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HomeCritical QuestionsIslam's Approach To Homosexuality

Islam’s Approach To Homosexuality

Homosexuality is defined as a person’s approach to people of his own gender with sexual feelings or sexual behavior. In Islamic terminology, the homosexual behavior of a man (homosexuality) is expressed by the word “livata”, and the homosexual behavior of a woman (lesbianism) is expressed by the word “sihak”. The religion of Islam does not approve both homosexual acts.

According to the Islamic religion, biological sex shapes a person’s sexual orientation. For this reason, there is no other gender other than male and female.[1] However, hermaphroditism (bisexuality), which has both masculinity and a feminine organ at birth and is considered a structural disorder, is different from homosexuality. People with hermaphrodites (bi-sexual) can undergo surgical operations to restore their sexual identity. Muslim scholars do not see these operations as an intervention in human nature (creation).

In many places in the Qur’an, the issue of homosexuality has been explicitly mentioned for Prophet Lut’s (as) tribe. These verses are as follows: “We also sent Lot (a prophet). He said to his people: “Are you committing an abomination that none of the peoples before you did (to this extent)!” “You leave women and approach men for sexual satisfaction. Verily, you are a rebellious people.”[2] “We also gave wisdom and knowledge to Lot; We rescued him from the townspeople who did ugly things. Indeed, they were evil people who went astray.”[3] “Remember Lot too! He said to his people, “Will you still commit that indecency? Do you turn to men lustfully instead of women? In fact, you are a community that does not know values.”[4] “As for Lot, he said to his people: “You are definitely committing a lewd act that no one from any nation has done before.”[5]

As seen in the verses, homosexuality; is disgusting, corrupting bad behavior, ugly behavior, a choice that makes one ignorant of moral values, and indecency. A behavior that Allah declares ugly is not perceived as sympathetic or usual by a Muslim.

In Islamic terminology, transgender individuals (who are uncomfortable with their biological sex and feel from the opposite sex of their biological sex) are expressed with the concept of muhannes. Hz. Muhammad’s (pbuh) behavior towards muhannes became clear to Muslims with the following events: One of Hz. Muhammad’s relatives, Hz. Fahite had two formerly enslaved people named “Hit and Mati”, who were muhannes. While Hz. Muhammad thought that these two muhannes had nothing to do with sexuality; he allowed them to meet with his family and be fed at home. One day, he overheard their conversation, and when he heard that they were talking about a woman’s places of sexual attraction, he forbade them to be taken into the house and exiled him from Medina. When they were told they would starve and die here, he let them come back with food on Fridays. These two muhannes remained in exile until the end of Hz. Umar’s caliphate, and then they could return to Medina (they were allowed to mingle with the people).

During his time, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) drove another person from the city who tried to resemble women in terms of appearance and style. When the Sahaba (the Companions of Prophet Muhammad) offered to kill this person, The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) replied, “It is forbidden for me to kill those who pray.” As can be understood from these two hadiths, The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not kill people who did not act under their sexual nature, but he gave the punishment of exile. He also stated that these people did not leave religion by committing this sin.

Some of the hadiths of Hz. Muhammad (PBUH) regarding the sin of homosexuality are as follows: “Anyone who commits the heinous act of the people of Lot is accursed (cursed).” “The thing I fear most for my ummah (who became Muslims without seeing the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the deeds of the people of Lot.” As can be understood from these hadiths, the sin of homosexuality is among the sins that should be avoided.

The religion of Islam has determined the limit of veiling (covering) between opposite sexes and set the limit of Decollete between same sexes. The Decollete border between women and men and between men and women is between the navel and the kneecap. It is forbidden (haram) for women and men to see the parts of their fellows that fall between these limits.

As it can be seen, in the Islamic religion, it is forbidden for women to try to look like men and for men to look like women in clothing, style of speech, and behavior. Islam does not allow a person to be with someone of the opposite sex without marriage, nor does it allow him to be with someone of the same sex. If a person tends to homosexuality, specific ways have been recommended to direct this feeling and make him no longer feel this feeling. These can be listed as follows: Fasting, Not remembering death, reading the Qur’an or chanting, and remembering Allah a lot.

[1] “O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female.” Hujuraat, 13; “And of him He made two sexes, male and female.” Qiyaama, 39; “And Allah did create you from dust, then from a sperm-drop; then He made you in pairs.” Faatir, 11; “Surely, He did create two pairs, male and female, who, when they were cast into the womb, gave utterance.” Najm, 45-46; “O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate, and from the two of them produced many men and women…” An-Nisaa, 1.
[2] A’raaf, 80- 84.
[3] Anbiyaa, 74.
[4] Naml, 54- 55.
[5] Ankaboot, 28.