Me: Salaam Mohammed! So just a quick question. I’m trying to make sense of this use of words in the context of Lut. So rijaal = traveller, worker. And nisaa = those who are native to the town, spending their time at home?
Mohammed: There has been verses linked to both male and female companions who were out for “بيعة” but the verse called them all “رجال”… (rijaal)
مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رِجَالٌ صَدَقُوا مَا عَاهَدُوا اللَّهَ عَلَيْهِ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّن قَضَىٰ نَحْبَهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَنتَظِرُ…
Me: Yeah its like how when we say ‘mankind’ we dont just refer to ‘men’ but all of humanity
Mohammed : In the context of lut there is
انكم تأتون الرجال شهوة من دون النساء… “and you approach rijaal instead of Nisaa”
And there is
تأتون الذكران من العالمين… “you approach men (dhukraan) from the outside world i.e. foreigners”
In the 1st verse the gender roles are observed… in the 2nd verse there is a very unique word which is not mentioned anywhere else in the book which is ذكران… (dhukraan) and there is a paragraph about it in the 1st arabic article…
Although this is tangential, but also, in both verses it says تأتون (ta’toon) which is a word always used to describe “going by freewill and intention”, like when pharaoh chased moses in his own free will, unlike homosexuality which is not by freewill
Me: Yeah i saw that on the first article you sent me. It’s just the من دون النساء (instead of women) that im stuck on
Mohammed: The details you look into are impressive!
Me: because those who argue the case against homosexuality argue that the ال (definitive article to mean ‘the’) shows that Lut was talking about men and women in general and thus you can deduce this to be about homosexuality overall. Im just very thorough and I dont do well with cognitive dissonance
Mohammed: That bit
من دون النساء (instead of the women) Could refer to their own wives at home
Me: thats true. Because Lut did mention that they were married “and do you leave the wives that Allah has created for you” in 26:166.
Mohammed: Also true
Me: I wanted to ask you about another Arabic word! أزواج (azwaaj) which means pair or spouses. But more so “the pairing of opposite parts” i.e. could be referring to male and female and therefore two men or two women cannot be ‘azwaaj’ (spouses)
Mohammed: Actually azwaj doesnt always mean a binary pair, it also means different “types”… for examples people of different religions and ethnicities… they are “azwaj” too, frankly i heard this from Friday Khutbah in my own hometown!
Me: oh so it doesnt have to be relating to gender or biological sex
Mohammed: No, even Ibin Baz said this, i remember capturing that from his book’s website: I remember it said الأزواج تعني الأصناف من البشر “azwaaj means different types and categories from among the people”. Bin Baz is saying that it is based on characteristics and categorizations. In my personal reading… the “azwaj” are all inside us…
خلق لكم من انفسكم ازواجا… “and he created from amongst yourselves spouses”
So these multiplicities or binaries are all within our nafs نفس
Me: we all have contrasting elements within us. So when the verse comes up as وخلقناكم أزواجا it means ” we created you in categories”
Mohammed: But some read it as though these categorisations are external… which sounds right too