Reclaiming the Rainbow: Islam on the LGBTQ+ Ideology’s False and Immoral Assumptions

 At a crucial junction in human civilisation, traditional institutions have been rapidly dismantled, particularly in the West, by the LGBTQ+ movement, stripping the social order of its moral and God-oriented organisation. Meanwhile, the Islamic vision remains steadfast, offering a clear and defiant paradigm amidst the upheaval. This essay unpacks the LGBTQ+ ideology's false and immoral assumptions and presents Islam's coherent perspective. It also responds to key objections.

  1. Introduction and Core Objectives:

Human civilisation currently finds itself at a crucial junction. Over the last few decades, societies around the world, particularly in the West, have rapidly dismantled a number of traditional institutions that have endured for millennia. The radical changes in question include ones pertaining to gender roles, social hierarchies, family structures, and other domestic and communal units. The social order of the world has been stripped of any meaningful paradigm or subtext through which moral, God-oriented organisation is easily accessible. The main actor behind the dissolution of these traditional institutions is none other than the LGBTQ+ movement, which has gained substantial traction in the last two decades. Despite being ignorantly demonised, the Islamic vision of the world remains clear in its objectives, confident in its efficacy, and defiant in the face of subversion.

The purpose of this essay is to bring to light the main philosophical assumptions upon which the ideology of the LGBTQ+ movement is founded. The primary analytical observation of this work is that the LGBTQ+ ideology is not a universal and absolute worldview; it has key theoretical presumptions that can be intellectually challenged. People are under no epistemic and moral obligation to adopt these incoherent conjectures. These assumptions are bereft of logical rigour and are marred with basic errors in reasoning. Conversely, the Islamic paradigm presents a coherent and holistic understanding of the world that is grounded in a sound rational foundation.

It is important to note that while the Islamic ethos firmly shuns the inverted world order that the progressive forces have established in the postmodern era, it nevertheless stresses the importance of conveying the truth in a serene and dignified manner. Disorderliness, vigilantism, and sanctimonious discrimination can never be acceptable courses of action. Allah fstates in the Qur’an:

“Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair.”[1]

In this verse, the verbal forms of the words birr (righteousness) and qisṭ (fairness) – namely tabarr and tuqsiṭ – are used in relation to the disbelievers. In linguistic terms, the word birr is derived from the Arabic triliteral root b-r-r. Depending on the context in question, a linguistic cognate of this root can impart myriad meanings, which include the following connotations and denotations: being free of any filth or impurity, being free of guilt, being of a pious nature, displaying devotion to God, fulfilling one’s promise, as well as exercising excellence in one’s personal and social conduct.[2] For the verse in question, the intended meaning is being righteous and observing excellent conduct towards the disbelievers as long as they do not display any hostility or hatred towards the Muslim faith and community.[3] In the context of hostility and hatred manifested by disbelievers, sagacious strategising and wise judgement takes precedence over explicit kindness the preservation of the community is a moral priority which may require methods that disclude forbearance. Interestingly, the Prophet ʿĪsā (Jesus) used a linguistic cognate of the word birr when referencing his duty towards his mother, one of kindness and obedience:

“And [He has ordered me] to be kind to my mother. He has not made me arrogant or defiant.”[4]

In a similar yet distinct fashion, the word birr is used in its noun form to denote acts of righteousness:

“Do you preach righteousness and fail to practice it yourselves, although you read the Scripture? Do you not understand?”[5]

Taking these verses into account, one may derive a fundamental moral lesson: all humans – regardless of their religion or beliefs – must be afforded a minimum baseline of respect and dignity. This is even the case when they are being critiqued or are having their beliefs deconstructed through an Islamic lens. As such, any critique must be fair and free of malicious distortions or misinterpretations. Every Muslim should aim to embody these values in their critical discussions with others, and aspire to be a beacon of wisdom that reflects the mercy of the Creator and the benevolence of His Final Prophet, Muhammad g. By displaying piety, kindness, and compassion, the hearts of the lost and heedless may be awakened to the truth, thereby facilitating their humble adoration of Allah and peaceful submission to His commands. Such a noble end can never be achieved through belligerence towards others. By adopting a godly demeanour when engaging fellow co-religionists and ideological opponents alike, Muslims will become ambassadors of the religion of truth and call the proponents of the LGBTQ+ ideology to the oneness of Allah and His message.

  1. Key Theories and Assumptions of the LGBTQ+ Ideology

The fundamental truth claims of any philosophy or paradigm are based on a set of basic assumptions and presuppositions. These can either be cogent or fallacious. Consider secularism as an example: it is predicated on the major postulate that church and state must function as separate and non-overlapping entities. Such a tenet rests on the key assumption that God, or religion in general, are incapable of effectively governing the sociopolitical affairs of humankind. Of course, this viewpoint is clouded by its own epistemological and historical biases – many of which uniquely stem from the atrocities of the Catholic Church and the counter-response of the Enlightenment – which cannot be analogously imposed upon the rich tradition of Islam.

Secondly, secularism assumes that the political and religious spheres are mutually exclusive, such that they are not amenable to harmonisation in any shape or form. Theoretically, this implies that the two institutions should have their own distinct areas of jurisdiction. On the ground, however, these two categories do not co-exist as equal or cooperative parties. In fact, in conceited and antagonistic fashion, secularism has completely eradicated the regulatory capacities of religion and has monopolised the political decision-making process for itself exclusively. Religion has thus been demonised as a regressive force that should have its sphere of influence reduced to the private life of its subjects. Consequently, the public sphere is ruled by forces that operate through this-worldly (dunwayī) tools.

It is tragic to learn that this dystopian demarcation was paradoxically conceived by some of the tenets of Christianity, which in the long run propelled a bifurcated model of society. According to many commentators, the biblical passage that supported this vision was the infamously cited: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”[6] It was this statement which reaffirmed the secular. It suggests that God lacks the capacity to guide humans in worldly affairs. Such a declaration fails to acknowledge God’s maximal omniscience, and instead renders His powers to be contingent and limited; an idea antithetical to the Islamic tradition.

The LGBTQ+ ideology is likewise based on a set of philosophical presuppositions. The LGBTQ+ movement is founded on a set of arguments to support its liberal and unrestricted sexual vision, which essentially asserts that same-sex intercourse and gender fluidity are basic human rights, not immoral lifestyle choices. The core philosophical assumptionsthat underpin the LGBTQ+ arguments are as follows:

  • Human beings possess their own bodies and may, as such, do with them whatever they please;
  • Same-sex intercourse and gender fluidity are lifestyle choices that are strictly individual matters. Every person has the fundamental right to adopt them should they wish to do so;
  • There are no sound moral objections to same-sex intercourse and gender fluidity;
  • Sexuality and desires are identity-shaping features, and should thus be respected; and
  • Gender and sexuality are social constructs which have no fixed or innate essence.

At an aggregate level, these five assumptions comprise the main epistemological, moral, and  philosophical pillars of the LGBTQ+ ideology. This essay will demonstrate how every one of these assumptions can be challenged, questioned, and rejected. Therefore, Muslims, or anyone else for that matter, are under no epistemic or moral obligation to acquiesce to the LGBTQ+ ideology.

