Islam and Homosexuality


Islam and Homosexuality

Before the emergence of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, all kinds of sexuality was being experienced. Although we don’t have many documents related to the age, it is understood from the references in the Kur’an that sexuality was not a taboo. Actually Islam didn’t mention any strict sexual rules either. If we just take Kur’an as the reference, it may even be called a sex positive religion.The only reference to homosexuality is in the sections about Sodom and Gomorrah. But even in those sections homosexuality is not very clearly condemned. People are punished because of having done everything excessively. They don’t only sleep with men, they sleep with women too, they drink too much, they got involved in pleasure too much. “Much” is the keyword here.

And the punishment for almost all crimes are mentioned in the Kur’an but there’s no specific punishment for homosexuality. But these sections in Kur’an have always been the defending point of homophobic Islamic people.What brings condemnation to homosexuals is not the Kur’an but the Islamic societies. Cultures also shape the religion as well as the society itself.

During the first years of Islam, homosexuality was never mentioned as a crime. There are even rumors that Ali, one of the members of Mohammed’s family had an affair with Mohammed. And in the famous 1001 Arabian Nights, there are some stories which are openly about homosexual relationships. But this did not mean that there was a conscious homosexual community. If those people knew the word “homosexual” they wouldn’t call themselves so. It was just sleeping with men as well as with women.

In Islamic cultures homosexual relationships were not very open. But they were not in complete secrecy either. Everything was all right as long as it was done behind closed gates and was not talked about. But with modernization, this changed in the Islamic societies. AS it is easy to comment Kur’an in the negative way, homosexuality started to be accepted as a crime and it is punished.

Homosexuality is a legal crime and forbidden in most of Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. Whatever is forbidden is more attractive and homosexuality is not a habit that can be banned. So in all of these countries people are engaged in homosexual activity. As there are punishments for the act, everything is done in secret.

Salaam Canada is a Canadian organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) Muslims including those questioning their sexual orientation/gender identity and their friends. Salaam Canada’s goal is to provide a safe space and a forum for LGBTQ Muslims to communicate issues of common concern, share individual experiences & institutional resources. By using our knowledge, our faith in Islam and our belief in Allah (God), the mission of Salaam Canada is to help LGBTQ Muslims in reconciling their sexual orientation/gender identity with the religion of Islam.

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