Why Do More Muslims Support “Gay” Marriage than Polygamy?

The debate over whether Muslims should embrace “gay” marriage exposes the widening gap between culture and revelation.

Which flag is more Islamic?

polygyny flag muslim flag

How was that even a question?

Islam vs. “Muslims”

We’ve all heard- or made- the common excuse that there’s a difference between Islam and Muslims.  Islam is the revealed way of life exemplified and legislated by Allah, His Messenger Muhammad (sA’a&s) and his companions (the Sahaaba).

Muslims are people who may or may not fall short in deed, but also, more importantly, in thought.  Everyone’s ready to denounce murder and suicide as unIslamic- “Those people are not Muslims”- but those aren’t the only things people claiming to be Muslims do- and think- wrong.

Support for same-sex marriage, and same-sex relations in general- in the (supposedly) Muslim community is another example, and there are in fact many examples.

Let’s discuss it.  Let’s also discuss the Islamic take on marriage, which obviously includes polygyny (multiple wives, polygamy actually means multiple spouses, which technically includes multiple husbands or wives).

The question, then, is “Can people oppose an Islamic practice and support a forbidden one, and still be Muslims?”

Why Do More “Muslims” Support Same-Sex Marriage than Polygyny?

poly

Muslim (not Islamic) discussion on polygyny:

  • “The Qur-an says you have to be just to all your wives, but you can never be just, so you can only have one wife, even though the Qur-an says you can have more than one wife.” (So Allah allowed and forbid something?)
  • “Yes, the Sahaaba married more than one wife, but you are not like them.” (Is that a requirement?)
  • “Ma sha Allah, be happy with what you have.”  (Then why go to college or work?)
  • “This is considered sinful in my culture.”  (Is your culture a source of Shari’a?)
  • “You brothers are too focused on sex.”  (Polygyny isn’t about sex.)
  • “If a man has two wives, he’s cheating on both of them.  (Rasuulu-llaah was cheating on his wives?  A’oothu bi-llaah!)

Muslim (not Islamic) discussion on same-sex marriage:

  • “We have to be tolerant.”  (What else should we tolerate?  Thieves?  Cheating spouses?)
  • “How can we ask for rights for Palestinians if we don’t give rights to LBGTQI?”  (Do LBGTQIs protest for others’ rights as a core tenet of their agenda?)
  • “Islam means peace.”  (Actually, it doesn’t.  Check your Arabic.)
  • “Islam is perfectly compatible with Western values.” (Which ones?  Genocide?  Capitalism?)
  • “You can’t help who you love.” (Even if that includes more than one woman?)
  • “The Qur-an didn’t specifically anal sex as a sin.” (The Hadiths do.)
  • “It’s not our business.”
  • “Islam teaches love.”  (It teaches men and women to love each other.)

The Myth of the Cultural Muslim

What is Islam?  Who is a Muslim?

5 pillars

Islam, according to the ‘Hadith of Jibreel’ is:

  1. The testimony that there is no deity but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger
  2. Prayer
  3. Charity from one’s wealth
  4. Fasting in Ramadan
  5. Hajj if one is able.

A Muslim is a person who makes said testimony, prays, gives, fasts and journeys accordingly, no more, no less.  The label ‘Muslim’ is a descriptor, of a person who meets these conditions.

It’s not a descriptor of a culture, of a background, or a language group.  It doesn’t matter who your grandparents (said they) were.  It doesn’t matter if you’re from a country where the majority of the people claim to be Muslims.  The only thing that matters is whether you meet the conditions.  That alone qualifies you for the label.

In other words, Islam makes the Muslim, the Muslim does not make Islam.

We’ve got it all in reverse.  We think that “I’m a Muslm, so whatever I say or do is Islam.  It has to be, because I’m a Muslim.”  This argument is not only backwards but circular.

Everything can be Islam.  We are the ones who say “kun, fa ya kun, Be!  and it becomes”.  I say that this is Islam, and it is.

A’uuthu bi-llaah, this is shirk (polytheism, the other deity being ourselves in this case.

“And He (Allah) shares not his legislation with anyone” (Qur-an, Sura al-Kahf (18):26)

This is the position we put ourselves in when we oppose what Allah’s legislation, forbidding what He allows, and allowing what He forbids.

If you actually believe that anal sex, transvestism/gender reassignment/sex change and same-sex relationships are acceptable, read and respond to this.