Before outlining the mechanics of these assumptions, it is important to note that not every one of them are adopted and championed by LGBTQ+ proponents. Instead, it is common to find a given camp, faction, or sector within the movement assigning importance to one line of reasoning in particular over the others. In some cases, a certain segment of the movement may altogether eschew the philosophical basis of a given argument in favour of another line of reasoning. This divergence stems from the fact that the various camps of the LGBTQ+ movement ground their respective positions on different philosophical foundations. This essay recognises this fact, and as a result it makes a concerted effort to gather the most popular assumptions that different clusters of the movement have proffered in the last few decades. By undertaking such an approach, all the central philosophical lines of reasoning employed by the LGBTQ+ ideology can be subjected to critical scrutiny.

2.1 The Assumption of Bodily Ownership and Physical Autonomy

The first assumption is, broadly speaking, based on the premise that there is no Creator – a thesis championed by atheists and philosophical naturalists – or that His existence does not yield any moral duties or responsibilities, with the latter being championed by secular theists. The first camp agrees that the human body is not defined or oriented by any divine telos; instead, humans are nothing more than the product of a series of astronomical, biological, and geological accidents that fashioned their bodily constitution. Because humans have not been created with any defined end, they enjoy the ability to determine their reality and enjoy the right to utilise their body however they wish, as long as they do not harm or impinge on the rights of others. Pro-abortion activists often employ this line of reasoning by devotionally reciting the slogan, “My body, my choice.”

It is important to note that not all proponents of this argument are atheistic in their outlook. In actual fact, some of them are – at least nominally – subscribers to certain religious traditions; not only do they firmly believe in God’s existence, they also affirm His authority over the entire universe. However, these theists would, echoing the above, contend that God allows His servants to do whatever they wish with their bodies. Instead of revolving around a moral epistemology grounded in a theistic ontology, this approach is based on secular normative ethical theory.

In essence, this assumption is predicated on a secular, humanistic, and materialistic  line of reasoning which operates in accordance with one of two separate concepts: 1) humans were not created by God, and thus are free of the need to emulate any divine commands or ordinances, or 2) humans were created by God, but His existence does not entail any moral obligations towards Him since there is no evidence that we owe Him anything in a normative sense. In any case, both of the postulations yield the same upshot: humans enjoy the licence to function freely in the world at both the ideational and bodily levels, without there being any top-down restrictions imposed upon them.

The key mechanism that informs both of these postulations is that humans are the sole possessors of their bodies, and as a result they may do with them whatever they wish. Such a blanket allowance obviously includes having sexual relations with the same gender, changing one’s gender identity at one’s own discretion, and even undertaking what is commonly known as gender-affirming or sex reassignment surgery. By virtue of their nature as independent moral agents, human beings enjoy a sphere of autonomy whereby they may undertake whatever deeds or actions they wish, as long as they do not harm the rights of others. The roots of this viewpoint can be traced to the famous English thinker John Stuart Mill, who developed a famous philosophical standard of conduct known as the harm principle, through which public order could be maintained and collective society could be protected from the tyranny of the majority. Mill elaborately outlined the full implications of this philosophical principle by stating: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others…in the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”[7]

2.2 The Assumption of Individual Rights

The second assumption is predicated on the notion of individual rights, which are acknowledged in the legal codes of secular jurisdictions in the world. The Western world operates through the principles and presuppositions of liberalism. The latter gives primacy to the individual, elevates their status, and affords them a wide array of pleasure-inducing privileges, often referred to as negative rights. Unlike positive rights, which oftentimes force a subject to undertake actions in order to further their moral and social development and realise a higher purpose of life informed by religion or traditional values, negative rights confer individuals a sphere of liberty that frees them from such constraints.[8] The Western tradition has historically assigned preponderance to negative rights, and views them preeminent in ensuring humans pursue their own individually-defined goals, even if they are nothing more than mundane or base pleasure-inducing ends. As a result of this historical legacy, it is not difficult to conclude that the canonical legal and philosophical writings of the Western world stress the importance of protecting the individual from any outside interference, regardless of whether it is the state or other institutions, such as the church or family. In light of these entrenched legal precepts, the constitutions of these polities provide every one of their citizens a comprehensive array of individual rights in order to shield them from any potential encroachment on the part of outside actors.

Because same-sex unions and gender fluidity are both recognised in the statutes of the liberal West in the form of guaranteed individual rights, they are subsequently deemed conventional and bequeathed their moral worth and permissibility. Put more specifically, the notion of individual rights confers upon every person the right to love and express that love to whomever they wish, even if they are of the same gender. Liberal philosophy is also instrumental in permitting a person to shape their identity and gender, even if that entails the opposition of any existing biological and cultural markers. Individual rights are assigned preponderance over collectivist interests and social welfare considerations, as a person enjoys the prerogative to identify however they wish and exercise their sexuality without any restrictions. It is thus unsurprising that the very notion of conferring a sphere of liberty via individual rights has been stressed by a number of Western thinkers and philosophers. Perhaps the underlying conjecture that fuels this latter argument is that humans are the sole beings in this universe to possess the faculty of reason; this elevates their status to the level of moral agents, and as such they are entitled to undertake any actions that they wish with their bodies. This assumption gives primacy to the individual – the private wants and interests of the individual cannot and should not be constrained by any external force, such as social and cultural factors.

2.3 The Assumption of the Absence of Harmful Features in Homosexual Acts

The third assumption adopted by the LGBTQ+ ideology postulates that one cannot discern any morally harmful features in same-sex marriage or gender fluidity. In his highly touted work, The Moral Defense of Homosexuality: Why Every Argument Against Gay Rights Fails, contemporary philosopher Chris Meyers advances a negative argument to nullify any moralist objections against homosexuality, which he labels as the “Simple Argument”. He adamantly asserts that homosexual practices are free of any wrong-making features, such as harming others, infringing upon another person’s autonomy, promoting inequitable treatment or unfair practices, or violating the basic individual rights of any parties. Because homosexuality in and of itself is free of any such harmful features, it should ultimately be deemed morally permissible. The logical consequence of this argument is that “if there is nothing morally wrong with homosexuality, then there is no reasonable basis on which to deny homosexual individuals and same-sex couples the same rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual individuals and opposite-sex couples”.[9]

Instead of sufficing themselves with negative arguments, other scholars employ positive philosophical arguments to demonstrate the morally desirable status of homosexual practices. This goal is achieved through the employment of consequentialist ethical theories, such as the pleasure-maximising philosophy of utilitarianism and its individualist version called ethical egoism. For the purposes of brevity, this essay will only be able to provide an explanation of the former ethical theory. The ethical model of utilitarianism was initially developed by John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, both of whom were major philosophers and political theorists that lived in the 19th century. The two thinkers argued that utilitarianism could provide policymakers an ethical calculus that can be used in order to govern political affairs and efficiently undertake cost-benefit analyses. The standard in question is the felicific calculus, which operates in accordance with the principles of hedonism. Essentially, the purpose of this calculus is to ensure that the level of happiness is maximised in society at the collective level. Bentham explained the key driving feature of this principle by stating: “[I]t is the greatest happiness of the greater number that is the measure of right and wrong.”[10] The decision whether an act is morally desirable or not can be made via net assessments, whereby the public effects of a prospective policy are forecasted. Through these projections, it can be determined whether the passage of a certain regulation or law is desirable as a matter of policy. Scholars subscribing to the school of utilitarianism assert that the sexually liberatory practices promoted under the LGBTQ+ ideology are beneficial insofar as they increase the pleasure of human agents and limit their pain and discomfort in the world. According to proponents of the broad theoretical model of consequentialism, an act can only be deemed evil if it reduces happiness or increases pain. Since these factors are not present in same-sex unions, such consensual acts must be deemed permissible.

