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ICNA’s Stance on President’s Support for Gay Marriage

05 14 12



JAMAICA, New York (May 11, 2012) – In a press release issued today, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) expressed dismay at President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.

Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam views marriage as a sacred bond between a man and a woman that serves as the basis for the family and thereby society. We believe that sexual relations can only be between a man and a woman within the context of marriage; indeed the family itself can only be formed from these relations. This traditional structure has allowed communities to flourish for thousands of years. The push to redefine the established institution of marriage and embrace homosexuality can only lead to the deterioration of the very structure of our communities and society as a whole.

President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage is a violation of God’s laws as spelled out in the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. God Almighty states, “And among His signs is that He has created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may live in tranquility with them” (Chapter 30, The Romans; Verse 21). These laws can also be found in other religious texts including the Bible, which states, “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2).

Islam regards homosexuality as a sin, but also supports the belief that God Almighty created every human being equally and that He alone will hold them responsible for their deeds. As Muslims and people of faith we must also remember that God has directed us to defend all people equally against bigotry, violence and abuse.

The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the application of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts.


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  • Hadayai Majeed via Facebook

    Since you are weighing in on this subject how about weighing in when Muslim women are murdered. Like Shaima Alawadi, etc. Since homosexuality is haram it does not matter if they marry or not. Due to the whole lifestyle is contrary to what Allah reveals in the Quran, Torah and Injil.

  • Sana Siddiqui via Facebook


  • Hadayai Majeed, we’ll take it one subject at a time. Thanks:)

  • Hadayai Majeed via Facebook

    LOL, insh’Allah.

  • Daayiee

    Mr. Baig, your attempt to speak with authority while at the same time talking through both sides of your mouth provides ample proof to many Muslims who live in the West that you are out of touch with Quranic teachings…you should not depend upon Quranic Cliff Notes to base your theories. As human kind has evolved, so has their thinking from the Islamic jurists lies of medieval times. Allah’s truth beams through the darkness you promote to continuously harm Muslims. Shame on your head and organization.

  • ICNA’s Stance on President’s Support for Gay Marriage « « Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Is

  • I actually find this posting rather pointless. Obama is not talking about Islamic marriage, he’s talking about state-regulated marriage. Even if a law was passed for same-sex marriage to be allowed across the country, how would it affect us (straight people, Muslims, etc.) in any way? I could not care less if gay people want to get married. If they weren’t married, they’d still be in relationships anyway. This issue is about the benefits one receives from being in a legal marriage.

    So yeah, not sure why ICNA is even taking a stance on the POTUS’s position on something. It’s not like legalizing same-sex marriage would have any effect on opposite-sex marriage. And it certainly wouldn’t force us to officiate same-sex Islamic marriages (i.e. nikah). Getting involved and commenting on things like this is probably just adding more fuel to the fire of those who believe we’re trying to impose Shari’a on the United States. Just a thought.

  • I have to agree with Sis Hadaiya & bro Humza. Who cares! Too many pressing issues that actually affects us. Its not like Pres O. is Muslim & saying he is goin along with the foolishness. Doesnt change who we are one way or another. I say this repsectfully, despite my exclamation points. :-) ICNA does a lot of great work, Al humdulilah. Look forward to seeing/hearing more of their work.

  • kashif ali

    sad sad stance you are taking and the wrong side of history.

    the countries governed by religious law are the exact opposite of flourishing civilizations.

    the greatest times of the muslim world were when we didn’t regulate morality via law.

    if you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.

  • Ria Williams via Facebook

    this is the reason that i withdraw my support for him

  • Br. Hamza Dawud Flanagan, so we have to wait till there’s an attack on “Islamic Marriage” for us to be concerned? Marriage is something sacred in the Abrahamic faiths, and is a bond between a MAN and WOMAN. We should express our concerns with an injustice no matter what form it comes in.

    The Prophet (saw) said if you see something wrong change it with your hands, if you’re unable than change it with your tongue (speak out against it) and if you’re unable to do that AT LEAST hate it in your hearts. Also, the people of Lut (as) weren’t just destroyed for committing the act but even those who said “what’s the big deal” and did nothing were destroyed.

    May Allah (swt) protect us all.

  • Adnan Khan via Facebook

    @brother hamza..we are not required to merely stay away from sin, rather to speak out against it and have a dislike for it also. To have a love for seeing all of Allahs creation worship him and to dislike seeing His creation disobey Him. I do agree this is more about the benefits of a relationship versus actually having the relationship in private, however this would be a step in the direction of normalizing it altogether.

