Islamic View of Homosexulity

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Faisal Chughtai

Dec 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/9/97

Assalam-O-Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!

Can someone infor me about the Islamic view of homosexulity? If there is
an Internet resource, that would be great. Kindly e-mail your response
to me at:



Dec 10, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/10/97

You can look at Adh Dhahabi's book al Kabaa'ir to find out more about
this henious crime that even dogs and pigs dont do, to quote the
president of Zimbabwe! He was quite right.

In fact it is reported from Ibn Abbaas that a homosexual who doesnt
repent will be turn into a khanzeer in his grave. Not to mention that
death penalty awaits those caught in such an act, provided witnesses are
there etc etc.

D. Beatty

Dec 10, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/10/97

Wa alaaykum Salaam,
According to Islam, committing a homosexual act is a sin. Having
homosexual thoughts or feelings is not the same as committing the deed,
"being homosexual" is different from engaging in homosexual sexual
behavior, and that is where the brunt of the sin lies. People tend to
take an extremist view about homosexuality and urge violence; but this is
not appropriate. Before a person could be punished according to Islam for
committing a homosexual act, the person would have to be caught in the act
or confess, and would have to face an Islamic judge (are there any but a
very few qualified in this matter today?) and receive punishment sentence
only in such a manner. Islamic justice is not to be carried out by just
anyone, therefore those who bash homosexuals or attack them are also
sinning themselves, it would seem. Allah knows best.

AbdulraHman Lomax

Dec 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/11/97

as-salamu 'alaykum.

Faisal Chughtai <> wrote:

>Can someone infor me about the Islamic view of homosexulity? If there is

>an Internet resource, that would be great. Kindly e-mail your response
>to me at:

Two things:

First, "homosexuality" is usually defined as "sexuality" between
persons of the same sex. But if I get together with the guys and talk
about sex, this is not considered "homosexuality" unless somehow the
topic becomes sexual activity *between* us, not between one of us and
a woman. A person is considered "homosexual" if he or she prefers to
have sex with a person of the same sex.

Now, a preference is not an action unless it is translated into one.
There is an interplay between what we do and what we prefer; but, at
any moment in time, we do not have a choice about what we prefer. I
might prefer black-haired women, but if my wife has brown hair, tough.
My preference is simply irrelevant. Perhaps I can learn to like
brown.... I have committed no sin by having a preference which, if I
acted upon it, might indeed involve sin.

This brings me to the second point:

There seems to be a consensus that homosexual *activity* is forbidden.
I have never seen an *exact* definition of "homosexual activity," and
some of what *might* be considered homosexuality, such as
cross-dressing, would not be, strictly speaking, forbidden, merely
makruh, strongly disapproved, or at least some scholars would, I
think, make that distinction.

Contrary to some extravagant assertions here, there *are* Muslim
homosexuals -- that is people with a homosexual "preference" who are
trying to find a way to live in accordance with the religion without
denying what is apparent to them about themselves.

The most obvious first step in this path is, quite simply, sexual
abstinence. This is the same advice which is given to an unmarried
heterosexual Muslim. Scholars differ about masturbation, but my own
opinion is that it *is* forbidden under most circumstances -- or at
least makruh -- , and that it is a myth that masturbation prevents
fornication (which is clearly forbidden). I have elsewhere written
more extensively on this subject; I bring it up here because:

If it is lawful for heterosexuals, it is lawful for homosexuals; if it
is not lawful for heterosexuals, then the trial of the unmarried
heterosexual is exactly the same as that of the homosexual: what one
prefers is not available as a lawful activity.

The only difference -- and it is an important one -- is that the
homosexual may imagine that sexual fulfilment (what ever that is:
another myth, I suspect) is simply not going to be possible for him or
her. Of course, this is the whispering of Satan, and it, is, in fact,
not different in kind for a heterosexual. Perhaps the unmarried
condition is a result of some situation which he or she do not expect
to be remedied. And, in any case, the sexual appetite is not at all
pleased by the prospect of waiting, say, a year: tomorrow is difficult

The real fact is that if one can wait a day, one can wait a month, a
year, or a lifetime, one day at a time.

