2 Big Errors We Make When Talking About Homosexuality in Dawah

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by Raiiq Ridwan

Questions about homosexuality are among the many challenges that modern day Muslims face. The Quran is pretty clear in its condemnation of any homosexual activity, and throughout Islamic history there has been little debate as to the fact that homosexual behaviour is a major sin. But let’s look a little more closely at a couple of mistakes that Muslims commonly make in exploring this issue.

1. We assume that homosexual urges are sins in themselves.

Look deeply into the last sentence— homosexual behaviour is a major sin. One of the biggest errors that we Muslims have made today is in failing to understand what exactly is haram. Hearing whispers from Satan that provoke desires for the same sex is not of itself a sin. It is only when someone listens, reflects, and acts upon those Satanic whispers that sin is committed.

It is only when someone acts upon those urges and commit any sexual act with a same-sex partner that it becomes haram. Much like how desires for the opposite sex might get aroused in a Muslim, but until he does a haram act with the non-mahram, he or she is not sinful.

Our Prophet peace be upon him has said that this ummah have been forgiven for their thoughts. In fact in one hadith, he said that if someone has the intention to do a bad deed and later stops himself from doing it, then he has actually earned a reward with Allah.

Allah decreed good deeds and bad deeds, then He explained that whoever thinks of doing a good deed then does not do it, Allah will write it down as one complete good deed. [Al-Bukhaari (6491) and Muslim (131) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaa]

2. We assume that it matters whether or not people are “born gay.”

Another aspect that Muslims need to talk about is the issue of people being “born” gay i.e. homosexual orientation having a genetic basis.

Almost every few months now, there’s this new finding in endocrinology, behavioral genetics, psychology etc. that either prove or disprove the genetic basis of homosexuality. It’s a rather hot topic, judging by how much time and effort people spend talking about it and by how much research is going into it. The pendulum of evidence seems to sway both ways from time to time.

Here’s the important bit: It’s irrelevant.

If the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, and Queer) group claim that homosexuality is natural or moral because it’s in the genes, then we need to understand that this is a false argument.

Just because something is “genetic” doesn’t make it ethical, moral or even good! Diabetes for example, is in the genes. Do we say we don’t treat it? So is cancer. Studies have also found that violence, unfaithfulness in marriage, paedophilia, and many other negative human behavioural traits are passed down through genes.

Just because it’s in the genes does nothing to prove that a certain act is moral or not. Biology, and science for that matter, is generally amoral. Pro-LGBTQ Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin commented on the suggestion that homosexuality being genetic is proof that it’s moral:

“What difference does it make to me which genes affect sexual orientation? None whatsoever. That’s what I say to my gay friends, that’s what they say to me. You get this right-wing guy who thinks a particular sexual orientation is bad, but now that he knows it’s genetic, he thinks it’s okay.

“So he’s reached the right conclusion. Good for him. But it’s stupid! He must be one of the very few people in the world who’s become convinced that something is not a defect for the reason that it’s biological. The response to that is so simple it’s mind-boggling: cancer is biological. Does that make cancer good? There are a million biological defects. It’s not even logical.”

For many Muslims, proving that homosexuality isn’t genetic immediately establishes that the orientation, not the action, is a choice. However, the aetiology of the orientation has absolutely nothing to do with something being a choice.

Let’s consider the case of person A who claims to have a homosexual orientation. Through thorough psychiatric and genetic analyses, we come to know that he has no “gay gene” but rather his orientation is caused by some childhood trauma, self-identification with girls, or any other sort of environmental predisposing factor or factors. Does that fact at all entail the fact that his orientation is a choice?

Regardless of how he came to have this orientation, the truth of the matter is that he feels to his bones that he has it now, and try as he might he cannot just look up and start finding girls attractive all of a sudden. That’s the definition of the something  not being a choice.

In Islam, life is a test. And, we disagree with the ultimate freedom that society today seeks to promote. We are not “absolutely” free. We are free to do whatever we want as long as it is within the boundaries of Allah.

The Reward for Resisting Homosexual Temptation

Let’s say you have a severely naughty child. One day, the school geneticist (we might have them in the future) analyzes his DNA and finds out that he has a gene which predisposes him to being naughty. The sensible parent would do the following things:

  1. Don’t condone the rowdiness just because his biology predisposes him towards it.
  2. Take special care of the child since he would have a tougher time being a “good lad” than would his friends.
  3. Try giving more time to teach the child that what he is doing is wrong and that you appreciate that it is hard for him, but that he has to control himself for his own good!

Similarly, the biggest test for homosexuals is their urges. If they can control these urges, they may as well earn great reward for their patience. Many haram activities are there which we would like to do. We are asked to hold back out of the consciousness of Allah. This falls into that category too.

It’s time to give careful thought to the beliefs and opinions that govern our actions. The good of the ummah demands it.