A smaller camp found among the proponents of the LGBTQ+ ideology employs non-consequential normative ethicaltheories such as deontological ethics. In terms of its linguistic roots, the word deontology is a fusion of the Greek word deon, which refers to a firm and compulsory duty, and the suffix -ology, which refers to a field or area of study. This ultimately means that as a composite term, deontology entails the study of moral duties and responsibilities among human agents. In stark contrast to utilitarianism, deontological ethics repudiates the assertion that the ethical value of an action revolves around its consequences. It instead posits that all human actors are under the obligation to fulfil their duties and responsibilities, even if such a course of action jeopardises the retrieval of optimal outcomes. Perhaps the most important theorist and proponent of deontological ethics was the well-known Enlightenment-era philosopher Immanuel Kant. According to the espousers of the deontological school, the goodness of an act can be determined if it is consistent with pre-set rules, principles, and duties, which are usually determined by the values and standards found in the West.[11] Over time, the mechanics of this ethical theory were further developed, which eventually led to the formation of three distinct subsets of the tradition: 1) agent-centred deontological theories, 2) patient-centred deontological theories, and 3) contractualist deontological theories. A clear demonstration of the influence of deontological ethics can be appreciated in the 19th-century anti-slavery and abolitionist movement in the Western world. Traditionally, through a purely consequentialist lens, Western traders considered slavery to be a lucrative enterprise that offered a plethora of economic benefits for several sectors. Indeed, some strands of utilitarianism – such as rule utilitarianism – provided ideological cover for this repulsive practice on the grounds that it maximised the happiness of these polities thanks to the economic gains they afforded the general population. However, in response to this reasoning, many of the leading members of the abolitionist movement opined that slavery was an inherently immoral practice which warranted an absolute ban. Despite issuing a divergent ruling in this particular matter, it is important to note that deontological ethics is nevertheless a human-centred ethical theory which deems the interests of humans to be paramount. More specifically, in its Kantian form, deontological reasoning operates in accordance with the categorical imperative: it asserts that a certain action or deed can be deemed morally permissible as long as it is amenable to universalisation and it does not treat humans as pure means to an end. Although Kant himself deemed homosexuality to be a violation of nature, many modern deontologists have adjusted his theory and have issued far more favourable judgements concerning it.[12]

2.4 The Assumption of Identity Formation

The fourth assumption employed by the theoretical architects of the LGBTQ+ ideology is that one’s sexual desires shape their identity and their sense of self as human beings. Without freely exploring the themes of sexuality and gender, a person will be deprived of a crucial element of authenticity in their life. Ellen D. B. Riggle and Sharon S. Rostosky spiritedly articulate this argument by stating the following in their work A Positive View of LGBTQ: “Claiming our LGBT identities is an act of self-empowerment and may enhance our sense of well-being…living our life authentically, even though it may feel risky at times, facilitates personal growth. Coming to love and appreciate ourselves for who we are frees up our energy to pursue goals and activities that are meaningful to us.”[13] Thus, to bar the expression of such desires in the public sphere – such as identifying as a homosexual or a transgender individual – is nothing more than repression of authentic features of the self, which could, in the long run, bear psychological harm for members of society. For this reason, all humans should be provided the level of autonomy necessary for determining their authentic identity and exploring their sexuality. Without this freedom, humans will be subject to the forces of a despotic cultural environment, fostering social conformity and homogeneity. The potential dangers found in the latter sociopolitical model were aptly noted by John Stuart Mill, who said: “He who lets the world, or his portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. Human nature is not that of a machine to be built after a model and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but rather of a tree which requires growth and development itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.”[14]

2.5 Presuming Sexuality and Gender to be Mere Social Constructs

Fifthly, proponents of the LGBTQ+ ideology, in particular many of the Queer theorists and those who advocate for gender fluidity, contend that both sexuality and gender are mere social constructs which are not determined by biological markers. They also maintain that these are constructed norms, perpetuated through the use of language. This viewpoint has gained much popularity and circulation in academia thanks to the advent of queer theory, an offshoot of postmodernism. The architects of queer theory have rejected one theoretical extreme and have replaced it with another. In essence, they have repudiated the dictates of biological essentialism – which asserts that the sexual and gender identities of humans are fully determined by their biological make-up – and instead avered that gender is merely a fluid concept that is determined by one’s own preferences and wants. Queer theorists deny the existence of any link or association between a person’s biological constitution and their social identity by exclusively assigning importance to the ideational dimension. Both extremes are undesirable. The Islamic model – exemplified by the blessed Prophet g – as well as the majority of academics adopt a middle course of action; they affirm the reality of biological markers while also stressing that a person’s social environment can affect their temperament, personality, and religiosity. It is unfortunate to find, then, that queer theory has upset this delicate balance by attributing exclusive decisional and influential capacities to ideation.

The antecedents of queer theory can be traced to postmodernism, a relatively new school of thought. Queer theory applies two key postmodernist principles. The first is the radical notion of hyper-scepticism, which posits that objective truths concerning the nature of reality are unobtainable. While this thesis was first posited by Nietzsche via his notion of perspectivism, it was largely developed by the French post-structuralist and psycho-analytic thinker Michel Foucault, who penned a number of works concerning governmental and discursive power, such as The History of Madness (1961), The Birth of the Clinic (1963), The Order of Things (1966), Discipline and Punish (1975), and the multi-volume tome The History of Sexuality (1976). In these works, Foucault eschewed any meta truth claims and instead advanced a radical version of cultural constructivism, which claims that reality is nothing more than intersubjective perceptions. After establishing this premise, Foucault proceeded to argue that biological tenets – which include the concepts of sex and gender – are nothing more than constructs that are socially reproduced through the norms of language and the ruling power forces from above. If this argument is true, it means that all the normative assumptions and expectations espoused in relation to the categories of sex and gender are mere products of socialisation.

The second key principle of postmodernist thought is concerning the role that hierarchies play in terms of enforcing and legitimising certain social norms in all sectors of the polity. These hierarchies play an instrumental role in enabling certain forms of power while disqualifying other teachings and tenets as illegitimate. Foucault argued that these patterns of legitimisation and delegitimisation are reinforced through discourses, such as social binaries, which assign higher values to certain norms and disqualify others. Foucault asserted that elites and aristocrats were the privileged classes in society, and they ultimately regulate how the rest of the population obtain their knowledge of the world by determining the nature of language and discourses, which could limit the consciousness and emancipatory potential of the popular classes. Thus, social hierarchies do not rely on brute force or their structural strength to remain in power, but instead capitalise on the instrumental and discursive potential found in language to maintain their oppressive grip.