Is this Islam?

superhanallah

  • In the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia, males regularly hold hands, cuddle and fondle each other openly, especially at nighttime.  The same behavior is rightly forbidden between males and females.
  • In Pakistan, transvestites/cross-dressers brazenly demand charity and crash weddings.
  • In Bahrain, men pay men, who are imported for this purpose, body-to-body oil massages legally, and obviously for sexual acts as well.
  • In the Arabian Peninsula, children regularly perform sex acts on the campuses of segregated schools, with teachers often joining in as well.
  • In Iran, 60% of rape victims are male, and an estimated 1/3 of males have sex with other males.
  • In Afghanistan, effeminate dancing boys are a feature of male-only gatherings, and have been for centuries, a practice also common in the Ottoman Caliphate Empire.
  • In general, it is easier to find a partner of the same sex than a spouse, due to high dowry prices, and caste, skin color, tribal and class considerations.
  • The homo-erotic (and, at times, alcoholic) poetry of Persian poets is celebrated and commemorated, even as vulgar hip-hop and rock music lyrics are rightly condemned.

Is this Islam?

Cultural “Islam”

polygyny

A cultural Muslim is not a Muslim.  He or she is a member of his or her culture.  In fact, Islam exists because of culture- it’s there to solve it.  Here is what “Muslim” culture really is:

  • White Supremacy– “White”- more properly pale- skin is better.  People who wear it are superior.  We bleach our skin, make movie stars out of people who look nothing like the general population, and seek pale-skinned mates.  We mock and hate dark-skinned people.  Western culture and everything about it is superior.  We pride ourselves on how well we can conform.  When “white” people said beards were backward, we said beards were never part of Islam.  When “white” hipsters made beards popular, we said beards were always part of Islam.  We’re ashamed to say we’re Muslim until “white” people re-discover our contributions to their ‘civilization’.  Let’s face it, half the reason we support gay marriage is because “white” people told us it is good.
  • Homosexual tendencies– Homosexuality, pederasty, transvestism and hermaphrodism were  mainstays of Persian, South Asian, Turkic and Southeast Asian cultures, and remained so after Islam arrived.  The reasons many Muslims can connect with and relate to homosexuality now, is because they never really stopped.  The only thing different about western culture is the invention of the “gay” identity- the lifestyle centered around one’s sexual preferences.

Strange Days

kahf

This is all well and good, as long as we don’t pretend that since we are claiming to be Muslims, everything we do is Islam.  If you feel no shame, do whatever you wish.  Those in the right are always in the minority, those who will say to the (supposed) Muslims who sell alcohol, deal in ribaa (usury, interest), support homosexuality, forbid polygyny, and put race, caste, skin color and wealth before piety and character:

“Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression.  These, our people, have taken besides Him deities. Why do they not bring for [worship of] them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie?” (Qur-an, Sura al-Kahf (18):  14-15.

For those in the minority, take heart.  This deen (paradigm) came as a stranger, and it will leave as a stranger.  So take glad tidings of Allah’s pleasure if you feel like a stranger.

And peace be upon those who follow the guidance…

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8 comments on “Why Do More Muslims Support “Gay” Marriage than Polygamy?

  1. Salaam,
    Ramadhan mubarak! I pray and hope you and your loved ones are having a spiritually enlightening and beautiful Ramadhan, aameen.

    The comparison of polygyny (let’s please say polygyny, because we all know we don’t mean polygamy: it’s only men’s right to multiple wives, not the other way around) to same-sex marriage baffles me. Same-sex marriage is about *all* humans’ right to marriage instead of only heterosexual people’s right to marriage; it is about human rights, it is a fight to recognize LGBTIQ individuals as real, existing, and a part of our society whether we like it or not. Polygyny is about men’s right to marry multiple wives… because, obviously, as we all know, men have no rights in our society – especially the right to marriage.

    Importantly, also, polygyny is subject to abuse – we have plenty of evidence of men abusing their right to multiple wives, and most often, women get hurt in the process. Because Islam doesn’t require the consent of any of the current wives in order for a husband to pursue other wives, consent becomes an added element to the problem. For gay marriages, so long as there’s no compulsion involved (just like so long as there’s no compulsion involved in heterosexual marriages), you don’t get to say it’s not okay.

