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Offline Nura

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Attending Gay wedding, and Gender Identity Disorder
« on: November 03, 2014, 12:31:52 AM »
Salam Br Joseph,
I have been thinking about the following for some days but can’t really come up with Quranic solutions that seem complete to me. The conclusions that I reach seem incomplete.
1)   Attending a gay wedding
I)   As  a guest
II)   As a service provider ( baker, florist, photographer)
The Quran certainly makes Homosexuality a sin, so we know that we should not practice it. But is it also forbidden to attend such a wedding as a guest? In scenario ‘I’ I somehow concluded after months of soul searching that attending such a wedding as a guest is a sin. My mind justifies my conclusion by remembering Quranic verses where believers are asked to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and not to cooperate with each other in sin.
But, in my mind after some thinking I reached a conclusion that is different in scenario’ ii’. There I came to a conclusion that attending such a wedding as a service provider is not a sin. The justification being a service provider provides for a number of people who might be adulterers, liars, fornicators etc. so why single out the sin of homosexuality? It seemed somewhat inconsistent and discriminatory. We might not agree with their(homosexuals) life choices but should we really deny them service because of it? Maybe there is a reason why there is no verse in the Quran where it is said that we cannot do business with sinners, we all are sinners to some extent.
2)   What is your views (Quranic ones of course) on people who suffer from gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria?
People who have gender identity disorder (GID) feel that they are born in the wrong body, as in male children feel they are essentially female but born into a male body. These feelings can appear very early sometimes as early as two years old and at that time they cant really be aware of sexuality and what is right or wrong, so I don’t really know how to deal Quranicaly with this issue.
Some of these people undergo gender reassignment surgery and feel free for the first time in life. At this point I would like to add that gender reassignment does not make a person born male with male genetic make up into a genetically female individual, i.e such surgeries do not truly change the gender as they can’t reproduce till date after going through this surgery. Their pain really moves me but I don’t know how to react Quranically. Now my questions regarding this issue are:
I)   Can we really term GID as sin like homosexuality?
II)   Is undergoing gender reassignment surgery a sin? If so why?
Some people say it is changing nature and how God makes no mistakes but everyday a lot of people are born with disabilities or are stricken with disabilities later in life and we undergo surgeries to correct them, like a person being born blind. We can restore vision by undergoing a simple eye surgery , and when we do so we are not saying God made a mistake by making the person blind, but God gives us opportunities of growth, and when we can with science solve our problems I believe we should do so, I believe God teaches us how to with science.
How is gender reassignment surgery any different than an eye surgery restoring vision? Should we really see the issue as God not making a mistake?
III)   How should such a person be searching for mates? For example, if a man (formerly) becomes a woman after surgery and then marries a man, is he guilty of homosexuality? ( originally he was a man)
Please shed some light on these issues.
Thank You
Not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: Attending Gay wedding, and Gender Identity Disorder
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 12:16:41 PM »
If I may offer an opinion based on my personal very rustic understanding of Quranic general principles I would say the following:

For 1 (i) Acting as a guest: It would seem to me that the objective of being a guest is to celebrate the event taking place, and perhaps also act as a witness to the event taking place. Acting as a guest may also somehow lend credence to the event if viewed from a social perspective.

As you have also noted, the Quran implores that we enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.

For these reasons I would agree with you that attending as a guest may not be what a good Muslim ought to do.

For 1 (ii) Acting as a service provider: Whilst it is true that a service provider may not know for certain to what end a service may be utilized for, if it is known that a service is to be utilized for some evil or frowned-upon purpose then I think it is better to avoid/refuse to provide that service. Again the Quranic verse on to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong would seem to apply.

Consider a scenario where you are a manufacturer of weapons. If you know that the weapons you make are intended for use in the indiscriminate slaughter of women and children then would you still sell?

There may however be situations where there is uncertainty in understanding the ultimate ends of the client. For such situations perhaps it is better to pray to God and seek inspiration for the best way forward. Perhaps you may have a gut feeling for what to do. Remember that God provides all. Therefore what may be perceived as a lost business opportunity may not really be so as long as the heart and intentions are in the right place.

For 2:
Joseph Islam's recent article on Understanding Trials may be a useful guidance:

For 2 (i)
Genetic disorders like GID and Homosexuality I think are not sins on their own. However the fostering of these inclinations in the mind perhaps and the acting upon these inclinations is perhaps sinful. As JI has explained, based on the Quran, we all have our trials. We are asked to deal with them as best we can and do not transgress the limits set by God. We must be honest with ourselves that we are doing the best we can. We can however take assurance that with "hardship comes ease" (94:5-6) and that "On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear" (2:286)".

For 2(ii) and 2(iii)
The Quran asks us to pursue a moderate path and go not into extremes (I forget which verse). I personally would not class surgery to alter gender and eyesight correction in the same category. The former is a massive change to alter the  identity of an individual, the latter an oft utilized and mass produced solution to a well understood problem.

I would focus on the Quranic principles of patience and perseverance. Whilst the individual may struggle socially to manage gender identity or homosexual inclinations, some faith in God and an understanding of the true nature of the world (trials, on no soul is placed a burden too great and with hardship comes ease) is helpful in dealing with these issues I think.

Anyway, that's just my personal view. I hope it helps!