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Why is Homosexuality Prohibited?

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QUESTION
Salam! I am a teenager from pakistan. I am 17 and doing my a levels. Several people around me are supporters of the lgbtq community. As much as I try to condemn it is hard doing so overtly as it ends up in me being ostracised. In a honesty I am not clear on islams view on homosexuality. Why it’s forbidden and when they ask me why I’m against it I end up saying because islam says so but obviously it says so for a reason. I want to know why so i can refute the argument of such people and hold strong in my faith. They interpret quranic ayat is ways that make it seem okay. They quote imams who condone homosexuality. I am truly cofused. I have tried to do an online search on the matter numerous times but to no avail as all website say It’s wrong but not why. If it’s because of procreation isn’t that an exceeding problem with the growing population anyway. Please try to get back to me so that I can clear my view on the matter. I don’t wear the hijab or pray 5 times a day so is my not condoning homosexuality just as bad because I’ve heard that. JazakAllah.

(Question posted as received)

ANSWER

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Sister in Islam,

We make dua Almighty Allah grants you the tawfeeq to get back onto the straight path, perform your daily Salaahs and adhere to the laws of hijab.

Engaging with individuals inclined to homosexuality is a sensitive and delicate matter. Thus, when dealing with homosexuals, we should not aim to disgrace or humiliate anyone. We engage with them with the same level of dignity and respect afforded to every fellow human being. It is of utmost importance to note that we as Muslims show displeasure and resentment towards the sin itself, not the sinner. We deal with them in the same manner we deal with those burdened with other major sins such as alcohol consumption, gambling or adultery.

As Muslims, we are bound to follow and abide by the commandments of Almighty Allah whether we understand the logic and wisdom behind the laws or not. Hence, we are completely subservient to Allah. As Muslims, we vehemently guard our beliefs and protect our beliefs from any action that will compromise our (Imaan) faith and belief in Allah Ta’ala.

As Muslims, we believe that Almighty Allah has revealed a perfect and practical religion that will be applicable to us until the end of time. This perfection leaves no room for editions and reinterpretations. Consider Verse 3 of Surah Maaidah,

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا

Translation: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as the religion.”

It is evident from this verse that once Almighty Allah has decreed a law, we cannot decide to change or alter it simply because it suits us.

Homosexuality has been prohibited in both the Holy Quran as well as the Hadith.

Almighty Allah makes mention of the people of Lut (Alayhis Salaam),

وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ. إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِنْ دُونِ النِّسَاءِ بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُسْرِفُونَ

Translation: And (We had sent) Lut when he said to his people, Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.”

As far as the Quranic narrative is concerned regarding the nation of Lut (Alayhis Salaam), the classical jurists are in unanimous agreement that the sin of the nation was homosexuality. It was not the rape of men, as is claimed by proponents of homosexuality.[1]

As for prohibition from the hadith,[2]

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: لاَ يَنْظُرُ اللَّهُ إِلَى رَجُلٍ، أَتَى رَجُلاً، أَوِ امْرَأَةً، فِي دُبُره

Translation: “Allah does not look at a man who enters (has sex with) a man or a woman in the behind.”

No amount of reinterpretation can escape the apparent and intended meaning of the above hadith. To deny the prohibition of homosexuality is to deny the Quran and Hadith. Evidently, that is extremely detrimental to ones faith.

Nevertheless, your main query remains unanswered as of yet. Why is homosexuality prohibited?

To understand this, one must first acknowledge that Almighty Allah has laid down a Deen for us to practice upon. None can question Him with regards to the ‘why’. It is also imperative to understand that many laws of the Shari’ah cannot be understood. For example, why do we have to specifically pray five times a day? Why have men been prohibited from wearing silk? In the same vein, why is homosexuality prohibited?

We are first and foremost, the slaves of Almighty Allah. The position of a slave is to obey without question. This worldly abode is no more than a test from Almighty Allah. Almighty Allah has allowed and permitted many things. However, He has also imposed restrictions. These restrictions range from what we are permitted to consume all the way to the extent to which we may derive pleasure from our spouses. An example of this is the case of anal intercourse with ones spouse. This has been prohibited as was understood by the hadith quoted earlier.

