Islamic views on homosexuality' are influenced by the rulings prescribed by the Qur'an and the teachings of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. The mainstream interpretation of Qur'anic verses and hadith condemn sexual acts between members of the same sex.
The Qur'an cites the story of the "people of Lot" (also known as the Sodomites) who were destroyed by the wrath of Allah because they engaged in homosexual acts. The legal punishment for sodomy has varied among juristic schools: some prescribe capital punishment; while other prescribe a milder discretionary punishment. Homosexual activity is a crime and forbidden in most Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. In some relatively secular or multi-religious Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey this isn't the case. Despite this, homoerotic themes were present in poetry and other literature by some Muslims which celebrated male love, and were more common than expressions of attraction to women.
Writer Irshad Manji, a lesbian herself and a staunch critic of orthodox Islam, is of the opinion that homosexuality is permissible within Islam; however, this remains a minority viewpoint. Within the Shi'a school of thought in Islam, the Ayatollah Khomeini has argued the legality of sex-change operations if a man is homosexual, and feels effeminate.
The traditional tolerance, literary and religious, for pederastic love affairs which according to Khaled El-Rouayheb had been prevalent since the 800's began to be eroded in the mid-1800s by the adoption of European Victorian attitudes by the new Westernized elite.
Eminent scholars of Islam, such as Sheikh ul-Islam Imam Malik, Imam Shafi amongst others, ruled that Islam disallowed homosexuality and ordained capital punishment for a person guilty of it.
- 1 Rulings in the Islamic Law
- 2 References in Arabic and other literature
- 3 Legal status in modern Islamic nations
- 4 LGBT movements within Muslims
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
Rulings in the Islamic Law
Homosexual behaviour (Liwat) - or sexual acts between members of the same sex - is considered to be adultery, being sex with an illicit partner. A person who performs such actions (Luti) is regarded as "corrupt" because he challenges the harmony of the sexes and God's creation. Homosexual behaviour is therefore regarded as a revolt against God.
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The Qur'an is the central text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be the revelation of God,. The Qur'an proclaims Islam as the "religion of nature," and sanctifies and encourages sexual intercourse within marriage only. The mainstream interpretation of Qur'anic verses explicitly condemns homosexual behaviour:
“And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them. And as for the two who are guilty of indecency from among you, give them both a punishment; then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them; surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.”[4:15–16 (Translated by Shakir)]
Homosexual behaviour is further mentioned in the parable of the "people of Lut or Lot" (also known as the Sodomites in Judeo-Christian religious texts) who were destroyed by the wrath of Allah because they repeatedly transgressed the bounds of God. The behaviour of these unbelievers was considered evil in general due to inhospitality and robbery, mistreatment of strangers and rape. It was their homosexual behaviour, however, which was seen as symptomatic of their attitudes:
“And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: What! do you commit an indecency which any one in the world has not done before you? Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people. And the answer of his people was no other than that they said: Turn them out of your town, surely they are a people who seek to purify (themselves). So We delivered him and his followers, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind. And We rained upon them a rain; consider then what was the end of the guilty.”[7:80–84 (Translated by Shakir)]
“The people of Lut gave the lie to the messengers. When their brother Lut said to them: Will you not guard (against evil)? Surely I am a faithful messenger to you; Therefore guard against (the punishment of) God and obey me: And I do not ask you any reward for it; my reward is only with the Lord of the worlds; What! do you come to the males from among the creatures And leave what your Lord has created for you of your wives? Nay, you are a people exceeding limits. They said: If you desist not, O Lut! you shall surely be of those who are expelled. He said: Surely I am of those who utterly abhor your actions. My Lord! deliver me and my followers from what they do. So We delivered him and his followers all, Except an old woman, among those who remained behind. Then We utterly destroyed the others. And We rained down upon them a rain, and evil was the rain on those warned. Most surely there is a sign in this, but most of them do not believe. And most surely your Lord is the Mighty, the Merciful.”[26:160–175 (Translated by Shakir)]
“And (We sent) Lut, when he said to his people: What! do you commit indecency while you see? What! do you indeed approach men lustfully rather than women? Nay, you are a people who act ignorantly. But the answer of his people was no other except that they said: Turn out Lut's followers from your town; surely they are a people who would keep pure! But We delivered him and his followers except his wife; We ordained her to be of those who remained behind. And We rained on them a rain, and evil was the rain of those who had been warned.”[27:54–58 (Translated by Shakir)]
“And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: Most surely you are guilty of an indecency which none of the nations has ever done before you; What! do you come to the males and commit robbery on the highway, and you commit evil deeds in your assemblies? But nothing was the answer of his people except that they said: Bring on us God's punishment, if you are one of the truthful. He said: My Lord! help me against the mischievous people.”[29:28–30 (Translated by Shakir)]
The doings of the people of Lut became proverbial, alluding specifically to homosexual behaviour, while the Arabic words for homosexual behaviour and for a person who performs such actions both derive from Lut's name.
