It was up to 2005 when same-sex couples were allowed to enter into civil partnership which, according to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, has the same rights and privileges as marriage in the eyes of the law. From a secular perspective one might say that the only difference is in the formalities. However, marriage is a bond that goes far beyond the relationship between two people exchanging and gaining civil rights. It is a bond that all religions consider a sacred and natural relationship that has various ethical, emotional, social, physical and sexual goals. In the Quran, Allah says:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”
It will change the divine institution of marriage irrevocably. Allah subhanahu wa taa’la has elevated this institution and conferred upon it blessings unique to it alone and protected it through the shari’ah so as to underline it as the pinnacle of family life. The blessings of motherhood and fatherhood, the importance of maintaining familial ties (silat ar-rahim), obedience to parents, and the primary role of parents to nurture and raise their children all stem from the marriage of a man and a woman. The terms husband and wife, mother and father will be replaced by gender neutral terms which will consign the institution of marriage to meaninglessness and will equate marriage between a man and a woman with that of a man and a man and a woman and a woman. Anyone who endorses Islam is obligated by his creator to be witness over mankind.
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” There are many other countless verses that confirm that we as Muslim have to defend the legislation and the norms that Allah likes to see prevalent within his creation whether in Muslim or non-Muslim societies and whether they had impact on Muslims or not. However, this kind of legislation has countless number of consequences on us as Muslims and on the wider society at large.”
When civil partnerships were being discussed, the claim that this would open the doorway to gay rights groups demanding access to marriage was rubbished. Once gay rights organizations demanded full equality they set their sights on access to marriage and argued civil partnerships consigned them to second class status. Today we are told that religious organisations will not be forced to oversee ‘gay marriages’ and recent comments suggest they will not be compelled to marry gay people at all. Gay rights organisations claim that they do not agree with forcing mosques, churches, synagogues or any other religious institution to conduct a ‘gay marriage’, the door is already ajar – it is only a matter of time before it is pushed wide open and they decide they be allowed to access all the rights permitted to heterosexual couples. It would only be a matter of time before an imam could be prosecuted for refusing to conduct a nikah for a gay couple.
- Contribute to the consultation before the deadline of 14th June 2012 http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/.
- Support those making a stand. There will shortly be a Muslim community organised response to these proposals involving a mass petition signing to support marriage and oppose changes.
- Encourage others within the Muslim community to voice their concerns, respond to the consultation and support marriage.
“Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.”
“Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing.”