Islam Doesn’t Speak, Muslims Do

The fourth caliph Imam Ali faced Khariji rebels who insisted that he simply “apply” the Qur’an’s judgement without interpretation. In that situation of armed conflict, Imam Ali gathered the people and brought out a copy of the Qur’an and as he touched the book he exclaimed, “O Qur’an, speak to the people!” The people gathered around Ali, saying, “O Ali, do you mock us? It is only paper and ink and it is we [human beings] who speak on its behalf.” To this, Ali stated, “The Qur’an is written in straight lines between two covers. It does not speak by itself. It needs proper interpreters, and the interpreters are human beings.

Kugle, Scott Alan. Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Muslims. Richmond: Oneworld, 2009. pg. 39