  • Uhhh . . . there are more than just people of Abrahamic faiths living in this country. And in case you missed it the first time, this is a legal issue. Gay people are already in relationships and have “marriage”-type ceremonies regardless of whether or not their marriages are legally recognized. Where is the harm in letting them have the legal benefits of these partnerships? I truly think this would qualify as not focusing on the important issues.

    Besides, look at how often straight people in this country abuse the “sanctity” of marriage. Adultery is rampant, and most marriages end in divorce anyway (which, while Islamically permissible, is never the ideal end when one gets married). How would legalizing same-sex marriage change ANYTHING? It’s not going to deter gay people from being gay, so I say we not even worry about it.

  • You guys can speak out against it all you want. Meanwhile, I’m trying to worry about myself and perfect my own Islam. I do, however, think that using the account of an organization to post such things is detrimental to our image in this country, which is already pretty bad (and mostly due to things that aren’t even true).

  • ^I think everyone knows it’s happening, the issue is why is it being legalized? Especially by a President who just flip-flopped on his views when election season is around the corner. There are a lot of things happening (that shouldn’t) should the government just legalize it? Drugs, Prostitution, what about when the ban on alcohol was lifted, would we have been saying “Oh well people were drinking anyway what’s the big deal”. It’s a matter of principle.

    Homosexuality was seen EVEN in this society egregious but now is being normalized. If bestiality becomes more common and people want to start marrying animals should we just sit back and let that happen too? Seems like an improbable scenario right? Well so was a man marrying a man not too long ago.

  • I don’t think animals can love back, lol. That analogy has never worked, because animals cannot reason in the same way humans can. That would constitute animal abuse, which I am vehemently against. As long as the two involved are consenting adults, same-sex marriage is not the same as marrying an animal. It’s a poor argument, and we really shouldn’t say anything since we are one of the few faiths in the world that still practices polygamy. WE know that it’s not wrong, but others use that as an argument against Islam.

    And banning alcohol in this country was a complete fail, because at least the production and sale is regulated when it’s legal. The stuff that people made and drank during the Prohibition was so unstable that it made people get sick and sometimes die. Therefore, believe it or not, it is actually better that there’s no countrywide ban on alcohol. And I see no issue with alcohol being legal in this country, because I’m not purchasing or drinking it. Similarly, if you’re not going to get married to a man, that’s fine; no one is saying that same-sex marriage will become mandatory.

    I really just do not see the big deal with letting other people live their lives. Should we start picketing outside churches because Christians worship Jesus? We know that shirk is the worst sin imaginable, so why are we focusing on same-sex marriage? It’s funny how even Muslims seem to pick and choose what they think is important to the faith when a specific issue pops up.

  • Oh, and legal prostitution is a lot safer as well. I’m not condoning prostitution in general, but at least it has a lot less risks than the illegal kind. And if legalized sin is so bad, then why don’t we protest the existence of Las Vegas? Why are states that have legalized same-sex marriage (like my state, Massachusetts) still standing? Please, think about these things.

  • No we shouldn’t stand outside churches because we can’t stop them (nor are encouraged to) stop them from worshipping (even under Shariah) so ofcourse not. But we still hate the act of shirk that they do and that can’t change.

  • There’s a difference between evil happening (Vegas) and the President of the US condoning it.

  • Gambling and prostitution are legal in Vegas. The President could certainly speak out against it if he wanted to. Somebody in the higher-ups could change it this, but I don’t hear them doing so. We should be speaking out against Obama for signing the NDAA if anything, not this silly same-sex marriage debate that doesn’t affect us AT ALL. Seriously, why would you lose sleep over gay people being able to get married? Why do you let it get to you so much when you know it’s not even your business?

  • Muddasir Ayaz via Facebook

    ICNA web-managers, it would behoove you to use hadith judiciously if you choose to use them to justify or defend your opinion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said, “O People . . . Treat others justly so that no one would be unjust to you” in his last sermon.

    If civil unions fail to provide the same legal rights as marriage in a non-theocratic society (i.e., the one in which we currently live), then this too is a form of injustice, so one could use this hadith to justify that opinion. And God knows best

  • Muddasir Ayaz where did we misuse a hadith? And with who were we unjust?

  • Muddasir Ayaz via Facebook

    In a comment you posted “The Prophet (saw) said if you see something wrong change it with your hands, if you’re unable than change it with your tongue (speak out against it) and if you’re unable to do that AT LEAST hate it in your hearts.”

