 AD, Abu al-'Abbas as-Saffah was proclaimed as caliph who thereby became first of the Abbasid The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)
68 Peters, R., Crime and Punishment in Islamic law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006, p. 61.
69 Quran 2:179.
70 Quran 5:32.
71 Quran 6:151.
72 Quran 17:33.
73 Quran 3:135.
74 Quran 4:15.
75 Quran 4:16.
76 Zina is a term used in orthodox Islam for extramarital and premarital sex for which there is a punishment of
either stoning to death or up to a hundred whip lashes. Progressive Muslims would prefer to view zina as sexual relationships with someone outside of a longstanding commitment, contract or mutual agreement, be it verbal or written.
77 Quran 17:32.
78 Quran 24:2.
79 Quran 5:45.
80 Quran 33:30.
81 Quran 4:25.
82 Rajm, meaning stoning, is a punishment that has been prescribed as proper for married men and women who
commit adultery when proof is established, or there is pregnancy, or a confession. However, this is not a term found in the Quran and hence this practice is justified through secondary Islamic sources.
83 Al-Bukhari, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 816.
84 Ibn Majah, Sunan Ibn Majah, Volume 2, p. 39.
85 Quran 2:106.
86 Quran 31:6.
87 Quran 3:110.
The Equal Rights Review, Vol. Five (2010)


Cyclodextrin and bile salt interactions using isothermal titration calorimetry

Cyclodextrin and Bile Salt Interactions Using Isothermal Titration Calorimetry Paula Melo Paulon Hansen Thomas Allan Rayner Supervisor: Peter Westh, Christian Schonbeck International Bachelor Studies in Natural Science Roskilde University, Fall 2009 Firstly, we would like to express our gratitude to Peter Westh and Christian Schönbeck for their assistance, guidance and advice as our supervisors and to Lundbeck for providing us with the different chemicals used in our experiments.

Continuing professional development An overview of appetite decline in older peopleNOP697 Pilgrim AL, Robinson SM, Sayer AA et al (2015) An overview of appetite decline in older people. Nursing Older People. 27, 5, 29-35. Date of submission: March 6 2015. Date of acceptance: April 17 2015. Poor appetite is a common problem in older people living at home and in care homes, as well as hospital