What does Islam say about homosexuality?
Islam teaches that homosexual acts are sinful and punishable by God. This teaching comes not from human beings, but from the Creator of all humans. God tells us in His own words how He punished the people of Lot for their homosexual behaviour.
The story of prophet Lot, on whom be peace, finds mention in several Qur’anic passages, especially Chapter 26:160-175 which reads:
“The people of Lut rejected the apostles. Behold, their brother Lut said to them: “Will ye not fear (God)? “I am to you an apostle worthy of all trust. “So fear God and obey me. “No reward do I ask of you for it: my reward is only from the lord of the Worlds. “Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, “And leave those whom God has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!” They said: “If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!”
He said: “I do detest your doings.” “O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!” So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might Most Merciful.”
From these passages we learn that God saved Lot and the righteous ones of his family, and rained on the rest a shower of brimstone, so they were utterly destroyed. This is mentioned in the Qur’an not only for the sake of information, but mainly to serve as a warning to anyone who dares to repeat such acts.
Muslims believe that every human action leads to consequences. Good actions entail good results, and evil actions entail evil consequences. Some of these consequences may not become known for many years after a certain action. The consequences of some actions will become manifest only after death when one enters a new, everlasting life…. A common mistake among humans is that if they don’t see any negative consequences for their actions they consider it harmless. Human experience has taught us that a source of superior knowledge can be of tremendous benefit to humans…. God, the source of all knowledge, warns us of His punishment if people perpetrate homosexual acts. Let us pay attention and learn the easy way.
Some will say that a person may be born with homosexual tendencies. We say that everyone is a free agent. God lays before us two paths and has given us knowledge of where these paths lead. One is the path to which the devil call us. We must avoid that. One is the path leading to paradise. We must stick to that one. Everyone experiences evil prompting from time to time. We must resist those with all our might. If one feels a tendency to do something that God prohibits, he or she should seek help from a community of loving, caring, believers who would understand his or her difficulty and help him or her overcome it.
A common ploy of the devil is to convince people that they cannot avoid sin. Then they do not even try. But God promises that the devil can have no lasting power over those who sincerely seek God (see Qur’an 15:42)
The Quran forbids any sexual relationship other than in a marriage between a man and a woman. Many homosexual men and women claim that they are born with their sexual preferences and that they have no choice. Although this point is very much in dispute in the medical world, it has no support in the Quran. Even then, irrespective of the nature of homosexuality, this matter would not affect the laws spelled out clearly in the Quran.
We know that this life is a test. Everyone of us has his/her own test. For example someone may be born blind, but that person is expected to live his/her life according to God’s law. Others are born poor, short, tall, weak, missing fingers, having big nose…etc but all of them are expected to follow God’s law. Some men or women may never marry in their life, or spend part of their life without a spouse.
Some medical circles also argue that it is in the nature of man to cheat on his wife and be promiscuous, again just because someone has certain feelings it doesn’t mean they have to act upon them. Similarly it is even argue some people have a natural propensity to commit crime as it is genetic, again just because we have an inclination does not mean we have to act upon it. As per the Quran they still have to live a chaste life and avoid any sexual contacts outside a marriage. They have to suppress their sexual feelings to follow God’s law. It is a major test and not an easy one for many. Only those who submit to God will do everything they can to follow His law. They know that their salvation and eternal happiness rests in doing so.
Since God condemns homosexuality, then we have to believe that a man or a woman with homosexual feelings is expected to behave like any other human being and follows God’s laws if he/she truely believes in them. He/she shall resist his/her feelings, maintains abstinence, use all available resources of help including medical, social and behavioral therapies to overcome their behavior and feelings. They should pray to God to help them getting over it and submit to God’s law that sees homosexuality as gross sin. Only those who steadfastly persevere in obeying God’s law will they pass their test and confirm their submission to God.
For a person who asks, “why me?” We know God is the Most Merciful and Just (16:90) and He will give each one of us a fair test and a fair chance. He assigns the tests to suite each one of us and we believe that He will never burden any soul beyond its means (23:2).
And We have explained to man in this Qur’an every kind of similitude: yet the grater part of men refuse (to receive it) except with ingratitude!- Holy Quran 17:89
We have explained in detail in this Qur’an for the benefit of mankind every kind of similitude: but man is in most things contentious. – Holy Quran 18:54
We have put forth for men in this Qur’an every kind of Parable in order that they may receive admonition. – Holy Quran 39:27
The spouses that God have made from among ourselves are those that aid in producing children. Since the spouses in homosexual relationship would not produce children they are not the spouses God made from among ourselves.
And Allah has made for you mates (and companions) of your own nature. And made for you out of them sons and daughters and grandchildren and provided for you sustenance of the best: will they then believe in vain things and be ungrateful for Allah’s favors? – Holy Quran 16:72
The reason for the prohibition can be traced to Islamic view of the perfect society. It is based upon a strong family structure, and without this structure society breaks down. There is no doubt that this act, which goes against the pure human nature created by God, by making men content with men and women with women, destroying families, adversely affecting the birth rate, causing the spread of killer diseases.
This is something which will and does destroy the family structure, but also harms society as a whole. Not in every case, one can say I have a gay friend who is perfectly normal, practices safe sex and would be a great parents. Islam however legislates for society as a whole, it does not have different rules for different people in such situations. It gives a general principle which must be followed in order for society to function in the best way possible. Society cant function with a legal system for case by case situations, thus the law of God is most just as it legislates for all situations in the fairest way possible with the general good of the majority of society being the main aim.
The aim is not to totally eradicate homosexual feelings, and nor to rid the earth of homosexuals as this would be impossible. The aim is to reduce the effect of homosexuality as much as possible on society, and this can be best achieved through Gods law, not through any man made law.
Finally, our bodies are given to us in trust from God. One should not use his or her body contrary to the user guide provided by its Maker. Consenting adults also need God’s consent.
Check out the following short video on the issue:
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