In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms
Homosexuals & Lesbians
Does Islam require that homosexuals be killed?
Allāh decrees that the punishment for adultery is maximum one hundred lashes: “The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes”–(Qur’an 24:2); and in the case of married slave-girls guilty of adultery the punishment is half “…if they are guilty of adultery when they are taken in marriage, they shall suffer half the punishment for free married women”–(Qur’an 4:25).
And in His Qur’an 4:15 and 4:16, respectively, Allāh says:
“And as for those of your women who are guilty of an indecency, call to witness against them four (witnesses) from among you; so if they bear witness, confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allāh opens a way for them,”
and about men: “And as for the TWO of you who are guilty of it, give them BOTH a slight punishment; then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them.”
It seems clear that the “indecencies” referred to in these verses are female lesbianism and male homosexuality; the matter is even clearer as the verses speak of a plurality of women and TWO/BOTH men –and women and men can commit an “indecency” individually.
Moreover, as noted above, the punishment for adultery is distinctly stated to be a maximum one hundred lashes, whereas these “indecencies” are, in the case of men a “slight punishment” and, in the case of women “confinement” “until death takes them away or Allāh opens a way for them;” and which punishment in the case of women is more severe than for adultery –punishment for offences less than adultery could not be more severe than for adultery, which requires only lashes.
Thus, 4:15 and 4:16 could only be referring to lesbianism and homosexuality and not to infractions lesser than adultery or lesser than homosexuality and lesbianism. Allāh opening up a way for lesbians from confinement probably means if a male should desire to marry her.
The question remains, if this “indecency” is worse than adultery why is the punishment in the case of men less than that required for adultery whereas women suffer a harsher sentence?
The reason lesbians receive a harsher penalty would seem to be because a woman’s/mother’s conduct impacts more on society/family than a man’s. Islam honors womanhood as the symbol of purity and motherhood as the gateway to Paradise; correspondingly, her responsibility is greater. (Even in non-Muslim society woman is held to a higher degree of sexual probity than man).
Why did the Prophet say to kill the homosexuals when Allāh says to give them only a “slight punishment”?
What is to be noted is that the Qur’an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years; during this long period, unless he received Divine Revelation in the matter, the Prophet followed the teachings of the Bible, which requires death to the adulterer, the unchaste bride, the apostate, the blasphemer, and the homosexuals; which Biblical laws were abrogated by subsequent Qur’anic revelations–(Qur’an 2:106; 16:101).
Prophet Mohammad taught according to the Qur’an–(Qur’an 10:15; 21:45; 46:9; 53:3-4). Whatever contradicts with the Qur’an is to be discarded; the Qur’an supersedes all other sources of guidance.
The Prophet’s saying that both (male) homosexual partners are to be killed–(Abu Dawud, Vol. 3, p. 1245, # 4447)– would be prior to this revelation (Qur’an 4:15); in which event he was following the Torah. (Any instance of killing homosexuals after Qur’anic revelation on the subject would have been restricted to followers of the Bible -Jews and Christians).
Allāh created man and woman to be mates of the other; not of the same. Allāh made man and woman to propagate the species. Species are not multiplied through homosexuality and lesbianism.
If mankind (males and females) were to engage solely in homosexuality and lesbianism then, barring cloning and non-sexual means of conception/reproduction, in about a hundred years time mankind will be extinct. (This is only to highlight the reality of homosexuality and lesbianism).
Significantly, unless homosexuals and lesbians engage in public (or keep a “common bawdy house;” secular societies also do not tolerate sexual acts in public) it would seem almost impossible to enforce punishment for homosexuality and lesbianism. Seeing that four witnesses are required in a case of sexual misconduct–(Qur’an 4:15) and one is not allowed to peep into another’s house; but in fact, it is legal to poke the eyes of the peeper: “He who peeped into the house of people without their consent, it is permissible for them to put out his eyes”–(Muslim Vol 3, #5370; Bokhari Vol. 7, #807; Vol. 8, #258-259; Vol. 9, #26; 38-39).
Thus, a person’s sexual practice would seem to be a private matter between him/her and Allah.
Judaism and Christianity require death to homosexuals –(Lev. 20:13). For more stoning and death in Judaism and Christianity see ISLAM-ADULTERY & FLOGGING.
Muslims are to seek knowledge on our own and not blindly follow our Imams. In blindly following Imams we make them into gods. Allāh revealed:
“They (Christians) take their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allāh, and (also) the Messiah, son of Mary. And they were enjoined that they should serve one God only — there is no god but He. Be He glorified from what they set up (with Him)!–(Qur’an 9:31, 34).
To which Muhammad Ali commented:
“It is related in a hadith that, when this verse was revealed, ‘Adi ibn Hatim, a convert from Christianity, asked the Holy Prophet as to the significance of this verse, for, he said, we did not worship our doctors of law and monks. The Holy Prophet’s reply was: Was it not that the people considered lawful what their priests declared to be lawful, though it was forbidden by God. Hatim replied in the affirmative. That, the Prophet said, was what the verse meant (Tirmidhi, 44:9; IJ). Muslims who accord a similar position to their pirs or saints are guilty of the same error.”
Allāh does not require us to blindly follow Him; He calls us in His Qur’an to follow Him through wisdom, reason, argument and examples. The Qur’an is pregnant with exhortations for us to exercise reason, such as “Do you not reflect?” “Do you not understand?” “Have you no sense?” “There are signs in this for a people who reflect.”
And the crowning: “Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner. Surely thy Lord knows best him who strays from His path, and He knows best those who go aright”–(Qur’an 16:125. This verse highlights that, contrary to popular perception, Islam does NOT seek to silence voices: Islam, the religion of reason, argument and examples, seeks to enhance mentality. Islam is blessed with the Divine allure of reason).
People who do not use their reasoning are likened to animals:
-“And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men — they have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not. They are as cattle; nay, they are more astray. These are the heedless ones”–(Qur’an 7:179).
-“Surely the vilest of beasts, in Allāh’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand not”–(Qur’an 8:22; these are the “spiritually deaf and dumb — those who do not understand”, as noted by Muhammad Ali).
And Prophet Mohammad enjoined Muslims:
-to ‘seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave,’ to go to China if need be–(Baihaqi) Mishkat Misabih, Vol. 1, p. 361, #111 W);
-that seeking knowledge for 1 hour, is better than keeping wake whole night (in prayer): (Darimi) Mishkat Misabih Vol. 1-361-112 W);
-and that ‘the superiority of the learned scholar over the pious worshipper is like the superiority of the (full) moon over the stars’–(Abu Dawud Vol. 3, p.1034, # 3634).
Mercifully, we do not have to go to China or anyplace else to acquire knowledge. China and elsewhere come to us in our bedroom –the Internet– through which we can access Muhammad Ali’s translation of the Qur’an (and perhaps his comprehensive work The Religion of Islam): www.muslim.org.
All one needs to do is read two pages a day –during lunch and coffee breaks– including MA’s footnotes which is a king Solomon’s mine of information. Compare the views of scholars and reason them out.
Unless one is subjugated and/or denied access to materials. There is no excuse in Islam for ignorance and blind faith. And blindly following Imams.
The necessity for knowing is underscored by Abu Bakr Siddiqui in his inaugural speech as Caliph; said the venerable Caliph: “Obey me as long as I obey God and His Prophet. But if I disobey God’s command or His Prophet’s, then no obedience is incumbent upon you.”-(Muhammad Husayn Haykal, The Life of Muhammad, p. 511).
The question is, how will we know if he is following Allah and His Prophet if we do not have knowledge?