Queer theory incorporates several postmodernist concepts to vindicate its claims. For instance, its theoretical architects and proponents invoke the notion of discourses to deconstruct the traditional and deeply entrenched binaries of heterosexual-homosexual and male-female; in their view, these divisions are bereft of any normative value and instead are categories created to perpetuate oppression. These categories only developed an aura of legitimacy through the creative construction of meta narratives, which were then further buttressed by the prosaic power of language. The delegitimisation, non-recognition, or relegation of certain groups through binaries is not simply a form of oppression, but a mode of violence as well.

The role of language is important for queer theorists. In essence, they view language as being unable to represent reality. This idea can be traced back to Foucault’s compatriot Jacques Derrida, who authored myriad works, including but not limited to: Of Grammatology (1967), Writing and Difference (1967), and Speech and Phenomena (1967). Derrida is credited for introducing a number of new concepts in the postmodernist arena, such as linguistic analysis. In his work, Derrida argued that language was relational, in that it does not refer to reality but is understood within itself. He postulated that language helps maintain oppressive hierarchies by favouring certain classes or groups over others. For instance, he argued that through the use of hierarchical binaries – such as male-female, public-private, and rational-emotional – civilisation was characterised by a phallogocentric (i.e. androcentric) bias that favoured men over women. Language is therefore not a reflection of reality, but an instrumental means to empower certain parties over others.

Since queer theorists view gender and sexuality as products of socialisation and language, it is common to find LGBTQ+ activists agitating social hierarchies and people’s use of language. The idea is that since society and its common discourse is inherently oppressive, it should be challenged. This deliberate disturbance may empower the individual to use their own agency and their own language to create, discover, or “perform” their new gender.

This is where Judith Pamela Butler, another contemporary queer theorist, has an important role in this discussion. Butler evaluated the dominance of gender norms through the prism of gender performativity, a concept which she coined in her magnum opus entitled Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. As she puts it, “There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results.”[15] In Butler’s scheme, gender performativity is a term used to denote how gender roles are internalised through repetitive practices and routines in different societal contexts. For instance, with regard to the institution of marriage, there are a number of specific pre-set formulas and rituals used to reinforce gendered binaries. In the Christian context, for example, the priest – who is empowered as the legal agent of the husband and wife – is expected to read the following announcement after the two parties read their vows: “I now pronounce you man and wife.” Butler argues that there are social norms and structures in place which confer this pronouncement its legal effects; without these norms, such a statement from the priest should not actually have any social or legal force. But owing to the repeated iterations of such statements in all strata of society and the language conferring them an aura of legitimacy, people presume them to be normative in nature. Butler argues that these oppressive structures and linguistic norms must be challenged by all sectors of society, so that they may be freed from the shackles of oppression and pursue alternative lifestyle models outside of these binaries.

Foucault’s works are celebrated in postmodernist and critical circles, since they constitute the most vocal and powerful critique of modern power structures. But it is important to note that the above postmodernist principles have been supported by numerous other scholars and thinkers who have not been mentioned so far. These include Simone de Beauvoir, who was a well-known feminist scholar and existentialist philosopher. Her celebrated work was The Second Sex(1949), in which she made the famous declaration: “One is not born, but rather becomes, [a] woman.”[16] Through this proposition, Beauvoir was essentially outlining the sex-gender distinction by stressing the importance of socialisation towards shaping one’s identity. Though she is not formally labelled as a queer theorist, Beauvoir was instrumental in developing the distinction between the sex that one is assigned at birth and the sex that they can become in the social sphere. The feminist activist and cultural anthropologist Gayle S. Rubin has also played a pivotal role in furthering the development of queer theory by identifying other societal institutions that reproduce norms of oppression. In her analysis, the institution of the family is predicated on a number of hierarchical structures and normative assumptions that benefit male heterosexual parties, much to the detriment of female wives. Rubin explored these themes in her academic article titled “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex”, where she noted that women are relegated to the private sphere and forced to participate in society as inferior parties through the process of gendering, which elevates men to the status of active participants in the public arena and downgrades women as passive receivers of mandates. Such gendered structures have existed for millennia and can be found in almost all civilisations.

  1. The Islamic Response to the LGBTQ+ Assumptions: Relative and Non-universal

Many of the activists and advocates of the LGBTQ+ ideology paradoxically portray their narratives and arguments in a way that represents their worldview as absolute. However, the aforementioned discussion on the LGBTQ+ assumptions clearly shows that this ideology rests on philosophical and moral presuppositions that require justification. There is nothing inherently true or self-evident about these main assumptions. Therefore, Muslims and humankind are under no epistemic or moral obligation to believe in, advocate for, or promote the LGBTQ+ ideology.

The very fact that there are alternative worldviews that challenge the assumptions of the LGBTQ+ ideology showcases that discussions must be centred on the purported veracity of said assumptions. Merely advocating a worldview in an unconditional way, as many advocates and activists of the LGBTQ+ ideology do, is a form of intellectual narcissism. In fact, the way gender-fluidity has been promoted, enforced, and enshrined in law in many Western countries can only be described as ideologically hegemonic. 

The Islamic paradigm rejects every one of the five aforementioned arguments proffered by the LGBTQ+ ideology, as it deems them all to be false. Islam has the theophilosophical resources to provide its own elaborate lines of reasoning;generating a moral worldview that revolves around the existence of a benevolent and all-knowing God Who has revealed commands for the betterment of humankind in both this world and the Hereafter.

The Islamic response to the five main philosophical arguments will be thoroughly presented in the sub-sections that follow.

3.1 The Islamic Response to the Argument of Bodily Ownership and Physical Autonomy 

As noted in Section 2.1, many proponents of the LGBTQ+ ideology argue that same-sex and gender fluidity rights are logical corollaries of the fact that humans possess their own bodies. As such, they are empowered to do or perform whatever they wish with them, which ipso facto includes their sexual organs. The Islamic worldview rejects this claim. Instead, it is Allah Who solely possesses our bodies, and as such He enjoys the right to decree ordinances concerning their use and regulation in this world. In a pivotal sequence of verses in the Qur’an, Allah f states:

“He is the One Who created for you hearing, sight, and intellect. Yet you hardly give any thanks. And He is the One Who has dispersed you all over the Earth, and to Him you will all be gathered. And He is the One Who gives life and causes death, and to Him belongs the alternation of the day and night. Will you not then understand?”[17]

After enumerating the plethora of blessings He has endowed upon humanity, Allah then proceeds to outline His authority over the entire universe by posing a number of powerful rhetorical questions:

“Ask [them, O Prophet], ‘To whom belong the Earth and all those on it, if you know?’ They will reply, ‘To Allah!’ Say, ‘Why are you not then mindful?’ And ask, ‘Who is the Lord of the seven heavens and the Lord of the Mighty Throne?’ They will reply, ‘Allah.’ Say, ‘Will you not then fear [Him]?’ Ask them, ‘In Whose Hands is the authority over all things, protecting while none can protect against Him, if you know?’ They will reply, ‘Allah.’ Say, ‘How are you then so deluded?’”[18]

Every atom of this universe is the creation of Allah, and as a result is His property alone. Thus, our bodies are entrusted to us from Allah and we must ensure that they are utilised in a manner that accords with divine commands and prohibitions. In other words, our bodies are a reflection of Allah’s creative agency and a sign of His rubūbiyyah (Lordship) over all of humankind. As such, He has every right to dictate every single thing that is done with the human body, since it is His property alone.