    It’s not my place to say if a hadith has been properly used or not since I lack the qualifications to make those determinations. I was simply pointing out that without the proper scholarly approach, cherry-picking hadith can be used to justify any opinion, so it would be more appropriate to not do so unless one is sure that the hadith, in all of its contexts, can be applied fully and appropriately with the correct interpretation. And God knows best

  • Hamza, we have spoken out against NDAA as well as other pressing issues. And we felt this to be something of importance as well. Anything the government or state senate does is our business because we’re Americans.

  • When you slaughter #Allah, #Jehovah, and #Yahweh, don’t forget to yell, “Elton-ho-Akbar!” >> << @rickygervais @icna

  • “Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah [SAW] say: Whoever among you sees an evil and changes it with his hand, then he has done his duty. Whoever is unable to do that, but changes it with his tongue, then he has done his duty. Whoever is unable to do that, but changes it with his heart, then he has done his duty, and that is the weakest of Faith.'” (Sahih)

    This hadith can be found in the 40 hadith of Imam Nawawi. Below you can find snippets of the explanation. We encourage you to read it in its entirety for your benefit.


    The essence of the Islamic da’wah is enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, since whenever a person conveys the Message, he is enjoining good and forbidding evil. Therefore, it is a mistake to consider these two as separate matters, since they are actually performed concurrently and are synonymous.
    The main objective in fulfilling this obligation is to attain and maximize benefits, and to eliminate or minimize harm.

    Ibn Taymiyyah wrote: Enjoin the good in a good way and do not forbid the evil in an evil way. (Note: which is why we had a press release and tried to use the best way to go about discussing the matter)

    Scholars say that before using the hand, we should start with advice, warning the people of the consequence of evil and encouraging and motivating them to good actions. When this method has been fully utilised and there is no change in the people, only then is it permissible to use the hand.

    Imam ash-Shatibi says that the Caller must predict the consequences of what he says or do, whether by hand or by tongue.

    Ibn Rajab states that in enjoining the good and discouraging the evil the conductor is motivated by different reasons:
    1. It could be by hope in Allah’s great reward for doing it.
    2. It could be by fearing Allah’s punishment for renouncing this obligation.
    3. It could be by getting annoyed by seeing violations to what Allah has prescribed.
    4. It could be due to being faithful to the community members who indulge in evil and by being kind and merciful to them by making the effort to save them from being subject to Allah’s anger, displeasure and punishment in this life and in the Hereafter.
    5. It could be by glorifying Allah and Loving Him much, for He deserves to be obeyed, remembered, and thanked.

  • I don’t think we need a full-on khutba simply because we choose to worry about more pressing issues, but thank you. And anyway, despite how “evil” some may see homosexuality as being, it is a victimless crime. The only person who ultimately suffers is the sinner. None of us are perfect, and all of us sin, so we should probably focus on trying to better ourselves before we demonize others. Islam, contrary to popular belief, is not about calling out other people on how bad they are.

  • Nakia

    So, not only is your statement alienating potential allies, but it’s also showing your ignorance of other faiths. Marriage within the Abrahamic faiths is not uniform and static, and same-sex marriage is not new to Abrahamic faiths, some taking place before the advent of Muhammad (SAWS). But the bigger point is this: why would you alienate potential allies on a political point that you are likely to lose, and won’t improve the way that Islam is viewed or practiced? Bigots aren’t going to love Muslims because some Muslims are homophobic. But people who value civil rights are seeing Muslims oppose them and it’s not a good look. Civil recognition for same-sex marriage is going to happen, and soon- anyone who watches the news knows that. And opposing same-sex marriage won’t bring a single Muslim to the mosque who wasn’t attending, won’t inspire a single Muslim to fast, pray, or be kinder to the earth and those who live on it. You want something to fight against? Fight the proposed cuts to SNAP, Head Start, and other programs that benefit vulnerable children. Fight the bans on Shari’a that keep getting proposed and passed by state legislatures. Fight the forces that make life harder for the most vulnerable. For we are obliged to do that far more often in the Qur’an than we are to bar anyone from marrying.

  • Brother the khutbah wasn’t for you it was for Mudassir who asked if we knew the context.

    Also Hamza, note that our purpose wasn’t to address the “sin” and we never issued a press release on homosexuality before. It was about the decision of the President. Yes we know there are far more grievous acts/sins that take place and it’s not our job to discuss the severity of them because that’s for the scholar to address.

    We keep confusing 2 points.