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Proposition 8 – “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”

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Innalhamdolillah.  Bismillah hir Rahman nir Raheem.  Indeed, all praise is for Allah.  In the Name of Allah, Whose Mercy transcends every comparison, Who is Always Merciful.

[written by abu abdAllah T. Ahmed]

President John F. Kennedy said “Things do not happen.  Things are made to happen.”  His brother Robert said, “Only those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”

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For some observers, the passage of Proposition 8 in California on November 4, 2008, was made to happen by the Mormons.

Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting here.

“We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.

The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.

“Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage,” NYTimes.com, 11/14/2008

Many Americans took notice. There have been protests, letters, more letters (these include comments on the resignation of a Mormon from his job after he was criticized for his $1,000 contribution), and — maybe it was inevitable — a musical.

Formal scrutiny of Mormon efforts now includes an official review by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission.

The complaint, filed by Fred Karger, founder of the group Californians Against Hate, asserted that the church’s reported contributions — about $5,000, according to state election filings — vastly underestimated its actual efforts in passing Proposition 8, which amended the state’s Constitution to recognize only male-female marriage.

Mr. Karger’s complaint paints a sweeping picture of the involvement by the church leadership, and raises questions about who paid for out-of-state phone banks and grass-roots rallies in California before the Nov. 4 vote.

“Who paid for the buses, travel costs, meals and other expenses of all the Mormon participants?” the complaint reads. “No contributions were reported.”

The complaint also touches on a five-state simulcast from church leaders to Mormon congregations, as well as a Web site, preservingmarriage.org, that featured a series of videos advocating passage of the ballot measure and is labeled “an official Web site” of the Mormon Church.

“Inquiry Set on Mormon Aid for California Marriage Vote,” NYTimes.com, 11/26/2008

The Church’s spokespeople have reported that the LDS will comply fully with the investigation.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I have to imagine at least some readers are thinking, “Forget copying the Jews, let’s copy the Mormons!” :)

No, seriously, should we?  The Mormons got a GOP Presidential candidate (and we got President-elect B. HUSSEIN O. someday the GOP will openly call him President B.O., you watch). They have tons of clout. Mormons have their own state, don’t they?

Sure they do.  Hey!  Maybe we should all migrate, too, like the early Mormons did: by wagon train.  A camel caravan might be more “us,” but a caravan of minivans and u-hauls would work, too.  We could congregate in some beautiful under-populated state, too…

How about Idaho?  The Idaho panhandle is one of the most beautiful places on earth, mashaAllah, and if the good people there could live with someone like the Honorable Helen Chenoweth as an elected official, then caravans of Muslim Americans should be easy to accept.  Coeur d’Alene will host semi-annual IDCs — Idaho Dawah Conventions, because all the TDC hosts will relocate there, and that’ll really teach ’em for declaring 2009 to be the last TDC.  :P

Spring TDC, sorry, Spring IDC would feature awesome nature survival-walks where walis would be paired up by Imam Siraj Wahaj with single brothers — the teams would face all kinds of challenges devised by sisters with grudges — and at the end of each “walk,” each surviving father-in-law-future-son-in-law team would realize that they need each other’s support to survive the plots of women. :) 

Winter IDC would be a winter wonderland of nikkahs, bazaars, and armed chaperons enforcing attendance at lectures, strict non-mixing between non-mehrams, any law in the shariah that they want to enforce, dress codes, cooking practices, etc.  Wait.  I’m sorry.  I do not know if the Mormons ever do or did any of that — but who cares?  And of course the armed chaperons would be around at Spring IDC, just harder to spot among the trees. Wouldn’t it be cool to have our own state?

Our own private Idaho? :) Then someday, our own United States of Islam?

Okay, some of you want your money back because the last few paragraphs were so blatantly and unnecessarily self-indulgent.  I hardly bothered to spell-check what I was writing, because I do not believe any of it after roughly “Maybe I’m wrong.”  Be honest, do you really think any of those juvenile ideas should be implemented? (except for moving TDC to Coeur d’Alene which really would rock!)

As for the idea that Muslims should imitate Mormons, you should be even more skeptical.

Consider for a moment this report from the blogosphere:

When your biggest negatives are that people think you’re pushy, rich, secretive, weird, and hell-bent on imposing your seemingly-cultish way of life on them, the last thing you should do is use gobs of money to force your views on millions of others. It’s not clear what the Muslims were thinking, but in the process, they may have made a few friends on the religious right – friends who still think the Muslims are a cult, mind you (even the Muslim’s evangelical “allies” have this to say about them, “Our theological differences with Islam are, frankly, unbridgeable”) – but they’ve just convinced millions of other Americans that they’re hateful heavy-handed bigots.

There are only a few changes to that paragraph from a blog commenting on this story in the Salt Lake Tribune. I replaced the words Mormon and Mormonism with Muslim and Islam.

There are Muslims who are gung-ho about forbidding the munkar.  I mean they champ at the bit for it.  They love the Proposition 8 crowd (but not in that munkar-anti-Prop-8-way).  Some of those people are basically just wacked-out khawaarij types who find fault with how brothers line up for salat (and spend none of their time encouraging more people to come to the masjid for prayer), how a sister wears hijab (and not whether this sister prays at all), and a host of other “grave problems” that need to be addressed.

A lot of good, honest, Muslims who are just as interested in enjoining maaruf as they are about forbidding munkar — they get swept up in the ideas of the “wackos.”  They respond to the Mormons’ goal of protecting marriage and forging coalitions with groups of non-Muslims who likewise want to protect marriage.

The true wackos do not listen to anyone other than other wackos, so if anything I’ve written seems non-blasphemous to you, then be careful: you may not be a wacko.  But I want anyone who is still with me (out of the goodness of your heart, mashaAllah) to consider the hadith of Aisha, radi Allaho anha.  The mother of the believers told us in no uncertain terms that if the first revelation had been a command to abandon fornication, no one would have converted.

Do you realize what that means?  The Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam had the full trust of his people.  They knew he had never engaged in lewdness.  Knew the sheer beauty and nobility of his character, sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam.  No one in America who calls himself Muslim (don’t even start picking apart his aqeedah) is so respected by non-Muslim Americans as Muhammad sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam was respected by the mushrikeen.  If his dawah would never have worked with No-Fornication as its first message, do you think your dawah would fare better?

Allah Knew that the Prophet’s dawah had to be gradual.  Yet some munkar was forbidden, certainly shirk was forbidden.  And Allah did not tolerate even in the first years of revelation the mushrik practice of burying female infants and young girls.  So, Muslims who want to team up with non-Muslims on the modern equivalent — abortion — I think you make a persuasive argument.  Such crimes shock the conscience — even the person who has just killed a fetus (for any reason) cannot find any pleasure in that act.

