Fatwa Question or Essay Title:
Is homosexuality amongst Muslims something we should feel free to discuss in public or is it something we should avoid? Also what is the adab (Islamic manners) for dealing with homosexuals? Is the sin so grave that we should disassociate ourselves from its perpetrators?
First of all, it should be clear that Muslim scholars are in agreement and have reached consensus based on what has been revealed in the Qur'an and what has been authenticated in the Prophetic Sunnah—on prohibiting both gayness and lesbianism because in each of two actions there is an assault on the humanity of a person, destruction of the family and a clash with aims of the Lawgiver, one of which is the establishment of sexual instincts between males and females so as to encourage the institution of marriage.
In his response to the question, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states the following:
Homosexuality is sinful and shameful. In Islamic terminology it is called al-fahsha' or an atrocious and obscene act. Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation. Allah says, [Those who love (to see) obscenity published broadcast among the Believers will have a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: Allah knows, and you know not.] (Al-Nur 24: 19)
Normally, Muslims find it distasteful to get engaged in making the issue a fine topic of discussion because we know that sometimes evil is spread through discussion. When people hear a wrong and sinful act mentioned repeatedly, they get used to it and then slowly it looses its gravity in their minds and souls. But nowadays this act has become a phenomenon. There are agencies and lobby groups that are working hard to propagate it and to make it an acceptable and legitimate lifestyle. For this reason it is important that we should speak against it. We should warn our youth and children from this devilish lifestyle. We should make it very clear that it is haram, absolutely forbidden, and that it kindles the wrath and anger of Allah.
The word 'homosexuality' is a neutral word. It does not convey its pejorative and sinful nature. This word is used nowadays as if it were just another type of normal sexual behavior. In the Islamic literature, however, it is always referred to with its negative connotations. In modern Arabic literature it is called shudhudh which means 'abnormality'. In our fiqh literature, it is referred to as the 'Behavior of the People of Lut' or `amal qawm Lut. This immediately reminds a person that this is something bad that makes one subject to the punishment of Allah. No sooner had our minds get used to this idea than we develop a natural abhorrence towards it. Furthermore, when Muslims discuss this or similar haram acts, they often say, "A`adhana Allah min dhalik" or May Allah protect us from this. This is the adab (manners) that we should follow when we talk about it. We should call this behavior with its negative title and we should ask Allah's protection from it when we speak about it.
As far your second question about how we should deal with homosexuals, we should consider them people who get themselves engaged in a sinful act. We should deal with them in the same way we deal with any people who are involved in alcoholics, gambling or adultery. We should have deep repugnance to their acts and we must remind and warn them. Those who insist on this lifestyle, consider it legitimate and feel 'gay pride', we should not associate with them and should not take them as friends. We should certainly avoid those people. If we see a person who has committed this sin and wants to repent then we should help that person as much as we can to get out of this evil. We should not leave him/her to the temptations of the Satan.
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