Thursday, 15 May 2008

The next stop - Muslim homosexuality


Apologies, this article has now moved to the new site. Click here

31 comments:

tom watson said...

If all is the will of Allah, then the rejection of homosexuality by an individual must be the will of Allah.

If all is the will of Allah, then the acceptance of homosexuality by an individual must be the will of Allah.

Unless you accept free will, everything you say is futile - as would be my response, as both are predetermined.

I suggest that you stop posing and start thinking.

Anonymous said...

Tom,
Yes, the above piece presupposes ‘free will’. However, this extensively complex topic of ‘free will’ and ‘determinism’ cannot be summed up by your rather simplistic six line argument.

I suggest you become an advocate of determinism; then at least you can claim you’re not responsible for your arrogance and ignorance.

Adam Deen

tom watson said...

Well Adam, the entire Islamic creed is based on the idea that everything is "written" and that everything happens according to God's will.

Thus there is no free will, but both sins (and punishment) are predetermined.

So my arrogance is my own - and your's is God's will.

Have i got that right?

Adam Deen said...

Right ? , I can tell you where you went wrong.
"the entire Islamic creed is based on the idea that everything is "written...."
This is an incorrect understanding. This is the problem with some islamophobic atheists; they try to impose their own understandings on Islam to refute it.
I will write a piece on the correct Islamic viewpoint soon. i.a

tom watson said...

Well, you chaps had that debate well over 1000 years ago and the Mu'tazila lost the argument, despite one of the later Caliphs adhering to their view on this matter.

No doubt you can find some scholar who has written 500 pages of obscure dialogue to try and fudge the issue - but its a rule of life that accuracy is inversely proportional to length.

IMHO the failure of the Mu'tazila to carry the day is at the root of Islam's difficulties and failure.

Adam Deen said...

The wonders of google.

tom watson said...

how can the unbelievers have created "wonders"?

perhaps the kafir's search engine makes you face the same dilemma that the Catholics faced when the Bible was translated from the Latin version into English and other languages?

you assume that i am an atheist. why?

you assume that i am an islamophobe. why?

just respond to the case in point.

is there free will?

"yes" or "no" would be quite sufficient.

tom watson said...

come on!!

you must have googled the answer by now?

Anonymous said...

Bismillah,

Good article.
I disagree with Paul, that "straight struggle group" is inactive and not very big to be catering to the percentage of gays in 1.5 billion Muslims.

As for free will, this is my understanding.
What is written down is written down, but that doesn't mean I know what is written down.

I have the free will to pick whatever I want, but at the same time God is All-Knowing.

I'm taking a class this weekend about the mua'tazilats so I'll explain more later.

tom watson said...

if the 3:45 race at Newmarket is fixed, it is fixed regardless of whether the jockey or the horse know about it.

If everything is written, then free will is illusory. Therefore there is no free will. That is what you are saying.

Right?

Anonymous said...

no response on free will?

it follows that you must be claiming that all sexual acts are Gods will.

so how can you condemn homosexuality??

Tom

Anonymous said...

Allah decrees all things to happen, good or bad. And good and bad has been defined by God.

Allah (swt) has defined Homosexuality as an evil act and that is fact.

The Word of Allah (Quran) is fact and this can be proven in many ways.

If you want to convince the 1.5bllion Muslims that Allah (swt) is wrong or an illusion, then you must first try and bring a rational argurement that the Quran is man's word and not God's.

Secondly, you must convivce the muslims that Muhammad (saw) is not a prophet.

Personally, i would stop while your ahead, because many have tried and have failed miserably.

May Allah guide you.

Anonymous said...

you are rather missing the point. if everything is Allah's will, and predetermined, so is homosexuality. and it follows that the homosexual has no option as nobody can defy Allah's will.

so, is there free will or not?

if not, please let all the sunni imams know asap.

by the way, its your job to prove that the quran is from Allah, complete and unaltered, not mine to prove the opposite. everyone (except perhaps for you) knows that negatives cannot be proved.

so, if you believe that the quran is from Allah, complete and unaltered, please present your proof. while you are at it, prove the sequence in which it should be read. tom

Anonymous said...

If you have not studied the Quran, or read it, then your arguement is futile.