Lewdness, promiscuity, fornication — straight or gay — are crimes that the criminal enjoys.  That enjoyment may cloud his reasoning altogether — may Allah protect us from any zina and from any sexual deviancy.   It makes sense that Allah made the prohibition and punishment of zina gradual, just as He gradually forbade alcohol.  Because once a person has engaged in such crimes, it takes a Muslim’s obedience to Allah to save him from those sins.

So increase your dawah, make Islam accessible to non-Muslims, and if you want to forbid munkar in coalitions with non-Muslims, maybe the laws you support should not conflict with the shariah!  When Texas passed its own version of Proposition 8, many Muslims worked on behalf of passage.  But guess what!? The law passed in Texas with Muslim support not only bans gay marriage — but marriage between first cousins, and any plural marriage. So in Texas, perversely perhaps, Muslims were voting against the shariah.Which is exactly why voting in America should be haraam!” — sayeth the wacko and the neocons who love him…

While almost everyone credits the manpower and financial backing of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with rescuing Proposition 8 from failure, people who are angry with the Mormons’ intervention are much louder than (and may vastly outnumber) those who praise it. Mormon opportunities for dawah in America are suffering. So much criticism is being heaped on the church and its members that a commentator can ask, “have the Mormons failed miserably even while they achieved greatly?

What the future of the Mormons will be in America, only Allah Knows. The Mormons may be lucky that so far not many people have reported the Proposition 8 story while also mentioning this gem. Well, I only gave the link…

To all of us who cherish the Reminder of Allah that we should find common ground, take heart that there are Americans who have a similar ethic.  As many Americans will tell you, though, the devil is in the details.  I’ll give President Kennedy the last words (delivered in a commencement address at American University):

So, let us not be blind to our differences — but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.

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Bismillah walhamdolillah. May Allah accept my repentance and yours. I am an attorney, a stepfather, a husband, a son, and a Muslim. Studying Islam is a means, reflecting what I have learned is a must, and to Allah is the inevitable return. If you would like my help, know that Allah is the source of all aid. If you would like to contact me, try tariqnisarahmed at Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, or add me as a friend on Facebook.

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. OsmanK

    December 9, 2008 at 2:58 AM

    I dont really get what the message seems to be.

    I dont see anything wrong with what the Mormons did. They believe that same-sex marriage should be illegal, so they put some money to vote it down, and it wins? I dont get what is so wrong with what they did? They werent violent, or abusive, or cause any civil disruptions. I think its just anger at a lost vote more than anything. I dont see anything wrong with the anti-Prop8 demonstrations either as long as they are not breaking any laws.

    Should Muslims have voted no on Prop8 to become more acceptable? I dont think so. We cant change our religion to suit others. Remember how it says in the Quran that the kufaar will never be satisfied.

  2. Algebra

    December 9, 2008 at 9:42 AM

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    I very much ADMIRE the MORMONS BRAVERY for standing up for their RELIGION……………

    I wish realllllllllly wish that our MEN and WOMEN were STRONG and BRAVE in OUR DEEN like these people are.

    BTW, i have quite a few mormon friends and believe me they are strong and brave in their deen. I guess i can relate to them because they can relate to me when i tell them that my father practices polygamy too. THEY GET SO SURPRISED that he did the same thing as they are doing in this country.
    anyway my 2 cents worth.
    I have to go to work now……………… salam

  3. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 9, 2008 at 9:52 AM

    bismillah.

    I dont really get what the message seems to be… Should Muslims have voted no on Prop8 to become more acceptable? I dont think so. We cant change our religion to suit others. Remember how it says in the Quran that the kufaar will never be satisfied.

    Your comment shows how little you understood.

    Nowhere in the article do I state that Muslims should have voted “no” on Proposition 8 — nor would I endorse “yes” votes, either. A vote in favor of Proposition 8 was a vote stating that plural marriage should be illegal — that what Allah made halal should be prohibited.

    My article absolutely does not suggest that Muslims “change our religion to suit others.” The wording of your comment implies that there is a zero-sum-game: that either Muslims should vote for Proposition 8 or use the tactics of groups like the Mormons and the pro-Prop-8 crowd, or else Muslims have changed their religion. Try to use some common sense.

    My article points out that the Mormons made a bad-dawah call when they played politics as they did. Muslims who are rabid-munkar-prohibiters likewise risk poisoning the world against Muslims.

    As my article points out, there are many different kinds of munkar, and Allah and His Rasool, sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam, used appropriate measures to cure the Muslims of each of them. Some kinds of munkar can and should be attacked head-on, like shirk and the killing of unwanted-infants/fetuses. The more a person enjoys a crime, however, the more that person needs belief in Islam to help him stop. So if you really want to fight those kinds of munkar, you should dedicate yourself to spreading acceptance of tawheed.

    If it makes you feel better, Osman, when I was asked to write about the Mormons and Proposition 8, I was specifically asked not to take just one side. :)

  4. Zaynab

    December 9, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Long article, but over all it was nice, masha’Allah. A little editing would have made your point stronger (i.e. cut back on the dream sequence in the middle :) )

    I think Muslims should be worried about the passing of Prop 8 though. It’s bigger than the actual issue of Gay Marriage.
    The government is taking a minority group’s rights way without any constitutional reason. Gays still have to pay the same taxes but are not awarded the same rights as all the other citizens. When you look at the bare facts it’s a civil rights issue.

    Before I get attacked: I understand and agree whole-heartedly with Allah ta’ala’s prohibition of homosexuality, He calls it an abomination.
    BUT: People who worship other than Allah are the worst type of sinners right? and we make efforts to work with them and respect them, and in that case we have no problem agreeing to get along because we are all human at the end of the day.

    I’m not saying Muslims should have voted either way on Prop 8, I just think we should consider what this means for the rest of the country and not be so quick to rally behind it because we agree with it on the surface.

    Bottom line: if it’s okay for the country to vote one group’s rights away, how can we be sure we’re not next?

  5. Zaynab

    December 9, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    ps. I’m actually from Canada, so it’s not MY country and MY rights I have to worry about.
    We have gay marriage here and I have yet to see the collapse of all I hold dear :) No one talks about it, it’s pretty rare but if you meet a married gay person it doesn’t stop the conversation any more than a straight married individual would.

    Not endorsing it…just saying.

  6. aarij

    December 9, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    The article should’ve been half its length. Too many words spoil a good article.

  7. mb

    December 9, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    This was a very confusing article, and I didn’t get the message you were trying to convey. Maybe go through and do a quick edit? It meanders a lot.

  8. Salman Zahid

    December 9, 2008 at 1:03 PM

    @ Zaynab,

    You bring up some really good points. I’d tend to agree with you, but the problem comes that you’re perceived to be FOR gay-marriage then!

    Its a really difficult situation that doesn’t seem to have any clear winners on either side for us.

    Great article by the way, but yes I do agree that it seems to take its time to get to the point.