However, jurists of the past have ventured to try and explain some wisdoms behind certain rulings and laws. Quite a few remain unexplained even till today. When it comes to homosexuality, most have stated that it is an unnatural ‘filthy’ act. It goes against the basic principles of procreation and is considered to be beneath human dignity.

We shall now list a few arguments made for homosexuality and the responses.

#1. Is this act actually unnatural?

Today we find advocates for homosexuality claiming that this act is not ‘unnatural’, as it has been observed amongst animals as well. If the criteria for defining the morals and ethics of humanity is based on conformity with actions of animals, then we truly are a lost cause. How many strange and odd practices are found in the animal kingdom? Will we venture and assert that they too are ‘natural’? It has been observed that a female mantis will bite off the head of its mate during intercourse. Other unnatural acts range from necrophilia to Apophallation! Is all this now ‘natural’ simply because animals do it?

If we do accept homosexuality as a natural inclination, will we also accept as natural all other bizarre inclinations experienced by people such as necrophilia, paedophilia, bestiality and incest? What would be the main difference between all these acts? In actuality, this is the direction society is currently headed towards. Some countries have begun legalising consensual incest between adults! Are these really morals and ethics we wish to emulate?

#2. Why is it a problem if it doesn’t harm anybody?

An argument often raised is that no one is harmed in homosexuality as it is a consensual act between two adults. Consider this, if two siblings consensually agree to sleep with each other and refrain from creating inbred offspring, will this now be acceptable since there is no harm? May Almighty Allah protect us. How was a line drawn between an inclination which is acceptable and an inclination that is not? We must understand that the morals and ethics set by Allah are objective, whereas the morals of secular societies today are subjective. This is evident if one were to observe societies today. How then can we alter our values and morals, especially if the alternative is pure self-indulgence.

#3. Why was I born with these inclinations?

Another argument often put forward is that these are inclinations one was born with. This cannot be accepted as Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alahyi Wasallam) has clearly stated,[3]

أن النبي صَلى الله عَلَيه وَسَلم، قَالَ: كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ

Translation: “Each child is born upon a natural disposition.”

In Islam, the discussion of whether these urges are because of ‘Nature’ or ‘nurture’ is really quite irrelevant. By this we do not mean that we do not have an answer to this question. We believe that the fitrah that Allah created us upon is that, in terms of sexuality at least, opposites attract. But it is likely that some people have corrupted this fitrah themselves, or it has been corrupted by external methods.

More often than not, these inclinations develop as a result of environmental influences, similar to what is seen in many other human traits. It is possible that this rise in unnatural inclinations is because of the proliferation of hypersexuality all around us. Everywhere one looks, the eye is met by pictures, posters and advertisements of nearly nude, beautiful men and women. This has desensitized us to such an extent that we now crave more and there is no end in sight. Looking at barely covered models hardly arouses us anymore. Our sexual desires have now become insatiable.

Children do not portray sexual interest in other genders until ages that are close to puberty. Are we to believe that they remain unaffected by the sexuality and decadence constantly flaunted in their faces? All these factors play a much larger role than given credit in determining sexual preferences.

#4. I do have these inclinations. What now?

Hypothetically speaking, if we were to accept that an individual does ‘naturally’ experience these inclinations, then such feelings still do not justify acting them out. This will be considered to be a test from Almighty Allah. Remember, one will not be questioned regarding his inner thoughts. However, once these thoughts are brought into action, one will have disobeyed Almighty Allah. An innate inclination towards homosexuality does not render it ultimately acceptable. A person experiencing such thoughts is required to curb his desires, just as in the case of one who is inclined to a woman who is Haraam for him. Both are required to control their desires and abstain from indulgence.

#5. What does the Bible have to say in this regard?

Islam is not the only religion to condemn homosexuality. Consider the following passages from the Bible,

Corinthians 6:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Leviticus 18:22

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

Leviticus 20:13

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

#6. Is incest illegal?