The Hadith, which are oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of Muhammad and regarded as important tools for determining the Muslim way of life by all traditional schools of jurisprudence, also contain numerous statements condemning homosexuality.
It was narrated by Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him): "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: 'There is nothing I fear for my ummah more than the deed of the people of Loot.'"
It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: “The Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "... cursed is the one who has intercourse with an animal, cursed is the one who does the action of the people of Loot."
It was narrated that Ibn Abbaas said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 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.'"
Another Hadith narrative reports Muhammad as having said, "No man should look at the private parts of another man, and no woman should look at the private parts of another woman, and no two men sleep [in bed] under one cover."
One narrative, attributed as part of Muhammad's farewell speech, says, "Whoever has intercourse with a woman and penetrates her rectum, or with a man, or with a boy, will appear on the Last Day stinking worse than a corpse; people will find him unbearable until he enters hell fire, and God will cancel all his good deeds."
Another widely reported hadith (from Sunan al-Tirmidhi, which is one of the Sunni Six major Hadith collections) reports Prophet Muhammed as having prescribed the death penalty for homosexuality while saying "Whoever you find committing the sin of the people of Lut, kill them, both the one who does it and the one to whom it is done."
Rulings by scholars of Islam
Based on the principles of the Qur'an and the Hadith, several eminent scholars of Islam, such as Imam Malik, Imam Shafi, Ahmad and Ishaaq have ruled that the person guilty of homosexuality should be stoned regardless of his married or unmarried nature.
Ibn Kathir's commentary on the words of Qur'an with respect to homosexuality are,
The words of Allah ‘And the two persons (man and woman) among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, hurt them both’ mean, those who commit immoral actions, punish them both. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him), Sa’eed ibn Jubayr and others said: By condemning them, shaming them and hitting them with shoes. This was the ruling until Allah abrogated it and replaced it with whipping and stoning. ‘Ikrimah, ‘Ata, al-Hasan and ‘Abd-Allah ibn Katheer said: This was revealed concerning a man and woman who commit fornication. Al-Saddi said, it was revealed concerning young people before they get married. Mujaahid said: it was revealed concerning two men if they admit it bluntly; a hint is not sufficient - as if he was referring to homosexuality. And Allah knows best."
Ibn al-Qayyim is reported to have said,
Both of them – fornication and homosexuality – involve immorality that goes against the wisdom of Allah’s creation and commandment. For homosexuality involves innumerable evil and harms, and the one to whom it is done would be better off being killed than having this done to him, because after that he will become so evil and so corrupt that there can be no hope of his being reformed, and all good is lost for him, and he will no longer feel any shame before Allah or before His creation. The semen of the one who did that to him will act as a poison on his body and soul. The scholars differed as to whether the one to whom it is done will ever enter Paradise."
Ahmad Kutty, senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in his lectures on the subject has expressed the view a Muslim practicing homosexuality needs to give it up since it is considered "one of the most abominable sins in Islam". Muslims like Dr. Nadia El-Awady, the Health & Science Editor at IslamOnline, have attempted to discuss and understand homosexuality in an Islamic as well as a scientific light, citing its apparent ill-effects for the Islamic as well as the moral society. The Islamic UK-based group, the Shari'ah Court of the UK has issued a fatwa calling for a death sentence for playwright Terrence McNally for depicting Jesus and his followers as a group of homosexuals. Many scholars of Shari'a, or Islamic law, interpret homosexuality as a punishable offence as well as a sin. There is no specific punishment prescribed, however, and this is usually left to the discretion of the local authorities on Islam.
