Islam and LGBT: Gender, Sex, and Morality in the Modern Age

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  • The topics of gender and sexuality have become extremely important in our current circumstances and have come to pose a great challenge for many of our youth, leaders, parents and others. This course offers an in-depth, comprehensive look at this topic that is meant to encourage Muslims and to give them the tools to speak confidently on this issue and to feel confident in their faith.

     This course, which comprises 44 lectures divided over seven units, aims to achieve the following goals:

  • To build a comprehensive framework for understanding, conceptualising, and dealing with the phenomena of homosexuality, transgenderism, and related LGBT issues from within an authentically grounded Islamic worldview perspective
  • To situate current discourses surrounding gender, sex, and sexuality within the larger paradigms of modernity and post-modernity—which depart from radically different premisses than those of Islam—and, in doing so,
  • To develop—using the question of LGBT as a case study—a more general framework and set of analytical tools that can be applied to other questions that have arisen, and will continue to arise, under the modern and postmodern paradigms

     Upon completing this course, insha’Allah, students will have

  • gained a comprehensive understanding of LGBT-related phenomena from an authentic and informed Islamic perspective
  • come to appreciate the wisdom, balance, justice, beauty, and truth of Islamic teachings on gender, sex, and sexual morality
  • acquired the conceptual tools and the vocabulary necessary to articulate Islamic teachings on gender, sex, and sexuality with confidence, clarity, and conviction
  • developed a larger framework and a set of critical and analytical skills that they can apply to current questions beyond LGBT.

Dr Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

Dr Carl Sharif El-Tobgui holds a BS in Arabic Language from Georgetown University and a Master’s and PhD in Islamic Studies from McGill University. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Brandeis University and Affiliated Adjunct Associate Professor at the Boston Islamic Seminary. Dr El-Tobgui is particularly interested in questions concerning the relationship between reason and revelation in the Islamic tradition and has published on manifestations of this tension in Islamic legal theory, Qur’anic exegesis, and theology, including the monograph Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation: A Study of Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql (2020). Dr El-Tobgui also has a keen interest in questions pertaining to Islam and modernity and the challenges posed by contemporary issues, including those related to gender and sexuality.

Unit 1: Introduction and Background

1
General Introduction
7:14
2
Where We Are Today
15:40
3
LGBT and Muslims in the West
27:33
4
Quiz 1
12 questions
5
Background on the Sexual Revolution (I)
15:37
6
Background on the Sexual Revolution (II)
19:59
7
Quiz 2
7 questions

Unit 2: Worldviews: Islam and Western Modernity

1
Worldviews: Introduction
23:53
2
Main Components of a Worldview
26:54
3
Quiz 3
10 questions
4
Ontology: What Is Real?
1:26:32
5
Quiz 4
7 questions
6
Epistemology: How Do We Know? (I)
42:26
7
Quiz 5
6 questions
8
Epistemology: How Do We Know? (II)
1:07:26
9
Quiz 6
17 questions
10
Anthropology: Who or What Is Man?
1:42:30
11
Quiz 7
8 questions
12
Morality and Ethics in the Western Tradition
43:28
13
Morality and Ethics in Islam
32:24
14
Quiz 8
14 questions
15
Modernity and Postmodernity
49:59
16
Quiz 9
9 questions

Unit 3: The Sexual Revolution and Gay Liberation

1
Back to the Sexual Revolution: Antecedents and Consequences
25:51
2
Splitting the Atom, Constructing Sexual Identity, and False Equivalences
49:35
3
Quiz 10
14 questions
4
Rousseau, the Enlightenment, and the Birth of the Modern Nafs
48:05
5
Quiz 11
10 questions
6
The Hollowness of “Consent”
42:41
7
Quiz 12
10 questions
8
After the Ball (I): “Psychological Attack” & “Unabashed Propaganda”
44:45
9
After the Ball (II): The Strategy for “Overhauling Straight America”
21:28
10
Quiz 13
16 questions
11
After the Ball (III): The Discontents of Gay Life and Suggested Alternatives
1:10:32
12
Quiz 14
10 questions

Unit 4: Gender, Sex, and Homosexuality in Islam

1
Male and Female in Islam
32:18
2
Islamic Sexual & Gender Norms (I): Lawful Sex, Zina, and Male–Female Relations
42:06
3
Quiz 15
17 questions
4
Islamic Sexual & Gender Norms (II): Marriage, Reproduction, and Lineage
51:26
5
Quiz 16
8 questions
6
Islamic Sexual & Gender Norms (III): Intersex, Gender Identity, and Transitioning
36:54
7
Islamic Sexual & Gender Norms (IV): Gender Norms and Imitating the Opposite Sex
30:51
8
Quiz 17
16 questions
9
The Genderbread Person
32:16
10
Falling Outside the Norm: What If I’m “Gay”/“Trans”?
21:46
11
Quiz 18
10 questions
12
Building an Islamic Framework around Homosexuality
47:34
13
Quiz 19
12 questions
14
The People of Lot (as) and Qur’anic Revisionism
43:07
15
Quiz 20
12 questions
16
Hadith and Fiqh Considerations
38:46
17
An Excursus on Legal Penalties
1:23:16
18
Quiz 21
19 questions
19
Same-Sex Attractions in Muslim History
1:35:38
20
Quiz 22
10 questions
21
The Insider Perspective: Faithful Strugglers
1:09:49
22
Quiz 23
15 questions

Unit 5: LGB & T: Psychological and Medical Perspectives

1
On the Origins of Homosexuality (I): Biology and Genetics
36:31
2
Quiz 24
12 questions
3
On the Origins of Homosexuality (II): Psychological Models
48:57
4
Quiz 25
11 questions
5
Transgenderism (I): Introduction
35:03
6
Transgenderism (II): What Is Transgenderism?
35:43
7
Quiz 26
28 questions
8
Transgenderism (III): Medical Complications of Sex Reassignment Procedures
17:10
9
Transgenderism (IV): Detransitioning, Regret, and Concluding Reflections
20:09
10
Quiz 27
18 questions

Unit 6: Sociopolitical Considerations

1
Sociopolitical Questions (I): Introduction
40:56
2
Sociopolitical Questions (II): Freedom, Equality, and Harm
37:56
3
Quiz 28
8 questions
4
Sociopolitical Questions (III): Muslims and LGBT Activism
1:49:49
5
Quiz 29
11 questions

Unit 7: Resources and Guiding Principles

1
Resources
42:00
2
Six Guiding Principles
1:03:38
3
Quiz 30 (Final)
14 questions
4
Finishing Assignment