Question # 256: Nowadays in West, many perceive Lesbians and gays relationships as normal phenomenon as homosexuality is a trait a person is born with. Can you please the islamic perspective? also, can we keep friendship with such people?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Homosexuality is one of the greatest of crimes, the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deeds. The claim of homosexuals that their sexual orientation is natural is a fallacy; rather it is a distortion of nature. It is indicative of violation of the fitrah, total misguidance, weak intellect and lack of religious commitment, and it is a sign of doom and deprivation of the mercy of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) counted their deed as wrongdoing and immoral, and He sent upon the people of Lut, a punishment the like of which no other nation had seen. We should understand that the Lawgiver is wise and does not forbid anything to people unless it is harmful and damaging to them in this world and in the Hereafter. In fact, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded execution of such people. 

Nevertheless, if the homosexual person is a Muslim, he must be advised to refrain from such deed and explained the harmful effects, religiously, morally, socially and medically, while praying for him/her to repent. Then, a Muslim must dissociate from such person, if he/she insists on his/her wrongdoing. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “A man will follow the religion of his close friend, so let each of you look to who he takes a close friend.”

Long Answer: Homosexuality, sexual interest in and attraction to members of one’s own sex. The term gay is frequently used as a synonym for homosexual; female homosexuality is often referred to as lesbianism. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Islamic Perspective

Homosexuality is one of the greatest of crimes, the worst of sins and the most abhorrent of deeds. The claim of homosexuals that their sexual orientation is natural is a fallacy; rather it is a distortion of nature. It is indicative of violation of the fitrah, total misguidance, weak intellect and lack of religious commitment, and it is a sign of doom and deprivation of the mercy of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى). Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) counted their deed as wrongdoing and immoral, and He sent upon the people of Lut, a punishment the like of which no other nation had seen. We should understand that the Lawgiver is wise and does not forbid anything to people unless it is harmful and damaging to them in this world and in the Hereafter.

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an:

  • “80. And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: ‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)? 81. ‘Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins).’ 82. And the answer of his people was only that they said: ‘Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!’ 83. Then We saved him and his family, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind (in the torment). 84. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). Then see what was the end of the Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists and sinners)” (Soorah al-A’raaf, 7:80-84)
  • “Verily, by your life (O Muhammad), in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly. 73. So AsSaihah (torment — awful cry) overtook them at the time of sunrise. 74. And We turned (the towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down and rained down on them stones of baked clay. 75. Surely, in this are signs for those who see (or understand or learn the lessons from the Signs of Allah). 76. And verily, they (the cities) were right on the highroad (from Makkah to Syria, i.e. the place where the Dead Sea is now)” (Soorah al-Hijr, 15:72-76)
  • “Verily, We sent against them a violent storm of stones (which destroyed them all), except the family of Loot (Lot), them We saved in the last hour of the night” (Soorah al-Qamar, 54:34)
  • “And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: ‘You commit AlFaahishah (sodomy the worst sin) which none has preceded you in (committing) it in the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)’” (Soorah al-‘Ankaboot, 29:28)
  • “And (remember) Loot (Lot), We gave him Hukm (right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood) and (religious) knowledge, and We saved him from the town (folk) who practiced AlKhabaaith (evil, wicked and filthy deeds). Verily, they were a people given to evil, and were Faasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah)” (Soorah al-Anbiya’ 21:74)
  • “54. And (remember) Loot (Lot)! When he said to his people, ‘Do you commit AlFaahishah (evil, great sin, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy) while you see (one another doing evil without any screen) 55. Do you practice your lusts on men instead of women? Nay, but you are a people who behave senselessly.’ 56. There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: ‘Drive out the family of Loot (Lot) from your city. Verily, these are men who want to be clean and pure!’ 57. So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind. 58. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned” (Soorah al-Naml, 27:54-58)

Here are the evidences from the Sunnah:

  • Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”. (Classed as sahih by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)
  • Ahmad narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “May Allah curse the one who does the action of the people of Loot, may Allah curse the one who does the action of the people of Loot,” three times. (This was classed as hasan by Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot in Tahqeeq al-Musnad)
  • It was narrated that Jaabir (رضي الله عنه): “The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: ‘There is nothing I fear for my ummah more than the deed of the people of Loot.’” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi; Ibn Maajah; This hadith was classed as sahih by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’)

The Sahaabah were unanimously agreed on the execution of homosexuals, but they differed as to how they were to be executed. Some of them were of the view that they should be burned with fire, which was the view of ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) and also of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه). And some of them thought that they should be thrown down from a high place then have stones thrown at them. This was the view of Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه). Some of them thought that they should be stoned to death, which was narrated from both ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنها).

Dealing with homosexuals

Muslim narrated in his Saheeh that Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (رضي الله عنه) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) say: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.”

Dr.Salah Al-Sawy, the Secretary General for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America said in a fatwa: “Homosexuality is prohibited in Shari`ah, and it is counted among the major sins. A Muslim must be wary of that and offer the obligatory advice to whomever has been tried with anything of the sort, explaining to them the harmful effects, religiously, morally, socially and medically, while praying for them to repent. Then, he must dissociate himself from them thereafter if they insist on their wrongdoing.” … “[As for] non-Muslims amongst them, abandoning them is better for you…” (Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah, Member of the Fatwa Committee of Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America)

[On the other hand,] the Muslim must strive to find good friends who will help him to do good, as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The likeness of a righteous companion and an evil companion is that of one who carries musk and one who works a bellows. With the one who carries musk, either he will give you some or you will buy from him or you will notice a pleasant fragrance from him. With the one who work a bellows, either he will burn your clothes or you will notice a foul odor from him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari; Muslim from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari).

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “A man will follow the religion of his close friend, so let each of you look to who he takes a close friend.”  (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi)

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al‑Muttaqoon (the pious)” (Soorah al-Zukhruf, 43:67) Imam Ibn Jareer al-Tabari (may Allah have mercy on him) said:  Allah says: Those who were friends on the basis of disobedience towards Allah in this world will be enemies of one another, disavowing one another, except for those who were friends on the basis of fearing and obeying Allah. (Tafseer al-Tabari).

(Unless stated otherwise, most part of the above reply is based on various answers provided by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam