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What does Islam say about same-sex & lesbian?

Islamic Desk
15 November 2020, Sun
Published: 06:30 Updated: 07:04

What does Islam say about same-sex & lesbian?

You can often get questions or comments from Muslim students about homosexuality in Islam. They generally claim that homosexuality is banned by the Quran. 

It is true that there are a number of quotes in the Quran referring to the story of Sodom which seems to prohibit sex between men. But there is more to say about it.

Allah says in the Quran:

فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“But no, by your Lord, they will not truly believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.”
Quran 4:65

You see, even if we don’t understand the wisdom or benefits behind such rulings, we submit, simply because that’s what Allah ordained. 

Now this, of course, doesn’t prevent us from searching for the wisdom behind such rulings, and in this case, there are many, yet what I am saying is that the fundamental underlying principle of why we follow this ruling, is out of submission to Allah’s law.

Explanations of the Quran agreed that the "abomination" alluded to by the Quranic passages was attempted sodomy (specifically anal intercourse) between men. 

The sins of the people of Lut later became proverbial and the Arabic words for the act of anal sex between men such as “liwat” and for a person who performs such acts “Luti”; both derive from the name Lut, although Lut was not the one demanding sex.

Quotes from the Quran
Homosexuality is rejected in a number of places in the Koran. A few examples: ("Lut" is the same as "Lot" in the Bible)

* Sura 7: 80-81: "And Lut said to his people: Will you commit a horror that none of the world's inhabitants have committed for you?"

* 7: 81-82: "You approach men with lust instead of women. No, you are a people who go beyond the limits." (also translated as: "You are excessive people")

* 7:84: "And we (Allah) let the rain fall on them. Look how that was the end of the wrongdoers."

* 11:80: "They answered: you (Lut) know that we are not entitled to your daughters and you know what we want."

11:83: "When our (Allah's) command came, we turned that city (Sodom) upside down and rained layer upon layer of clay on it."

Lesbian sex
There is no clear prohibition of sex between women in the Quran. Some exegetes think it is “zina” (the punishable crime of sex outside of marriage, but other say can be seen as a sin.

Transgenderism does not occur in the Quran. There are convictions of effeminate men (possibly eunuchs) and "women who imitate men" in the Hadith. 

Mohammed (S:) banished effeminate men, but did not kill them because they were also believers. 

Is sexuality the same as 'lust'?
No. Sexuality is about a lot more than desire or 'lust.' Sexuality involves desire, but also includes thoughts, acts, and how one sees oneself and others. 

It is part of a person’s identity. It affects how people relate to each other. It’s important to realize, too, that desire itself is not a bad thing in Islam. There is a well-known hadith, or story about the life of the Prophet Muhammad(S:), in which the Prophet said “Three things were made beloved to me in this world of yours: women, perfume and prayer.” 

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