Same-sex attraction – Sexual Dysphoria – (LGBTQ)
WE ARE NOT celebrating LGBTQ+ and accepting their narrative or spreading homophobia or demonizing individuals and discounting lived experiences of people experiencing same-sex attraction
WE ARE separating between individuals who experience same-sex attraction and the LGBTQ+ narrative, exploring same-sex attraction from the Islamic worldview, based on Holy Quran and the teachings of Allah’s final Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)
Human Purpose: I live to maximize my own happiness
Morality: I define what is right and wrong. I know what is best for me.
Sex and Sexuality: There are no rules. I have full authority to pursue and publicly express who I am and what gives me pleasure. My actions are good, as long as I have other people’s consent when they get involved.
Body Ownership: “My body, my choice.” I own my body. I define its purpose on my terms. I can do with it as I want.
Marriage: Marriage is a personal choice. I don’t necessarily need marriage for sexual activity to be OK.
Key moments leading to this movement:
1950 | Contraceptive pill invented, creating the possibility of “casual sex” because it separated sex from its natural consequence (i.e., pregnancy)
1952 | American Psychiatric Association (APA) lists homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance
1953 | US President Eisenhower signs an executive order banning homosexual individuals from working for the federal government, listing homosexuals as “security risks”
1960 | Sexual revolution 1962 | Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality
1968 | Gay rights activist Franklin Kamney coins the slogan “Gay is Good”
1969 | after local police led raids on homosexual-friendly establishments, the homosexual community fought back.
In June 1969, there were three days of riots. This was the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
1970 | America’s first gay pride parade is held in NYC
1973 | American Psychiatric Association (APA) removes homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses
Almighty Creator’s Premise
Our Creator often calls our attention to the dynamic interplay between opposites in His universe:
“By the night as it covers, and by the day as it brightens, and by the creation of the male and the female, Surely, your endeavors are diverse…” (Qur’an 92:1-4).
The complementary existence of night and day, male and female, even good and evil, are all necessary components of balance in the universe. Extending this to parenting, just as fathers can never fully offer their children what mothers can, mothers can never fully offer their children what fathers can.
God as the Ultimate Source of Morality
- We cannot explore the Islamic paradigm of sexual morality without first understanding where morality itself comes from. A worldview, such as that of Islam, takes God as the ultimate source of morality. Our very purpose for existence is to uphold God’s command to the best of our ability: Allah Almighty God says in Holy Quran “I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me. (Quran – 51:56)”
- We maintain that God and His Messenger alone are the legislators of what is right and wrong, permitted and prohibited. Allah states in the Qur’an, “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has indeed strayed into a plain error.” (Quran – 33:36)
- Islamic morality is not arbitrary; the divine command is at the heart of its rich tradition
Preferring Our Judgement over God’s Judgement
As Muslims, we affirm the reality of the unseen, and God’s revelation (Quran) informs us that our worst enemies, Satan and his types, are at work to pervert our notions of good and evil so that we prefer our judgments over God’s.
We reject the secular European psychologization of the self and its attendant notion of radical autonomy, as these ideas are inherently un-Islamic. Allah declares in His Holy Quran: “And be not like those who forgot God so He caused them to forget themselves. It is they who are ˹truly˺ rebellious”. (Quran – 59:19)
Modern Western history is replete with people who have forgotten God and subsequently forgotten themselves.
Having lost God, they have little more than their whims to worship: “Have you seen the one who has taken his own desires as his god?” (Quran – 25:43)
Replacing revealed guidance with personal sensibilities and emotional judgments as the arbiters of morality turns the human lower self (nafs) into a plaything for Satan.
It turns vice into virtue and evil into good, like “those whose evil deeds are made alluring to them so that they think they are good.” (Quran – 35:8)
Are Muslims Homophobic?