Notwithstanding Allah’s Lordship over all of creation, Islam appreciates that humans have agency over their bodies. This means that they have been given the free-will to act in any possible way. However, this free-will comes with responsibility: to obey Allah’s commands. Allah’s commands are expressions of His will which is in line with His nature. Given the fact that He is the All-Knowing, All-Wise, Most-Merciful and Most-Loving, it follows that His commands are good for us, ensuring our well-being and prosperity. This is not just a conceptual point, it is substantiated through the practical application of these commands both on a personal and societal level.

3.2 The Islamic Response to the Argument of Individual Rights

Numerous proponents of the LGBTQ+ agenda base their liberal sexual vision on a negative notion of individual rights, which in theory provide every person the autonomy to govern their bodies however they wish. According to this viewpoint, such a conception of rights also allows a person to engage in same-sex relations and alter their gender identity. However, such an argument is nothing more than a hasty conclusion. While it is true that the Islamic ethos rejects this liberal vision, it is important to note that its legal jurisprudence does recognise a sphere of personal rights that are conventionally known as ḥuqūq al-ʿibād (the rights of the Earthly servants).

The liberal conception of rights is premised on an atomistic or individualistic conception of the human being. This renders the human being as an entity dislocated from its social bonds and duties. It also gives primacy to the individual, thereby rendering a legal context that prioritises the personal over the communal. Practically speaking, the privileges and rights that liberalism confers upon human subjects are deemed absolute by its proponents, going as far as claiming them to be natural and universal. However, not all societies and cultures of the world accept the liberal paradigm. Instead of adopting an individualist framework, many societies adopt collectivist and communitarian models. Moreover, liberals mistakenlyassume that humans possess the faculties and creative energies to assign themselves absolute rights. Such a proposition is troubling to say the least, since humans are contingent beings that only have a limited and refracted level of knowledge of the world they inhabit. Various human judgements and conceptions of the universe are often clouded by primitive desires and wants. Humans cannot then be arbiters in determining the nature of actions, and must instead submit to the perfect wisdom and knowledge of their Creator, even if they cannot fully understand the rationale of His commands.

A universal conception of rights can only be derived from Allah, Who has assigned to Himself the Names. He is al-Barr(the Source of All-Goodness), al-Raḥmān (the Most Merciful), al-Wadūd (the Most Loving), al-ʿAlīm (the All-Knowing), and al-Ḥakīm (the All-Wise). These attributes and titles denote His perfect benevolence, knowledge, and goodwill in relation to all members of His creation. His commands are manifestations of His will and are derivatives of His perfect nature and are thence issued with perfect wisdom and knowledge, rendering them worthy of full obedience and reverence. He is external to the universe and is not restricted by any of the limitations found in the spatial and temporal planes, and as such knows what is in the best interest of His servants. In the Qur’an, Allah confirms to His servants that He only commands that which is pure and wholesome, and He prohibits that which is baleful for His subjects:

“Allah never commands what is shameful. How can you attribute to Allah what you do not know?”[19]

3.3 The Islamic Response to the Absence of Harmful Features Argument

As highlighted in Section 2.3, a significant number of LGBTQ+ proponents argue that same-sex marriage and gender fluidity are free of any harmful features, and they should, as a result, be deemed permissible. This line of reasoning is articulated by the contemporary philosopher Chris Meyers, who developed the “Simple Argument”. These LGBTQ+ proponents adopt specific normative ethical theories to justify their argument, with the most prominent being utilitarianism and deontological ethics. The Islamic response to this argument is that, very simply, there is no justification for accepting such secular ethical theories. Humans are not beings that simply emerged in this universe by accident, such that they may determine the good based on their own desires and pre-set ends. The existence of a beneficent, omniscient, all-wise Creator necessarily requires humans to abide by His standards, since His knowledge and wisdom are not bounded. This God-centred ethical model is known as divine command theory, which asserts that the good – in an ontological and epistemological sense – is what the Divine commands while that which is evil consists of what He proscribes. His knowledge and wisdom are maximally perfect, which means that all His commands are perfect and considerate of all the moral consequences that result from a given action. Thus, it is necessary for all humans to obey His commands, even if the wisdom of His proclamations may not be discernible. Put in another way, the wrong-making feature found in homosexuality and gender fluidity lies in the fact that they contravene God’s divine commands, which are issued with perfect knowledge and wisdom. That which is finite and contingent can never supersede that which is perfect and unlimited.

The Islamic paradigm also dismisses the use of secular ethical theories such as utilitarianism and deontology, for it considers them to be inappropriate and short-sighted epistemological standards. More specifically, the Islamic ethos argues that every one of these value theories is marred with a number of impairing deficiencies which render them inapplicable for assessing the ethical worth of human actions. After all, they are the theoretical products of the human mind, which lacks the ability to independently formulate accurate moral judgements. For instance, one may consider how utilitarianism is blemished with a this-worldly and secular bias, whereby a person evaluates their actions by exclusively considering their consequences in this temporal universe; such an evaluative method is undoubtedly short-sighted, since it fails to consider the consequences of one’s actions in the other world, namely the Hereafter. Such a reductionist vision is not only deficient, but is also dangerous since it reduces humans to pleasure-seeking calculators that have no greater moral purpose. The Islamic ethos firmly rejects this thesis, and instead asserts that any cost-benefit calculations must be considerate of any prospective other-worldly effects as well. Similar criticisms can be tendered against deontological ethics. The proponents of this ethical school also depend on human reason to generate moral judgments. More specifically, deontologists believe that the powers of human reason are sufficient for delineating moral values and duties. However, who has the right to provide us with these moral duties and according to what criteria are they developed? For Islam, the answer is Allah, a perfect being with qualities that render His commands a source of morality. Simply put, it is rational to accept Allah as a basis for our moral duties over the human being by virtue of who Allah is. Attempts at universalising secular ethics are always left wanting. For example, Kantians believe that a certain course of action may be globally applicable if it simply abides by the thought experiments dictated by the categorical imperative. For Islam, these weak epistemic standards reflect the limitations of the human mind and highlight the necessity of relying on the infallible ordinances of God.

In order to reinstate their secular vision of morality and the world, many atheists invoke Euthyphro’s dilemma. They claim that this dilemma presents an intellectual hurdle for theistic conceptions of morality. Essentially, this philosophical counter-argument raises the following question: is a virtuous act good because it is commanded by God or because it is good in the first place?[20] If the first horn of the dilemma is affirmed it entails God’s commands are arbitrary. Affirming the second horn would render God’s commands superfluous and external to goodness itself, because someone would have to know what good is to judge God’s commands as good. If the two horns of the dilemma are accepted as being an accurate account of the interaction between good action and God’s commands, it will follow that divine commands do not play any decisive role in rendering an act good. However, in actual fact, this counter-argument is nothing more than a false dilemma, since a third possibility does exist: an action is good due to God’s command, but His commands are not arbitrary, they are not somehow ‘dislocated’ from God’s nature, as the first horn assumes. God commands stem from His wise and perfect nature. Thus, it logically follows that His commands are not arbitrary.