I advise you to study Islam, Quran and Sunnah and then bring a counter arguement, or else your arguement will seem basless with no evidence.

However, if you are sincerely asking to bring proof that Quran is Allah's word and not man's, then i will leave that to Adam Deen to convince you, inshaAllah!

Anonymous said...

Tom, i have mentioed about the Proof of Quran in the above post, and hope that Adam Deen can answer you on this matter.

The Islamic answer to free will is that Allah (swt) has decreed free will on all human beings, however, at the same time they are accountable for their actions.

So my point is, the question is not whether we have free will, rather the question should be, 'ARE WE ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR ACTIONS'?

If you believe that you are not accountable for killing, raping, stealing, homosexuality ETC.. because it is free will, then i say do as you wish.

But remember, the saying of our Prophet Muhammad (saw) when he said to his people 'If you have no SHAME do as you wish'

We muslims believe that we are accountable and are rewarded or punished for our actions and Allah will reward us for our good deeds and also reward us from refraining from evil deeds.

So Tom, the question to you is 'ARE YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS?

Anonymous said...

to the most recent poster above, who says that we indeed have free will, please explain that to the poster 4 above who said, "Allah decrees all things to happen, good or bad."

you have to. it is written. alternatively please justify your "unusual" opinion.

to the poster 2 above, i have owned and read a quran for over 25 years. i can understand its relevance in a savage tribal civil and religious war 1400 years ago. what is its relevance for today? what is its central message?

perhaps now it is in the dishonest "interpretations of meaning" inserted by Islamists?

as for the sunnah, with its dodgy ahadith used to justify tribal customs including the subjugation of women and brutal execution for misdemeanours, not wanted here by at least 99% of the population.

now lets cut the the quick - prove to me any aspect of islam. its just a belief system, like all the others. tom

Anonymous said...

Tom, stop reading the Sun newspaper, its not good for your health and intelligence.

All the rubbish you hear about Islam being oppressive and so on, is all lies and exagerration.

Ask questions about Islam to a Muslim, and you will get a proper answer.

Anonymous said...

i obviously am asking questions about Islam from Muslims, and i am not getting any answers.

why not? tom

Anonymous said...

dear tom, this is how i understand this free will issue, im not an islamic scholar or an authority in this matter

allah (swt) guides who he wishes and misguides who he wishes. In the same breath allah is most just and fair. We makes choices to carry out actions and it is up to him to allow us to be capable to do it or not in relation to the particular action, and guides or misguides based on him knowing us better than we know ourselves. As for it all being written by him, allah is not restricted by the concepet of 'time', time is a reality that man lives under. Im not versed in any scholarly works in this subject, this is just how i have come to understand this matter after thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

WRT free will, having free will means that we choose our actions and are responsible and accountable for them. We dont hide behind the fanatasy that someone has died for our sins and we will be forgiven everything and go to paradise. You have to earn paradise by your own actions and worship. When a muslim says Allah has written everything, it means that he is all aware of what is happening and what has happened and what will happen. He sees what you cant see and so it is decreed and allowed by him. He allows us to choose and those that are worthy and sincere of being guided are guided by him because of the purity of their intention. Someone who truely wants to be guided to truth will be guided but hypocrites and those that decieve others wont be guided and helped, because of their own shortfall and weaknesses. Time is something we are confined to, Allah already knows what we as individuals are like. This is my interpretation of this concept.

muhammad said...

bismillahi rahmani raheem
in the name of Allah the most beneficient the most merciful
first i would like to explain that everything that happens in the world does not happen except by the will of Allah Almighty. everything that will happen has been written down in a book called al lauh al mahfuz. this is to say that Allah knows all that is going to happen. this means we do not. so we live our lives to the best of our ability, when we do something correctly this is from the guidance of Allah, and when we make a mistake it is because Allah has allowed it to happen. meaning that we have the ability to do good but if we don't it is because of our own mistakes that God has allowed to happen but it is our fault because it is said that "there is no compulsion in religion" meaning that Allah does not force anyone to do anything. because Allah knows everything that is going to happen does not mean that we do things while being unaware of our actions and are unable to stop them but in fact we are completely responsible.predestination is saying that ur destiny has already been decided, but because we don't know what is going to happen we live with free will able to decide what we do because we don't know what we will end up doing, and whatever we do it has been preordained by Allah, and He knows what will happen.
to not believe in predestination is to say that God does not know what is going to happen because if He does know what is going to happen beforehand, that is your destiny, because it has apparently been decided. you will live your life not knowing your destiny but it does not mean that it was not already preordained for you.
predestination is in the bible, the only specific example i can think of is when it says about elijah that it has been preordained for him to be a prophet. also if you think that muslims believe that we think everything we do is God's will meaning that we have no free will, than why do christians believe in inheritable sin of adam and eve,(predestination) and you say that muslims don't believe in free will.