    As for Islam, traditional fiqh, which is very patriarchal and heteronormative (e.g., the status of women in early Islamic scholarship is a huge subject of debate among scholars, and I would highly encourage reading Kecia Ali’s “Sexual Ethics and Islam” on the subject, among several others, which you can find in her bibliography, for example), is certainly very much anti-homosexuality and whatnot, even if “homosexual tendencies” are considered natural. A major part of the argument is about mahr and the marriage contract and how it cannot apply to *two men* wanting to marry because 1) who’d give the mahr to whom (since mahr is a matter of dominance and power – it is, after all, “the price of the vulva” specifically) and it has to be given by the man who will gain sexual rights to the woman necessarily *in exchange for the mahr and for agreeing to provide for her for as long as they’re married* (but this idea that “well, who’d give mahr to whom then if it’s a same-sex nikaah can be easily resolved through mutual agreement between the party); 2) intercourse between two men, according to the fiqh, is haraam (this can be countered in several ways, such as a) given that fiqh is actually the *understanding*, the *interpretation* of God’s laws very much by a group of men, why can’t we continue our development of fiqh so that it encompasses contemporary understandings of sexuality as well and is not frozen in the earlier centuries when it was first developed? and also, no non-heterosexual individuals contributed to the development of fiqh or shari’a – representation matters.) BUT… what, then, about marriage or sex between two females?

    Sure, there are claims that the Qur’an forbids homosexuality, but there’s plenty of scholarship by Muslims that studies this and shows that that’s actually not the case. I would recommend Scott Kugle, for example, who’s written plenty on the matter. or Samar Habib, too. Just like there is plenty of research talking about women and Islam, showing over and over again that the idea of woman according to traditional Islam (to fiqh), to traditional interpretations of Islam, is very problematic and that it’s not supported by the Qur’an, there is plenty of scholarship showing the same for LGBTIQ individuals. As for the hadiths that look very much anti-lgbtiq, that’s not shocking: there are plenty that are very much against women as well (hopefully I don’t have to prove this – google can help with this; just verify them when they give you the source, which they often do, like how women are to have sex with their husbands even of the back of a camel or at the stove whether they like it or not, how women are deficient in deen and ‘aql, how women would be commanded to prostrate to their husbands if God had so willed, how women are this and that, and the list goes on. Some of these are now being considered inauthentic and weak and whatnot, but there are reason for that – primarily that we’re now going back and saying, “Whoa, what is this! This cannot be endorsed by God!” It took centuries to get to this stage, but we’ve gotten there, alhamdulillah!)

    Last but not least, the traditional idea of marriage in Islam also supports concubinage. So why just fight for polygyny to be accepted and not also concubinage? Obviously, you don’t care what women themselves want and don’t care about the reality – only about men’s rights. That scholars today have decided that concubinage (or slavery in general) is not acceptable and we should therefore not bring up slavery/concubinage is an illegitimate argument: exactly how do you suppose we got to the point where the scholars were compelled to say that slavery/concubinage is not acceptable despite the Qur’an’s reference to it in several verses (e.g., “and those whom your right hand possesses…”)? Most Muslims agree that the Qur’an, and Islam generally, was making severe strides to end injustice and oppression, especially of women and of slaves; can we not say the same for *all* people–i.e., that the Qur’an strives to end injustice EVERYWHERE for ALL people? … Why does the issue suddenly become about something else when we’re talking about homosexuals’ rights even to exist but especially to be respected, acknowledged, and granted their due human rights like everyone else?

    It is now a choice to remain ignorant, bigoted, and homophobic, and while we don’t personally have to agree with the arguments posited by recent scholars (or even earlier ones, like from the 10th and 11th centuries, as some of the scholars discuss), it is our duty to be aware of such arguments so that we do not misinform people and do not deny rights to individuals who are already marginalized left and right simply for existing.

    Thank you for reading, and God guide us all, aameen.

    • “Obviously, you don’t care what women themselves want and don’t care about the reality – only about men’s rights.”

      “It is now a choice to remain ignorant, bigoted, and homophobic,”

      How am I supposed to respond to these assumptions and accusations- by embracing the rest of what you say? These comments are hurtful and demeaning. I’ve taken gender courses (electives) at a women’s university. I’ve spoken out against rape, marital rape, victim-blaming, objectification of women, domestic abuse, and in support of women’s autonomy and rights, on this very blog in fact- https://qahiri.wordpress.com/category/genderfeminismwomens-issues/

      I have a mother, grandmothers, sisters, sisters-in-law, a wife and 4 daughters- I don’t care about their rights? I don’t care about the rights of my friends and acquaintances?

