Islam’s Clear Stand on Homosexuality
August 7, 2003
In response to Gay Malaysian’s letter, I would like to raise some
explanation by Islamic scholars with regard to homosexuality. I hope Gay
Malaysian will understand Islamic stand as far as homosexuality is concerned.
Islam clearly considers homosexuality a sin, and a profound mistake,
especially that humans are not homosexuals by nature.
Human instincts can be subjected to acts of will. Sexuality is based on a
choice of identity, which develops into actions and hence, sexual fantasies.
Human beings are especially able to control their thoughts, entertaining some
and dismissing others.
However, if this free will is not recognized it is easy to get into a cycle
of thinking which starts from accepting a hypothesis about yourself as true
rather than as a possible choice.
This may even have physical manifestations and cause some changes to
his/her physiological and psychological nature. This process can easily occur
for any idea good or bad about the self which is based largely on evidence
resulting from ones own action. The idea may be “I am gay” or “I am
content” or “I love eating lots of food.”
The truth is—you are what you choose to be, what you choose to do and
what you choose to think. There may be long delays between choice and the
effects to manifest, but anyone can change themselves.
It has been suggested that homosexuality is genetically inherited and that
those who have this “predisposition” are victims of it, not sinners of any
sort. It could also be argued—and has been—that it is programmed into
men’s genetics for them to be unfaithful to their partner!
All these things don’t make it the right thing to do, nor does it prevent
these things from being regarded as sinful. Drinking alcohol will still be
regarded as sinful in Islam even if you have a predisposition to be an
There are five references in the Quran, which have been cited as referring
to gay and lesbian behavior. Some obviously deal with “effeminate men” and
“masculine women.” The two main references to homosexual behavior are in
Surah 7, verses 80- 81, where the Qur’an says that:
We also sent Lut. He said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as
no people in creation [ever] committed before you? For ye practice your lusts
on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond
Then Surah 26, verse 165 says that:
What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave the wives your
Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are forward folk.
Both references relate to gay sexual activities; lesbian practices are not
mentioned in the Quran. Lut is referred to as “Lot” in the Hebrew
Scriptures. This passage is an apparent reference to the activities at Sodom
It seems to imply that there was no homosexual behaviour before it first
appeared at Sodom. This is a uniquely Islamic concept; it does not appear in
Jewish or Christian beliefs. The passage also links the sin of Sodom—the
reason for its destruction—to homosexuality.
There is a consensus among Islamic scholars that all humans are naturally
heterosexual. Homosexuality is seen by scholars to be sinful and a perverted
deviation from the norm. All Islamic schools of thought and jurisprudence
consider gay acts to be unlawful.
They only differ in terms of penalty. Some say that no physical punishment
is warranted. Some see that severe punishment is warranted, while others
require a minimum of 4 adult male witnesses before a person can be found
guilty of a homosexual act.
I hope that this answers Gay Malaysian’s questions and gives a quick
clear idea about the Islamic stance towards homosexuality.