Defining people by their sexuality is part of the whole illusion that
sex is the center of life. Yes, it is important, just as eating and
sleeping are important. But sex is not, in fact, urgent on the same
level as eating and sleeping, except where sex has become an
addiction. And this is all too common, among heterosexuals and
homosexuals, and the cost is tremendous, for both.

Now, there is a puzzle: the advice of Lut, AS, "marry my daughters." I
do not advise any man who has clearly identified himself as homosexual
to marry without full disclosure of the situation to his spouse and/or
the wali of the woman. Under present circumstances, this alone could
be quite difficult. Now, if we had a real Muslim community, a man who
admitted his homosexuality and wanted to marry so that he could have a
lawful sex life would be welcomed. Right? "Hey, marry *my* daughter!"

There is a lot more which could be said on this subject. Gradually, it
is becoming possible for us to talk about it. Some would say that this
is not good, that there are some things better not discussed. I
suppose they are welcome to their opinion; I can even agree. But I
might disagree about what is better to discuss....

AbdulraHman Lomax
P.O. Box 423
Sonoma, CA 95476

Moustafa Mounir Elqabbany

Dec 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/11/97

Faisal Chughtai wrote:
> Assalam-O-Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!

Wa alaikum assalaam.

> Can someone infor me about the Islamic view of homosexulity?

Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam. One might argue that
homosexuality is just another prohibition, like adultery and violence.
However, this is a fallacious argument. Certainly, Allah has given
us an outlet for hetrosexual desires (marriage), and violence is
permissible under some circumstances (defence of religion, blood,
and wealth). As for homosexuality, there is no lawful outlet.

>If there is
> an Internet resource, that would be great. Kindly e-mail your response
> to me at:

There is much rubbish on the internet as well as some potentially
useful information. I don't advise you learn Islam from the internet.

And Allah knows best.

(Note: Of the x-posted newsgroups, I only follow soc.religion.islam.)


Don Juan Shumon

Dec 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/11/97

On 9 Dec 1997, Faisal Chughtai wrote:

> Assalam-O-Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!
> Can someone infor me about the Islamic view of homosexulity? If there is

> an Internet resource, that would be great. Kindly e-mail your response
> to me at:

> Thanks!
> Faisal

As far as I remember reading - homosexuality is never actually condemned
BUT SODOMY of any form IS. I remeber one scholar actually staing that
sodomy with a woman is actually worse than with a man and there does seem
to be a logical explanation for that. SODOMY IS A SIN.

But define Homosexuality? I don't actually believe that it exists - I
believe all homosexuals are in fact normal and do not believe in the
ridiculous notion of a 'gay' gene.

Shumon Rahman.


Dec 11, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/11/97

Assalamu 'alaikum.

Homosexuality and lesbianism are covered by the Qur'anic verses 4:15 and 4:16.


Love For All, Hatred For None! [Nasir Ahmad r.a.]
"There is to be no compulsion in matters of religion" [2:256]

[PS: If possible, please also directly email to me any responses to this
message. Thanks.]

Djamel Ouis

Dec 12, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/12/97

Faisal Chughtai wrote:
> Assalam-O-Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!
> Can someone infor me about the Islamic view of homosexulity?

If you mean the practice that the people of Sodom were known of and
the Prophet Lot was prieching, so if you have a PC version of the
just localize the verses mentioning "Lot" and you will then find
plenty of

("inna akramakoum 'inda Llahi atqakoum", the best amongst you in the
of Allah is the most pious)

Not to mix between the definition of words, what is called today
xuality between men is called originally sodomy. So in my opininon,
word homosexuality is misleading because sexuality is the contact
two sexes which is definitely not the case in sodomy.


AbdulraHman Lomax

Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97

as-salamu 'alaykum. My comments here, though they begin with a
quotation from Ehmadhh, are general in nature and are not specifically
a response to him. (Ehmadhh) wrote:

>Homosexuality and lesbianism are covered by the Qur'anic verses 4:15 and 4:16.