      I’ve paid for a woman’s college education.

      So who do you think you are? Where do you get off?

      What was your “salaam”- sarcasm? You obviously don’t mean it, the way you write.

      You’ve chosen an unwise approach.
      1) Insulting tone
      2) Lack of references (links, pdfs, etc.- where am I supposed to get these books?)
      3) Flawed logic
      A) Until you establish that marriage is a right, you can’t argue that denying marriage is denying rights.
      B) I’ve never called for ill-treatment of people because of their identity, so your response is largely tangential
      C) People can abuse anything- that’s not a reason to forbid it, unless you’re going to recommend that fiqh “evolve” to prohibit eating, driving and talking, for example. By your logic, we should re-evaluate “gay” marriage as well, as it’s likely to be abused.

      Therefore, I appreciate you reading and commenting, but I feel that your comment is a very rough draft of an article that you should complete. I would be willing to read it if you sent me a link.

      In general, though, I’ll say that if, as you say, we should continue to study and interpret fiqh, then that is exactly what I’m doing. I’m not resting on any assumptions or following anyone blindly. My deen is only decided by the people who are going to face Allah with me on Qiyaamah, i.e. me alone.

      Here are some links to help you with that paper:
      Study: Domestic Violence Rates Higher Among Gay Men, Bisexual Women http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2012/10/10/study-domestic-violence-rates-higher-among-gay-men-bisexual-women/

      Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/us/29sfmetro.html?_r=1

      Intimate Partner Abuse among Gay and Bisexual Men: Risk Correlates and Health Outcomes http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11524-007-9188-0

      How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

      Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School: A Comment on Rosenfeld http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13524-012-0169-x

      National study finds gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community at high risk of depression http://www.newsmaker.com.au/news/15919/national-study-finds-gay-lesbian-bisexual-and-transgender-community-at-high-risk-of-depression#.VZg4cfmqqko

      A New Gay Disease http://newsweekinteractive.com/2008/01/17/a-new-gay-disease.html

      • Thank you for your response.
        No, the comment wasn’t about you specifically not caring about women (and, just fyi, we can love our mothers, daughters, sisters, etc. but still be misogynistic – we can even be women ourselves and still support and embody misogyny, consciously or otherwise). 🙂

        All of those articles you’re given me (e.g., “domestic violence higher among LGBTIQ individuals” etc, especially if you’ve got some experience in academic settings, taken classes, etc., are subject to severe criticism because of their assumptions, methodologies, etc. I mean, there are articles going around saying, “Homosexuals are most susceptible to suicide and depression! This is why Islam bans homosexuality.” … ? I mean, seriously? What do you say to things like this? Never mind the relationship between society, identity, lack of good treatment, lack of respect and recognition, and negative mental health, but we’ll just say, “to support homosexuality is to support bad mental health.”

        Anyway, we’ve gone passed as a society now about “proving” whether LGBTIQ individuals exist or whether they’re real or legitimate and not, so I’m not gonna belittle your intelligence and give you articles that “prove” that non-heterosexuality is real and natural or whatever.

        My comment had other major points in response specifically to your support for men’s right to multiple wives that I wanted to put forth because of the half knowledge that we share when making claims about certain Muslims’ supposed hypocrisy of accepting/endorsing homosexuality/same-sex marriages but not men’s right to marry up to 4 wives. You’d think, with this totally illogical argument, that IF, theoretically speaking, we universally agreed that, okay, men can have up to four wives *if* all the women involved agree to it, the debate about same-sex marriage would somehow end. Because that’s obviously what it’s about, right?

        Not to mention, we’d never, ever support women’s right to marry multiple husbands if they so wished and if all the men involved consented to it.

        The logic here … ya Rabb, save us all. Then again, no one ever said patriarchy carried any logic.

        • Oh, so you only meant that I mistreat women, not that I don’t love them? You should be offended that I was offended.

          I just picked up on something- you haven’t actually read anything, have you? You named authors whose books you provided no links to, nor quotes from. You pointed out methodological flaws in articles you only saw the abstracts of (unless you’re really gonna claim you put your $35 down). We’ll even skip over the fact that you haven’t described the methodological flaws in any detail. Neither have you referenced the other blog posts I sent you in refutation to your accusation of misogyny.

          Read! In the name of Your Lord who has created. (Qur-an 96.1)

          You’re just parroting and aping, cutting and pasting.

