Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a natural phenomena that occurs in about 5% of the human population.  We do not choose whether we are gay or straight, we simply are.  Sexuality is not a binary, it is a spectrum.  The majority fall on a specific side, but there are many in between as well.  There are also a very small minority who are asexual.  Islam which carries on with the Jewish law code here considers homosexuality a perversion against nature and a sin.  The Quran, like the Bible, contains about the people of Lot who Allah destroyed for committing this transgression.  The hadith talks about murdering such people. If the Quran came from God, why would it make life miserable for these people?

The Quran on Homosexuality

The Quran has the story of Lot that is also in the Bible. It condemns the people of Lot for desiring men instead of women.  Muslims read these verses in the Quran everyday:

And [We had sent] Lot 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. (7:80-81)

And [mention] Lot, when he said to his people, “Indeed, you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds.
Indeed, you approach men and obstruct the road and commit in your meetings [every] evil.” And the answer of his people was not but they said, “Bring us the punishment of Allah , if you should be of the truthful.
(29:28-29)

It is interesting to note that the Quran is wrong here.  Homosexuality always existed among humans.  We find historical evidence of homosexuality in ancient Greece, Rome, China, Japan, Celts, American Indians, Mesopotamia, and so on.  Scientifically around 5% of humans are born homosexual.

The practice of pederasty is mentioned in Homer’s Illiad, and is evidenced to have existed at least 4500 years ago in ancient Egypt. 1)History of Homosexuality

The hadith on homosexuals

To make it clear, the following is describing the punishment for homosexual acts in an Islamic state. As a Muslim for many years, I never believed and I still do not believe that Islam condones vigilantism.  If a person is committing an illegal sexual act, they cannot be killed under Islamic law except with a judge.  This doesn’t seem to stop individuals from hurting homosexuals and feeling justified for doing so.

Traditional Islamic law perpetuates hate against homosexuals.  Islamic law is barbaric and horrendous to homosexuals.  If you are homosexual, you can be killed in a very gruesome way.  This is not just a problem if an Islamic state exists, this is a culture of hating homosexuality.

Here are some hadith about punishing homosexuals:

Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever you find doing as the people of Lot did (i.e. homosexuality), kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done, and if you find anyone having sexual intercourse with animal, kill him and kill the animal.” (Ahmad and the four Imams with a trustworthy chain of narrators.)

Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever you find doing the deed of the people of Loot, kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.” (Tirmidhi, rated Hasan)

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said concerning those who do the action of the people of Lut:
“Stone the upper and the lower, stone them both.” (Ibn Majah, rated Hasan)

Modern killings

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I would first read this very touching story of an Iraqi man who was outed as gay in his society and his life was put at risk of death. His mom had to smuggle him out to safety – Why my own father would have let ISIS kill me (BBC)

What does traditional Islamic law say about this?

The Sahaabah were unanimously agreed on the execution of homosexuals, but they differed as to how they were to be executed. Some of them were of the view that they should be burned with fire, which was the view of ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) and also of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him), as we shall see below. And some of them thought that they should be thrown down from a high place then have stones thrown at them. This was the view of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him). ref: IslamQA

According to Sunni understanding, the early generation are the ones who understood Islam best. They understood that in their country the punishment for homosexuality is death by stoning, being burned alive, or thrown off a cliff.

What do shias think? The authoritative Shia site Al-Islam states the following:

“Marked (for punishment) with your Lord and it is not far off from the unjust.” (Surah Hūd 11:83)

This verse is an indication that such type of punishments may even be inflicted upon those who commit similar acts (acts of homosexuality).

If both are major [in age] and sane, both of them have to be killed. The active partner is beheaded with the sword or killed by stoning or burnt alive or thrown from a height with the hands and the legs tied. These are the ways prescribed for punishing the criminal, but it is at the discretion of the Judge to determine the method.

(Al-Islam.com)

Some more examples of Muslim scholars discussing the punishment for sodomy:

  1. Here is a video of Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Teacher at Masjid An-Nabawi in Medina speaking about the punishment for homosexuality in islam
  2. IslamWeb fatwa states the following punishment, that homosexuals should be thrown on his head and stoned to death. reference: IslamWeb
  3. Shaikh Bilal Philips, a popular preacher from Canada, in this video at 3:14, states that he was banned from Germany for stating that “If you are caught in the act in an Islamic State you will be executed”
  4. Mufti Zubair Bayat, Stanger, South Africa states that the punishment for homosexuality done by Abu Bakr  was having a wall crushed upon them.
  5. Islamicity Fatwa states that the punishment for sodomy differed according to different islamic schools of fiqh:
    For example, in the Hanafi school of thought, the Homosexual is punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act several times, he/she is killed. As to the Shafii school of thought, if homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if he/she is single, then he/she is whipped 100 times.

Why is this wrong?

Human beings are sometimes born in this manner.  In the animal kingdom a small percent of animals are homosexual.  We don’t choose if we are gay or straight.  Sexuality is not a binary (black and white) but rather a spectrum.

In the following study of identical twins and homosexuality by lead researcher Ngun who is gay himself used to wonder why that was found the following:

He studied epigenetic changes called methylation in 47 pairs of male twins. Identical twins have the same underlying DNA, but the epigenetic changes can make big differences in what happens to them later in life.

In 37 of the twin pairs, one brother was homosexual and the other wasn’t. In 10 pairs, both brothers were gay.

Dr. Margaret McCarthy, who studies the developing brain at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a statement that this study provides more evidence we were indeed “born this way:”

STUDY: DNA of Identical Twins Can Reveal Who’s Gay (Oct 2015)

Also, at a more personal level, I found this story on Facebook:

MichaelM

Michael writes:

Being an identical twin and having an identical brother who is gay ( and has always been since childhood ) and being straight myself only bolsters the truth that your orientation IS something you are born with , not a choice … and i have 48 years of observation to back it up watching a person almost precisely like me yet different walk his own course from the very beginning ..

So why should we persecute and harm such people?  Why harm them?  Let them live their lives and be productive members of society.

Flipping the narrative

If someone went into a room full of gays and asked “Do you think it’s acceptable to kill Muslims for their beliefs & practices and have the state execute them?”
The room would scream an incredulous resounding “NO!”  This is why gays are more moral than some religious followers.

Reference and further reading:

References   [ + ]

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