NoorSuzanne said...

First, to Adam Deen, I must say that was an excellent article and I couldn't agree more.

I definately think that Muslims should be educated to think in the same terms that you do - so that we can gently remind any of our friends and family members with such inclinations that acting on them would be a sin, whilst thinking about it is not. There is definately more of a need for a tolerant method of correction, through faith and possibly medication, if such research is available.

As for the comments by Tom inquiring whether things are written or not and whether there is free will or not.
Dear Mr. Tom - assume for a moment that you will live your life and die one day, and after your death, somebody who knew your every move would write down a Biography of your life, exactly as you CHOSE to live it.
Now, knowing that Allah/God/The Creator, actually exists OUTSIDE OF BOTH TIME AND SPACE - know that yes, indeed, he has already written your life and all the choices you will make - that is because He does exist outside of time. He can see the moment of your conception as clearly as He can see the moment you will be lowered into your grave. The knowledge "will be" written with Him as you live through every "free will" moment of your life. However, when that book is written is irrelevent. His knowledge goes back before the moment the Universe was created, and therefore, your life, yet to be lived at that moment in time, was already written - just as you would make certain choices - and its knowledge was not ever hidden from the One who Sees All and Knows All.

I invite you to embrace the religion of Islam, the religion of all the Prophets throughout the ages, and the one which was preserved through the final prophet, Muhammad SAS (that is of course, unless you are already a Muslim struggling with existential concepts).

Peace.

Anonymous said...

Erm..where's this Tom dude anyway?

Usman Akhtar said...

Can people start using their names, so we don't all get confused?

May Peace Be Upon You Tom and to all Muslims,

1) You said: "the entire Islamic creed is based on the idea that everything is "written" and that everything happens according to God's will."

You are right. However part of Allah's will is that human beings have a will of their own, that they have a choice in many of the things in their life.

Therefore choosing to do right or wrong, is completely up to the individual, if they are walking up a street and and an intersection comes, they have the ability to choose the realm of right or left.

To me, the term predestination, or Qadr of Allah, means that Allah has destined people to the extent that they are allowed to make their own decisions in many aspects of their life. I'm repeating this over and over again, because it is very important to appreciate this aspect of predestination.

HOWEVER, Allah Almighty, is so ultimately wise that although you have the choice in what you want to do, HE ALREADY KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO. He knows what you are going to do, even if you don't.

It might be a hard concept to understand, but that's because the power of Allah is so immense. If an economist can use probability to determine when we will be in recession, and when we will be in growth. Then Allah Almighty, who knows everything about us, even before we existed, knows what it is that we are going to do. But it is still our choice. So he is so wise that he gives us choices in life, yet he already knows what decisions we are going to make.

That's what I think the Qadr of Allah means, in part.

Usman Akhtar said...

2) Now I elaborated in point 1 that Allah Almighty has given us choices in life. However, there are many choices we don't have in life, like where we are born, what gender, race, social status, and genetic pre-dispositions to disease we will have. Also, how poor or rich we are, is arguably something we can't really control directly. These are things that Allah has decreed we have limited or no choice in, and so He decides these things for us.

Therefore, from my understanding of pre-destination, we have two realms of outcome in life.

Those outcomes we control, and those that we cannot.

Either outcome is pre-determined by Allah Almighty.