This line of reasoning has been articulated by several Muslim scholars, including the great Indian polymath and religious reviver (mujaddid) Shāh Walī Allāh al-Dihlawī, who advances it through the use of a number of sophisticated thought experiments.[21] Because of the detailed and abstract nature of al-Dihlawī’s prosaic style, a more modern representative case will be used instead. In sum, Allah’s commands in the legal and moral planes are perfectly considerate of the individual and collective needs of humankind in their ethical, social, and political affairs. In symbolic terms, the commands that Allah c issues to His subjects are like a key which human subjects can use to solve all the problems they experience, improve their well-being, and unlock their full potential as moral agents. Just as a key is designed to open locks, the commands of Allah are issued for the welfare of humans and to allow them to solve worldly problems. Considering this analogy, it becomes evident that any suggestion that Allah’s commands can be arbitrary and devoid of any wisdom is absurd. Such a premise comes dangerously close to claiming that an effective key which can open a door was manufactured accidentally, with its design not being planned beforehand.

3.4 The Islamic Response to the Argument of Identity Formation

As noted in Section 2.4, many proponents of the LGBTQ+ ideology claim that same-sex relationships and altering one’s gender play a constructive role in a person’s identity formation. This is to the extent that intervening against these processes can harm one’s temperament and sense of well-being. Notwithstanding its popularity, this claim is false, as demonstrated by the historical success in using sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and gender identity change efforts (GICE), whereby healthcare practitioners employ distinct therapeutic techniques to encourage a patient’s return to conventional sexual practices. Essentially, through these methods, a person afflicted with homosexual urges or gender dysphoria could be rehabilitated and provided the strength to resist these misgivings and pursue a conventional sex life. The fact that these efforts had to be proscribed through legal statutes testifies to their effectiveness and demonstrates that LGBTQ-related desires and identities are unstable, malleable, and amenable to alteration through effective mentoring and therapy. However, even if one were to assume that these desires were fixed and unalterable, the argument would still not be cogent. This is because in the Islamic paradigm, the mere existence of desires does not have any identity-shaping repercussions. The only true standard that shapes the identities of humans is that they are the worshippers of Allah c and are His servants. In fact, the Qur’an states that submitting to Allah as obedient worshippers and servants is the natural order of things and the genuine avenue for acquiring dignity as humans:

“This is the natural Way of Allah. And who is better than Allah in ordaining a way? And we worship none but Him.”[22]

In this Qur’anic verse, Allah f employs the word ṣibghah, which shares many literary and thematic parallels with the word fiṭrah (the natural disposition towards faith in Allah). But there are some differences between the two terms, with their unique connotations complementing one another. The term fiṭrah refers to how every human commences their life upon a pure and untainted state of monotheism.[23] But as a person ages, this pure state will not remain indefinitely if they fail to uphold the commands of Allah and live a morally upright lifestyle; it must be maintained with care and vigilance. To act upon lowly desires without having them regulated or controlled through moral and religious checks will cause one to stray from the natural path of goodness, which in turn will bar them from salvation in the Hereafter. This persistent observance of the religion and all its commandments is what is known as ṣibghah, which literally refers to a pigment or colour. This peculiar word choice alludes to how religiosity positively enhances a person’s composition and temperament, just as a hue or dye beautifies a cloth.[24] If a person fails to carry out the duties needed to possess ṣibghat Allāh, their fiṭrah will be damaged and corrupted. This conclusion can be inferred from the following Qur’anic verse:

“So be steadfast in faith in all uprightness – the natural Way of Allah which He has instilled in people. Let there be no change in this creation of Allah. That is the Straight Way, but most people do not know.”[25]

The primary purpose of humanity’s presence in this world is to recognise their Creator, that is, to know Him, love Him, worship Him, supplicate Him, and submit to His ordinances. In sum, humans were created so that they may know the status of their Creator and worship Him accordingly. Their purpose in this world is not to elevate their this-worldly pleasure-seeking egos and to act upon their base desires. Instead, all their internal states and external acts must be oriented towards Allah c. In this context, it is important to note that any type of desire which fails to be consistent with the guidelines of Islam is blameworthy. Regarding this matter, Allah f Himself states in the Qur’an:

“So if they fail to respond to you [O Muhammad], then know that they only follow their desires. And who could be more astray than those who follow their desires with no guidance from Allah? Surely Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.”[26]

The LGBTQ+ ideology seeks to degrade man into a beast, identifying and obeying one’s desires. Whereas Islam elevates the human by encouraging them to control their desires and ensure they are expressed and manifested in accordance to the Divine will, which ultimately leads to our wellbeing in this life and the next.

3.5 The Islamic Response to the Constructivist Reading of Sex and Gender

In response to the LGBTQ+ movement’s fluid and unrestricted reading of sex and gender, the Islamic paradigm strikes a middle path in the nature-nurture debate, whereby it fuses the truths found in biological discoveries with the tangible effects observed in the socialisation process. The ideological extremes that are represented by both biological materialism and social constructivism are unhealthy and defy our basic intuitions which affirm that lived reality is a combination of the concrete and empirical dimensions. Queer theory’s exclusive focus on the process of socialisation and the relational nature of language goes against the established truths of the Islamic paradigm, which stresses that all humans have been endowed with a primordial nature that orients them towards the Divine. One of the most important aspects of this intrinsic nature is the injunction of the male-female binary, which entails the provision of only two genders. The Qur’an succinctly and explicitly confirms this reality with the following verse:

“And the male is not like the female.”[27]

Queer theorists advocate that gender normativity is perpetuated through the use of socialisation and language. Echoing a Derriddian understanding of language, they argue that language does not represent reality. This contradicts the Qur’anic understanding of the nature of language:

“He taught Adam the names of all things.”[28]

According to classical Qur’anic commentators, God teaching Adam the names of things refers to inspiring in Adam, the first human, knowledge of “the essence of things, their properties and names, the foundations of the branches of knowledge…”[29] Furthermore, academic studies confirm that there is a plethora of biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women. Denying the basic facts of biology and assigning full preponderance to socialisation is a dangerous endeavour that can lead to the most blatant of absurdities. For instance, a person who has wholeheartedly accepted the agenda of postmodernism generally and queer theory specifically has every right to appear before their peers with a furry costume, meow loudly, and profess their wishes to identify as a cat. If this person were to decide the following week on identifying as a black lesbian, despite their being a white male, their peers would have to accept such an identification. Obviously, while this person’s peers may politely defer to their wishes, deep down within themselves they will reject this obtuse contravention of biological markers. Stripping away the objective realities of basic biology can permit a white heterosexual male to instantly declare themselves a black lesbian, even if their appearance and conduct do not correspond with their posited identity. Through these basic thought experiments, we can bring to the fore the unreconcilable logical contradictions of the postmodernist movement.

