Family... and the
Mohammed (saws) said: "Women are the other half of men."
The unit of humanity is not a man or a woman. It is a man and a
woman in that unison that makes them a family (just like the smallest
part of water is not oxygen or hydrogen but both united). Like Judaism
and Christianity and many other religions, Islam decrees that the
pairing off of a man and a woman to make a family constitutes a
sacred bond that the Qur'an calls "a stout pledge", that
has to be documented and authenticated by the "marriage contract"
signifies the commitment of the spouses to one another and establishes
their mutual rights and responsibilities as well as those vis a
vis their children. Children have the right to legitimacy (birth
under a marriage contract and having and knowing their father and
mother), loving care as they are raised, being nurtured and catered
for both physically and spiritually, and the right of education
and getting them equipped to face life and bear its responsibilities
as mature and useful citizens. As the parents attain old age or
get incapacitated some way or another, it is the children's religious
duty to look after them and cater to their comfort without feeling
impatient or distressed about it. It is a right towards God.
course it is the perpetual insurance for the future of the children
as they themselves grow up and become parents and attain old age.
solidarity of the family and strength of the family ties is of paramount
importance in Islam. It spreads even beyond the nuclear family along
the widening circles of blood ties. The Quran calls it "the
relation of the womb". It is both a duty and a rewardable charity
to be kind to those blood kindred through friendly care or financial
support if needed. Even after parents have died, it remains one's
duty to pray for them, and even to maintain the ties with their
friends, show them courtesy, and offer help if needed.
Islam, marriage subserves two functions, and it is only marriage
that lawfully subserves them. The one is to fulfil the yearning
of the one half to its other half and their becoming one, both physically
His signs is that He created for you -from amongst you- consorts,
with whom to dwell in tranquility; and He laid love and compassion
other function is to procreate and have a progeny;
made for you -from amongst you- consorts, and out of your consorts
made for you children and grandchildren; and bestowed on you from
His bounty; would they then believe in the vain things and deny
the blessings of God?" (Qur'an 16:72)
is the only legitimate venue for sex and reproduction.
outside marriage is a grave sin, and it can also be a legal offence
in Islam if witnessed by four witnesses who identify the perpetrators
and testify to have seen a complete sexual act. To satisfy these
legal criteria must be a very rare event, and it seems it was meant
to be so.
is noteworthy that the same moral principles used to prevail also
in America and the West, but with the slippage of more and more
people into atheism or microtheism, change was inevitable. Atheism
is when God is denied. Microtheism is when God is acknowledged but
with reduced Godliness. We worship Him but on our own terms. We
visit the houses of worship usually on weekends, but we do not allow
God out to tell us what to do with our private or public lives.
This erosion of faith set the stage for the "sexual revolution",
as all religious values became subject to radical revision.
sexual revolution did not start as recently as we think in the sixties.
Nor was it the outcome of a passive natural social change. It was
the result of intelligent planning, hard work and perseverance.
It all started with the extreme fascination with science and its
technological capabilities, in the wake of banishment of the church
from delving into public life. The human mind became the Ultimate
arbiter of all human affairs, and all time-honored values were subjected
to its new rulings.
their haste and superficiality, however, people missed the obvious
fact that the human mind itself, and by its own admission, is an
imperfect instrument, and that with its limitation it cannot pass
such ultimate judgments as those concerning the absolute moral standards.
The mere fact that the mind diligently seeks more knowledge and
pursues further research is a confession that there is so much it
remains ignorant about.
the human mind thought it was complete, then it would have ceased
its pursuits and spared the research budgets; but the case is as
the Qur'an describes it,
knowledge, it is only a little that was communicated to you."
further replace God by man, a movement arose between the two world
wars called "Morality without Religion", accusing religion
-and not human error- of causing enmity and conflict between people.
They pretended the same moralities could be attained without necessarily
ascribing them to religion and called them "unattached moralities".
But as religion moved out of focus God was dethroned, and new codes
of morality were issued wherein the immoralities of yesterday became
the normalities of today, and secular humanism could at last frankly
declare that human values must be made by human beings and without
relevance to any non-human or supernatural reference. With the shift
towards materialism such values as honour, chastity and purity became
empty words and nonviable currency.
range of indoctrination worked to stretch the boundaries of freedom
to include license, and in a society that emphasizes individuality,
every human whim became a human right. It was another setback when
the tidal wave that hit society deluged also many of the traditional
custodians of religion and protectors of its values - the clergy.
These were the Trojan horse, because instead of leaving the religious
camp to the libertarian camp, they started working on religion itself
by new re-interpretations and new exegesis of the texts to render
lawful and permissible what has been unlawful and reprehensive along
the whole history of those religions.
of those clergy themselves fell prey to the germs they were supposed
to fend off. Some even interpreted the institution of "celibacy"
as refraining from marriage but not from having sex, as we read
in News Week some time ago.
result, as expected, is this chaotic sexual conduct of whole societies.
Without the values of chastity outside marriage and fidelity within
it, came the desecration of sex as a very special bond between a
man and a woman, mass and promiscuous sex, spur posses, rapes, unwanted
pregnancies ending in abortion or unwanted children stripped of
their right of legitimate double parentage, and children begetting
family trust is eroded when even in stable families some 15 percent
of the children are not their fathers', added to all this are health
hazards due to the epidemic spread of sexually transmitted diseases,
whether new diseases or the recurrence of old ones we thought have
been conquered long ago. Their causative organisms have acquired
resistance to known antibiotic therapy, and with rising promiscuity
they are exacting a heavy toll on the community, especially the
Muslims do not have any confusion or vagueness about what is lawful
in our religion and what is unlawful. The Qur'an remains in the
original text that was revealed, word to word and letter to letter.