11 Comments

  1. Mohamed May 1, 2015 Reply

    We need to be extra careful when writing and adding hadith’s about this issue. i briefly read the article and felt as if you are trying to become lenient about this awful sinful act. Allah Subhanah Wa Taala does not create human with genes that lead to sinful acts. People act sinful because they go against the guidance of Allah subhaanah wa Taala and follow the path of Iblees; tricked by shaitaan to create all kind of sins.

    Quran has explained in details about this sinful act. Lets study Quran in the following Surat’s: Hudd, Al Hijr, Ashuaraa, An-Naml, Al Ankaboot, Sad, Al Qamar, A’Tahrim. Lets ponder what was Allah wrath on these people.

    (why following those so called scientists who have baseless and misleading findings ??)

    May Allah have mercy on us and keep us steadfast on our religion.

    • wanda May 1, 2015 Reply

      Salam aliakum brother. You made it all clear in your statement “I briefly read the article.” Please go back and give it a careful reading. The writer has shed light on things most of us don’t want to see regarding the self-righteousness of those who have never felt this particular temptation.

  2. J Eali May 1, 2015 Reply

    At last, such a pertinent, appropriate, balanced article, based completely upon the teachings of Islam.

  3. Habib May 1, 2015 Reply

    Assalamualaikum wa Rehmatullahe wa Barakatuhu,

    Masha Allah good approach. Never heard such a kind and supportive argument on homosexuality.
    May Allah be pleased with you

  4. Arfa Saira May 1, 2015 Reply

    Masha’Allah an EXCELLENT article which addresses the position Islam holds over such a taboo topic. Not only do you clearly explain the concept of desires, thoughts and action, but you dispel the illogical argument that homosexuality is a genetic trait, and therefore acceptable and ok.

    Many people who consider themselves to be gay will claim depression, anxiety and the right to be happy as well as the argument that they are not harming anyone. However, what they fail to see is that ALL people struggle with something. Single people struggle to remain chaste, married people struggle with infidelity, even very pious people struggle with their chastity etc etc – the list goes on. I know single people who also become depressed and feel anxious because they aren’t married – should they then use that as an excuse to go and commit zina? They too could use the excuse that they are not harming anyone and they just want to be happy.

    People need to accept that by acting out your desires, you THINK you aren’t harming anyone, but you are in fact harming yourself and your akhirah. Like the article clearly states, having sinful thoughts is not a sin – it’s ACTING on them that is. Fixing your relationship with Allah will go a long way in helping overcome these problems and issues – because you are replacing desires with obedience to Allah. One of the main aspects of Islam is to discipline ourselves and to acknowledge that when you submit to your Lord, your Lord will replace what you feel you are losing out on with so much better in the akhirah. And that should be the goal of every Muslim.

    Allah will excuse you as long as you continue to strive and struggle against your desires and as long as you do not find an excuse for your sin. If you find excuses, you are already half way there.

  5. Attaulla May 2, 2015 Reply

    this topic itself is a haram subject, the muslim has so many more and much important topic to be discussed from the broader prospect of muslim umma.
    this article is based on a shame full and ignorance ideiology look at the wording ……(Being homosexual, or having urges and desires towards someone of the same sex, is not in and of itself a sin!)
    Read this one what here the illegal writer is going to prove to common muslim reader.
    Brother all those who are reading this article please be careful even reading ,discussing such stupid topic is a bigest Sin.May Allah swt protact all of us from this kind of evil.
    Request the Quran academy please don’t published such a immoral and unethecal articls pleas
    thaks

    • wanda May 3, 2015 Reply

      Salam aliakum, friend.

      Thank-you for sharing your views with us. We have changed the sentence “Being homosexual, or having urges and desires towards someone of the same sex, is not in and of itself a sin!” to make it less open to misinterpretation. The new passage reads: “Hearing whispers from Satan that provoke desires for the same sex is not of itself a sin. It is only when someone listens, reflects, and acts upon those Satanic whispers that sin is committed.”

      Regards,

      Warda Krimi

  6. Shams May 2, 2015 Reply

    A thought provoking article indeed. Many openly gays and lesbians I know were not homosexual to start with. The had married and had biological children. Later in their life they had marital problems may or may not be related to their changing sexual orientation and adopted homosexual lifestyles. I am not sure what percent of gay & lesbians fall in to this category or do they come under bisexual category even after they declare to b homosexual ?

  7. fathima zahan May 2, 2015 Reply

    Jazakallah khair for enlightening us with such important knowledge. This madness of homosexuality drives me crazy, alhamdulillah the facts that you have given is more than enough to face confrontations.

  8. Sofia May 4, 2015 Reply

    jzk

  9. Salman June 29, 2015 Reply

    Very well put. It is a topic that requires more discussion and understanding. I, being a heterosexual Muslim, have urges too and I have to control them, so too do billions of others. Also many of us control a lot of our urges because of our faith, and it needs to be very carefully looked at when people who have no religious affiliations are in question, because their motivations are different. And lenience and patience and kindheartedness is a must when dealing with this or any other issue. Most important though is to not condemn someone to hell. It is neither Islamic nor humane.

    Yes homosexuality is a major sin, but there are many more. And Allah is the only one who judges, so let Him have the role.

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