Islam and Homosexuality

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The Islamic views on homosexuality are formed from the writings of the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammad's Sunnah. It is not only a sin, but a crime under Islamic law.

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Islam's Views

Islamic Shari'ah law is extracted from both the Qur'an and Muhammad's Sunnah (found in the Hadith and Sira). Islamic jurisprudence are expansion of the laws contained within them by Islamic jurists. Therefore, they are seen as the laws of Allah. You need only look to the rulings under Shari'ah to see the accepted mainstream interpretation of Islam and its commandments to its followers. Homosexuality under this law, is not only a sin, but a punishable crime against God.

In the case of homosexuality, how it is dealt with differs between the four mainline schools of Sunni jurisprudence today, but what they all agree upon is that homosexuality is worthy of a severe penalty.

In the Hanafi school of thought, the homosexual is first punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act, the death penalty is to be applied.

As for the Shafi`i school of thought, the homosexual receives the same punishment as adultery (if he/she is married) or fornication (if not married). This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times. Hence, the Shafi`i compares the punishment applied in the case of homosexuality with that of adultery and fornication.

The Hanafi differentiates between the two acts because in homosexuality, anal sex [something that is prohibited, regardless of orientation] may also be involved, while in adultery [and fornication], the penis/vagina (which are reproductive parts) are involved.

Some scholars, based on the Qur'an and various ahadith, hold the opinion that the homosexual should be thrown from a high building or stoned to death[1] as a punishment for their crime, but other scholars maintain that they should be imprisoned until death. [2]

Another view is that between two males, the active partner is to be lashed a hundred times if he is unmarried, and killed if he is married; whereas the passive partner is to be killed regardless of his marital status.[3]

Muslims and Their Views

Many apologists have attempted to shift the blame for this Muslim hostility towards homosexuality onto "the adoption of European Victorian attitudes by the new Westernized elite."[4]

However, this explanation falls short. Within the context of Islamic thought, this attitude originated from the Prophet Muhammad, and since he is considered by all mainstream Muslims to be the Uswa Hasana (the perfect example) we find that the majority of Muslims still consider this harsh treatment of homosexuals to be justified.

Muhammad himself had stated, “If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.”[5] He even went so far as to condemn the “appearance” of homosexuality, when he cursed effeminate men and masculine women and ordered his followers to "Turn them out of your houses."[6] This ruling on homosexuals was naturally adopted by his later successors.

The father of Aisha and Muhammad’s first successor, Abu Bakr, had a homosexual burned at the stake. The fourth Rightly-Guided Caliph, Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, ordered homosexuals to be stoned, and even had one thrown from the minaret of a mosque.[7] These actions quite obviously pre-date any sort of Western influence on Islamic thought.

According to Shaykh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid: "The spread of homosexuality has caused man diseases which neither the east nor the west can deny exist because of them. Even if the only result of this perversion was AIDS – which attacks the immune system in humans – that would be enough."[8]

Even by moderate Muslims (who are found primarily among the tiny 3% of the world's Muslims living in "more-developed regions"),[9] homosexuality is seen as something that is vile and unacceptable. For example, a Gallup survey carried out in early 2009 found that British Muslims have zero tolerance for Homosexuality. Not even a single British Muslim interviewed believed that homosexual acts were morally acceptable.[10][11] Also according to a Zogby International poll of American Muslims taken in November and December of 2001, a massive 71 percent opposed "allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally."[12] Another worrying statistic to be found among Muslims in the UK, is that although they comprise just 2% of the total British population, they commit 25% of all anti-Homosexual crimes.[13]

So, with the rise of Islam in the UK and the rest of the world, we also see the inadvertent return to the morality of seventh-century Arabia, with Muslim gangs on the streets of England carrying out violent attacks on gays[14] and mosques labeled as “moderate” calling for the murder of homosexuals at the hands of their congregation.[15]