An undercutting defeater to queer theorists and related postmodernists is the following glaring epistemological contradiction. Proponents of this theory claim that hierarchies and language are objective sources of oppression and harm, yet their own theory states that no objective values can be perceived (because they are a result of powerful hierarchies and language that can only be changed and challenged but not completely destroyed). Paradoxically, their own theoretical apparatus requires them to acknowledge that no forms of injustice, harm, or oppression exist in the world with certainty, which makes all their prescriptions susceptible to criticism. In other words, since queer theorists and postmodernist scholars cannot provide an objective definition of the good, they must also admit that all the perceived wrongs that they label as oppression are nothing more than the results of their subjective whims.

  1. The Islamic Response to Common LGBTQ+ Objections

Supporters of the LGBTQ+ movement often employ a number of fallacious tropes and ideological clichés in order to neutralise the arguments of their critics. This section of the essay will consider two common rejoinders used by the movement’s ideologues whenever their views are challenged and confronted by Muslims and other moralists. By adopting an Islamic perspective, this section will demonstrate that these rejoinders are in fact fallacious and do not withstand critical scrutiny. Instead, it is the Islamic worldview that is consistent with the dictates of human reason and allows Muslims to regulate their conduct in an ethical fashion.

4.1 The Non-Enforcement of One’s Personal Views Upon Others

When their arguments are dismantled, members of the LGBTQ+ movement often retort: “Do not force your assumptions upon us.” Such a response is ironic, since for more than a decade, the supporters of this ideology – particularly members of the transgender movement – have been aggressively funding and promoting their agenda in all areas of civil society, especially in school curriculums. For such a proposal to be accepted, this deviant faction must cease implementing any so-called gender-affirming care programmes on children, which entails severing the original genitals of a person and having them replaced with simulated ones of the opposite gender. Instead of recognising the fact that a person may suffer from gender dysphoria, proponents of this agenda take advantage of the mental and psychological vulnerabilities of children and encourage them to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Any person who advocates for such an agenda should be warned against and openly rebuked, since they are in effect transforming a mental illness into a fixed matter of public policy.

Despite being critical of the proponents and supporters of the transgender movement, Muslims should always maintain a sense of sympathy towards them, since they are in fact victims of a mental illness that causes them to permanently damage their own physical and psychological constitution. The most reasonable and sincere course of action required to assist them is to convince them that they are trekking a dangerous path that will lead to their destruction in both this world and the Hereafter. When conversing with members of the LGBTQ+ movement, a Muslim should take the opportunity to call them to Allah c and Islam. They must remind these individuals that true emancipation and liberation can only be achieved through a God-centred paradigm, for through Him alone happiness and authenticity can be attained. Moreover, in these discussions, there should be an exploration of the theme that Allah c is the best of designers, and that He ensures every member of His creation has their respective needs met with the physical constitution that they have been conferred in this world. To alter the fundamentals of this reality constitutes a violation of His natural order.

4.2 The Contention that “Love is Love”

LGBTQ+ proponents often attempt to justify same-sex unions by invoking the now famous mantra, “Love is love.” There are two different ways to respond to this proposition. First and foremost, despite its outward appeal, this statement is fallacious. It can be countered with parallel statements that lead to counterintuitive upshots, such as “Water is water.” If one were to accept this latter declaration, it would mean that drinking water from a toilet is just as acceptable as drinking water from a river. Similarly, it may be challenged with another proposition, such as “Sex is sex.” Taking this latter statement as a universal principle, it would mean that having sex with a corpse should be deemed morally acceptable, yet such a suggestion defies our basic intuitions. These opposing tautological postulations prove that the LGBTQ+ slogan is bereft of any epistemic value and, if applied consistently in other planes, would permit many heinous immoral acts.

Secondly, it is important to note that the use of a slogan of this nature is nothing more than a manipulative tactic whose exclusive aim is to delegitimise all critics as being intolerant bigots. Nothing could be further from the truth. The stark reality is that Muslims are some of the most generous and loving of people among all groups and denominations found in the world. In fact, the Prophet g is reported to have imparted the following golden words of advice to Yazīd ibn Asad: “O Yazīd ibn Asad, love for humanity what you love for yourself.”[30] Moreover, in a more popular rendition of this hadith, the Prophet g said: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”[31] According to some commentators, the term brother used in this hadith is a reference to one’s fellow members of humanity, regardless of their faith.[32] Thus, Muslims wish that every member of humanity obtains goodness and welfare in this world.

However, this love does not extend to approving blameworthy and wrongful practices, such as disbelief, fornication, and changing the creation of Allah c. Instead, Muslims pray that the nonbelievers are guided and consequently secure their salvation by submitting to the true faith of Islam. This is in direct opposition to the advocates of this aberrant movement, which simply calls for self-mutilation, the elimination of shame and modesty, and the destruction of the institution of the family.

  1. LGBTQ+ or Islam?

The discussion so far will lead to the uncontroversial conclusion that the LGBTQ+ ideology and Islam have fundamentally different worldviews with their own conceptions of morality and rights, grounded in contrasting ontologies. This conclusion will inevitably lead to the follow-up question: which worldview is correct?

To challenge the Islamic perspective on the LGBTQ+ assumptions, the movement’s advocates will have to challenge the conclusion that God exists and has revealed the Qur’an with unambiguous expositions as to His Lordship and creative agency. Notwithstanding the intuitive nature of the Islamic perspective, to prove it to be true, arguments for God’s existence and the Qur’an being His revelation will require articulating. Although this is beyond the scope of this essay, the Islamic worldview has robust arguments for its veracity.[33]

For believers, the method of engagement opens the door to focusing on the foundations of their worldview rather than entertain interminable debates on the premises and arguments of their ideological interlocutors. A Muslim can argue that if God exists, He is one, worthy of worship, and that God’s revelation is the Qur’an. Consequently, it would follow that what this foundation claims about same-sex intercourse and gender fluidity is true. The rationale behind this strategy is that God, by virtue of who He is, is the ultimate moral authority. The correct framing of the issue is to make LGBTQ+ advocates understand that their worldview is not universal and is based on assumptions that can be challenged. Once this is understood, they will be able to level with the possibility that their perspective may be wrong and there may exist an alternative one that is coherent and rational. This is where the Muslim should advocate for their worldview by explaining the unicity of God and the rational basis of Islam. The potential obstacles that will prevent this strategy from succeeding is the unfortunate though often inevitable name calling, cancelling, and bigotry from the LGBTQ+ proponents.

  1. Conclusion and Final Remarks

This essay unpacked the key assumptions of the LGBTQ+ ideology and presented the Islamic perspective on them. The very fact that the LGBTQ+ ideology is founded on these assumptions which may be questioned and challenged, as exemplified in this essay, showcases that LGBTQ+ advocates are not justified in presenting their worldview as absolute and universal. They neither have the epistemic nor the moral ground to sustain in their ideological hegemonic campaign.