The outcomes we cannot control, like race/gender/wealth/genetic disease, are decreed by Allah Almighty directly. The outcomes we DO control, like the choices we make on being honest, or being kind, are STILL decreed by Allah, but in this kind of outcome, where we have choice, there is STILL a Qadr of Allah because:

a) He decreed from the beginning that we have a choice in some matters of outcome, therefore in that sense he decreed that we have the ability to make some choices, and therefore allowed those choices to happen.

b) Because he is All-Wise, he knows precisely what we are going to do, even though we have the ability to choose one thing or the other, and even though we don't know what that choice is, he does. Again the wisdom of Allah Almighty might be a hard concept to understand, but that is because it is so infinitely immense.

3) I conclude that you cannot blame any of the choices of people on the Qadr of Allah, or what has very roughly and without perfect accuracy been translated to Destiny, Pre-destination, or Pre-determination. We are still accountable for our choices in life.

If I have said anything wrong in any way, then the mistakes are mine, and if there is any good in what I have said, it is all due to Allah Subhanutala.

I hope I have not offended our dear brother Tom, and I do not mean that in a shallow, condescending manner, I really am trying to be sincere. May Peace and Blessings Be Upon You All.

Assalamualaykum Wah Rahmatullahi Wah Baraktuh.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a muslim but I found it too difficult to believe in.

I suppose it began when I realised that if I had been born in a jewish family I would fiercely follow and be loyal to the jewish traditions/beliefs. And that I would derive all kinds of 'proofs' and 'evidence' for my beliefs and indeed many jewish and christian apologetics do so. It all seemed to be rather arbitrary. When I asked myself why I believed what I did, it came down to several factors none of which were particularly tenable.

1) My parents believed and they taught me to.

2) I had the Quran and the Hadith.

3) It made the world a more just place where sinners where punished and good doers were rewarded. It gave me strength when I needed it because I could trust that I was a good person doing good things and hopefully on the right path.

Unfortunately there is no real proof for the Koran as being divine revelation. There isn't proof to disprove it either, but as we know it is unfalsifiable and by virtue of that fact a weak assertion. We also have many other religious texts which make similar claims. My issue is why believe the Quran?

My knowledge on the hadith is lacking but as I understood it there were thousands and they were narrowed down utilising a rigorous selection procedure. I can't help but be wary of the agenda of the people who did the whittling down. Nothing is concrete, there's too large a gap which is usually leapt over by theists. Indeed they say - a leap of faith.

In Adams article he mentioned complete and utter submission and to accept things as being morally wrong simply because it has been dictated to us by God. That doesn't sound right to me.
Indeed if God decided it was a good thing to kill all Jewish people, all Black people and all chinese babies not many of us would agree. I think we have derived a set of workable morals and ethical code.

Also please stop persisting on maintaining that free will exists concurrently with a view of destiny. God has created us, God has decided what we are going to do and how we are going to do it and the circumstances in which we are going to do it. Therefore free will is illusory.

Finally I don't think Islam or indeed any religion reflects the world as it exists. Its too idealistic. What is the purpose of the baby who dies at birth? What is the purpose of creating paedophiles? Why is the age of the species over 100,000 years old and monotheism is only 5000? I also still have yet to hear a good argument against homosexuality and also against eating pork. There are quite good theories concerning the forbidding of eating pork which make a decent amount of sense but none of them are religious.

Aqib Hussain said...

Anonymous who stated that they used to be a muslim:

You stated that the Quran is similar to 'other' religious scriptures in claiming to be God's word. Actually I think you'll find that it isn't the case.

Just the fact that in the Quran, God directly addresses the reader makes the claim as boldly as He does is quite unique.

If we look at the other major world religions with hundreds of millions of adherents i.e. Christianity, Hinduism (in its many forms), Buddhism, Confucianism/Chinese traditional religions; we see that actually none of them has a book that claims to be the unadulterated direct word of God.

The Bible is believed by its adherents to be written by un-named "men of God" who they insist must have been inspired, although they cannot seem to tell us who these men were. They tell us Moses might have written the first five books but then can't explain how he wrote in the third person about his own death, funeral and events that followed.

The Hindus have no one book - instead the Bhagavad Gita and Vedas are used varyingly by different sections of the community. The Bhagavad Gita is a collection of stories, no one claims them to be directly from God. The Vedas are collections of incantations, prayers, magic spells and instructions on how to perform certain rituals. Nowhere in the Vedas does God speak directly to the reader as in the Quran, and nowhere do they explicitly claim to be the word of God.