Needless to say, as Muslims we agree that all human beings should be treated with respect and dignity. We learn from the methods of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that we are to, “give everything its due right.” As Muslims, therefore, we believe in giving all people their due rights. Justice is central to Islam. We disagree, however, with what respect and dignity entail in certain cases. In this context, these terms are used with very specific definitions to imply that if one does not fully endorse homosexual behavior, relationships, and family structures, then one lacks respect for people’s dignity—a serious moral charge. This loaded terminology is then used as a tool for social and political demonization.
Here lies the ultimate challenge
The current LGBT discourse, as mentioned above, is presented as a moral discourse. We are given to believe that questions surrounding sexual desires and behavior, family structure, and so forth are primarily questions of equality, dignity, and human rights and that any opposition to the goals of the organized LGBT movement constitutes opposition to those three values
Contemporary LGBT discourse has defined equality, justice, human rights, and compassion in ways that have radically altered their meanings
The wrong self-actualization – The antecedents to the sexual revolution
- To better understand and deconstruct the underpinnings of Western movements of sexual licentiousness, we must explore the antecedents of the sexual revolution
- Starting around the seventeenth century, sections of Western societies began drifting from a theocentric worldview toward a materialistic, mechanical one. People no longer saw God’s hand in His creation, and this blindness severed every object in the universe, humans included, from its true purpose and nature
- Scientists and empirical data alone—to the exclusion of prophets and revelation—became the bearers of truth and knowledge. Meaning, purpose, and natural order all began to fall by the wayside
- Enlightenment thinkers in the eighteenth century pushed further, making human reason the standard for all knowledge, including morality. The human mind became the primary moral arbiter in place of God
- Revelation in the Christian world became largely discredited through geological and historical criticism of the Bible, whose cultural authority was further undermined by Darwin’s theory of evolution in the mid-nineteenth century. By the closing decades of that century, Nietzsche (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 18th century German philosopher, cultural critic) was able to declare that (for Western man, at least) “God is dead.” (God Forbid)
- In the centuries that followed this knowledge related explosion, increasing numbers of people were left to grapple with the meaninglessness that comes from an individualized, self-generated purpose disconnected from a Creator.
- Just as our existence was stripped of higher purpose, so too were our bodies. No longer were male and female bodies endowed with a natural complementarity whose violation would constitute a moral transgression; they became material “stuff,” untethered to natural and supernatural laws that could be transgressed without consequence.
- Another antecedent to the sexual revolution was the rise of liberalism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which ultimately placed individual freedom and personal autonomy above things like community and family.
- Freedom as a value is widely appreciated: political freedom from tyranny, freedom from oppression, and so on. But modern liberalism has reified and fetishized it, placing it above all other, and even nobler, values, in the process enslaving humans in worse ways than through merely physical and conventional constraints.
- Modern humans are born into this world demanding complete freedom from all external limitations, be they moral, religious, cultural, familial, or other. Every constraint is perceived as a new barrier to be broken, another boundary to be transgressed on the path to self-actualization. Understanding this mentality is absolutely critical because it informs much of the current discourse around gender and sexuality in the West.
Allah’s Verdict – There is wisdom in what Allah has commanded and what He has forbidden
- Gays and lesbians go against the natural disposition. They (gays and lesbians) both go against the natural disposition (fitrah) which Allah has created in mankind – and also in animals – whereby the male is inclined towards the female, and vice versa.
- Whoever goes against that goes against the natural disposition of mankind, the fitrah.
Dangers of homosexuality and lesbianism
- The spread of homosexuality has caused man diseases which neither the east nor the west can deny exist because of them. Even if the only result of this perversion was AIDS – which attacks the immune system in humans – that would be enough.
- It also causes the breakup of the families. Lesbians and Gay men and other men who have sex with men are at an increased risk of depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety, autoimmune thyroid dysfunction and shorter lifespans
What does Quran and Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) say about homosexuality?
Homosexuality means males having intercourse with males. This was the action of the accursed people of the Prophet of Allah Lut (peace be upon him).