However, there do exist some dissenting opinions amongst Ulema. Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, a contemporary Mauritanian scholar, has argued that "[even though] homosexuality is a grievous sin...[a] no legal punishment is stated in the Qur'an for homosexuality...[b] it is not reported that Prophet Muhammad has punished somebody for committing homosexuality...[c] there is no authentic hadith reported from the Prophet prescribing a punishment for the homosexuals..." He argues that both hadiths on stoning and killing homosexuals are weak: Hadith scholars such as Al-Bukhari, Yahya ibn Ma`in, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Hazm, Al-Tirmidhi, and others impugned the two hadiths.
Abu Bakr Al-Jassas (d. 370 AD/981 AH) argued that the hadiths on killing homosexuals "are not reliable by any means, and no legal punishment can be prescribed based on them." 
References in Arabic and other literature
According to the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
Whatever the legal strictures on sexual activity, the positive expression of male homeoerotic sentiment in literature was accepted, and assiduously cultivated, from the late eighth century until modern times. First in Arabic, but later also in Persian, Turkish and Urdu, love poetry by men about boys more than competed with that about women, it overwhelmed it. Anecdotal literature reinforces this impression of general societal acceptance of the public celebration of male-male love (which hostile Western caricatures of Islamic societies in medieval and early modern times simply exaggerate). .... .
In a tradition from the Arabian Nights, Muhammad was said to have warned his followers against staring at youth because of their beauty: "Do not gaze at beardless youth, for they have eyes more tempting than the houris." 
Legal status in modern Islamic nations
Homosexuality is a crime and forbidden in most Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. This is not the case in some secular or multi-religious Islamic countries, Albania, Indonesia and Turkey being examples. However, the governments of Albania, Indonesia, and Turkey are presidential representative democratic republics and are not Islamic Republics, like in the case of Iran.
Same-sex intercourse officially carries the death penalty in several Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan, and Yemen. It formerly carried the death penalty in Afghanistan under the Taliban. The legal situation in the United Arab Emirates is unclear. In many Muslim nations, such as Bahrain, Qatar, Algeria and the Maldives, homosexuality is punished with jail time, fines, or corporal punishment. In some Muslim-majority nations, such as Turkey, Jordan, Indonesia or Mali, same-sex intercourse is not specifically forbidden by law. In Egypt, openly gay men have been prosecuted under general public morality laws. (See Cairo 52.) On the other hand, homosexuality, while not legal, is tolerated to some extent in Lebanon, and has been legal in Turkey for decades.
In Saudi Arabia, the maximum punishment for homosexuality is public execution, but the government will use other punishments—e.g., fines, jail time, and whipping—as alternatives, unless it feels that homosexuals are challenging state authority by engaging in LGBT social movements. Iran is perhaps the nation to execute the largest number of its citizens for homosexuality. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, the Iranian government has executed more than 4,000 people charged with homosexual acts. In Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, homosexuality went from a capital crime to one that it punished with fines and prison sentence.
Most international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, condemn laws that make homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime. Since 1994, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has also ruled that such laws violated the right to privacy guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, most Muslim nations (except for Turkey, which has been ruled by secular law since 1856 and recently has modernized its laws in order to meet the requirements of entry to the European Union) insist that such laws are necessary to preserve Islamic morality and virtue. Of the nations with a majority of Muslim inhabitants, only Lebanon has an internal effort to legalize homosexuality.