You know, scholars argue for centuries about the meanings of these
verses, and then modern sectarians come forward with a confident
interpretation as if it were plain and obvious.

Yusuf 'Ali does agree that these verses refer to homosexuality,
however, but he notes, about 4:15, that "most commentators understand
this to refer to adultery or fornication." He then gives his reasons
for believing that it refers to "unnatural crime between women."

The word, however, is "faaHishah," which has a wide range of meanings,
not exclusively sexual in nature. Lane: "[an excess; an enormity;
anything exceeding the bounds of rectitude:] a thing excessively,
enormously, or beyond measure, foul, evil, bad abominable, or
unseemly; [gross, immodest, lewd, or obscene:] or anything no
agreemable with truth: or a sin, or crime, that is very foul, evil,
bad, etc: ... or an enormity or excessive sin, beyond measure foul,
evil, bad, etc, or a thing that reason disapproves, and the law
regards as foul, evil, bad, etc. ... Also, particularly, adultery or
fornication." He indicates that faaHishah is a synonym for faHshaa.

In favor of 'Ali's argument is the fact that 4:16 refers to two
persons, not just to one, thus implying that the "faaHisha" is an
offense involving two persons; but what is not clear is that both
persons are male. Since the male gender in the Arabic language is
inclusive, it could be, for example, a man and a woman. I do agree
that the offense described is probably sexual in nature.

But the term faaHisha itself is not a direct reference to
homosexuality. FaHshaa' is used in 12:24 in a context which makes it
likely that it is a reference to illegitimate heterosexuality. In
4:22, faaHshaa' refers to the marriage of a man with a woman who had
been married to the man's father: it is faaHishaa' -- illa maa qad
salaf, except for what has already happened.

This is truly remarkable, since if the action itself is faaHisha, if
it is thoroughly foul and odious, one might think that continuing it
would likewise be foul and odious. However, apparently the harm done
by disturbing existing relationships would have been greater than the
harm of continuing. And this puts things into perspective a bit.

>From the mention of faHshaa' at 2:271, Lane cites commentators giving
a meaning of "niggardliness, tenaciousness, or avarice, in the payment
of the poor-rate, or the abstaining from paying it."

Now, this brings me to wonder how many of those who are quick to point
at homosexuals and cry "faaHisha" have fully paid zakat? Just a

We have serious problems in our community. It is very clear that Islam
requires us to exercise great caution in our expression of sexuality;
however, pious outrage at the sexual transgressions of others has
never formed a foundation for sound Islamic community. The message was
revealed to a people involved in all kinds of deeds which came to be
recognised as faaHisha: killing female babies, polyandry (these two go
together), marrying one's stepmother or sister-in-law, and, yes, sex
outside of marriage, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. But one
does not find that the Qur'an rails against these deeds and makes
hatred for those who have committed them a foundation of faith.
Rather, it forbids the deeds, and the prohibitions were introduced
gradually and in a context which made the right path open and clear.

It has been argued that the punishment of stoning for adultery (which
is not Qur'anic) abrogates the punishment by flogging (which is). If
this is true, it shows that the hudud were implemented gradually.
People need time to change: we see this with all kinds of addictions,
that a person, even when he or she has determined to stop, often will
slip a few times or even many times before succeeding.

Now, it is argued that homosexuality *is* mentioned in the Qur'an, and
this is true, but it is apparently a homosexuality, if it can be
called homosexuality, which is so open and blatant that "open and
blatant" are understatements. The people of Sodom did not merely
engage in private homosexual acts. How do we know this?

Well, I know it by assuming that Lut (AS) was not an ignorant man. He
would have been aware that homosexuality is not an unknown thing,
never before seen among human beings. Homosexuality has been found in
every culture about which we have sufficient knowledge to judge. It
occurs among animals. In fact, the charge sometimes made that
homosexuals are acting like animals is actually an admission that it
is not unnatural.

But what the Sodomites were doing was definitely "unnatural." What
might this be?

The word sodomy, in English, is derived from Sodom. It means
"copulation with a member of the same sex or with an animal; unnatural
copulation with a member of the opposite sex." Now, I have seen
"unnatural copulation" defined as either anal or oral intercourse. In
Islam, anal sex is prohibited; it appears that oral intercourse
(between husband and wife) is not.

