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Homosexuality… From an Islamic Stand

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What is the Islamic view on homosexuality? Here in America, it is a commonly accepted practice. I’d like to learn more so that I may guide others to the truth.

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Thank you very much for your question.
In fact, Islam considers homosexuality to be clearly sinful. As far as Islam is concerned, it is a profound mistake, specially that humans are not homosexuals by nature. People become homosexuals because of their environments.

Particularly critical is the environment during puberty. Suggestions, ideas & strange dreams are symptoms of confused attempts to understand new and blunt sexual desires and are rashly interpreted as defining someone as being one sexuality or another. If these conclusions are accompanied by actual homosexual acts they are even more strongly reinforced.

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 is even if the options are sometimes difficult. For example: “I am lazy,” could be supposed true by someone. When the person who thinks this, lays around in bed in the morning, he observes this inaction as evidence of the statement: “I am lazy.” As he repeatedly chooses to do so, the evidence mounts and the idea becomes fixed in his identity.

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; you do what you choose to do; you think what you choose to think. There may be long time delays between the causing choices and the effects, but anyone can change themselves. There are reformed ex-drug addicts, reformed ex-compulsive gamblers and ex-homosexuals. In all these failings, prevention is 1000 times better than curing and even much easier.

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. However, there are other things which are probably genetically influenced to give predispositions to. Examples for that are gambling or alcoholism.

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.

The trick as every post alcoholic will tell you is never touch another drop after you quit – it is a long slippery slope – your life is better without it. Once a certain desire is connected to your identity strongly and you get in some way hooked on it, it will always be easy to return to it – you are unable to forget the satisfaction.

The difficult task is remembering the bad side of the desire, such as hangovers, lost money, self loathing or simply the sense of loss because of what you missed out on. But if you are to change for the better, you must remember this. Then the past desires you bound up with your identity, which can become disconnected from what you choose to become.

The Qur’an and Homosexuality:

There are five references in the Qur’an, 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 Qur’an. Lut is referred to as “Lot” in the Hebrew Scriptures. This passage is an apparent reference to the activities at Sodom and Gamorah.

It seems to imply that there was no homosexual behavior before it first appeared in 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 your question and gives you a quick clear idea about the Islamic stand towards homosexuality. In case you need further information, please do not hesitate to send us again.

Thank you and please keep in touch.

Salaam.

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