Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Homosexuality
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The practice of homosexual sex and relationships is roundly condemned in the Islamic tradition, which sees these acts as unnatural and stemming from the wickedness of the people of Lut. Men who act effeminate or blatantly break gender norms are also condemned both by the tradition and the scholars.
Feras Hamza (trans.), Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Tafsir al-Jalalayn, http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=16&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2.
(And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both. [Qur'an 4:16]) Ibn `Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this punishment includes cursing, shaming them and beating them with sandals. This was the ruling until Allah abrogated it with flogging or stoning, as we stated. Mujahid said, "It was revealed about the case of two men who do it." As if he was referring to the actions of the people of Lut, and Allah knows best. The collectors of Sunan recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَنْ رَأَيْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ، فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُولَ بِه»(Whoever you catch committing the act of the people of Lut (homosexuality), then kill both parties to the act.)
إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مّن دُونِ النّسَآء]("Do you commit lewdness such as none preceding you has committed in all of the nations Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women.") meaning, you left women whom Allah created for you and instead had sex with men Indeed, this behavior is evil and ignorant because you have placed things in their improper places.
Tafsir 'Ibn Kathir
Ibn Al Qayyim
Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 38622
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 10050
Undoubtedly the sin of homosexuality is one of the worst sins; indeed, it is one of the major sins (kabaa’ir) that Allaah has forbidden. Allaah destroyed the people of Loot (peace be upon him) with the most terrifying kinds of punishment because they persisted in their sin and made this evil action commonplace and acceptable among themselves. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): [Quotes Quran 11:82-83, Quran 11:83, and Quran 54:37]
Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” (Reported by the four authors of Sunan. Its isnaad is saheeh. At-Tirmidhi said it is a hasan hadeeth).
Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq judged in accordance with this, and he wrote instructions to this effect to Khaalid, after consulting with the Sahaabah. ‘Ali was the strictest of them with regard to that. Ibn al-Qasaar and our shaykh said: the Sahaabah agreed that [the person who does homosexual acts] should be killed, but they differed as to how he should be killed. Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq said that he should be thrown down from a cliff. ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that a wall should be made to collapse on him. Ibn ‘Abbaas said, they should be killed by stoning. This shows that there was consensus among them that [the person who does homosexual acts] should be killed, but they differed as to how he should be executed. This is similar to the ruling of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning the person who has intercourse with a woman who is his mahram [incest], because in both cases intercourse is not permitted under any circumstances. Hence the connection was made in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) who reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the deed of the people of Loot, kill them.” And it was also reported that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever has intercourse with a woman who is his mahram, kill him.” And according to another hadeeth with the same isnaad, “Whoever has intercourse with an animal, kill him and kill the animal with him.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 2420; Abu Dawood, 4464; al-Tirmidhi, 1454; al-Haakim, 4/355).
This ruling is in accordance with the ruling of sharee’ah, because the worse the haraam action is, the more severe the punishment for it. Having intercourse in a manner that is not permissible under any circumstances is worse than having intercourse in a manner which may be permitted in some circumstances, so its punishment is more severe. This was stated by Ahmad in one of the two reports narrated from him. (Zaad al-Ma’aad, part 5, p. 40-41).
The same applies to the sin of lesbianism. There is no doubt among the fuqahaa’ that lesbianism is haraam and is a major sin, as stated by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him). (Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 24, p. 251).With regard to the specific type of punishment mentioned in the question – stoning to death – this kind of punishment is for the adulterer who is married. The shar’i punishment for the crime of homosexuality is execution – by the sword, according to the most correct view – as was narrated in the discussion above about the differences among the scholars as to how this execution should be carried out. As far as lesbianism is concerned, there is no hadd for it, but it is subject to ta’zeer [unspecified punishment to be determined at the discretion of the qaadi]. (al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, part 24, p. 253).
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 5177
(1) Aversion for women. Those who practise homosexuality usually don’t have desire for women. This negates one of the essence of marriage, procreation, which can only occur through cohabitation between men and women. Where individuals are compelled to have same sex wives or husbands, such people are deprived of love, mercy and tranquillity, which are the targets of marriage.
(2) Negative impacts on the nerves. This habit is injurious to the soul as it impacts negatively on the soul. This results into attack of psychological reflex in the character of the individual. He thinks that he ought not to have been created as a male. That is why you see gays dressing like women, especially those who occupy the portion of ‘wives’ in this animalistic tendency.(3) Negative impacts on the brain. It causes great disorder in the equilibrium level of human intellect. His perception of issue is thus affected. There is a strong relationship between homosexuality and the proper function of the brain.