  9. Qas

    December 9, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    We have gay marriage here and I have yet to see the collapse of all I hold dear

    I’ve seen this argument made by the pro-gay marriage crowd. It always reminds me of the attitude of people in the Quran who would mock the Prophets saying “so where is the curse of Allah?” (not saying you are mocking Islam, though). So, as muslims, we should these kinds of arguments.

  10. Zaynab

    December 9, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    @ Salman Zahid
    It’s a sticky situation. I’d say that I’m not FOR gay marriage, I’m for the government honouring it’s word.
    That’s the tricky thing about living in a secular country, we have to play by the rules that people make up, and since we’re only human we don’t really understand the ramifications of our decisions. Best case scenario: we should live under the Laws of Allah. But if a group decides to do otherwise the least they can do is honour their word.

    My fear is just that this sets a bad precident. If you really analyze the argument in terms of the constitution it’s not fair, and people can see the hypocrisy of it.

    @ Qas
    You raise a good point. A society that openly transgresses is subject to the curse of Allah. And just because I cannot definitively point out what it is doesn’t mean we are not suffering through it or that it is not coming. I’ll try to think more carefully when speaking on a subject like this. May Allah forgive us all and help us protect our tongues. Ameen.

  11. Farhan

    December 9, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    So, the point of this very long and seemingly random post was to encourage the good MORE than forbid the evil?

    Makes sense!

  12. Miako

    December 9, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Yes, encourage the good rather than scream at the evil.
    This, I believe, is a good tack to use with abortion as well.
    As no one really wants to do that, a Muslim could step up and say, “I will care for you and your baby” (with financial assistance). That way, the woman need not worry about problems so much.

  13. Ahsan Sayed

    December 9, 2008 at 9:18 PM

    People please use your critical reading skills and read between the lines before your criticize the article. Come on its like something we all learned in high school. The point of good writing is never blatantly obvious. Good writing requires readers to think and contemplate about the writing before the true intentions of the author becomes clear. Please use your head before you start criticizing a peice that may have taken time and effort on the part of the author. This is a really good piece and isnt that hard to comprehend–its not Tolstoy or James Joyce. Good job abdallah!

  14. Yasir Qadhi

    December 9, 2008 at 10:02 PM

    As Muslims, it is important that we are politically savvy in the civic actions that we engage in in secular lands.

    Just because we believe a certain matter to be morally wrong (and we do in this case) does not mean necessarily mean that we should push for legislation curtailing it, and neither does it mean we should oppose it! Rather, we must do some basic analytical studies to see the pros and cons of any such attempt before we jump on any bandwagon.

    Many sincere Muslims are viewing this matter from a purely moral standpoint, but are not taking into account the long-term possible damages to our religion as a whole (and Abu Abdullah has pointed some issues out, and there are others too). With regards to this Proposition, very few Muslims are aware of the extreme amount of negativity that it generated against the Mormon Church. For many neutral outsiders, this was a PR blunder of the highest magnitude for them.

    Another issue that we need to be brutally honest about is that, in a secular liberal democracy, curtailing the rights of any one group automatically raises the danger of curtailing the rights of another. It is because of this reason that in some countries Muslims have had to come together with other religions in order to allow religious symbols in public. What that means is that Muslims have to defend the right of a Christian to wear a cross (something that many scholars in Eastern lands would prohibit without any discussion of the matter), because the very same right that allows a Christian to wear a cross also allows us to grow beards and our sisters to wear hijabs. Many of the groups that are powerful enough to lobby against gay marriages are also powerful enough, and have enough theological incentives, to lobby against many Muslim practices as well.

    And there is also the added issue of priorities, as the statement of Aisha reminds us. Our first priority should be that we secure the rights as Muslims to practice Islam in our own personal lives. After this, we should be free to give a positive image of our religion and preach tawhid to the masses. So what if, by supporting a specific proposition (not necessarily this one), we actually damage our credibility and cause many people to ignore our more important message? Is it worth it?

    Just to be clear: I personally was not sure of the best way to proceed with regards to Proposition 8. In other words, I saw much benefit in supporting it and I also saw much harm.

    What I would like us to think about through this article is the larger issue of how we proceed in civic engagement in a manner that is the most productive to our religion. It’s not an easy matter to decide, but as long as we are more nuanced in our outlook, that would be a first positive start.

  15. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 9, 2008 at 10:11 PM

    bismillah. on article length — i agree. i needed an editor. :)

    @homosexual rights as civil rights. let me offer a different approach to the situation. the most common political slogan used to back laws like Proposition 8 is that they are “defense of marriage” acts. as Muslims, we should not let ourselves be swept up by such slogans.

    defend marriage? seriously?

    let’s list some of the many defenses of marriage in Islam:
    (1) a categorical prohibition on fornication and adultery
    (2) corporal or capital punishment for fornicators or adulterers, if the acts occur in public (because that’s how you get witnesses, and the institution of marriage is not threatened by private actors)
    (3) corporal punishment of those who allege fornication or adultery without requisite proof/witnesses (because defamation of character destroys marriages)
    (4) hijab, niqab, modest dress and behavior for both genders
    (5) multiple ayat and hadith extolling the virtues, Mercy, and wisdoms of marriage
    (6) polygyny (as an institution reducing the number of unmarried widows and divorcees, as well as protecting the children of such women, and all-but-eliminating the excuse of male adulterers)
    (7) a categorical prohibition of homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and similar deviant behaviors

    Islam is state-of-the-art marriage defense. by comparison, efforts like Proposition 8 are not just weak and pathetic: they give Americans a false sense of security.

    and guess what! most of the items on that list cannot be imposed on an unwilling majority. so you cannot simply legislate them. you have to educate people. and the most important thing to educate them on?

    la ilaha illAllah.

    when the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam sent the sahaba to Yemen, did he make “defense of marriage” the message? did he water down Islam? did he change Islam to suit them? of course not. only an idiot would say so. he did exactly what Allah intended: he told the sahaba to teach the people to accept “la ilaha illAllah.” and when they accept that, then salat. and so on.

    and Yemen was a land in which conquering Muslims could have legislated anything! so if in that situation the Prophet sull Allaho alayhi wa sallam showed such wisdom and restraint, why are Muslims in the land-that-brought-the-world-Wounded-Knee,-Manzana,-the-H-Bomb-(and-USED-it),-and-Guantanamo-Bay so strident in ignoring his example?

  16. Faiez

    December 10, 2008 at 12:43 AM

    They call cigarettes fags in Britain. In any case, the homos seem to be fighting back:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081209/D94URMF80.html

  17. Siraaj

    December 10, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    Salaam alaykum guys,

    I would have voted for Prop 8 without a second thought, even with all the other qualifications.