          You’re no different than the mad mullahs of South Asia and Iran, or the (literally) blind sheikhs of Arabia. You’re of the same ilk as the “honor” killers of Jordan, Turkey and South Asia. They, perhaps longer ago than you, decided that they were gonna do whatever they wanted, no matter way, and especially without the encumbrance of Islamic restrictions or guilt about breaking them. No, they would do more than be unencumbered, inconvenienced by Islam. They were going to use Islam, to adapt and bend it, to justify and legitimize, even enforce their preferred way of living. You’re all the same. You think you’re bringing something new, but you’re only adding your brand- West Asian (“European”) culture to the mix, as johnny-come-latelys to the religion. You’re so exactly the same that you can’t even see it. You all like anal sex- between men or between men and women, you all like ladyboys/transvestism/sex changes, you’re all white/light skin hierarchical. You all like sex between men and boys (am I calling out your next move prematurely? sorry. http://barbwire.com/2014/10/16/pedophiles-deserve-civil-rights-argues-ny-times-op-ed/, http://truthuncensored.net/university-academics-say-pedophilia-is-natural-for-males-aroused-by-children/). You all ignore Africa, and Africans, except to objectify them. Do you write as adamantly for African-Americans’ right to life as you do about a father of six’ “right” to remove his penis?

          I’ve met a thousand people like you. There are 5 in every masjid. I call it the Rachel Dolezal effect. The “white” convert/academic-cum-savior/goddess, guiding the legions of Arabs and Desis through their inferiority complexes. You come into organizations- civil rights, religious, etc.- of “people of color” and in order to “help”, you impose “western”, “Euro”-centric values and norms. In time you realize, that to “help” you must actually lead, and teach us who we are, so you just take over. Before they know it, you’ve turned them against themselves, into advocates of what they previously opposed. But because you come from a standpoint of sympathy, empathy, being “down for the cause”, identifying with the struggle, you either don’t see or are able to keep some from seeing that you’re a trojan horse, a colonizer, a usurper, a supremacist. You accuse me of patriarchy, despite every evidence to the contrary (sub-consciously, you’re stopping yourself from reading), to ignore your patronizing tone. Textbook colonial settler mentality. White supremacy in sheep’s clothing. Hipster Youth.

          But if you could see when the wrong doers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the blaming word to each other!

          Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Had it not been for you, we would certainly have been believers!”

          And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: “Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you? Nay, but you were sinners.” (Qur-an 34.31-2)

          I see you, even if you don’t see yourself. If you know what you are, you’re dangerous. If you don’t, you’re even more dangerous. http://www.vox.com/2015/5/27/8671135/bernie-sanders-race

          Stop sucking life out of our lifestyle to inject life into your deathstyle. Call it what it is- this isn’t about Islam or Allah- it’s about you and yours. You are god, the great I am; me, myself and I- the holy trinity. You create law, judge what is holy, decide righteousness as you see fit. With a key or penstroke, reality is created and delineated. You have the power to create, to legislate. All hail, the ever-present I.

          Am I going too far? OK, then tell me- what’s new about the new fiqh you’re developing, the LBGTQI-subservient Islam that you’ve discovered, even though centuries of scholarship could not? Have you studied isnad (chains of transmission) and found that some previously accepted hadith were faulty? Have you discovered new ahadith that were buried in a forgotten book? Are there some verses in the Qur-an that no on ever thought about?

          Do you have even one proof, even one WORD from the Qur-an or Hadeeth to justify your positions (no pun intended)? I dare you to publish it here.

          You can answer if you like, but I am sure the answer is no.

          I think rather that the only thing new is the decision, aforementioned, to live a certain way of life, unencumbered by restriction or guilt, including those posed by Islam. Triumph of the will. It’s nothing other than your own sense of superiority over people, over religion, over god. You can call yourself whatever you want, but you’ll never know what it is to submit, and that is Islam. That is what earns the title Muslim.

          http://www.vice.com/read/the-problem-with-white-converts-to-islam

          You will not be asked about our sins, nor shall we be asked of what you do.

          Our Lord will assemble us all together, then He will judge between us with truth, and he is the Decider, the All-Knowing.” (Qur-an 34.25-6)

    • You have swallowed the left’s ideology that polygyny is inherently oppressive to women and gay marriage is just about human rights. Forgetting that the only rights any of us have are the ones given to us by Allah. Man made rights can easily be altered. Have you forgotten the rights Allah allotted to women? Have you forgotten our marital rights?

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