Imam Sirajudeen Bakrin, Nigerian Tribune, December 30, 2011
A look at the nature of man exposes him as being disposed to varying indications. Some of these indication are good, while others are evil, bad and injurious to human existence. Therefore, there is the need for a restriction to human defiance which can result from bad inclination as it affects the society negatively.
Allah has narrated to us the story of Prophet Lut and his people and the punishment meted to them when they first came with this evil act. The Quran says. “And remember Lut, when he said to his people.
‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the Alamin (mankind and .....) Verily, you practise your lusts on man instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds by committing great sins. And the answer of his people was only that they said ‘Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure from sins. Then, we saved him and his family except his wife, she was of those who remained behind in the torment. And we rained down on them a rain of stones. Then see what was the end of the Mujrimun (sinners)” (Suratul A’raf: 80-84).
In suratul Hud, Allah says: “So when our commandment came, we turned the towns of Sodom upside down and rained on them stones of baked day piled up. Marked from your lord and they are not ever far from the Zalimun (evil doers)” (Hud: 82-83).
From the aforementioned verses of the Quran, it is obvious that Allah destroyed the first set of people to embark on this act by turning their towns upside down while they were thereafter pelted with stones.
Since this act is one of the most criminal acts in Islam, equally its punishment is one of the greatest. All Muslim scholars agreed that death is the basic judgement such individuals deserve. This is in line with the saying of Prophet Muhammad as reported by Ibn Abbas: “If anyone is caught committing the act of the people of Lut, kill both the committer and the person with whom the act is committed” (Abu Dawud).However, there is a divergence of opinions on the methodology to be used in executing the punishment. While some scholars such as Abu bakr [the first Rightly-Guided Caliph] and Ali [Muhammad's son-in-law and the fourth Rightly-Guided Caliph ] were of the view that such a person should be beheaded and set on fire thereafter, Umar [the second Rightly-Guided Caliph] and Uthman [the third Rightly-Guided Caliph] thought the wall should be fell on him. To Ibn Abbas [Muhammad's cousin], he should be taken to the tallest building in the town, thrown upside down while some men stand on the ground waiting to meet him with stone in replication of the destruction done to the people of Lut by Allah.
Imam Sirajudeen Bakrin, Nigerian Tribune, December 30, 2011
Question (Ahmad - United Kingdom)
Respected scholars of Islam, As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahamtu Allah wa Barakatuh. I have read in a newspaper that an Iranian man who was convicted of raping and killing his 16-year-old nephew is to be executed by being thrown off a cliff in sack; and if the man survives the fall down a rocky precipice, he will be hanged. What is your comment on this issue?
Dear brother in Islam, we do really appreciate your question, which shows how far you are interested in getting yourself well-aquatinted with Islam and its teachings. May Allah bless your efforts in the pursuit of knowledge!
First of all, it should be clear that this man committed two heinous crimes: 1) homosexuality, and 2) murder. Each crime is sufficient to warrant death penalty. In addition, this man has severed ties of kinship by seducing and killing his nephew.
The Glorious Qur’an is explicit in deciding the Hadd (legal penalty) for the crime of murder, when saying: “O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: …” (Al-Baqarah: 178)
Homosexuality, moreover, is an abomination and a grave sin. In Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, clarifies the gravity of this abomination by saying: “Allah curses the one who does the actions (homosexual practices) of the people of Lut” repeating it three times; and he said in another Hadith: “If a man comes upon a man then they are both adulterers.” Here, he considered homosexuality tantamount to adultery in relation to the Shari’ah punishments because it is an abomination on the one hand and the definition of adultery applies to it on the other hand.
However, death fall is not the sole penalty agreed upon by the Muslim Jurists as a punishment for this crime. The punishment here is controversial due to divergence of views among `Ulama in deducting ruling as regards this case from Shari`ah sources.
Focusing more on the question in point, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh `Abdel Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, states:
“As regards this case (if genuine), this man committed two heinous crimes, which deserve severe punishment. He is a murderer and homosexual. Besides, he severed ties of kinship by doing such grave sins.
Death penalty (Qisas) is well established by the Qur’an in more than one verse. Allah, Most High, says: “O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: …” (Al-Baqarah: 178)
As to the issue of how the homosexual person is judged in an Islamic State, the Companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing be upon him differed among themselves on this issue, and this led to different views maintained by Muslim Jurists. For example, in the Hanafi school of thought, the homosexual is punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act, death penalty is to be applied. As for the Shafi`i school of thought, the homosexual receives the same punishment of adultery (if he/she is married) or fornication (if not married). This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times. Hence, the Shafi`i compares the punishment applied in the case of homosexuality with that of adultery and fornication, while the Hanafi differentiates between the two acts because in homosexuality, the anus (a place of impurity) may also be involved while in adultery (and fornication), the penis/vagina (which are reproductive parts) are involved. Some scholars hold the opinion that the homosexual should be thrown from a high building as a punishment for his crime, but other scholars maintain that he should be imprisoned until death.