    Shaykh Yasir, I 100% agree with you that Muslims need to be politically savvy, even if they don’t actively participate, but I think part of that political savvy is not underestimating the intelligence of the people around you. Many of our positions on certain matters are well-known, and if we try to spin them or hide them to achieve “the greater good”, there will be more than a thousand fingers pointing at you in the form of experts relating both what the texts of Islam say on homosexuality as well as the punishment for such practices in modern Muslim states. I have read debates where prominent Muslim political activists were flayed alive in discussions by anti-Muslim bigots using the Qur’aan and the Sunnah (to their credit, they knew it better than the activists) against them because said activists didn’t have the courage to stand up and simply say in Salman al-Faarisi style, “Na’am!” And, I might add, with a cursory search of popular da’ees online audios, they will easily extract statements made about homosexuality by such da’ees and say to them, “What did you mean by this?” ;)

    Abu Abdullaah, you’ve spent a great deal of your post caricaturing Muslims who stood for this bill and voted for it, conservative Muslims, I might add. With all due respect, this is not an intelligent or constructive manner in which to talk about people who encouraged voting for this bill, qualifications of some peppered throughout those paragraphs in bold not withstanding. Shaykh Muhammad Faqih, an imam in Orange County, voted for Prop 8 – is it your belief he was either swept up by wackos are is one of said wackos? I sincerely hope not.

    As for concerns about voting against other shari’ah mandated laws, again, not a big deal. Why? Look at the Mormons – the voted for the bill even though it made polygamy unlawful. Why is that? Because what is being forbidden is not the spiritual aspect of polygamy, nor the physical – what is being forbidden are the state rights and benefits. You’re not walking into the county clerks office and and getting the state and federal government to give you tax breaks for multiple spouses for sure, but it doesn’t cover what you and your masjid can do at a spiritual level, nor does it mandate with whom your intimacies take place with – if it did, Hugh Hefner would be out of a “job” (or lifestyle). The same with cousin marriages – actually, with cousin marriages, you’d just have to do it in another state and it *should* be recognized elsewhere, including california.

    I also disagree with your use of the hadeeth of aisha in this matter. When the daw’ah started out, there was a mix of good and bad qualities, as well as good and bad practices. The good was maintained while the evil was removed according to priority, as you mentioned. In the case of Prop 8, california originally did not allow homosexual marriage (as mandated by voters), a judge overturned the will of the people, and Prop 8 was brought in to determine which way to go, and the majority showed which way it should have been, so I would say this is a GOOD QUALITY of the majority of the people (which Schwartzenegger, Newsom, and Brown are again trying to overturn) which we ought to support and maintain.

    Finally, blocking “marriage” doesn’t block civil unions which allow gay couples to gain all the rights married couples receive, so what’s the point in voting for it? The benefit is twofold:

    1. It sends a clear and strong message that this behavior is not normal, nor does society consider it normal, nor does society want to consider it normal. You do what you like in the privacy of your own bedroom, just don’t expect us to accept it as normal or the same as marriage between a man and a woman.

    2. We all know that as time goes forward, attitudes towards homosexuality are steadily relaxing (contrast the 50s vs the 80s, the 80s vs today). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want generations later to look at this practice as “normal”, or a part of life, or being tolerant. That’s exactly what happens when something social is legislated – it eventually becomes a norm, and soon enough, it’s not considered strange. For practicing Muslims, this will always be an evil practice much like Riba, dating, nonmahram female / male socializing, and other things that commonly happen that we know are wrong. The masses of Muslims in the future, however, may grow up believing that they are normal and this is normal and may even be appalled at the attitude of fundos like us.

    Siraaj

  18. h. ahmed

    December 10, 2008 at 1:42 AM

    But the thing is that all of this is already normalized for non-Muslims. Alcohol, drugs, pre-marital relations…. homosexuality is just another facet that we hold to be haraam.

    Jazakallah khair shaykh yasir for that post. Yes – we Muslims need to be wise about these social issues.

    Abortion – for example. islamically, we do not believe life begins at conception – therefore analogies about burying daughters are inaccurate in terms of early term abortions!!!

    I do not understand what the big fuss is among Muslims so adamently being anti abortion, or anti-gay marriage. We live in a non-Muslim society. Our law that we live by is not the law of shariah. We do have free will to do/believe whatever we want – and regardless of whether other people are gay, have abortions, drink alcohol, etc. it doesnt affect us. We need to educate ourselves and our friends/families and instill our values to our own fellow Muslims.

    The only reason i say this – is because it is mostly the liberal/libertarian group – which is on the left on these issues – which for the most part are also very tolerant of Islam and defend Muslims. I’m not saying that we should abandon our moral principles and promote homosexuality, or abortions – but in essence regardless of what the law is in the US – we live our own lives and should not be affected by our surroundings.

    Again i am confused about where i stand on prop8. yes of course the act of homosexuality – I believe is wrong for Muslims – but I dont know what right I have imposing my own beliefs on these issues on Non-Muslims who live by an entirely different worldview.

  19. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 10, 2008 at 7:13 AM

    bismillah.

    Abu Abdullaah, you’ve spent a great deal of your post caricaturing Muslims who stood for this bill and voted for it, conservative Muslims, I might add. With all due respect, this is not an intelligent or constructive manner in which to talk about people who encouraged voting for this bill, qualifications of some peppered throughout those paragraphs in bold not withstanding. Shaykh Muhammad Faqih, an imam in Orange County, voted for Prop 8 – is it your belief he was either swept up by wackos are is one of said wackos? I sincerely hope not.

    i love you Siraaj, but remember your words the next time you enjoy any piece of satire. just because this satire was aimed at “some” people, does not make it hateful or mean-spirited.

    and just for the record, when i write that it is easy to get swept up by wackos, i speak from the point of view of a person whose own journey to Islam in recent years included not one but many course-corrections from shuyukh that i love, shuyukh who saw my thirst for knowledge and drawing closer to Allah, but also saw me becoming shrill instead of earnest, more wacko-ish instead of more compassionate.

    pointedly, also, i did not name any individual Muslim, nor expose any person to criticism nor praise for voting for or against the measure. sincerely, i believe you discuss the vote of the shaykh without showing him adequate respect. because the goodness or wrongness of his particular vote is for Allah to decide. Allah Knows, and only He Knows, what information was available to the shaykh when he voted. Allah Knows, and I certainly do not know, if that vote was a measured result of his having discussed the issue with people in his community, perhaps forging positive ties with Muslim or non-Muslim leaders in his area.

  20. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 10, 2008 at 7:28 AM

    bismillah.