- And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (remember) Prophet Lut, when he said to his people: ‘You commit Al-Fahishah (sodomy the worst sin) which none has preceded you in (committing) it in the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinn)’” (Quran – 29:28 )
- Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins)’” [Quran – 7:80-81].
- “Verily, We sent against them a violent storm of stones (which destroyed them all), except the family of Prophet Lut (Lot)….” (Quran – 54:34)
- Prophets Companion Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A.) said: “The Last Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “… cursed is the one who has intercourse with an animal, cursed is the one who does the action of the people of Lut (i.e. being gay)
Reclaiming the language
- We must begin by reclaiming our language. Key terms of discourse on sexual desire, behavior, and identity have been infused with enormous political and social baggage as part of a deliberate campaign
- For this reason, it is best for us to avoid using terms such as LGBT—whether the acronym itself or its constituent labels—as a description of reality, limiting it to critical analytic discourse
- Rather, when discussing the issue in terms of unchosen tendencies that Muslims and others experience, we should opt for descriptive terms devoid of identitarian baggage such as “same-sex attractions,” “homosexual inclinations,” “gender dysphoria,” and the like
Establishing the Islamic gender and sexuality paradigm
- As a community, how do we deal with this issue effectively in a just and compassionate way? First, strongly and confidently establish Islamic gender and sexuality paradigm as independent and distinct from the one inhabited by the contemporary West.
- Though stating this is taboo, we regard gender as something essential and not merely incidental or socially constructed.
- We affirm gender differences as real and God-given.
- Deconstructing the conflated sexual desire–behavior–identity framework of the West allows us, and teaches others, to appreciate the wisdom and legislation of our Creator.
- We continue to actively critique and deconstruct the Western paradigm post–sexual revolution while simultaneously assert Islamic paradigm.
- Licit sexual activity is not only permissible in Islam but celebrated and rewarded. Illicit sexual expression—whether it be heterosexual or homosexual—leads to individual and communal destruction and chaos
Rejecting the sexual identity paradigm
- Individuals in Islam are not identified by their sexuality, and normative Islamic sources and tradition have no terms by which to mark people off in terms of a “sexual identity.”
- We dignify people with respect to their having been created by God, not the kind of desires they experience. The sexual identity paradigm is inherently incompatible with Islam
- We should use descriptive terms and adjectives, such as “he experiences same-sex attraction” or “she experiences gender dysphoria,” rather than essentializing identitarian language, like saying that “he is gay” or “she is trans.”
- Doing so allows us to avoid reducing these individuals to a single facet of their existence, namely, their sexual desires. It also helps Muslims who experience such challenges avoid seeing themselves in essentialized and reductive sexual identity terms that are likely to lead to an unresolvable head-on collision with Islamic teachings
Saying No to gay exceptionalism
- What is meant by “gay exceptionalism” (either positive or negative) is simply this: pushing for the acceptance of same-sex or “gender-bending” acts is just as unacceptable as pushing alcohol, rape, and so on.
- We should not promote what Allah has prohibited, we do not tie homosexual acts to identity and therefore it is not a violation of a person’s human rights or a rejection of their dignity.
- In the same manner, we should not stigmatize or single out other person for merely having to struggle with gender identity and/or same-sex attractions. If someone confides us about this issue, then guide them to medical and spiritual experts and help them in their efforts to realize their purpose of life as guided by Almighty Allah in Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
- Every person battles with things that they did not necessarily bring upon themselves. In Islam, the test of submission is reforming the nafs (soul) to align with God’s commands. Whether the struggle concerns drugs, alcohol, same-sex attraction or gender identity, envy, or backbiting— Almighty Allah SWT says in Quran “successful indeed is the one who purifies his self [from what God has prohibited].” (Quran – 91:9)
NOTE: The purpose of the above article is to present the Islamic view on the LGBT Question according to the Holy Quran and the methodology of the last Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) – For More information please contact 1 800 572 3000 at IIC Hyderabad