Incest laws:

In the United Kingdom, as per the Sexual Offences Act 2003, sex with an adult who is related as parent, adoptive parent, grandparent, child, adopted child, grandchild, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece, is illegal.[4]

In South Africa, according to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, incest, bestiality and necrophilia are prohibited and classified as illegal.[5]

Article 213 of the Swiss Penal Code prohibits incest. Intercourse among siblings or other persons related by blood in direct line is punishable by up to 3 years’ imprisonment.[6]

 

In conclusion, the religion of Islam is the final religion revealed by Almighty Allah. The laws laid down are to maintain human dignity and cover all possible aspects of human life. A Muslim is required to submit to this and accept the commands of Almighty Allah. The propaganda of the west is at constant war with the values of our Deen. These are difficult times we live in. We must stay steadfast upon the truth no matter how difficult. Bear in mind that this is a sensitive and delicate matter. We must always conduct ourselves with dignity and represent our faith with the character of our beloved Prophet (Sallallahu Alahyi Wasallam). This beautiful religion of ours does not promote hate in any form.

We also advise you to keep the following hadith in mind,[7]

عن ابن عباس، قال: كنت خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما، فقال: يا غلام إني أعلمك كلمات، احفظ الله يحفظك، احفظ الله تجده تجاهك، إذا سألت فاسأل الله، وإذا استعنت فاستعن بالله، واعلم أن الأمة لو اجتمعت على أن ينفعوك بشيء لم ينفعوك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله لك، ولو اجتمعوا على أن يضروك بشيء لم يضروك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله عليك، رفعت الأقلام وجفت الصحف

Translation: “Ibn Abbas narrates, I was behind Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) one day when he said, O boy! I will teach you a statement. Be mindful of Allah and he will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find him before you. When you ask, ask Allah. When you seek aid, seek the aid of Allah. Know that if the entire creation were to gather together to benefit you, you would never get any benefit except that Allah had written it for you. And if they were to gather to harm you, you would never be harmed except that Allah had written for you. The pens are lifted, and the pages are dried.”

Whilst commentating on this hadith, Ibn Rajab Hanbali (Rahimahullah) explains that Almighty Allah will protect ones Deen so long as he is mindful of the laws and commands of Almighty Allah. If he begins to ignore these commands and duties, Almighty Allah no longer protects his Deen. This is why faith related doubts are created in the heart and mind.[8]

You have stated that unfortunately, you are not very particular upon your Salaah and hijab. Insha-Allah, by rectifying yourself and striving against yourself, you will see these doubts gradually depart your heart and mind.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Yusuf Pandor

Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 


تفسير الطبري = جامع البيان ت شاكر (12/ 547) [1]

(أتأتون الفاحشة)، وكانت فاحشتهم التي كانوا يأتونها، التي عاقبهم الله عليها، إتيان الذكور

 

تنوير المقباس من تفسير ابن عباس (ص: 131)

{وَلُوطاً} وَأَرْسَلْنَا لوطاً إِلَى قومه {إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَة} يَعْنِي اللواطة {مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا} بِهَذَا الْعَمَل {مِنْ أَحَدٍ} أحد {مِّن الْعَالمين} قبلكُمْ

 

تفسير الزمخشري = الكشاف عن حقائق غوامض التنزيل (2/ 125)

 فقال: ما سبقكم بها أحد، فلا تفعلوا ما لم تسبقوا به إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجالَ بيان لقوله: أتأتون الفاحشة. والهمزة مثلها في أَتَأْتُونَ للإنكار والتعظيم. وقرئ: إنكم، على الإخبار المستأنف لتأتون الرجال، من أتى المرأة إذا غشيها شَهْوَةً مفعول له، أى للاشتهاء لا حامل لكم عليه إلا مجرّد الشهوة من غير داع آخر، ولا ذم أعظم منه، لأنه وصف لهم بالبهيمية، أنه لا داعى لهم من جهة العقل البتة كطلب النسل ونحوه أو حال بمعنى مشتهين تابعين للشهوة غير ملتفتين إلى السماجة بَلْ أَنْتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُسْرِفُونَ أضرب عن الإنكار إلى الإخبار عنهم بالحال التي توجب ارتكاب القبائح وتدعوا إلى اتباع الشهوات وهو أنهم قوم عادتهم الإسراف وتجاوز الحدود في كل شيء، فمن ثم أسرفوا في باب قضاء الشهوة، حتى تجاوزوا المعتاد إلى غير المعتاد