    As for concerns about voting against other shari’ah mandated laws, again, not a big deal. Why? Look at the Mormons – the voted for the bill even though it made polygamy unlawful. Why is that? Because what is being forbidden is not the spiritual aspect of polygamy, nor the physical – what is being forbidden are the state rights and benefits. You’re not walking into the county clerks office and and getting the state and federal government to give you tax breaks for multiple spouses for sure, but it doesn’t cover what you and your masjid can do at a spiritual level, nor does it mandate with whom your intimacies take place with – if it did, Hugh Hefner would be out of a “job” (or lifestyle). The same with cousin marriages – actually, with cousin marriages, you’d just have to do it in another state and it *should* be recognized elsewhere, including california.

    no, Siraaj. the LDS changed its religious laws — “its shariah” — to conform to pressure from other Americans. polygyny is no longer the law in the LDS. that and other changes to their laws is the cause of the schism among Mormons. so now there is the official LDS, the one being investigated in California — the “mainstream” Mormon church. and the throwback-Mormons, the ultra-fundamentalists — who continue to practice polygyny, who would rather go to jail than give it up.

    with regard to your statement about “cousin marriages” — the facts are that the Muslims of Texas who voted for that law voted against the shariah, plain and simple. i am not a faqih nor a qadhi (lower-case). so i pray that Allah will forgive them for any sin or excess in their actions. but i will not go past that… except with respect to American law: according to your cousin-marriage analysis, Texas, Illinois, etc., will recognize the gay-marriages that were performed in California before Prop 8, right? and if every US state outlaws such marriage, then these states will recognize the marriages performed in Europe or Canada? really?

    even if that were true, Siraaj, think for a moment: if it becomes impermissible for first-cousins to marry in the US, because nothing in your analysis argues that there would be a problem with that — what will happen to Muslims who seek to immigrate here who are in illegal cousin-marriages? no moral turpitude there? no automatic denial because their marriages defy the law?

  21. MM Associates

    December 10, 2008 at 8:03 AM

    bismillah. [comment by abu abdAllah]

    I also disagree with your use of the hadeeth of aisha in this matter.

    WAllaho’Alim, Siraaj. my characterization of the hadith is that it speaks first and foremost to the content of the dawah, to the content of anything commanded or prohibited — meaning how ready is the society to accept that content. your characterization of the hadith makes it hinge on whether the commanded or prohibition existed as a matter of law for the society. clearly no one can say that the prohibition on homosexuality is overwhelmingly accepted today in America, and I pray that Allah will correct that deviancy here and guide all of us to what pleases Him.

    again, and this is not just for Siraaj: criticizing the Mormon tactics, or trying to ensure that Muslims fully contemplate the consequences of a law before they advocate for or against it — those do not make a person a supporter of homosexuality nor of gay-marriage. to assert the opposite is to play by the neo-con smear-tactics. maybe people listen to so much GOP-talk-radio on the way to work that they have absorbed more bile than they realize.

  22. Yasir Qadhi

    December 10, 2008 at 8:32 AM

    Salam

    Siraaj,

    It’s obvious that America itself is deeply divided over this issue. The people that I’ve been getting my perspectives from (and admittedly I’m interacting with groups who represent specific segments of society) were overwhelmingly critical of the Mormon church and its lobbying for this proposition. Many were willing to consider the possibility of banning religious influence in lobbying efforts (and it is very likely some of these very people will be in legislative positions a few decades down the line).

    Also there were reports of harassment against Mormons because of this (including an instance that almost turned out to be life-threatening).

    As I said explicitly: I do not have a position with regards to whether Muslims should or should not have supported proposition 8. Because of this, in effect my position was to remain neutral, which I did. But I do know that naively jumping on the moral bandwagon, without studying the possible repercussions, was not the wisest course of action (and I’m not suggesting that you are saying that).

    Allahu alam…

  23. MM Associates

    December 10, 2008 at 10:13 AM

    bismillah.

    Farhan said:

    So, the point of this very long and seemingly random post was to encourage the good MORE than forbid the evil?

    i would say the point of this very long and seemingly random post was to encourage thoughtful dawah instead of knee-jerk dawah. so forbid the evil — thoughtfully, and with the goal of rescuing people from their sin.

    each and every person who will ever have lived will be tested by Allah — and no person is ever tested by Allah beyond his capacity to pass. the biggest test: will that person die having submitted to Allah? Muslims who were born into the faith get an easier path to submission — either because Allah Knows we would have failed the test otherwise, or out of Allah’s expansive Mercy. people born into other faiths or into atheism, for them submission is a tougher test. they have to abandon their old beliefs first. fundamentally, we believe it is a test that each and every one of them can pass.

    if we make the test harder for a non-Muslim, then what does that say about our gratitude to Allah for His Mercy to us? understand what i mean by make the test harder: you can announce with a megaphone to people in your neighborhood or workplace that they will go to hell if they do not accept “la ilaha illAllah MuhammadurRasoolAllah.” or you can teach them about tawheed, and about the purity of tawheed in Islam as opposed to non-Islamic “monotheistic faiths.” and when they accept tawheed, you can invite them to accept “la ilaha illAllah.” then you can proceed from there.

    personally, i think the case for supporting the anti-abortion movement in America is strong. there, too, though, should Muslims support armed attacks on planned parenthood clinics and doctors — a tactic that has been used by Christian terrorists in America for decades? can i get an amen from the wackos to that idea? sure. from any Muslim actually using his brain? no. strange, but it seems like the best thing to come from the Bush Administration in its closing months has been support for physicians and medical staff who decline to perform abortions. i am so suspicious of President Bush, though, that i imagine buried somewhere under the rhetoric is legal language that makes the world worse off.

    does anyone here know a Muslim medical ethicist who could write about that issue?

  24. MR

    December 10, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    Prop 8 does not concern us in my opinion.

  25. Hassan

    December 10, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    MR said:

    Prop 8 does not concern us in my opinion.

    Yes, we do not need to spend time and effort on it, when there are enough americans (like mormons, evangelicals etc) are fighting it for us. We can quietly vote no on it, if we want to. Hence we would not get any lash back, and spend some time in other meaningful activity that is beneficial to muslims.

  26. Siraaj

    December 10, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    pointedly, also, i did not name any individual Muslim, nor expose any person to criticism nor praise for voting for or against the measure. sincerely, i believe you discuss the vote of the shaykh without showing him adequate respect. because the goodness or wrongness of his particular vote is for Allah to decide. Allah Knows, and only He Knows, what information was available to the shaykh when he voted. Allah Knows, and I certainly do not know, if that vote was a measured result of his having discussed the issue with people in his community, perhaps forging positive ties with Muslim or non-Muslim leaders in his area.

    Exactly my point – you’ve made caricatures of people, and you don’t know who you’re caricaturing, nor are you giving alternative reasons in your piece for why Muslims may have voted on this measure in California, or for that matter, in Texas. That’s why a name we all know and respect was thrown in there – it makes you think twice about saying what was said and catalyzes a new thought process – positive rationale for why a Muslim might vote for it, which your article didn’t do.

    with regard to your statement about “cousin marriages” — the facts are that the Muslims of Texas who voted for that law voted against the shariah, plain and simple. i am not a faqih nor a qadhi (lower-case). so i pray that Allah will forgive them for any sin or excess in their actions. but i will not go past that… except with respect to American law: according to your cousin-marriage analysis, Texas, Illinois, etc., will recognize the gay-marriages that were performed in California before Prop 8, right? and if every US state outlaws such marriage, then these states will recognize the marriages performed in Europe or Canada? really?