Homosexuality laws in Muslim countries
| This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2008)
|Country||Laws against homosexuality||Penalty||Same-sex Unions||Laws against discrimination||Adoption|
|? - Unsure if homosexuality is a crime or not since the country is undergoing a period of relative chaos due to the continuing battles between NATO forces and the resurgent Taliban, but the death penalty (imposed under the Taliban) is no longer enforced. The Penal Code from 1976 in force, stipulates long imprisonment for adultery and pederasty.  and LGBT rights in Afghanistan.|
|See LGBT rights in Albania.|
|Algeria||Yes||Fine - 3 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Algeria.|
|See LGBT rights in Azerbaijan.|
|Bahrain||Male only||Fine - 10 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Bahrain.|
|Bangladesh||Yes||10 years - Life||-||No||No|
|- LGBT rights in Bangladesh.|
|AD in Gender Equality Act since 2003. See LGBT rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Brunei||Yes||Fine - 10 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Burkina Faso.|
|See LGBT rights in Chad.|
|See LGBT rights in Comoros.|
|Djibouti||Yes||10 – 12 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Djibouti.|
|In Egypt, openly gay men have been prosecuted under general public morality laws. (See Cairo 52.) OR??  and LGBT rights in Egypt.|
|Eritrea||Yes||3 – 10 years||-||No||No|
|The Gambia||Yes||Fine - 14 years||-||No||No|
|Guinea||Yes||6 months - 3 years||-||No||No|
|Guinea Bissau||Yes||Labour camps||-||No||No|
|Page 17 of |
|*In 2002, the Aceh province was given the right to instate Islamic sharia by laws by the national parliament. Such law only applies to Muslims. Additionally some cites such as Palembang in Southern Sumatra has introduced jail and hefty fines, for homosexual sex  and in 2003, a proposal to nationally criminalize homosexuality failed. See LGBT rights in Indonesia.|
|Iran||Yes||For men: Prison - Death. Situation unclear with women||-||No||No|
|Sex reassignment surgery have been given official government support as a means to treat gender identity disorder. Law in Iran, in general, is not formally in order and is often abused by government officials. For many years there were no official executions for homosexuality, although some maintain teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni executed for this and not for rape. See LGBT rights in Iran.|
|*No provisions of the current Iraqi criminal code deal with homosexuality. The U.S. occupation restored the criminal code back to its original 1969 edition. Before 2003, the criminal code was amended in 2001 to include the death penalty for homosexuality. However currently, death squads are operating in the country killing gays.  and LGBT rights in Iraq.|
|*While not a crime, reports have shown that LGBT people can be victims of vigilante "honour killings". See LGBT rights in Jordan.|
|See LGBT rights in Kazakhstan.|
|Lebanon||Male Only||Fine - 1 year||-||No||No|
|A small public growing campaign exists to legalize homosexual relations between consenting adults in private. See LGBT rights in Lebanon.|
|Malaysia||Yes||Fine - 20 years||-||No||No|
|Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who was himself jailed for homosexuality, has called for their repeal. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad recently confirmed that the accusation he made to Anwar regarding the homosexuality of Anwar was wrong. Marina Mahathir, the daughter of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has called for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, during Mahathir's term as Prime Minister, he warned gay ministers in foreign countries not to bring along their partners while visiting the nation. . See LGBT rights in Malaysia.|
|Maldives||Male only||Fine - 10 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Mali.|
|Morocco||Yes||6 months - 3 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Morocco.|
|See LGBT rights in Niger.|
|Nigeria||Yes*||5 – 14 years / Death||-||No||No|
|*Areas under Sharia have instituted death for men and women. Any content, avocating groups or associations, support, talking to, marriage, etc. regarding LGBT persons can land you in jail for at least four years . See LGBT rights in Nigeria.|
|Oman||Yes||Fine - 3 years||-||No||No|
|In Oman it is said that cases only get to court if "public scandal" is involved.|
|Pakistan||Yes*||2 years - Life||-||No||No|
|*The law applies to both men and women  and LGBT rights in Pakistan.|
|Qatar||Yes||Fine - 5 years||-||No||No|
|Saudi Arabia||Yes||Death - Other||-||No||No|
|Jail time, fines or whipping may be used in lieu of the death penalty. See LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia|
|Senegal||Yes||1 month - 5 years||-||No||No|
|*The Anti-Corruption Commission stated in a press release that in a bid to attract competent and qualified staff, they operate a transparent recruitment policy, which even forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.|
|Somalia||Yes*||3 months - 3 years/Death||-||No||No|
|*Areas under Sharia have instituted death for men and women.|
|Sudan||Yes||5 years - Death||-||No||No|
|Syria||Yes||Fine - 3 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Syria.|
|Tanzania||Yes||Fine - 25 years||-||No||No|
|In Zanzibar male homosexual acts are punished with up to 25 years imprisonment or fine. Lesbian acts are punished with up 7 years imprisonment or fine. See LGBT rights in Tanzania.|
|Tunisia||Yes||Fine - 3 years||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in Tunisia.|
|See LGBT rights in Turkey.|
|Turkmenistan||Male only||Fine - 2 years||-||No||No|
|United Arab Emirates||Yes||Unknown - Death||-||No||No|
|See LGBT rights in United Arab Emirates.|
|Uzbekistan||Male only*||Fine* - 3 years*||-||No||No|
|*"Besoqolbozlik" (Only applies to anal sex) , page 43 of .|
|Yemen||Yes||Flogging - Death||-||No||No|
LGBT movements within Muslims
The Al-Fatiha Foundation is an organization which advances the cause of gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims. It was founded in 1998 by Faisal Alam, a Pakistani American, and is registered as a nonprofit organization in the United States. The organization was an out shoot of an internet listserve that brought together many gay, lesbian and questioning Muslims from various countries. The Al-Fatiha Foundation, accepts and considershomosexuality as natural, either regarding Qur'anic verses as obsolete in the context of modern society, or pointing out that the Qu'ran speaks out against homosexual lust, and is silent on homosexual love.
