Yaqeen Institute on LGBT: What does Islam Say?

Yaqeen Institute hosted a webinar that featured Dr. Omar Suleiman, Sheikh Mustafa Umar, Sheikh Ubaydullah Evans, and Sister Sarah Sultan titled Islam and LGBTQ. It answered questions like, “How can we address LGBTQ issues as Muslims while remaining faithful?, what is our Islamic ethical framework, and how do we offer the proper support needed to our community in an ever-changing world?” We got a better understanding of the Yaqeen Institute on LGBT.

Dr. Omar Suleiman gives 10 Undeniable Islamic Rulings

Omar Suleiman - Yaqeen Institute

Dr. Omar Suleiman succinctly summarizes how we should approach these issues in 10 undeniable Islamic rulings related to LGBTQ issues in a clip titled “The LGBT Question: What Does Islam Say? Dr. Omar Suleiman is the Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and an Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies in the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at SMU (Southern Methodist University). He is also the Resident Scholar at Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair Emeritus of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square.

Omar Suleiman shares some important Islamic Principles

“First and foremost, let’s start with Islam’s hukm (ruling). This is the clear, unambiguous, and something that no Islamic scholar or mainstream masjid or institution would deny.” Dr. Omar, president of Yaqeen Institue, then discusses ten principles that Muslims should be aware of, the first being the Islamic hukm on any sexual relationship outside of nikah.

The second principle is that desires are not sinful, nor should people be identified or ostracized by desires. Instead, every Muslim is defined by Islam which is submission to Allah with those desires. 

The third is that same-sex actions (LGBT) are unequivocally haram or not permitted in Islam. The fourth is that the one who acts upon those desires is sinful but within the fold of Islam so long as they don’t justify the acts. Five, the one who does not act upon them is rewarded by Allah for their striving. Sixth, the one who denies the prohibition denies what is “known in Islam by necessity,” which takes one outside the fold of Islam. 

Seven, to celebrate or support what Allah has prohibited is a form of fusuq, or disobedience, and cannot be done in the name of social cohesion or political mobility. We have and always will condemn the mistreatment and violence against people based on orientation, lifestyle, or belief. Still, that condemnation should not be conflated with making halal what Allah has made haram. Nine, we should still be the best of neighbors and colleagues and show all people the beauty of the Islamic way with our character. Then, we should always anchor our understanding of any issue in the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the ijma (consensus). Our scholars should use Qisas (analogy) when necessary to deal with any matter. 

Sheikh Ubaydullah Evans – Understanding Current Social Issues

Ubaydullah Evans spoke on looking at social issues in context. Sheikh Ubaydullah Evans is ALIM’s first Scholar-in-Residence. He converted to Islam while in high school. Upon conversion, Ustadh Ubaydullah began studying some of the foundational books of Islam. Under the private tutelage of local scholars while simultaneously pursuing a degree in journalism from Columbia.

Since then, he has studied at Chicagoland’s Institute of Islamic Education (IIE). In Tarim, Yemen, and Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Ustadh Ubaydullah also instructs with the Ta’leef Collective and the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) at times.

As the ALIM Scholar-in-Residence, Ustadh Ubaydullah is a core instructor at the ALIM Summer Program. He teaches the History of Islamic Law, Shama’il, and Aphorisms of Ibn Ata’illah, along with other courses.

He states, “In the U.S., discrimination has been a big problem. Racism has been a big problem. These are some of the “cardinal sins” of our nation. Now, the pendulum is swinging. We have recognized the immorality of much of that earlier discrimination and racism. Now the pendulum is swinging, and we’re coming to a place of an uncategorical embrace of everything. It reminded me of the statement of City Ahmed Zarouq that ‘every extreme is followed by its opposite.’

Principles and Compassion: Insights from Yaqeen Institue

Sheikh Mustafa Umar emphasizes being “uncompromising but compassionate.” Sheikh Ubaydullah underscores the importance of compassion and equipping the community with tools to address the struggle at any level. Imam Omar urges finding a balance to uphold principles while supporting each other and helping those facing ostracism for their attractions, struggles, or worldviews. This brought us closer to the understanding of Yaqeen Institute on LGBT.

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