    In that case, voting should not be advocated because voting on laws and voting for candidates should also be avoided, plain and simple. There’s no need for a discussion of pros and cons of voting a measure on the basis of whether it is in the interest of our image or not because to begin with, it’s haraam, and that should take higher priority, right? Right?

    But that’s not the position taken – part of the position that allows voting takes into account intention, and it is a more nuanced position. Ironically, the position you espouse regarding “voting against the shari’ah” is a carbon copy thought process borrowed from those you satirically named as wackos. Intention matters – when you vote a presidential candidate in, you aim for the benefit of that candidate and hope the harm he brings is outweighed by said benefit. There is no doubt that many candidates, executive or legislative, hold positions that are against the shari’ah and they advocate such positions openly – we call on Muslims to vote for them based on the overall benefit we hope to gain for the community and society. That same thought process ought to be in place when talking about voting on bills such as Prop 8 or their Texan counterparts, if you take the view that you do on voting for candidates. If not, then what I see is inconsistency in your thoughts on this which need reconciliation.

    With respect to recognition of marriages, from what I have read and researched, if a marriage is recognized as a marriage in one state, then it will have to also be done in all other states. However, if it is forbidden in one state, this doesn’t make it forbidden in all states. So people coming in from other countries, they need not declare their relationship to get into the country beyond being spouses.

    again, and this is not just for Siraaj: criticizing the Mormon tactics, or trying to ensure that Muslims fully contemplate the consequences of a law before they advocate for or against it — those do not make a person a supporter of homosexuality nor of gay-marriage. to assert the opposite is to play by the neo-con smear-tactics. maybe people listen to so much GOP-talk-radio on the way to work that they have absorbed more bile than they realize.

    This is an interesting strawman you’ve built and bashed – in no place did I state not voting for Prop 8 equated with support of homosexuality. My point (in the context of the quote you’ve requoted) was that the use of the hadeeth of aisha to dissuade people from this measure based on daw’ah priorities is flawed because the situations presented were simply not analogous.

    As I said explicitly: I do not have a position with regards to whether Muslims should or should not have supported proposition 8. Because of this, in effect my position was to remain neutral, which I did. But I do know that naively jumping on the moral bandwagon, without studying the possible repercussions, was not the wisest course of action (and I’m not suggesting that you are saying that).

    My point is simply that if we have a position, we ought to advocate for it, particularly in a matter like this. Advocate intelligently, yes. But advocate nonetheless. Mormons may have been targeted by the NY Times, but black americans were targeted by the neo-con radio programs (which Abu Abdullaah noted I listen to) and 93% of them voted for Prop 8. The President Elect and his VP don’t believe in gay marriage either. The Muslim community may need to learn how to better craft the message they deliver as to why they stand in opposition to gay marriage, but they ought not to hold back their vote for fear of repercussions.

    If as a community we were questioned on it, the answer would simply be, “Our position on gay marriage is the same as that of the President, so if you consider us discriminatory, then you consider him the same as well.”

    That could be one, there are people who could come up with better messages to advocate our position, but the point is, our position shouldn’t be suppressed by fear from, of all people, the homosexual lobby, or other far-left leaning individuals.

    Siraaj

  27. Faiez

    December 10, 2008 at 4:17 PM

    Man siraaj, what happened to your short response tactic? went out the window with prop 8? ;)

  28. Siraaj

    December 10, 2008 at 4:21 PM

    Man siraaj, what happened to your short response tactic? went out the window with prop 8?

    LOL, good call.

    Siraaj

  29. AnonyMouse

    December 10, 2008 at 6:44 PM

    I found this article rather thought-provoking, if not entirely coherent (although I have to say that I enjoyed the dream-sequence! Perhaps a bit too reminiscent of an Indian movie, though :) )

    Back when B.C. was about to decide whether to legalize homosexual marriages or not, I remember pondering the same issue: what should our stand be on such laws, as Muslims? The issue is compounded when we consider that Canada/ America are secular and their laws are based (mostly) on this separation of state and religious authority. Thus, voting on religious grounds becomes extremely tricky (which is why I’d rather not vote at all, even if I was of age).

    If, to play devil’s advocate, we were to adopt the secular mindset (temporarily and only theoretically), then we’re forced to realize that in the West, the freedom to do whatever one wants to so long as they’re not causing harm to others exists and is indeed protected by the law. In this purely secular light, there is no reason to deny homosexuals the legal right to “marriage” and whatever it entails according to the state. After all, isn’t such a “partnership” considered by them to be perfectly okay and a relationship equal to that between a man and a woman?

    Yet as Muslims we recognize the complete opposite. As I said above, voting on religious grounds is incredibly difficult… it seems almost impossible to reconcile various principles, morals, ethics, etc. and formulate a conclusive statement about it all.
    And as Abu AbdAllah stated, voting for or against such bills can have negative repercussions for ourselves as well – blocking off legal avenues to practice those things which are permissible according to our law, or at least in having them recognized and accepted by the government.

    So what DO we do? I personally am wary of the entire voting process and am a strong advocate for community and grassroots activism, because after all isn’t it work from the bottom up that will effect everything else (including the politics)?
    In any case, I have a feeling that this will be an issue that we will be discussing and struggling about for a long time… may Allah guide us to that which is most correct and beloved to Him, ameen.

  30. Hassan

    December 10, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    Another question comes to mind, as muslims, how does it affect us if there are two homosexuals having relationship openly without getting married compared to having relationship openly while married? As Siraj pointed out we want our children not to consider this behavior normal and ok, but they are everywhere even if they are not married…

  31. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    December 11, 2008 at 7:09 AM

    bismillah. i love you Siraaj, but today i am not wasting my tahajjud time with long responses to your criticisms. :) if not later today, then at TDC, inshaAllah. no, definitely not there — there is too much good at TDC to spoil my last one with hard-nosed arguments with someone i respect. maybe in Idaho…

    obviously we differ in many things: most unfortunately in our interpretations of each other’s words and of the mindsets’ of the majority of readers. your comments vigorously defend positions that are held by so many people that i give no credence to your claim you have expanded anyone’s mind. in my opinion, you merely hammer down a call to persons to consider the ramifications of their actions. if i went to excess to achieve that goal (excess beyond the number of words i used: we already know it was too long an article) then i pray to Allah for His Forgiveness, and to Him alone.