The Chinese religions are based mainly around Ancestor worship and there is no Holy Book claiming to be the direct revelation of God (for they believe in Gods anyway). The same lack of a Holy text applies to Buddhism too, which places its emphasis on realising truths about supposed connections to the Universe by contemplation and meditation.

So is it not enough to sit up and take notice of the Quran as being self-evidently successful in proving itself as the direct speech of God to many billions of human beings for the last 1400 years?

Next - the Quran doesn't leave you there - it challenges you - produce a Surah the like thereof if you can. Now whilst you are probably a trained litarary scholar, many have tried in history and no one has succeeded. In fact some prominent Arab literarians who set out to do so actually converted to Islam after failing abysmally. Others failed abysmally but still remained stubbornly unconvinced.

There won't be enough to convince everyone - that is the nature of miracles. If Pharoah could carry on disbelieving Moses despite sign after sign and miracle after miracle, then so can people today in the face of the Quranic miracle.

As for your mention of hadith - my favourite subject! Then about that I'd like you to just read a primer on the science of hadeeth, a good one is Introduction to the Science of Hadith by Dr. Suhaib Hasan (you can google it). Then just ponder the fact that Islam is the ONLY real religion which has sanad (chain of narration). Judaism and Christianity before were eventually corrupted because of a lack of sanad. In the Quran God clearly stated that he revealed the revelation and he would preserve it. That was not only done by preserving the Quran but by preserving the hadeeth. In the preservation of hadeeth, where unconnected geniuses from all over the world happened to come together at the right time with the same mission at around the same time and preserve traditions in standards outstripping any of Western methods of historical research is in itself a quiet, subtle but immense miracle.

It is miraculous that today people could narrate to you hadeeths and tell you who they heard it from, who he heard it from, and who he heard it from etc. - right back, unbroken through 1430 years to the Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu 'alaihi wasallam). On top of that they could tell you the biographies of each person in the chain and prove that each link in the chain was someone precise and reliable in his memory and also upright in his character.

Aqib Hussain said...

I also want to say to you, it's not haphazard that history has centred around the Abrahamic faiths. The fact that a long line of Prophets in the centre of the world (the Middle East) have been consistently arising throughout history, with the same message on their lips "worship the One God and reject the false gods" is a strong proof of the truth of the existence of the God of Abraham and of His communicating His Guidance to mankind.

Finally, really take some time out and ponder. Modern society, especially here in Britain, is geared towards providing distraction by way of "entertainment" all day, every day. People today get bored like children if they're not listening to music, watching something on TV, doing a pub crawl, tripping on drugs or lying passed out asleep in a gutter on a Saturday night. If you just unplug yourself for long enough for the fags, booze and drugs to clear out of your system, and manage to clear out the constant resonating background music in your head (takes a while longer than simply turning the radio off); then you will be able to think more clearly and you might give truth a chance to become evident.

I pray Allah Guides you to Islam.

Anonymous said...

a.a

This is a link to the explanation of the pre decree and God's Will. It may answer some of the questions.

http://www.troid.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=113&Itemid=321

sakib said...

@Tom watson

there are two types of free will: absolute free will and relative free will. We possess relative free will i.e. I can try and set my alarm to wake up at whatever time etc.

Absolute free will involves changing the physical laws of the universal which is impossible for us to do.

Now God being All Knowing knows regardless of what degree of relative freedom we have what we are going to do but this doesn't mean we are trapped.
It's a like a teacher teaching students; after a while the teacher will know which student is likely to get what grade.

Microprocessor Interfacing said...

@Tom Watson:
It is the Will of Allah that man have freedom of choice in all things that come under his sphere of influence.

So a man is free to do what he wills.

Allah has given his religion and his doctrine. Whoever chooses, of his own free will, to follow the Deen of Islam would be deserving of Heaven. Those who would reject the Deen of Islam would not.

Hope that is straightforward enough.

The will of Allah is freedom of choice for humans, as opposed to lack of freedom of choice in case of Angels (as per Islamic doctrine).