If we look to secular Indonesia, we see that due to pressure from the growing conservative Islamic communities, some local authorities have now been given the right to use Islamic laws, which have successfully criminalized homosexuality.[16] Also in Hindu-majority India, attempts to move forward and decriminalize homosexuality are being hindered by Islamic clerics claiming "Homosexuality is an offence under Sharia Law and haram (prohibited) in Islam," and that "Legalisation of homosexuality is an attack on Indian religious and moral values," a statement not to be taken lightly, when coming from religious leaders of Islam.[17]

Treatment of Homosexuals

The following are excerpts on homosexuality, taken from the Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies:

"Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes.... It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins.... The punishment for homosexuality is death. Both the active and passive participants are to be killed whether or not they have previously had sexual intercourse in the context of a legal marriage.... Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [the perpetrator] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place."

Whilst LGBTT-rights activists are making great progress in non-Muslim societies, gay communities in the Muslim world are left fighting for even the most basic of human rights, and in many cases, their very lives.

Exact figures are hard to determine, due to the political turmoil in many of the Islamic states, but as of 2009 homosexual relationships, acts or behavior are forbidden in approximately thirty-six Islamic countries including Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen, with punishments including anything from a fine up to life imprisonment.[18][19] Ten of those countries out of the thirty-six impose the death penalty for homosexuals. They are Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and some states in Malaysia.[20]

According to the Iranian gay and lesbian rights group Homan, the Iranian government alone has put to death an estimated 4,000 homosexuals since the Islamic revolution of 1979.[19] Laws allowing gay rights, seldom mean a thing in Muslim majority nations where the laws of Islam trump the laws of the land every time. Take for instance, Iraq, which does not officially have any laws discriminating against same-sex relationships, currently there are death squads operating in the country killing gays and lesbians (or effeminate men and masculine women suspected of homosexuality) on sight, and a shocking sixty-eight gay and trans-gendered men have been killed within the space of four months, often by having their anuses glued shut, followed by induced diarrhea.[21][22]

Also in the secular nation of Turkey, a country which is often held-up as a poster-child for moderate Islam, persecution and violence against homosexuals [along with non-Muslim minorities] is on the rise, with eleven gays being killed within the first half of 2009 .[23] This behavior is consistent with the results of a survey[24] released in November of 2009 which found that a massive 67 percent of Turks "would continue acting in accordance with their religious beliefs if the Parliament passed a law that contradicted religious laws." and only Twenty-six percent "would obey the country’s law in this case".


The following are summaries of other pages discussing Islam, in relation to Homosexuality:

Islamic Writing and Homosexuality

The Qur'an, Hadith collections and scholars have much to say in regards to Homosexuality.

[وَاللَّذَانَ يَأْتِيَـنِهَا مِنكُمْ فَـَاذُوهُمَا]

(And the two persons among you who commit illegal sexual intercourse, punish them both.) Ibn `Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this punishment includes cursing, shaming them and beating them with sandals. This was the ruling until Allah abrogated it with flogging or stoning, as we stated. Mujahid said, "It was revealed about the case of two men who do it. As if he was referring to the actions of the people of Lut, and Allah knows best. The collectors of Sunan recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ رَأَيْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ، فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُولَ بِه»

(Whoever you catch committing the act of the people of Lut (homosexuality), then kill both parties to the act.)

Islam and Homosexuals in the News

The ongoing persecution of homosexuals by Muslims around the world, rarely makes the mainstream news. The fear of offending Islamic sensibilities and enraging the Muslim populous has effectively silenced the free world in many areas. Thanks to the Internet, those of us who search can find many news items that would otherwise be lost. Here, we provide you with links listed by country, to news articles related to Islamic persecution of homosexuals and other related items.

Statistic Concerning Homosexuality

This page consists of various fully referenced statistics. A small sample:

  1. As of 1999 in Iran, more than 4,000 lesbians and gays had been executed since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
  2. Two thirds of all reported incidents of anti-gay violence in Amsterdam are by Muslim youths.
  3. As of 2009, homosexual relationships, acts or behavior are illegal in 36 Islamic countries. 10 impose the death penalty.
  4. A 2009 Gallup survey could not find a single British Muslim who approved of homosexuality.

