The Shariah, Homosexuality & Safeguarding Each Other’s Rights in a Pluralist Society

This article was initially published at Al-Medina Institute. In recent days there has been much debate over Islam’s position on homosexuality. Anyone who has read any Persian poetry, read a forthright travel guide to the Gulf or heard Pakistanis or Afghans joking knows that same-sex attraction and activity has not been unusual in Muslim societies.…

The Qur’an, the Jews and Ezra as the Son of God

Why does the Quran tell us that the Jews claim Ezra (ʿUzayr) is the son of God (Quran 9:30), when Jews do not make this claim or anything approaching it? This is not a question that arose just recently during an interfaith panel. It’s not a new question at all. Even in the ninth century, the Zaydi Imam and renowned scholar al-Qāsim b Ibrāhīm al-Rassī (d. 860 CE), who had studied Jewish and Christian scriptures in Egypt and who had engaged in debates with priests and rabbis, said that he had never encountered a Jew who believed Ezra was the son of God. Nor was this a question that Muslims pondered at ease in the libraries of Baghdad or Cordoba.