In 2001, Al-Muhajiroun, a banned and now defunct international organization who sought the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, issued a fatwa declaring that all members of Al-Fatiha were murtadd, or apostates, and condemning them to death. Because of the threat and coming from conservative societies, many members of the foundation's site still prefer to be anonymous so as to protect their identity while continuing a tradition of secrecy.
Al-Fatiha has fourteen chapters in the United States, as well as offices in England, Canada, Spain, Turkey and South Africa. Besides the Al-Fatiha Foundation which supports homosexuality, the Imaan is also social support group for Muslim LGBT people and their families in the UK. Both of these groups were found by gay Pakistani activists.
There are also a number of Islamic ex-gay (i.e. people claiming to have experienced a basic change in sexual orientation from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality) groups aimed at attempting to guide homosexuals towards heterosexuality. The StraightWay Foundation is a UK based ex-gay organization which works with homosexual Muslims who seek to eliminate their same-sex attractions. Al-Tawbah is an internet based ex-gay group. It should be noted that the efficacy of ex-gay treatments and therapies has been brought into serious doubt by the American Psychological Association and other academic groups.
While Iran has outlawed homosexuality, Iranian Shi'a thinkers such as Ayatollah Khomeini have allowed for homosexual men and women to change their gender so that they can enter heterosexual relationships. This position has been confirmed by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is also supported by many other Iranian clerics. Despite support for transsexuals from Iranian religious leaders, the Iranian society is not as accepting of them. Some transsexuals point out that in Iran transsexuals can change their gender after a sex change operation, a privilege not recognized in Britain. The state will pay a portion of the cost for a sex-change operation.
In India, where Muslims form a large minority, the largest Islamic seminary (Darul Uloom Deoband) has vehemently opposed recent government moves to abrogate and liberalize archaic laws from the British Raj era that banned homosexuality.
- Transsexuality in Iran
- Islamic religious police
- Arsham Parsi is an Iranian LGBT activist for the Persian and Muslim communities.
- Irshad Manji is a Canadian feminist, author, journalist, activist and scholar. Manji is openly lesbian.
- Afdhere Jama, editor of Huriyah
- Irshad Manji, Canadian lesbian and human rights activist
- El-Farouk Khaki, founder of Salaam, the first queer Muslim group in Canada
- Arsham Parsi, Iranian LGBT activist
- Maryam Hatoon Molkara, campaigner for transsexual rights in Iran
- Faisal Alam, Pakistani American LGBT activist and founder of Al-Fatiha Foundation
- Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni
- Malik Ayaz
- Pav Akhtar
- Usman Sani
- Waheed Alli, Baron Alli, British gay politician
- Yusuf Kabir
- Enchant of Hope
- Abdellah Taia, writer
- Criticism of the Qur'an
- A Jihad for Love, documentary about devout gay Muslims
- Festival of Muslim Cultures
- Gay Muslims, documentary
- Nazar ill'al-murd
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|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at LGBT topics and Islam. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|