But neither of these (oral or anal intercourse) is "unnatural" in the
sense of being crimes utterly beyond the pale of natural human
behavior. But there are crimes which exhibit not only perverted
sexuality (and we may call anal intercourse perverted sexuality), but
also cruelty. Rape often involves -- as feminists have correctly noted
-- an aspect of domination and control, a sadistic hatred of women.
Homosexual rape can involve the same issues.

The people of Sodom demanded that Lot (AS) deliver his guests to them.
Do we think that they were merely going to invite these guests -- the
angels, though they did not know -- to lunch? Or even that they would
politely ask them if they would like to have some fun?

It is very clear that Lot considered the homosexual nature of the sins
of the Sodomites to be offensive; he specifically mentions it. But
there is more involved here than mere homosexuality. Lot's wife "was
of those who lagged behind"; she was not saved from disaster. Why not?

Lot's comments were obviously addressed to the men of his city: "you
approach with lust, men in the place of women ...." Why would the wife
of Lot be among those punished? Indeed, there must have been other
women in the city.

The classic answer is that these people permitted the transgressions
and did not attempt to stop them. Now, I have long suspected that the
crime of Sodom was the robbery and rape of travellers; it is also
possible that the rape was also murder; there are rare perversions
which revel in the death of the victim. Whatever it was, the crime of
Sodom was truly horrendous. Perhaps it involved ritual sacrifice....

And in the case of Lot's people, these crimes had become
institutionalized. They were accepted among the people of Lot, so much
so that anyone who did not approve of them was likely to be, at the
least, driven away.

Back to our original inquiry, Lot, in 27:54, does call the deeds of
his people "faaHisha," and then, once again, mentions approaching men
rather than women. It is quite clear from other usages, however, that
faaHisha is a general term of approbration, not a specific term for

The people of Lot respond by condemning him for his desire for purity.
Again, this is a description of a people who have gone beyond all
bounds. It is not a description of the generality of modern
homosexuals. Yes, some have become aggressive, though not to the
extent of the people of Lot. Aggressive homosexuality, where a male
homosexual would rape a non-homosexual man, seems to occur mostly
among *heterosexual* populations, where a man whose sexual preference
is actually women is not able to obtain access to women, such as in
prison, and so "practices his lusts" with men, whether or not they are

In 29:28-29, we have a more explicit description of the sin of Sodom:
"... he said to his people: you do commit lewdness (al-faaHisha) such
as no one in the universe before you; you approach men and cut off the
highway and practice wickedness in your councils. but his people gave
no answer but this: they said, bring us the punishment of Allah, if
you tell the truth."

So they were a people who practiced, not only homosexuality, but
highway robbery and likely even more than that. They had no shame
about any of it. Indeed, they rejoiced in their sins and cared nothing
for either the opinions of men or the wrath of God.

AbdulraHman Lomax

Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97

as-salamu 'alaykum.

Don Juan Shumon <> wrote:

>But define Homosexuality? I don't actually believe that it exists - I
>believe all homosexuals are in fact normal and do not believe in the
>ridiculous notion of a 'gay' gene.

It is simple denial to claim that homosexuality does not exist.
Homosexuality used to be defined as "the manifestation of sexual
desire toward a member of the same sex." It tends to get defined, in
our time, more in terms of "sexual preference," but it amounts to much
the same thing. There are men who experience sexual desire toward men,
and some who act on it. So homosexuality exists.

But Shumon is really saying that there is no genetic homosexuality.
Now, the jury appears to be out on this matter. Personally, I dislike
forming "belief" when the facts are not clear. I note, however, that
it would be somewhat surprising if at least *some* homosexuality were
*not* genetic. After all, we do ordinarily believe that
*heterosexuality* is "natural," i.e., genetic. If a particular trait
is genetically determined, then the absence of that trait, or a
differing manifestation of it, is also determined.