  32. Siraaj

    December 11, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    bismillah. i love you Siraaj, but today i am not wasting my tahajjud time with long responses to your criticisms. :) if not later today, then at TDC, inshaAllah. no, definitely not there — there is too much good at TDC to spoil my last one with hard-nosed arguments with someone i respect. maybe in Idaho…

    obviously we differ in many things: most unfortunately in our interpretations of each other’s words and of the mindsets’ of the majority of readers. your comments vigorously defend positions that are held by so many people that i give no credence to your claim you have expanded anyone’s mind. in my opinion, you merely hammer down a call to persons to consider the ramifications of their actions. if i went to excess to achieve that goal (excess beyond the number of words i used: we already know it was too long an article) then i pray to Allah for His Forgiveness, and to Him alone.

    LOL, akhi, fair enough, I won’t be at TDC, but insha’Allah next time you come traveling for classes, you’re welcome to crash (not literally) at my pad if Chicago is on your itinerary :D

    Siraaj

  33. Algebra

    December 11, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    @Hassan said:
    “Another question comes to mind, as muslims, how does it affect us if there are two homosexuals having relationship openly without getting married compared to having relationship openly while married? As Siraj pointed out we want our children not to consider this behavior normal and ok, but they are everywhere even if they are not married…”

    I just wanted to ADD a liitle to your comment. It is not only non-muslims that are having relationships openly but also some muslim brothers and sisters and not to mention many brothers and sisters( i don’t blame the sisters they are innocent) that get caught up in the web of dawah and forget who they are suppose to do dawah to in case of SOME MSA’s NOT ALL, but SOME MSA’s that haven’t learnt who to do DAWAH.
    OH brother Siraj , what is going to happen when your kiddies grow up and go to college and see an atmosphere that becomes shocking to them. I don’t sometimes that environment can be shocking to children that grew up in a very restricted or sheltered environment.
    With all due respect, I really would like your MILLION DOLLARS worth of INPUT.
    salam

  34. Siraaj

    December 11, 2008 at 2:43 PM

    I just wanted to ADD a liitle to your comment. It is not only non-muslims that are having relationships openly but also some muslim brothers and sisters and not to mention many brothers and sisters( i don’t blame the sisters they are innocent) that get caught up in the web of dawah and forget who they are suppose to do dawah to in case of SOME MSA’s NOT ALL, but SOME MSA’s that haven’t learnt who to do DAWAH.
    OH brother Siraj , what is going to happen when your kiddies grow up and go to college and see an atmosphere that becomes shocking to them. I don’t sometimes that environment can be shocking to children that grew up in a very restricted or sheltered environment.
    With all due respect, I really would like your MILLION DOLLARS worth of INPUT.
    salam

    Insha’Allah, absolutely nothing – my wife and I are both parents actively engaged in raising our children, educating them both in the Islamic sense and the secular sense. When parents are educating themselves and fully engaged socially as well, and taking an active role with their kids, then the “oh, you’re restricting you’re kids” argument is meaningless.

    My concerns were for the majority of people who expect the rest of society, schools, and television to raise their kids.

    Siraaj

  35. Algebra

    December 11, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    @Siraj
    Insha’Allah, absolutely nothing – my wife and I are both parents actively engaged in raising our children, educating them both in the Islamic sense and the secular sense. When parents are educating themselves and fully engaged socially as well, and taking an active role with their kids, then the “oh, you’re restricting you’re kids” argument is meaningless.

    My concerns were for the majority of people who expect the rest of society, schools, and television to raise their kids.Siraaj

    I understand and agree with some of your comments “raising our children, educating them both in the Islamic sense and the secular sense.
    My father, taught us well when we were children,,,,,,,,,,,, instead of T.V. my father would teach us the QURAN and SUNNAH and also taught us and Informed us of the SECULAR way of life as well and to KEEP AWAY from those things………………
    Speaking of schools, my mother(Allah give her Jannatu-ul-Firdous) used to homeschool us in both Englhish and URDU before we went to the Secular HIGH SCHOOL…………………….
    My father took us to learn how to ride horses, swimming, camping……etc
    you know if one has daughters like you do, great fathers try to shelter them from many things llike mingling with non-mahrem men and such………… and i know i am mingling with them right now …………………………i guess i am learning my secularism without my father…………………………..

    Furthermore, i beg to differ with you on one thing we shouldn’t go judging those parents(women) that have full time jobs and nowhere to put their children but in front on the T.V. because they are OUT MAKING A LIVING……………..
    we need to do our part in helping them like the PROPHET(PBUH) did
    “support the women and the poor”
    Just my dawah bit to you.
    i have a few more questions for you before you go.
    talk to you later inshAllah

  36. Siraaj

    December 11, 2008 at 5:25 PM

    I understand and agree with some of your comments “raising our children, educating them both in the Islamic sense and the secular sense.
    My father, taught us well when we were children,,,,,,,,,,,, instead of T.V. my father would teach us the QURAN and SUNNAH and also taught us and Informed us of the SECULAR way of life as well and to KEEP AWAY from those things………………
    Speaking of schools, my mother(Allah give her Jannatu-ul-Firdous) used to homeschool us in both Englhish and URDU before we went to the Secular HIGH SCHOOL…………………….
    My father took us to learn how to ride horses, swimming, camping……etc
    you know if one has daughters like you do, great fathers try to shelter them from many things llike mingling with non-mahrem men and such………… and i know i am mingling with them right now …………………………i guess i am learning my secularism without my father…………………………..

    LOL, you just don’t stop, do you?

    Siraaj

  37. Faiez

    December 11, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Dear Algebra,

    I never thought that I would be talking to you since I thought I got rid of you in High School. Siraaj is right, people’s kids get messed up when their parents don’t teach them anything. They go through shock when their exposed to high school/college and other things because they never understood who they are in the first place. They go through an “identity crisis” (topic of pretty much ever conference) and end up picking the more compelling identity over the weaker. The question is, which is the weaker identity? The Islamic one or the secular one? If you raise your kids right and teach them real Islam (not cultural Islam) then they will grow up knowing exactly who they are and where/how they fit in. If you don’t pay attention to this aspect and just want them to follow culture or put more emphasis on making money than making your prayers then your child is going to end up the same way unless what Allah has written for them overcomes them.

    The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

    Sincerely,

    Vicodin

  38. Algebra

    December 11, 2008 at 5:51 PM

    Book 032, Number 6219: (Muslim)
    Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Don’t nurse grudge and don’t bid him out for raising the price and don’t nurse aversion or enmity and don’t enter into a transaction when the others have entered into that transaction and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. The piety is here, (and while saying so) he pointed towards his chest thrice. It is a serious evil for a Muslim that he should look down upon his brother Muslim. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother in faith: his blood, his wealth and his honour.