The Qur'an is the divine words: and any translation or rendition
in any language including Arabic (the Qur'anic language) cannot
be called Qur'an. The moralities and the immoralities specified
in the Qur'an will remain so forever, and cannot be diluted or manipulated
or rationalized. There are no clergy, or scholars who can claim
to be endowed with the right or ability of special interpretation.
This does not mean that all Muslims are therefore virtuous people
who do not sin.
course, Muslims violate their own religion by committing sins and
abominations, but at least they know it is sin, and it will remain
on their conscience until they desist and repent to God. The real
challenge, however, faces Muslims who are citizens of Western communities
where the children are raised under social and moral norms that
conflict with the teachings of Islam.
are not alone in this, because there are also Jews, Christians and
others who uphold the same divine moralities and make every effort
to endow their children with them. Cooperation is already in progress
and more is encouraged between Muslims and those who believe similarly,
be they clergy or lay individuals or associations.
way with our children follows an early introduction to God (see
Chapter One), and that when we believe in Him it means we accept
and abide by His rules. If we follow His rules we do not bother
if the others do not, for when one is on the side of God then one
is in the majority. This breeds the confidence that resists peer
pressure and the vagaries of temptation. "They all do it"
ceases to be an excuse.
vaccination approach aims at building up immunity long before the
child is exposed to disease: be it physical or moral. Just like
a soldier is prepared to battle before and not during the battle,
future hazards and catches are discussed with the child so that
he/she would decide in advance what position to take when the time
comes whether the offer is smoking, drink, drug or sex.
the preaching of premarital chastity entails more than an order
to obey (of course the teaching is that when God orders, we hear
and we obey). Discussions with Muslim and non-Muslim youth presented
the case equally powerfully even along purely intellectual lines.
"Who believes in equality of the sexes?" and it is a unanimous
vote. "Who believes in justice?", and again it is a unanimous
proposition is then introduced that any relationship between two
partners, the consequences of which are not equally shared by both,
cannot constitute justice; and they all agree. In a situation of
liberal sex, the consequences are not equally shared, because the
female side is the loser all the way, whether she is deserted, or
gets pregnant and goes for abortion, or gives birth and signs away
her baby for adoption or ends with a fatherless baby to support
alone for the rest of her life. When we observe the consequences
and ask the question, "Can this be justice?" the general
shout is "No!".
homosexuality movement was a fairly late comer on the wagon of the
sexual revolution. Homosexuality, of course, is not a new invention
as it has always been there in practically all cultures and among
all people but, one would guess, in more limited proportions. It
had its lobby whose activities followed more or less subtle ways,
but its influence mushroomed only over the past decade or so.
remember academic conferences where some scientific papers were
given, upon rigorous scientific methodology, to prove by scientific
experiment the safety of anal sex. That was in the early seventies,
and to me the findings were so contradicting to simple common sense
that I began, for the first time in my academic life, to doubt the
honesty of some scientific researchers. Shortly thereafter, the
American Psychiatric Association declared that homosexuality was
no more to be considered an illness to be treated but merely an
orientation or a sexual variant. The rest is history.
Bowel Syndrome" was described in the medical literature, and
later it was AIDS that made the news and its relation to homosexual
behaviour being established. Very soon the AIDS problem was pushed
out of the medical arena and its rules and regulations for handling
infectious diseases. It became a political issue, and the homosexual
lobby further grew into a political power capable of intimidating
office bearers and political figures and gaining the support of
many in the media, the arts and the clergy. Instead of AIDS being
contained it spilled over to blood recipients, drug addicts, the
fetus in utero, heterosexual contacts with wives and others and
became a global epidemic that is spreading at a serious pace. To
the AIDS patient we have empathy and compassion and hopefully the
best available medical and nursing care. To those not infected we
recommend the preventive approach. This is not the condom, for there
is no such a thing as safe sex. It is chastity until marriage, and
fidelity within marriage.
debate about homosexuality is ravaging. "Be what you are"
they say, "and do not be ashamed of it". Many unsuspecting
youth started to experiment, to discover what they really are. Consent
is a requisite, and the lobbies in Scandinavia are trying to bring
down the consent age to four years. A 'Gay Pride Day' is annually
observed in California with media coverage, a 'Gay Pride Month'
in some school districts has been established to remove bigotry
and prejudice, and two-man or two-woman households are being presented
as alternative forms of family. Recently, science began exploring
a possible anatomical or genetic basis for homosexual orientation.
Muslims are not impressed, and to us the matter is that simple.
We do not make our religion, but we receive it and we obey it. We
cannot impose anything on anyone, but to us the Qur'an and the teachings
of prophet Mohammed (saws) clearly and explicitly condemn homosexual
practices. Whether you have the orientation or not, whether you
harbor the gene or not, your feelings and desires shall not dictate
might be dying to do something (be it homosexual contact or heterosexual
with a partner who is not your wife or taking an alcoholic drink
or an urge for a violent action or a desire to steal something that
is not yours), what you feel need not be what you do.
is not for a believing man or woman if a matter has been decided
by God and His messenger, to have a choice of their own. If anyone
disobeys God and His messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong
human being has an undisputed gene without which they cannot be
a human being: it is called the "gene of self-control"!