Based on the above fact, we can conclude that, the judge is invested with full discretion as to whether this man is to be thrown from a high place or not, as a punishment for his crime. However, if the man survives death fall, the judge has the right to sentence him to death.”
Shedding more light on the legal penalty for homosexuality, Dr. Taha Jaber Al-`Alwani, President of the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences and President of the Fiqh Council, states:
“The scholars of this Ummah are in agreement - based on what has been revealed in the Qur’an and what has been authenticated in the Prophetic Tradition (Sunnah)- on prohibiting both behaviors (gayness and lesbianism) because in each of two actions there is an assault on the humanity of a person, destruction of the family and a clash with aims of the Lawgiver, one of which is the establishment of sexual instincts between males and females so as to encourage the institution of marriage.
Islam does not view sexual desire as the main aim of marriage; for marriage is a means to acquire tranquility and to actualize the love and mercy between spouses. Furthermore, it is a means for the survival of human kind and fostering a web of sound relations that aid in building sound families that constitute the smallest units for the society at large; this healthy society being the final aim of Islam.
Actually, humans are not animals controlled by their sexual instincts, answering the call of sexual desires every time it is aroused in them. Rather, it is their responsibility to know how they can orient this craving, which is a trust Allah has implemented in them, both male and female, in addition to the will and power to choose, a blessing Allah has bestowed on humans; all this is what distinguishes them from the rest of the creatures in that they orient their conduct and do what is good.
So, viewing (material) desires as aims in themselves is a deviation from one’s natural disposition and a departure from the natural order. If the trend in the West is to legalize this conduct, it should be noted that such things did not materialize until after religious values had been diluted and had been changed to relative values that glorify individuality and make pleasures as an end and aim.
In Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, clarifies the gravity of this abomination by saying: “Allah curses the one who does the actions of the people of Lut” repeating it three times; and he said in another Hadith: “If a man comes upon a man then they are both adulterers.” Here, he considered homosexuality tantamount to adultery in relation to the Shari’ah punishments because it is an abomination on the one hand and the definition of adultery applies to it on the other hand. It has also been narrated from the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) that this crime deserves severe punishment more than that of adultery to insure its deterrence and restraint. Verily, the punishment here is the burning of both homosexuals (the actor and acted upon) or stoning them with rocks till death because Allah Most High stoned the people of Lut after demolishing their village. As for lesbians, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said about them: "If a woman comes upon a woman, they are both Adulteresses”. The scholars mentioned that it is incumbent on the authority to enact a reprimand on lesbians that is fitting to the crime committed.
It is true that some of the scholars disagreed with these punishments not because of doubt that these actions constitute a crime, but because of a lack of divine textual stipulation for a worldly punishment. But the actions of the Prophet’s Companions do indicate that in fact this crime has a worldly punishment, to be carried out by those in authority among the Muslims. The story of Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq when Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed wrote to him on this matter is famous and can be referenced in many sources.
[The story referred to above goes as follows:
"In his book Fat-h al-Qadir, the famous Hanafi scholar, Ibn al-Humam states:
“Al-Bayhaqi reported in his book Shu`ab al-Iman on the authority of Abu ad-Dunya that Abd al-`Aziz ibn Abi Hazim related from Dawud ibn Bakr who related from Muhammad ibn al-Mukadir the following:“Khalid Ibn al-Walid wrote to Abu Bakr [seeking the legal ruling] concerning a man with whom another man had sexual intercourse. Thereupon, Abu Bakr gathered the Companions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and sought their opinion. `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was the strictest of all, saying, 'Only one nation disobeyed Allah by committing such sin and you know how Allah dealt with them. I see that we should burn the man with fire.’ The Companions unanimously agreed on this.” This incident is also mentioned by al-Waqidi under the subject of apostasy at the end of the section on the apostasy of Bani Salim.]”
IslamOnline, July 22, 2002, http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20091103195314%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.islamonline.net%2Fservlet%2FSatellite%3Fpagename%3DIslamOnline-English-Ask_Scholar%2FFatwaE%2FFatwaE%26cid%3D1119503545556&date=2014-10-28.
Anal sex is strictly forbidden, even between heterosexual married couples.
p75.20 The Prophet (Allah Bless him and give him peace) said,"He who sodomizes a woman is accursed."
Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Edited and Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller
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- Referenced by Shaikh Abdullah Faisal in "100 Fabricated Hadiths" Pg. 85, as sahih.
- Fatwa: Islamic Ruling on Anal Sex - IslamOnline, February 22, 2010