LGBT and Islam

By | 11th February 2018

This years Celebrity big brother was the first one I watch from beginning to end. I’m not sure exactly what it was that kept my attention when normally I only watch the launch and the evictions but it did give me lots to think about.

The topic at hand was LGB and transgender. In my opinion, Shane/Courtney was a great representative for the LGB community but India Willoughby did not do the transgender community any favours with her constant focus on the issue making members of the transgender community seem aggressive and only interested in one thing.

I am not a judgmental person and I have known and have friends from the LGBT community. What they choose to do with their life is their choice and nothing to do with me. My opinion regarding LGBT has changed a lot over my lifetime and will probably keep changing. Growing up in the Muslim community, I used to think same sex relationships were a sin and being transgender is completely wrong. I used to think it was all a mental health issue and you could probably cure it with some therapy or something.

When I started researching in to my faith, the Quran and just some general reflecting on the issue, I started battling with myself regaling this LGBT issue. There whole issue of gay marriage legalisation also kept the issue fresh in my mind. I’ve come to the conclusion that what I feel about the issue should be my own opinion and not dictated to me by my faith or community. We are all intelligent human beings so we don’t need other people telling us what to think just because we belong to a particular ideology.

Love was the first issue I tackled. Is love forbidden between two people of the same gender? Love exists in many forms and I’ve come to accept that it is gender neutral. We all love people of different genders, whether it is your family or friends or just people you have in your life that you have grown to care about.

Once I accepted that it wasn’t love that was the issue, the next hurdle I needed to get over was the issue of sex. If god gave us the ability to love who we like and sometimes we can’t control who we fall in love with, does it make sense then that God would want us to control how two people who love each other express their feelings? Why would some expressions of love be ok but not others? Why would it make a difference if a couple was heterosexual or homosexual if the way they express their love was the same?

So my next thought, believe it or not, which I was clinging on to was, it was a sin because they’re not married. I still thought sex outside of marriage was a sin. As homosexuals couldn’t get married, they are still committing a sin.

The Quran talks about marriage and the need for witnesses etc but there was something missing. Nowhere in the Quran does it say everyone should get married. So getting married was a choice. Nowhere in the Quran does it say we must have children. So procreating was also a choice.

There is a verse that is always used to ‘prove’ that sex outside of marriage is a sin. The word Zina is traditionally translated as illegal sex ( sex outside marriage or adultery). The punishment for which is 100 lashes. Which to me was quite clear that sex outside of marriage is a sin. Until someone pointed out that, the Quran doesn’t mention any punishments for murder, terrorism, rape or oppression which all hurt others but the Quran mentions a specific punishment for sex outside marriage? How does that make sense? What kind of god does that?

It took a while for me to reconcile with myself on this final issue. I’m not clear about what the Quran actually says on the subject as I don’t believe the traditional translation is accurate as it’s doesn’t make sense in view of all the more serious issues in the world that isn’t tackled by the Quran. So I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever the Quran is talking about, it can’t be talking about sex outside of marriage and marriage is just a man made tradition to recognise a couple within the community for the benefit of the family and to help with inheritance rights if something was to happen.

So my opinion on the topic of homosexuality has taken a 360 degree turn. I no longer feel there is anything wrong with it and no longer consider it a sin. I’ve never had an issue with transvestites as I see it as an act. The question of people dressing like the opposite gender is not an issue for me as I believe how a gender dresses or behaves is a man made ideology and not nature.

My view on Transgender however has not changed. Just like your race, your gender is decided by your body not your mind. If a person wanted to change their race, they would be seen as mental dysfunctional or ill but for some reason if someone wants to change their gender it is somehow normal? I also don’t agree with spending NHS money on gender reassignment when it could be spent on other more important things. If a person wants to change their gender, they should be offered counselling deal with their issue of self image and if they are adamant they want to change their gender, it should be left to them to fund the transformation.

Once the person has gone through the transition, I do believe they are to be addressed as their new gender and it doesn’t change my approach to the subject that your genre is decided by your body.

I don’t however think that changing your gender is a sin in anyway as it’s a superficial choice that doesn’t have a negative affect on others.

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