Much Ado About Homosexuality in Islam

“Lot said to his people, ‘How could you commit such an abomination, publicly, while you see?  You practice sex with the men, lustfully, instead of the women.  Indeed, you are ignorant people.’  The only response from his people was their saying, ‘Banish Lot’s family from your town; they are people who wish to be pure.’  Consequently, We [Allah] saved him and his family, except his wife; We [Allah] counted her among the doomed.  We [Allah] showered them with a shower [of brimstone].  It was a miserable shower upon people who had been warned [but heeded not].  —Koran 27:54-58

“Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet cursed effeminate men, those men who are in the similitude [of women], and those women who assume the manners of men; and he said, ‘Turn them out of your houses.’  The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and Umar turned out such-and-such woman.”  —Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Hadith 774


Allah’s Punishments for Illegal Sexual Intercourse

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Koran 4:16 says, “And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both.”  According to Muslim scholars Ibn Abbas and Said bin Jubayr, the original punishment for sexual offenders consisted of cursing, shaming, and beating them with sandals, until this punishment was superseded by Allah with what has been regarded in the Muslim world as a more appropriate punishment: flogging or stoning.

In Sahih Muslim, Book 17, Hadith 4194, concerning illegal sexual intercourse, the following is written:

Abdullah b. Abbas reported that Umar b. Khattab sat on the pulpit of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: “Verily Allah sent Muhammad (may peace be upon him) with truth and He sent down the Book upon him, and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him.  We recited it, retained it in our memory and understood it.  Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) awarded the punishment of stoning to death [to the married adulterer and adulteress] and, after him, we also awarded the punishment of stoning, I am afraid that with the lapse of time, the people [may forget it] and may say: We do not find the punishment of stoning in the Book of Allah, and thus go astray by abandoning this duty prescribed by Allah.  Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah’s Book for married men and women who commit adultery when proof is established, or if there is pregnancy, or a confession.”

islam gayIbn Kathir writes that the students of Sunan Abu Dawud (a renowned collector of hadiths) recorded that Ibn Abbas—with regard to illegal sex in a same-sex relationship—reported that the Messenger of Allah said the following: “Whoever you catch committing the act of the people of Lot [homosexuality], then kill both parties to the act.”


Why Homosexuality Is So Hated in Islam

It could be said that there are three main reasons for Allah’s hatred towards homosexuals: 1) homosexuals are viewed as against the natural order of things; 2) homosexuals are blamed for destroying the institution of marriage and, thereby, the family; and 3) homosexuals are seen as having the potential to lead people away from Allah’s plan in other ways.  In Islamic terminology, homosexuality is referred to as al-fahsha (an obscene act), shudhudh (abnormality), or amal qawm Lut (behavior of the People of Lot).


Homosexual Feelings

Islam believes that homosexuality derives from modeling after others who are homosexual.  People who have homosexual feelings, but who do not act on these impulses, are held harmless, for they have committed no forbidden act.  Such people are urged to overcome their feelings by striving in the way of Allah.


Punishments for Homosexual Behavior

islam gay 2It is, of course, up to a Sharia magistrate to determine any punishment to be exacted for the commission of a homosexual act.  The specific punishment can range from jail-time to flogging to death.  In countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Sudan, the death penalty for homosexuality is commonplace.


Ways to Kill Homosexuals

There are apologists for Islam who suggest that the harsh anti-homosexual sentiments that exist in Islam stem from Western-influenced interpretations of Islam.  But this is not possible.  Not only is the Islamic text more than clear on the matter of how Islam feels about homosexuality, but Abu Bakr, Aisha’s father and the first Caliph after Muhammad’s death, had a homosexual burned at the stake; this was probably in sympathy with the fact that fire, in the form of a shower of brimstone, was rained down upon the people of Lot.  And Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law and the fourth Caliph, ordered the stoning of homosexuals and, on at least one occasion, had a homosexual thrown from the minaret of a mosque.  It is not uncommon, in Muslim countries today, to find gays buried up to their shoulders and stoned to death or hurled from the tops of tall buildings.


Maintaining the Islamic Community

Islam does not view the fulfillment of sexual desire as the goal of marriage.  Marriage exists for the survival of mankind, which is necessary for the maintenance of Islam.  Homosexuality gets in the way of this lofty purpose, which is perhaps the ultimate reason that it is forbidden.

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