Saturday

Islamic Perspective on Homosexuality

There is no doubt that in Islam homosexuality is considered 'sinful'. Homosexuality as far as Islam is concerned is a profound mistake ( as are all sins if they are not intending to do wrong). 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 a choice of identity which follows choices of action which follow from choices of what to have sexual fantasies about. Human beings are especially able to control their thoughts, entertaining some and dismissing others.

However, if this free will is not recognised 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 (even if the options are sometimes difficult).For example: "I am lazy " could be supposed true by someone. When the person who thinks this lies 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. It may even have physical manifestations and change his physiology and psychology. 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 sins prevention is 1000 times better than cure and 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 for example 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 a simply sense of loss because of what you missed out on. But if you are to change for the better, you must remember this and the past desires you bound up with your identity can become disconnected from what you choose to become.

What does Islam say about homosexuality?

Taken from the book titled 'Common Questions People Ask About Islam' by Shabir Ally.

Islam teaches that homosexual acts are sinful and punishable by God. This teaching comes not from human beings, but from the Creator of all humans. God tells us in His own words how He punished the people of Lot for their homosexual behaviour.

The story of prophet Lot, on whom be peace, finds mention in several Qur'anic passages, especially Chapter 26:160-175 which reads: "The people of Lut rejected the apostles. Behold, their brother Lut said to them: "Will ye not fear (God)? "I am to you an apostle worthy of all trust. "So fear God and obey me. "No reward do I ask of you for it: my reward is only from the lord of the Worlds. "Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, "And leave those whom God has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!" They said: "If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!" He said: "I do detest your doings." "O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do!" So We delivered him and his family,- all Except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)! Verily in this is a Sign: but most of them do not believe. And verily thy Lord is He, the Exalted in Might Most Merciful."

From these passages we learn that God saved Lot and the righteous ones of his family, and rained on the rest a shower of brimstone, so they were utterly destroyed. This is mentioned in the Qur'an not only for the sake of information, but mainly to serve as a warning to anyone who dares to repeat such acts.