#Opinion

On Selective Reading of the Quran and the Egregious Attempt to Justify Evil

Jun 16, 2020, 1:20 PM | Article By: Momodou Sabally 

It is the special beauty, sanctity and inviolability of the Muslim Holy Book that Allah, the Most Wise, has provided the means for its protection in the very verses of the Quran itself. Therefore it is most gratifying that the Mother of all books itself speaks thus about itself in verse 28, of Surah Zumar: An Arabic Quran without any crookedness, that they may guard (against evil).

In Verse 40 of  Surah Fussilat is a warning most stern and scary for anyone with an inkling of consciousness about the Mighty Creator of the Universe: “Surely they who deviate from the right way concerning Our communications are not hidden from Us. What! is he then who is cast into the fire better, or he who comes safe on the day of resurrection? Do what you like, surely He sees what you do.”

How then can one who calls himself a leader of a community of Muslims in the matter of faith be so bold in the pursuit of crookedness and worldly gain that he makes an attempt to justify a most foul, deviant behaviour, strange to even the basest of animals, using the Quran? Of all evil human behaviours Allah has been most stern in His condemnation of homosexuality. Therefore, to see an Imam make any close attempt to justifying this evil act is really traumatising for any serious Muslim. 

Yes, Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa) says in His glorious Quran:

“And surely We have honored the children of Adam, and We carry them in the land and the sea, and We have given them of the good things, and We have made them to excel by an appropriate excellence over most of those whom We have created.” 

This Quranic proclamation is most definitely a fact. But rather than meaning to make this verse a justification of false rights, this sublime proclamation is actually one of the reasons why the children of Adam, so honoured by the Creator should not debase themselves to levels, unseemly even for animals. Homosexuality is not a right for humans, it is a deviance and a corruption of human nature most foul. It should never be encouraged.

Coming to the other fragment of a verse of the Quran the misguided pseudo-scholar tries to use to justify his defence of homosexuality; when the Quran says that every owner of a right should be accorded their right, those rights are endowed to the created beings by their Creator. Neither the Holy Bible, nor the Quran, recognises sexual deviance as a right for human beings. So where on planet earth does this man come from with his crooked interpretation of scripture? 

The problem we face in our country is that anyone who speaks the Arabic language is regarded as a potential Imam and Islamic scholar, and this is so dangerous a fallacy.  This has created a lot of problems in our society, emanating from either deliberate or inadvertent misinterpretation of scripture, thereby misleading the public. Yet the supposedly innocent masses do not have much of an excuse. No one would take their sick child to an engineer for treatment. Therefore, why should a community of educated people choose an electric engineer for an Imam, no matter how eloquent such a person may be in the use of the Arabic language?

Our laissez-faire attitude towards religion is but a manifestation of our materialistic ethos, whereby we prioritise matters of our physical reality far and above our faith and all things of spiritual import. This malaise must be cured in our society if we are to find peace and enduring success in both this world and the hereafter. 

The Quran, and the religion it explains, are vast oceans of knowledge, some parts are quite easy to understand and then there is another portion so complex that it is only for trained scholars from recognised authorities to venture into in terms of trying to derive rulings for the public. This situation is amply alluded to in Verse 7 of the third Surah of the Quran: 

“It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise - they are the foundation of the Book - and others unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation [from truth], they will follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation [suitable to them]. And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allah. But those firm in knowledge say, "We believe in it. All [of it] is from our Lord." And no one will be reminded except those of understanding.”

And now let us compare the so called Islamic scholar’s selective reading of the Quran with the preaching of Sheikh Hamma Jaiteh who did a brilliant talk on the matter at hand during the most recent episode of the GRTS’s programme called Exploring Islam. With no attempt to encourage lawless persecution of homosexuals, the Imam was fearless and unequivocal in his condemnation of this horrendous attitude of homosexuality. It is unacceptable and unconscionable to make this deviant sexual practice fashionable in our society, and we should never legalise it in our judicial and social systems.

With clear reference to authentic science and both the Christian and Muslim Holy books, Sheikh Hamma makes it clear that homosexuality is out of order with human nature and that it should never be condoned in our society. In the Holy Bible he refers us to chapters 18 and 19 of Genesis; and in the Holy Quran, he reminds us about verses 80 to 84 of Surah Araaf:

“And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, "Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people."But the answer of his people was only that they said, "Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure."So We saved him and his family, except for his wife; she was of those who remained [with the evildoers].And We rained upon them a rain [of stones]. Then see how was the end of the criminals.”

Add to the foregoing, the preachings of such a luminous authority as Shiekh Dr. Mbaye Kebba Kah who reminded us in a Khutba(sermon) yesterday that Allah condemns homosexuality and admonishes us against it on 10 separate occasions in the Holy Quran.

Therefore, in conclusion, it is beyond the power of the human being, no matter how articulate that person may be, to use the words of Allah to deceive people regarding what is right and what is wrong. Our Holy Book asserts its own inviolability and its God-ordained incorruptibility in the end part of verse 41 and the whole of verse 42 of Surah Fussilat: “and most surely it is a Mighty Book: “Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One.”

Momodou Sabally 

Former Presidential Affairs Minister, Founder-President, Sabally Leadership Academy (SLA).