Since my last blog post was about the damage of poorly-research and poorly argued fatawas and another blog post touched the topic of fantasizing about sex with someone other than one’s spouse, I figured I should comment on a report from RadioFreeEurope:
…fantasizing about someone other than your spouse during sex can lead to a woman giving birth to a homosexual child.
“Men, too, are not allowed to imagine another beautiful woman when they are having sexual intercourse with their wives, because this may lead to the birth of a lesbian child,” the imam warned.
[The imam] didn’t back his claims with any scientific evidence and wasn’t available for comment when contacted by RFE/RL.
The legal argument in the report seems to boil down a case of blocking the means (sadd al-dhari‘ah): X is unlawful because it causes/leads to unlawful Y. If that is the case, then the validity of the argument rests on it being true that X causes Y in all or most instances. So the validity of the argument presented in the article rests upon proving that thinking about someone other than one’s spouse during sex always or usually leads to a homosexual child. In the absence of an empirical study to support the argument’s claim, people will draw on their own collective experiences and common sense and conclude that the claimed relationship between X and Y is completely imaginary. And if no sound reason is given, they’ll probably reject the legal ruling and question the proponent’s skills, knowledge, and competence.
I’m curious: How would someone who believed that such a relationship exists answers questions like: How do thoughts change the child’s sexual preferences? If a homosexual parent fantasizes, would this ensure a heterosexual child? If both parents fantasize – would this cancel things out? Does this mean that homosexuality is not an individual choice – and if it does, why punish the child for the parents’ misdeeds? And is the fantasy’s power to change the child limited to the time of conception, extend until or even beyond birth, or does it stop somewhere during the development – say, at the time of ensoulment? Would fantasizing about someone else be a sufficient reason for post-ensoulment abortion?
Poorly-researched and argued legal arguments like the one in the article are damaging. These bad arguments misguide and erode trust, and they invite mockery.
May Allah protect.