A conversation I had. With myself. It’s just showing my thoughts on the subject of normalisation of sins and how I feel conflicted. Perhaps I could’ve explained my thoughts better on but I think you’ll get the gist. I’d, of course, be interested to hear your thoughts too
“What are your thoughts on underage drinking? Boyfriends? Homosexuality?”
“Ok, your non-Muslim classmate Scott is talking about going drinking with his boyfriend Alex after the lecture, what do you think about that”
Well, nothing much. Each to their own and all that.
“What if the classmate was Suliman instead of Scott?”
I’d be disgusted, I’d also feel bad for him cuz he’s so far off the straight path and I’d hope he turns around, fast!
“Why the difference in reaction?”
Because one is a Muslim and the other isn’t...
Well it’s ok for non-Muslims to do those things as they’re not supposed to be following Islamic teachings
“So you’re all about freedom of choice?”
“But regardless of this surely your natural response should be the same towards the action no matter who does it?”
Why should it? It’s only the Muslim who is doing something wrong
“No, both would be sinning it’s just that one doesn’t believe it’s a sin. You obviously see it as a sin no matter who does it...right?”
Yes, being in a gay relationship...apparently gay is the accepted term not homosexual...and drinking and generally having a relationship is wrong. I just don’t see it being “as wrong” when a non-Muslim does it, you know?
“I’m not sure that’s right. It seems the normalisation of these sins has had a real impact on you and you’ve become desensitised to the point where it has to be very obviously wrong i.e. done by a Muslim. I mean you’re even thinking about the “appropriate” terms to use for gay relationships, which yeah, in for example a professional environment is useful but outside of that should you really be caring about a friendly term for a sin? To me it’s like giving respect to someone for sinning and I think it’s wrong.”
Well I didn’t really think of it like that, I just wanted to respect the person not the sin. I mean I believe in hating the sin not the sinner so I didn’t want to be offensive to them as a person that’s all.
“Hmmm, I don’t know what to think about that. It still seems unnecessary and as though you have internalised the norm of this society whilst lessening the seriousness of the sin”
I know where you’re coming from. I’m unsure of where the balance would be too for this whole hating the sin and not the sinner thing. And I really don’t want to make the sin seem light. It does worry me that homosexuality is already quite normal and very soon Muslims who are openly gay may be treated the same as straight Muslims who have girlfriends and boyfriends – which is to say it won’t be seen as a big deal. Some people tutting and sighing, slight surprise but no real outrage or shock.
“Exactly, it’s a pretty scary thought. But even with the other sins it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that e.g. drinking is wrong no matter who does it. It’s important to remember that the reason the sin must be hated is because they are harmful and go against the command of Allah – not because the person is Muslim or non Muslim. You’d think stealing or having an affair is wrong no matter if the offender was a Muslim or non-Muslim so in the same way the seriousness of other sins should be seen in the same way too.”
That’s a great point. I guess I just need to find a way to balance out the ‘hating the sin and not the sinner’ whilst keeping the seriousness of the sin in my mind. Saying that with other sins that affect others, like stealing or someone having an affair, it can be hard to not to hate the person, whereas with personal sins like drinking or having premarital relationships it’s easier to look past the sin because it’s not directly affecting me.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m happy to tell you you’re blurring the lines when it comes to Muslims and non-Muslims doing certain sins, or that you’re showing signs of double standards. But I don’t really have any advice on how to keep an attitude that is not on either extreme.”
(Apparently the 'conclusion' is not clear. It's because there is no conclusion, these are just my thoughts and I'm still confused about whether I'm just generally going by the 'hate the sin not sinner' principle or whether in trying to do that I have gone further and normalised the sin and decreased the severity of it.)