The People of Lot

The story of Lot (لوط, Lūṭ) from the Hebrew Bible, is also to be found in the Qur'an, albeit retold with a few differences. Amongst other things, the Qur'anic rendition links the destruction of Sodom specifically to the homosexual activities of its inhabitants. This is one of the many stories from the Qur'an which openly denies science and history, and by doing so, it proves the author of those verses was ignorant of reality and thus proves the verses were not divinely revealed. Take for instance, the Qur'an's claim that the People of Lot were the first to experience homosexuality. This is purely a myth. Homosexuality has been recorded in ancient cultures far before the time of Lot and Abraham (1948–2123 BC). For example the ancient Egyptians who existed 6000 years BC. Not to mention the Chinese and Indian cultures which existed 7000 years BC. There are many recorded tales which portray homosexuality, such as the story between Seth and Horus. Scientifically, historically and morally, this Qur'anic story makes little sense.

See Also

Other Core Articles

Core articles contain an overview of other articles related to a specific issue, and serve as a starting point for anyone wishing to learn about Islam:

External Links


  1. "So when Our punishment came upon the people of Lut, We turned the city upside down and showered them with stones of baked clay, one after another." - Qur'an 11:82
  2. Fatwa Bank: Death Fall as Punishment for Homosexuality - Islam Online, July 22, 2002
  3. See the chapter on "hudud" in Sharaya and Sharh Lum'a also al-Khu'i, Takmilah, p. 42-44.
  4. El-Rouayheb, 2005, p. 156
  5. "Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done." - Abu Dawud 38:4447
  6. "Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet cursed effeminate men (those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, "Turn them out of your houses ." The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and 'Umar turned out such-and-such woman." - Sahih Bukhari 7:72:774
  7. Serge Trifkovic - Islam's Love-Hate Relationship with Homosexuality - FrontPageMag, January 24, 2003
  8. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid - Why does Islam forbid lesbianism and homosexuality? - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 10050
  9. "As of 2010, about three-quarters of the world’s Muslims (74.1%) live in the 49 countries in which Muslims make up a majority of the population. More than a fifth of all Muslims (23.3%) live in non-Muslim-majority countries in the developing world. About 3% of the world’s Muslims live in more-developed regions, such as Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan." - The Future of the Global Muslim Population, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, January 27, 2011
  10. Muslims in Britain have zero tolerance of homosexuality, says poll - The Guardian, May 7, 2009
  11. The Gallup Coexist Index 2009: A Global Study of Interfaith Relations - Section 2: Public Perceptions Toward Integration, p. 31
  12. Islamohomophobia - WoldNetDaily, October 2, 2002
  13. "Gay police group's "anti-Christian" ad rapped", Reuters, October 18, 2006 (Original URL|Charles Johnson's commentary|Full text)
  14. Gay fears rise after street gang’s murderous attack - EastLondonAdvertiser, September 4, 2008
  15. So -Called Moderate UK Mosque Preaches Hate, Urges Faithful To "Kill Gays" - PipelineNews, September 2, 2008
  16. Muslim Communities Thwart Indonesian Protections For Gays -, October 4, 2006
  17. After Deoband, other Muslim leaders condemn homosexuality - Times of India, July 1, 2009
  18. Homosexuality laws in Muslim countries - Wikipedia, accessed July 29, 2009
  19. 19.0 19.1 H. Tavakoli - The New Dark Ages - The Iranian,September 20, 1999
  20. Sean Yoong - Malaysian State Legislature Passes Bill on Strict Islamic Criminal Code - Associated Press, July 8, 2002
  21. Ben Lando - Iraqi gay community a target - Iraq Oil Report, July 9, 2009
  22. Iraq: Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of LGBT People - International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, April 20, 2009
  23. Homosexuals in Turkey: Istanbul week for gay rights - ANSAmed, June 24, 2009
  24. 'Religion loves tolerance, but is not tolerant' - Hürriyet Daily News, November 17, 2009