A buddy just sent me a video of Islamic scholar Javed Ghamidi in which the host, Muhammad Hassan Ilyas, questioned Ghamidi on homosexuality. Ilyas created these films at the Ghamidi Center of Islamic Learning in Carrollton, Texas.
Ghamidi Sahib is without a doubt one of Pakistan’s most respected philosophers. His emphasis on reason and reasonability is critical in a country where religious minorities are usually marginalized and sectarianism is prevalent. Even the best among us, though, have blind spots since we are all products of our ages and settings. None of us has it entirely figured out.
Sir Isaac Newton, for example, was limited by his mechanical rules-based worldview and was unable to go beyond quantum physics. Similar to how Ghamidi Saheb appears to have hit a brick wall when it comes to homosexuality, while holding fundamentally opposing views on issues like as whether or not women should lead congregational prayers.
In Pakistan, the principal worries revolve around the existential danger posed by the approaching economic and political disaster, as well as the devastating floods caused by climate change. Pakistan must also consider the healthcare of poor persons who live in an inequitable society and whose monthly pay is equivalent to the cost of one meal at a luxury restaurant on Lahore’s M.M. Alam Road.
However, as a scare tactic, the homosexuality debate is occasionally brought up in reference to transgender rights. The rare firebrand “attention seeker” often exacerbates the issue by raving wildly on social media rather than systematically engaging with local counselors, social professionals, healthcare specialists, and government officials, as other respectable activists do. A lot of labor is ordinary and does not draw attention in the age of riya kari (showing off) and narcissist (self-centeredness) on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
The behavior of Western LGBTQ Muslims is not always desirable, especially when they act indecently or violate Islamic values of modesty and iffat (chastity). All of these factors allow Ghamidi Saheb’s opinions to go unchallenged, and as a result, overseas Pakistani communities continue to struggle with integrating their religious beliefs with their daily lives.
On the other hand, religious political parties compound the situation by focusing on symbolic issues rather than addressing Pakistan’s pressing economic challenges.
Ghamidi Saheb’s video may not be applicable outside of Pakistan, where he has a modest fan following. They are, nevertheless, crucial to the vast majority of Pakistanis living overseas who seek religious guidance from him, especially as they and their children face the reality of LGBTQ communities and families in their workplaces and school environments. Because many of them have LGBTQ friends and coworkers, they strive to reconcile their lived experiences with the rigorous precepts of their faith.
In light of this, Ghamidi Saheb’s views are extremely detrimental since they merely solidify a worldview that is influenced by Pakistan’s economic and social structure rather than the social reality of the West. When they hear Ghamidi Saheb compare LGBTQ families raising children to the zaalimoon (oppressors) or attribute the existence of homosexuality to childhood sexual abuse, both of which have been rejected as quackery by prestigious medical, psychological, psychiatric, and paediatric professional associations around the world, it does not help overseas Pakistanis to avoid accusations of homophobia.
Ghamidi Sahib, like other great people, is a product of his time and location. He has disagreed with his beloved mentors, Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi and Maulana Maududi. However, Ghamidi Saheb’s well-educated students cannot say the same because they consistently follow their teacher’s perspectives on the bulk of issues rather than establishing their own paths. Although Dr. Farhad Shafti is an exception, many others do not follow the standards.
In contrast to an Islamic discourse rooted on tahammul (perseverance) and ajazi (humility), western LGBTQ Muslim activists are more concerned with social justice campaigning (based on offence). Furthermore, LGBTQ Muslims in the West have not always acted wonderfully, especially when acting indecently or violating Islamic values of modesty and iffat (chastity). All of these factors allow Ghamidi Saheb’s opinions to go unchallenged, and as a result, overseas Pakistani communities continue to struggle with integrating their religious beliefs with their daily lives.
Addressing homosexuality in a way that respects both religious freedom and fundamental human rights should not be a problem in a society where either/or thinking is being replaced by holistic thinking. This means that we may have both the environment and a profitable business.
Addressing homosexuality in a way that respects both religious freedom and fundamental human rights should not be a problem in a society where either/or thinking is being replaced by holistic thinking. This means that we may have both the environment and a profitable business. Regarding homosexuality, this involves emphasising that, while our faith does not endorse or allow for same-sex marriage, we recognise the rights of Muslims who hold opposing views.
After all, it is a question of muamalat (social transactions), in which attitudes may differ across time and space, rather than a belief system or ibadat (worship). A viewpoint like this would allow Pakistanis living overseas to avoid harbouring erroneous notions like those that relate homosexuality to childhood sexual trauma, minimise same-sex relationships to anal touch, or portray LGBTQ families as oppressors. This is because something as heinous as sexual assault does not produce affection, connection, or camaraderie.
Similarly, same-sex relationships cannot be reduced to a single sexual act, especially when some lesbian and gay partners are uninterested in this act. Furthermore, morality is not predicated on our ability to experience repulsion, especially when minority Maliki and majority Ithna Ashari perspectives on ityan bil dubur (anal intercourse) differ greatly from the mainstream Hanafi view commonly accepted in Pakistan.
Ghamidi Sahib is, in general, a benefit for the people of Pakistan. He has given unmatched service and support to our beliefs. We appreciate him for sharing his ideas with complete honesty and humility despite the fact that he is still a frail human being. In addition, Pakistanis living abroad should conduct their own research rather than heedlessly following blindly held religious beliefs.
They have every right to reject ideologies that conflict with their religious beliefs, particularly when those ideologies undermine the sanctity of marriage through open relationships, extramarital sex, polyamorous behaviour, donning makeup and sporting bushy beards, or obfuscating the boundaries between male and female spaces. They are able to comprehend that some of their fellow believers face unique difficulties in this brief and difficult life.
As a result, if they fail to keep the other Islamic principles and values and instead opt to develop relationships based on mawadda, we must treat them with respect and decency (affection). Prophets and saints confront more tough problems than weak average people because of their stronger faith. We must remember that Allah creates anything He desires and that Allah loves us all.