Is heterosexuality genetically determined? It is quite possible that
it is not. Human beings are social animals. We do not survive unless
we are raised by other humans; at least survival in isolation would be
very, very rare. So it is entirely possible that sexual roles and
behavior are learned, that they arise in a social context and not from
genetic determinism. There is substantial evidence for this in the
anthropological data.

This would be consistent with the Qur'anic condemnation of Sodom. This
was a *society* which had gone astray, not merely an individual
abberation. In another post, I point out how sexuality was not the
only aspect of their transgression.

But my own suspicion is that there is an interplay between genetic
disposition and sexual orientation. For example, genetic disposition
might make a boy sensitive and "effeminate." Then, the reactions of
society might make him believe that he was homosexual, or might
dispose him to early sexual experiences that were homosexual in
nature; and sexuality, once established, tends to be self-reinforcing.

It also appears likely to me that humans are capable, in general, of
enjoying intimacy and physical contact with members of both sexes. In
western society, physical contact between men, in particular, is often
interpreted as indicative of homosexuality. This alone explains the
appeal of homosexuality in western society: as human beings, we long
for intimacy and close friendship; where the society tells us that
this is sexual in nature, sometimes we believe it.

I have had the opportunity to know, fairly well, many homosexuals,
active and not active; this is entirely in the United States, so I do
not know about conditions elsewhere.

There are many aspects to homosexual culture here that are, shall we
say, *difficult* for me to accept. But setting these aside, the
homosexuals I know are, in general, more capable of forming close
friendships, both with men and women, than what I have seen among
heterosexuals. So I see much of the homosexuality in the west as being
a reaction to an isolating and cold social climate, a climate were,
increasingly, people do not know their neighbors and where
acquaintance passes for friendship. By breaking sexual stereotypes,
homosexuals -- or at least some of them -- were also able to break
through less powerful social stereotypes.

Of course, homosexuality, in an active sense, is forbidden in Islam,
just as is all active sexuality outside of marriage. A muslim
homosexual, that is, a Muslim who finds himself with homosexual
desires, is obligated to abstain from acting on them, just as is a
heterosexual who desires other than what is lawful.

Both homosexuals and heterosexuals who condemn them promote a certain
myth: that there is a vast difference between homosexuals and
heterosexuals. So, here, I converge with Shumon. We are the same; the
difference is in the choices we make. No, we do not desire the same
things, necessarily, but all of us have desires which are not lawful
to fulfil. And for each of us Allah has made a way and a method.


Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97


Faisal Chughtai wrote:

> Assalam-O-Alaikum Brothers and Sisters!

> Can someone infor me about the Islamic view of homosexulity? If there
> is
> an Internet resource, that would be great. Kindly e-mail your response

> to me at: Thanks!
> Faisal

Quran being THE Islamic Shari'ah, the Islamic view of Homosexuality
the same as the
Quranic View.

Quran discusses this subject in some details in the following verses:
Quran ch 6 verse 86;
ch 7 verses 80 to 83;
ch 11 verses 77 to 83;
ch 15 verses 57 to 77;
ch 26 verses 24 160 to 175;
ch 27 verses 54 to 58;
ch 29 verses 26, 28 to 35;
ch 37 verses 133 to 136;
ch 51 verses 31 to 37;
ch 54 verses 33 to 39 and
ch 66 verse 10,

It was the people of Prophet Lut who committed homosexuality for the
first time
on earth. This unnatural sex is total abomination and deserved gravest
so God punished them except the people who believed in God and his

But, the MUSLIM VIEW of Homosexuality is deplorable. They had invented
term: "al-Liwat" to name 'homosexuality'. The term "al-Liwat" rings a
connotation - as if 'homosexiality' is some thing which Prophet Lut


Thomas Crescenzi

Dec 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/16/97

AbdulraHman Lomax wrote in message <671u9u$e46$>...

>"unnatural copulation" defined as either anal or oral intercourse. In
>Islam, anal sex is prohibited; it appears that oral intercourse
>(between husband and wife) is not.

just a note for the curious (or remotely interested)... anal sex is allowed
in ja`fari fiqh as long as the wife has consented to it.


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