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Homosexuality: An Islamic perspective

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By Syed Zubair Ahmad

While working in Gulf I came across many Homosexual Europeans, Filipinos and Christian Arabs as well as westernized Muslim Arabs too. At the beginning I generally avoided any interaction with them out of revulsion. But after some time I wanted to know their views on their inclination towards same sex. Once I tried to discuss this issue with Franklin, a girlish Filipino, who was a notorious gay in British the company, Harvey Nichols Riyadh where I was employed. I asked, “Why do you like to have sex with boys?” He replied flatly: ‘It’s natural to me.’ I countered: “God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”, and even animals are not having sex with same gender. He argued: “Look some people like Chicken, some like mutton some like vegetables and it’s very natural.” When I contradicted by asking some day you could have sex with your sister and mother and come out with the same logic “It’s natural to me because I like to do so.” He got red faced.

According to Oxford Dictionary of Sociology “The term homosexual describes those who have sex with, or are sexually attracted to, persons of the same (Greek: homo) sex. The most common terms for homosexual people are lesbian for women and gay for men, though gay is also used to refer generally to homosexual men and women. The number of people who identify as gay or lesbian—and the proportion of people who have same-sex sexual experiences—are difficult for researchers to estimate reliably for a variety of reasons. In the modern west, according to major studies, 2% to 13% of the populations are homosexuals.

There had been homosexuals since the time unknown, but ‘homosexuality’ had been always a ‘forbidden fruit’ in society and homosexuals were never treated with respect. It’s for the second time, after the peoples of Lot (pbuh) in the known history that this sin is being committed openly. Homosexuality is promoted shamefully and homosexuals are getting support and sympathy from different corners of society especially from NGOS, media and rich people. Now this imported disease, which is in fact the mother of many sexual, moral, psychological, mental as well as physical diseases, is knocking at our door steps. Few years ago it used to be embarrassing to utter words like ‘homosexuals ‘. Now a time has changed so quickly that we can’t say ‘evil’ to an ‘evil’ otherwise we can land into problems. This is what happened with the Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad few days back.

It’s ironical that world is fighting against HIV/AIDS but homosexuality which had been proved as one of the main cause behind AIDS is being advertise and promoted. Some experts are also of the opinion that AIDS was first diagnosed in homosexual and thus homosexuality is the origin of AIDS.

Those who claim that homosexuality is normal and natural then why Gays dress like women and wear cosmetics? Why artificial instruments are used? And in case of lesbians why one of the partner had to act like man? One of the criteria of a behavior that is beneficial to humanity at large is, "what if the action that you are promoting is exercised by a majority of the people of the world? Will it advance humanity or will it destroy it?" In this case human beings will cease to exist.

In his much acclaimed research work on the topic of “The Health Risk of Gay Sex” Dr John R. Diggs, Jr., M.D. held homosexuality as a potential threat to many disease like Anal Cancer , Chlamydia Trachomatis ,Cryptosporidium Giardia Lamblia, Herpes simplex virus, Human immunodeficiency virus, Human papilloma virus, Isospora belli, Microsporidia, Gonorrhea, Viral hepatitis types B & C, Syphilis. According to Dr John R.Diggs, other physical problems associated with anal intercourse are: hemorrhoids, anal fissure, anorectal trauma, retained foreign bodies etc. Apart from these physical diseases Dr John R.Diggs also added Psychiatric Illness, Sadism, Reckless sexual behavior and shortened life span to the list of disease caused by homosexuality.

According to Islam Homosexuality is a sin and punishable act. There are five references in the Qur'an which have been cited as referring to gay and lesbian behavior. Some obviously deal with “womanish man” and "mannish woman." The two main references to homosexual behavior mentioned in Holy Quran about the people of Prophet Lot who inhabited in the city of Sodom and Gomorra (the origin of word sodomy ) where the people were practicing homosexuality openly .The almighty Allah condemned them for their misdeeds and warned them in strongest words through Prophet Lot . But when they insisted on their transgression the wrath of God fell up on them and finally Sodom and Gomorrah along with two other neighboring cities that were completely consumed by fire and brimstone.This incident is mentioned in Torah as well as Holy Quran. Referring to that incident Holy Quran says "And remember when We sent Lot (as a Messenger) to his people and he said to them “Do you realize that you practice an indecency of which no other people in world were guilty of before you”? You approach men lustfully in place of women .You are people who exceed all bounds.” (Qur'an 7:80-81) In another place Holy Quran says “What! Of all creation will you go to (fornicate with) the males, leaving aside those whom Allah has created for you as your mates .Nay, you are people that has transgressed all limits” (Qur'an 26:166-67).

Allah narrates to us the story of Lot's people, and how He destroyed them for their wicked practice. There is consent among both Muslims and the followers of all other religions that sodomy is natural disorder and even worse than adultery. 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. Since the creator of this world is fully aware of His products, their troubles, shortcomings. So He also gave the manuals (divine scriptures) for the smooth functioning of his products (mainly human being) and those manuals were explained by His prophets.

Apart from Holy Quran there are a lot of sayings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in which homosexuals were denounced in strongest words. The Prophet (pbuh) said: (1) "Kill the one who sodomizes and the one who lets if be done to him." (Tirmidhi, an authentic Hadith). (2) "May Allah curse him who does that Lot's people did." (Ibn Hibban,authentic Hadith).(3) "Lesbianism by women is adultery between them." (Tabarani, an authentic Hadith)"(Reliance of the Traveller, transltaed by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, p 664-665.

According to Islamic scholars Homosexuality is a sinful act and perverted deviation from the norm. All Islamic schools of thought and jurisprudence consider gay and lesbian acts to be unlawful. In terms of punishment there are differences of opinion among them .The Hanafites argue that no physical punishment is warranted while the Hanabalites, advocate severe punishments for those involved in homosexuality.

There are so many reasons why it is prohibited in Islam. Homosexuality is dangerous for the health of the individuals and for the society. Apart from creating moral disorder and sexual anarchy in society, it is causes many sexual, physical, and psychological disease among the people. It is shameful for both men and women. It humiliates a person. Islam teaches that men should be men and women should be women and both should play their roles in society accordingly while homosexuality deprives a man of his manhood and a woman of her womanhood. It is un-natural, unhealthy and it poses a great threat to family life, to society and to the civilization as a whole.

Finally I would like to quote Dr John R Diggs word of warning .Citing an African proverb “Don't tear down a fence until you know why it was put up” he cautions “The societal implications of the unrestrained sexual activity described above are devastating. The ideal of sexual activity being limited to marriage, always defined as male-female, has been a fence erected in all civilizations around the globe. Throughout history, many people have climbed over the fence, engaging in premarital, extramarital and homosexual sex. Still, the fence stands; the limits are visible to all. Climbing over the fence, metaphorically, has always been recognized as a breach of those limits, even by the breachers themselves. No civilization can retain its vitality for multiple generations after removing the fence. But now social activists are saying that there should be no fence, and that to destroy the fence is an act of liberation. If the fence is torn down, there is no visible boundary to sexual expression. If gay sex is socially acceptable, what logical reason can there be to deny social acceptance of adultery, or pedophilia?”

[Syed Zubair Ahmad is a Journalist. He can be reached at smzubairahmad@gmail.com]
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