This essay demystified the key arguments and contentions of the LGBTQ+ movement by highlighting their fallacies and incoherent postulations. In addition, this work demonstrated the soundness and congruence of the Islamic perspective, which is predicated on an objective notion of goodness that is based on divine command theory. Muslims must actively and positively engage with subscribers to this agenda via the noble endeavour of daʿwah, which entails calling them to the true religion of Allah c with counsel and wisdom. This process should be executed in a kind and gentle manner; we must have empathy for the other, and appreciate that their guidance is possible with the facilitation of Allah and His divine will. The callers to Allah are merely the instruments that operationalise His decree. Every caller to truth must ensure that they exemplify the golden rule of daʿwah, which is beautifully articulated in the following Qur’anic verse:

“Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and kind advice, and only debate with them in the best manner. Surely your Lord knows best who has strayed from His Way and who is guided.”[34]

In this verse, Allah c informs the Prophet g – and by extension other members of the ummah – of the core elements that must be incorporated in the daʿwah process. In this context, two key terms can be highlighted. The first is the word ḥikmah, which is often loosely translated as “wisdom”. However, the word has a deeper array of connotations. Perhaps the most important element that encapsulates ḥikmah is possessing the skill to appropriately apply religious knowledge according to the status quo in order to achieve a God-centred goal. That goal is to awaken heedless hearts, causing them to be attracted to the truth. Essentially, a person offering daʿwah must have the confidence to express the true teachings of Islam without any distortions or misrepresentations, and in the manner which best suits those present before them.

The verse then mentions a second element which must be incorporated in the proselytisation process, namely that of mawʿiẓah, which refers to efficiently using words of exhortation and admonition when reminding disbelievers of Allah c. The pairing of both terms in this context is important, since it signifies that many misguided individuals will not exit their state of disbelief simply by hearing the truth; the only way to awaken some hearts is through the provision of emotive and empathic reminders. But because the process of mawʿiẓah oftentimes causes the preacher to become spirited and vigorous, they are instructed to issue their reminders with tenderness; this is why Allah qualifies the word mawʿiẓah with the adjective ḥasanah (lit. “excellent” or “good”).[35] Before calling others to righteousness and goodness, one must first internalise these qualities within themselves and embody them in their engagement. That way, the nonbelievers will be receptive to the message being conveyed to them and will likely respond positively to the call of Islam. If these daʿwah efforts are carried out effectively by the Muslim population, spiritually bankrupt movements like LGBTQ+ will recede and the world will once more become a morally conscious plane that glorifies Allah and His Messenger. Every one of us enjoys the spiritual tools to induce such changes and, by the grace and mercy of God, witness them in the near future.

[1] al-Mumtaḥanah, 8.

[2] Abū al-Baqāʾ Ayyūb ibn Mūsā al-Kafawī, al-Kulliyyāt, eds. ʿAdnān Darwīsh and Muḥammad al-Miṣrī (Beirut: Muʾassassah al-Risālah, 1998), p. 231.

[3] Abū al-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr al-Qur’ān al-ʿAẓīm, ed. Sāmī ibn Muḥammad al-Sallāmah (Riyadh: Dār Ṭaybah, 1999), vol. 8, p. 90.

[4] Maryam, 32.

[5] al-Baqarah, 44.

[6] Matthew, 22:21; cf. Mark 12:17; Luke, 20:25. An example of a relevant commentary can be found in Matthew Henry Bible Commentary: “No offence was given. It was much to the honour of Christ and his doctrine, that he did not interpose as a Judge or a Divider in matters of this nature, but left them as he found them, for his kingdom is not of this world; and in this he hath given an example to his ministers, who deal in sacred things, not to meddle with disputes about things secular, not to wade far into controversies relating to them, but to leave that to those whose proper business it is. Ministers that would mind their business, and please their master, must not entangle themselves in the affairs of this life: they forfeit the guidance of God’s Spirit, and the convoy of his providence when they thus to out of their way.” Available at: Accessed 28 Jan 2024.

[7] John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (London: John W. Parker and Son, 1859), p. 22.

[8] The distinction between positive and negative liberty was popularised by the contemporary philosopher Isaiah Berlin in his lectures and writings, particularly his essay “Two Concepts of Liberty”. The latter can be found and read in Isaiah Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 118-172.

[9] Chris Meyers, The Moral Defense of Homosexuality: Why Every Argument Against Gay Rights Fails (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) p. 198.

[10] Jeremy Bentham, A Fragment on Government (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 3.

[11] Scott B. Rae, Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), p. 77.

[12] Joshua D. Greene, “The Secret Joke of Kant’s Soul,” in Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), The Neuroscience of Morality: Emotion, Brain Disorders, and Development (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2008), p. 66.

[13] Ellen D. B. Riggle and Sharon S. Rostosky, A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012), p. 21.

[14] Mill, On Liberty, pp. 106-107.

[15] Judith Pamela Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990), p. 25.

[16] Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, trans. Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier (New York: Vintage Books, 2011), p. 283.

[17] al-Muʾminūn, 78-80.

[18] al-Muʾminūn, 84-89.

[19] al-Aʿrāf, 28.

[20] Initially expressed by Socrates, the original formulation of the dilemma is the following: “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” See Plato, Euthyphro, in The Trial and Death of Socrates, trans. G. M. A. Grube (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983), p. 12.

[21] Shāh Walī Allāh al-Dihlawī, Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bālighah, ed. Saʿīd Aḥmad Pālanpūrī (Beirut: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 2012), pp. 49-51.

[22] al-Baqarah, 138.

[23] Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Juzayy al-Kalbī, al-Tashīl li ʿUlūm al-Tanzīl (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 1995), vol. 2, pp. 167-168.

[24] Abū ʿAbdillāh Muḥammad al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān (Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risālah, 2006), vol. 2, pp. 420-421.

[25] al-Rūm, 30.

[26] al-Qaṣaṣ, 50.

[27] Āl ʿImrān, 36.

[28] al-Baqarah, 31.

[29] al-Bayḍāwī, The Lights of Revelation & the Secrets of Interpretation. Ḥizb 1. Arabic edition & English translation with introduction & notes by Gibril Fouad Haddad. 2016. Beacon Books and Media Ltd, p. 524.

[30] Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad al-Imām Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal (Beirut: Muʾassasah al-Risālah, 1999), vol. 27, p. 217; Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿīl al-Bukhārī, al-Tārīkh al-Kabīr (Hyderabad, Dāʾirah al-Maʿārif al-ʿUthmāniyyah, 1941), vol. 2, p. 49. This hadith was classed as ḥasan li-ghayrih(good due to corroborating evidence) by Shuʿayb al-Arnāʾūṭ and Ibrāhīm al-Zaybaq.

[31] Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿīl al-Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (Beirut: Dār Ibn Kathīr, 2002), pp. 13-14; Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj al-Naysābūrī, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (Riyadh: Dār Ṭaybah, 2006), p. 40.

[32] Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Bakrī al-Ṣadīqī ibn ʿAllān, Dalīl al-Fāliḥīn li Ṭuruq Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 2018), vol. 2, p. 18.

[33] For a good introduction to the veracity of the Islamic faith see: Tzortzis, Hamza (2020). The Divine Reality: God, Islam & The Mirage of Atheism. Sapience Institute. Available at:

[34] al-Naḥl, 125.

[35] Muḥammad al-Ṭāhir ibn ʿĀshūr, Tafsīr al-Taḥrīr wa al-Tanwīr (Tunis: al-Dār al-Tūnisiyyah, 2008), vol. 14, p. 329.