  39. Algebra

    December 11, 2008 at 6:05 PM

    DEAR FAIZ:
    I never thought that I would be talking to you since I thought I got rid of you in High School. Siraaj is right, people’s kids get messed up when their parents don’t teach them anything. They go through shock when their exposed to high school/college and other things because they never understood who they are in the first place. They go through an “identity crisis” (topic of pretty much ever conference) and end up picking the more compelling identity over the weaker. The question is, which is the weaker identity? The Islamic one or the secular one? If you raise your kids right and teach them real Islam (not cultural Islam) then they will grow up knowing exactly who they are and where/how they fit in. If you don’t pay attention to this aspect and just want them to follow culture or put more emphasis on making money than making your prayers then your child is going to end up the same way unless what Allah has written for them overcomes them.

    The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

    I BEG to DIFFER WITH YOU>

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    I understand your point of view, that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree…………………………………
    I used to think the same way when i was a teenager…………………………………
    HOWEVER, in my communtiy i have seen mashAllah a brother, who was raised from a father who gambled, drank, etc……….
    BUT NOW THAT SAME brother went through an IDENTITY CRISIS and now is the most religious guy i know from outer exprerience of course because i don’t know what is someone’s heart, but from outer experience,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, after he graduated from a secular school, he is studying at AL-AZHAR and wore his kufi, shalwar kameez, long busy beard, hair upto the shoulders, in A RED NECK TOWN………..
    Now he is 19 years old and marrying to a very religious full niqabi girls who is going to go with him to Al-AZHAR university.

    SO SOMETIMES THE APPLE FALLS FAR AWAY FROM THE TREE………….
    sometimes it takes a hurricane, windstorm, move the apple far far away from the tree. far away as far away as EGYPT……….
    LOL
    salam

  40. AsimG

    December 14, 2008 at 1:08 AM

    I wrote this recently, thought you guys might enjoy:

    Ok, we get it.
    Gay marriage is the cool “thing” to talk about.
    On one side you have pastors and politicians geting votes and money from talking about it.
    “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve” joke is said over and over and yet people keep laughing.

    But forget them, I don’t go to Churches and those people usually keep to themselves except for a few crazies who go to military funerals…but that’s ANOTHER story.

    It’s the other side that’s really grating on my nerves.
    I turn on the tv and I’m blasted with HATE PROPOSITION 8 or “I’M NOT A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN” or Ellen crying (wait no that was about a dog).
    I go to PBS and kids are explaning how they have two Moms.
    I go to a coffee shop and am told and lectured by a barista about the rights of gays, religion is bad and transvestites are naturally born that way.
    Protests on the Mormon church, blacks, latinos, asians and a “hit list” of people who donated to the Proposition 8 campaign.
    Seriously, it’s getting a bit much.
    If I can’t even read a short story without being lectured on how marriage is a civil right, we have a problem.

    No, the African American civil rights movement has never been nor will it ever be equivalent let alone comparable to the gay civil rights movement.
    You’ve really lost your marbles if you are going to compare slavery and Jim Crow to gay marriage.
    While all bigotry is wrong, for every hollywood depiction of Matthew Shepherd there are millions of untold stories of African Americans of the past, present and sadly maybe even in the future.

    So for people to use the civil rights movement as the stepping stone and justification for the gay rights movement (and then to turn around and demonize African Americans in California for voting against gay marriage) is just insane.

    Why don’t people get it?
    Gay marriage has been banned in 30 states (in 30 tries) and the state with the largest and most prosperous gay population has also banned it.

    Yet anyone who is against gay marriage is seen as a hateful bigot who doesn’t think logically and must be a religious zealot.

    NO, I’m sorry it’s not that easy.
    America is a conservative country with a tradition of religious values.
    Hollywood and Bravotv are not representative of America.

    While we are a secular republic, ethical values established through religion has dictated public and foreign policy since the birth of the United States (to our detriment and benefit)
    Every session of congress begins with an invocation of prayer. The President, President-elect and all sorts of politicians constantly say “God bless America” and other faith-based phrases.

    If faith was not a factor in governemnt and policy you would not see Barack Obama and John McCain visitng Churches and synogogues (although oddly not mosques) and speaking to the congregations on faith-based agendas.

    It is true that while we are a country that reflect the majority we must ALSO protect the minorities, but how we classify minorities and what is seen as unequal treatment is in question.

    But let’s be clear, I’m NOT representing the religious right, I’m only going to represent myself.
    I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and against gay marriage *gasp*.

    So here’s my case:
    Homosexuality is seen as a sin in the Torah, Bible and Qur’an.
    While some may cast doubt upon the validity of the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible, there is no doubt in the Qur’an. We never had a canonization process, we know who wrote what when and how and a cardinal rule of Islam is belief the Qur’an is the unchanged word of God.

    “And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: ‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)?

    Verily, you practise your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins)’”

    [al-A’raaf 7:80-81]

    But the question then comes: so Asim are you saying 17 million gay people in America are sinners?
    umm yah…
    But let’s clear things up:
    Thoughts and inclinations themselves (unless you allow them to linger) are not haraam/sinful, but acting upon them are.

    And on top of that, homosexuality is not the only sin. Drinking, gambling, sex before marriage, sex with another while married…these are all huge sins in Islam.
    And extensively practiced in this country!!!

    Meaning if there was a new call to prohibition, I’d be for it.
    ACK, I’m a religious extremist! No, just a Muslim..sorry.

    Heck, we are all sinners, but repentence is what differentiates the believer from the non-believer.

    The next argument is: But this isn’t a Muslim country, we have to be realistic.

    Yes, we do.
    I object to marriage on religious grounds, but as for civil unions and rights, this is a different story.

    Many of the arguments for gay marriage (visiting partner in hospital, insurance, wills, adoption) can be done WITHOUT “marriage”.
    Yes, I know, crazy innit?
    (And no, this is not a pseudo-seperate but equal policy, so please do not make that argument).

    My point is this: This country cannot be painted just black and white.
    If gays think they can demonize people to get their agenda across, good luck with that.
    Blacks, latinos, asians, people of faith…I guess we are all bad people.

    And heck, there are gay people AGAINST gay marriage. And they are not just gay log cabin republicans either.

    And yes, those that tend to really be against gay marriage end up being shady.
    I’m not looking to become a Sen. Larry Craig or Rev. Ted Haggard here. (May Allah protect me from such a fate!)

    As a Muslim, gay marriage is not even on my radar of important issues nor should it be for Muslims in America (hello, poverty, war, disease, state of the ummah??)
    But everyone keeps talking about it and won’t leave me alone!

    So if gay marriage happens, then it happens.
    But I just wanted you to know where I stand why and maybe even given you some insight on the mindset of other people.

    NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!
    *cries like Ellen*

  41. Siraaj

    December 14, 2008 at 2:32 AM

    Asim, you need your own blog bro.

    Siraaj

  42. AsimG

    December 14, 2008 at 3:37 AM

    I’ve been wanting to make one for a while, but I’m a very emotional writer.

    One day it’ll be super funny and the next day I go emo.

    I don’t think anyone can handle that, not even myself!

  43. Robert Hagedorn

    January 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Do a search: The First Scandal Adam and Eve.

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