Overall, the share of people who say that homosexuality should be accepted or at least tolerated by society has increased in the past number of years. However, among the religions, there is still a fierce opposition to support for societal acceptance of homosexuality. When asked for reasons why they still take this stand, the common answer is “homosexuality conflicts with the religious or moral beliefs.”
Having taken time during the outgoing year to x-ray the above point from the Christian perspective, there is the need to provide a balance and more insights from other religions, especially Islam, which is no doubt one of the major religions practiced in Nigeria. Other religions around the world will be considered in due course as the incoming year goes by.
This exercise is by no means an attempt to ridicule Islam but exclusively aimed at objectively informing us, having in mind that solving a problem starts with identifying its roots. Since I’m not a Muslim and cannot claim to know Islam more than its adherents and for purpose of fairness, I will try as much as possible to restrict myself to quotes from the Quran, Hadiths and Islamic Scholars on the subject of homosexuality in my attempt to bring to light the thoughts of Islamic religion on Homosexuality.
Islam goes beyond mere disapproval of homosexuality. It teaches that homosexuality is a terrible and dirty form of fornication punishable by death.
“For ye practice your lust on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds… and we rained down on them a shower of brim-stone.” – Quran 7:80-11.
This borrowed account from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah was where Muslim authorities got the punishment of stoning of homosexuals to death, interpreting “rain of stones” to mean that homosexuals should be stoned to death.
“Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?”
This verse is part of the above text and it establishes that homosexuality is the worst of all sexual sins, like adultery and fornication. While other forms of non-marital sex are seen by Islam as “great sins”, it classified homosexuality as the “worst sin”.
Homosexuals have continued to receive different punishments for practicing their sexuality in the Muslim world, since the times of Mohammed and till this day. As far as Islam is concerned, the only debate on homosexuality is over how the offender should be executed. The teachings of the messenger of Allah was referenced by Abu Dawud when he said: “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, execute the one who do it and the one to whom it’s done…. If a man who is not married is seen committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.”
This last bit had me wondering if this is an implicit approval for MGM or sodomising one’s wife.
Mohammed’s successor, Abu Bakr, burnt homosexuals upon stakes. Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali (alias the 4th Caliph) ordered a gay man to be thrown from the minaret of a mosque and the stoning of others. Ibn Abbas blended both practices into a two-step execution, in which gays are thrown from the highest building in the town and then stoned.
Homosexuals are still being beheaded, hung and stoned to death in today’s Saudi Arabia, Iran and five other countries in strict compliance to Islamic Injunctions.
The latest decree against homosexuality was sometime in 2014 on an Islamic website, onislam,net, which goes thus: “The punishment for men and women who are not willing to give up homosexuality is in fact death, according to Islam, because they are neglecting the guidance of Almighty Allah.”
Islam is however somehow confused or hypocritical on the issue of homosexuality when put into consideration that Iran hangs gays, but allows men to get a sex change, sometimes under government sponsorship.
Some Western Muslims and political leaders in the West join with social liberals in an alliance that occasionally includes peripheral support for gay rights and civil unions, but this appears to be more of a matter of expediency than genuine concern. There has never been any noticeable effort on the part of Muslim leaders in the West to relieve the plight of homosexuals in Islamic nations where there influence will carry more weight than that of their secular allies or NGOs.
Written by Gad