Last edited: November 06, 2004

Islam’s Clear Stand on Homosexuality

Malaysia Kini, August 7, 2003

By Nadzrin

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 alcoholic.

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 bounds.

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 and Gomorrah.

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.

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