In the modern age, deviant sexual behaviour is becoming both more prevalent and accepted around the world, although religious communities do not accept homosexuality and other related behaviour as it is contrary to nature and the norms of decent behaviour described in religious texts and traditions.
Homosexuality is a delicate and controversial subject prevalent in today’s society. You may be wondering about the Islamic position on homosexuality in the face of radical gay activism versus fundamentalist Christian teachings. Islam considers same-sex marriages to be invalid, thus all homosexual activity is extra-marital. As you have already read in Chapter 3, Islam forbids all sexual activity outside of marriage. Therefore, homosexual acts are considered to be sin. More specifically, Islam forbids “lewdness” between men and men, women and women, and men and women who are not married to each other. (See Holy Qur’an, 4:16-17). In addition, numerous Hadith of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) condemn sodomy as hateful in the sight of God. This position against homosexuality supports the Islamic teaching of chastity and of the sanctity of sex within marriage. In general, it is consistent with a Muslim’s goal of always seeking his or herself and spiritual development and leaving aside those things which attract the lower, baser side of human beings’ nature. Let me preface my suggestions to develop an effective way to address this very sensitive and critical issue, with some background information. At that time, around 4000 years ago, there were many settlements around the Dead Sea (Sea of Lot) which is now between Israel and Jordan. They are referred to as the Cities of the Plain. The Plain near the Dead Sea also stood on the major trading route between Syria and Arabia. This stands on the modern Kings Highway that runs north to south through Jordan. The people of Abraham’s time worshipped idols. They worshipped the stars, and created images of their other deities. Many related civilizations such as the Nabateans left behind reminders at places such as Petra in Jordan.
But idol-worship alone was not the crime associated with the towns of the Plain.
The people of Sodom are repeatedly described as performing abominations and immoral acts, hence the modern term ‘sodomy’ that takes its name from that town. The Qur’an is categorical about the crimes of the Sodomites as being homosexuality as it states in Surah Al- ’Ankabut:
And We sent Lot; he said to his people, ‘You commit an abomination which none among mankind has ever committed before you. Do you indeed come lustfully to men and cut off the highway for travellers? And you indulge in your meetings in all that is loathsome!’ But the only answer of his people was that they said, ‘Bring upon us the punishment of Allah if thou speakest the truth.’ (Ch.29: Vs.29-30)
The retort to the practice of homosexuality is expressed by Lot (as) as:
[Lot said] ‘Do you, of all peoples, approach males, and leave your wives whom your Lord has created for you? Nay, you are a people who transgress. (Ch.26:Vs.166-167)
The abomination is even clearer in the following verse:
And remember Lot, when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit abomination while you see the evil thereof? What! Do you approach men lustfully rather than women? Nay, you are indeed a people unmindful of consequences’. (Ch.27:Vs.55-56)
The verses above also mentions two other types of crimes; highway robbery and committing crimes openly and unashamedly in public meetings and assemblies. However, the focus is the immoral behaviour which Lot (as) describes as ‘an abomination which none among mankind has ever committed before you’. Clearly, highway robbery was not a new crime, so his anger was at the indecency of his people. The Qur’an mentions the fate of the towns as follows:
So when Our command came, We turned that town upside down and We rained upon it stones of clay, layer upon layer, marked for them in the decree of thy Lord. And such punishment is not far from the wrongdoers of the present age. (Ch.11: Vs.83-84)
You might be wondering that until now I have only projected the Islamic viewpoint of the nature of crime and its punishment described in the Holy Quran, does any other scripture condemned it as the abomination is on the rise in the west. Of course the Bible detest this action. We read in the New Testament:
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral nor idolators nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanders, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians, 6:9-11) Flee from sexual immortality. (1 Corinthians, 6:18)
The next question can be that if both Muslims and Christians have this very clearly stated in their Divine Books that this abomination is to be hated, then why this abomination seems to be on rise in the west? (let me make it clear here that I believe no Religion teaches their followers to hate people but the actual cause of hatred is the bad or heinous acts people do, if you minus the bad act from a person the person deserves the same respect and love anyone of us may expect).
The actual answer is that this is happening due to the distance fake liberals and lobbies have caused between man and the Creator, which is also true for the reason that mankind have witnessed the evil outcome and wrath of the Creator for these abominations. The answer usually forwarded by those in favour of this act is that homosexuality is genetically inherited and that those who have this ‘predisposition’ are victims of it not sinners of any sort.
For the sake of argument if we accept the logic, still it is illogical. Many people are born with many natural tendencies like killing people or 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 wrong. There are cures for diseases and not acceptance as a general rule. It still does not warrant the intense propaganda to legalise and promote homosexuality.
One of the possible reasons of this abomination in this age could be perversion, due to surprisingly over-indulgence in natural sex. Such sex as one gets in married life is not over-indulgence. What I mean is promiscuous sex indulgence outside marriage, made possible in the West by the huge preponderance of women over men — particularly after the two World Wars, and the free-mixing of the sexes in and outside the homes, indulgence in sex being whipped up by novels, erotic poetry, films, nudity and obscenity all around. Over-indulgence in natural sex leads to a stage where man loses enjoyment in natural sex and seeks variation and diversion, which he is told could be had in homosexuality. If this abomination becomes a national disease then I fear the nation can be treated in the same way the people of Lot were treated.
Here it might be of use for someone to know that those nations in the past were destroyed due to their deviance from nature, God has created sex for procreation and this was the object for which a sense of ecstasy was found in this. When people forsake the main object and only focus on ecstasy, and homosexuals are the first to fall in this category as the reproduction is out of question here and they have wiped out the option of reproduction. In other words they themselves have abandoned the right to continue life.
It is interesting to note here that in the history of mankind a nation is destroyed by Allah the Almighty for only two reasons, first of them is rejection of a Prophet where there is no hope found for spiritual life in future of that nation, and the second which is the only one in other evils and vices, is homosexuality. That is a message that as you have rejected the law of nature to continue the life, you don’t have the right to live anymore, but that is for Allah to decide when some nation reaches that annihilation point, we can only pray that we don’t have to witness such time! The events of the towns of Lot (as) are a reminder that God can use natural phenomenon to destroy a race if they do not heed warnings. Finally, the destruction of Sodom and the other towns was meant as a reminder for all time, as the Qur’an declares:
Surely in this are many Signs for those who can read signs. And it lies on a road that still exists. (Ch.15: Vs.76-77)
The road that still exists is the Kings Highway in Jordan, and the remains of the ashen towns are a reminder to us all of the fate of those retched people who shunned God’s Law.