 

سنن الترمذي ت بشار (2/ 460) [2]

1165 – حدثنا أبو سعيد الأشج، قال: حدثنا أبو خالد الأحمر، عن الضحاك بن عثمان، عن مخرمة بن سليمان، عن كريب، عن ابن عباس قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: لا ينظر الله إلى رجل أتى رجلا أو امرأة في الدبر

هذا حديث حسن غريب

 

موطأ مالك رواية أبي مصعب الزهري (1/ 393) [3]

995 – أخبرنا أَبُو مُصْعَبٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أن النبي صَلى الله عَلَيه وَسَلم، قَالَ: كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ، أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ كَمَا تُنَاتَجُ الْإِبِلُ مِنْ بَهِيمَةٍ جَمْعَاءَ، هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ؟ فقَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَفرَأَيْتَ من يَمُوتُ وَهُوَ صَغِيرٌ؟ قَالَ: اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُوا عَامِلِينَ

 

[4] ^ “Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994”. Commonwealth Consolidated Acts. Retrieved 2012-11-09.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_incest#cite_note-104

 

[5]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Law_(Sexual_Offences_and_Related_Matters)_Amendment_Act,_2007

[6] ^ Swiss Penal Code , SR/RS 311.0 (E·D·F·I), art. 213 (E·D·F·I)

 

سنن الترمذي ت شاكر (4/ 667) [7]

2516 – حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن موسى قال: أخبرنا عبد الله بن المبارك قال: أخبرنا ليث بن سعد، وابن لهيعة، عن قيس بن الحجاج، ح وحدثنا عبد الله بن عبد الرحمن قال: أخبرنا أبو الوليد قال: حدثنا ليث بن سعد قال: حدثني قيس بن الحجاج، المعنى واحد، عن حنش الصنعاني، عن ابن عباس، قال: كنت خلف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما، فقال: «يا غلام إني أعلمك كلمات، احفظ الله يحفظك، احفظ الله تجده تجاهك، إذا سألت فاسأل الله، وإذا استعنت فاستعن بالله، واعلم أن الأمة لو اجتمعت على أن ينفعوك بشيء لم ينفعوك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله لك، ولو اجتمعوا على أن يضروك بشيء لم يضروك إلا بشيء قد كتبه الله عليك، رفعت الأقلام وجفت الصحف» هذا حديث حسن صحيح

 

جامع العلوم والحكم ت الأرنؤوط (1/ 468) [8]

النَّوْعُ الثَّانِي مِنَ الْحِفْظِ، وَهُوَ أَشْرَفُ النَّوْعَيْنِ: حِفْظُ اللَّهِ لِلْعَبْدِ فِي دِينِهِ وَإِيمَانِهِ، فَيَحْفَظُهُ فِي حَيَاتِهِ مِنَ الشُّبُهَاتِ الْمُضِلَّةِ، وَمِنَ الشَّهَوَاتِ الْمُحَرَّمَةِ، وَيَحْفَظُ عَلَيْهِ دِينَهُ عِنْدَ مَوْتِهِ، فَيَتَوَفَّاهُ عَلَى الْإِيمَانِ قَالَ بَعْضُ السَّلَفِ: إِذَا حَضَرَ الرَّجُلَ الْمَوْتُ يُقَالُ لِلْمَلَكِ: شَمَّ رَأْسَهُ، قَالَ: أَجِدُ فِي رَأْسِهِ الْقُرْآنَ، قَالَ: شَمَّ قَلْبَهُ، قَالَ: أَجِدُ فِي قَلْبِهِ الصِّيَامَ، قَالَ: شَمَّ قَدَمَيْهِ قَالَ: أَجِدُ فِي قَدَمَيْهِ الْقِيَامَ قَالَ: حَفِظَ نَفْسَهُ، فَحَفِظَهُ اللَّهُ

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