Islam, Homosexuality (and Pederasty!): What does Islam REALLY say about homosexuality?

Okay, folks. First, let’s get the relevant terms cleared up:

LGBTQIA+: stands for lesbian (homosexual), gay (homosexual), bisexual, transgender and transsexual, queer, intersex, asexual. The + means that it includes other non-binary (that is, not “women or men”) categories, too.
homosexuality: attraction to someone of the same sex
bisexuality: attraction to someone of either their own sex or the “opposite” sex (or just not to the “opposite” sex).
intersex: born with genitals that are not considered normal or standard for males or females

For more key terms, please click here.

1512589_10202812191926244_1217221556_nNow, way too many people are writing and talking about this LGBTQ topic, and few have any idea of what they’re actually saying, other than the very brave popular mainstream idea that “homosexuality is a sin in Islam,” and they’ll do everything to emphasize this without any critical questions that beg to be asked. We have folks with no knowledge of gender and sexuality studies talking about this authoritatively, or scholars of hadith writing about “homosexuality in Islam” without being honest enough to decline the invite to write and instead recommend actual scholars of gender/sexuality and Islam who can speak on the topic authoritatively; we have imaams – actual imaams, y’all, to whom actual LGBTQ+ Muslims are likely to go with their concerns, with questions about Islam and their identity and God – saying nonsense like “the Qur’an is very CLEARLY against homosexuality,” which is a very dishonest comment because the Qur’an is not at all “clearly” against homosexuality; if it were that clear, there’d be no conversation to be had; if it were that  clear, we wouldn’t be told what particular verses “mean” when they say thing X or Y. It’s always funny – no, actually, depressing and unacceptable – to me when people who DON’T belong to a specific community tells that the community that it’s not real, that it’s haram. That’s how privilege works.

But we havee many important questions to ask with regards to this one simple but destructive statement: “Homosexuality is a sin in Islam.”

what do we mean by “homosexuality”?

What exactly do Muslims who insist “homosexuality” is a “sin” actually mean? If it’s two men having sex that we’re concerned with – presumably because of the traditional prohibition on anal sex (as well as because the thought of two people of the same sex sleeping together … which is, I mean, why’re we imagining that), is that homosexuality?  With homosexuality as a social and sexual identity today (like heterosexuality), not at all in the way perceived by Muslim jurists when they were developing Islamic laws and certainly not by the exegetes when they were interpreting the Qur’an, how do we honestly address the fact of our restricting “homosexuality” to “gay sex”? Depending on our definition of homosexuality, and the traditional consensus that anal sex is impermissible, can we a) support female homosexuality? b) support oral sex between gay couples if they avoid anal sex? Or is it just the idea of two people of the same sex being together, sleeping together, being intimate together, that bothers people? But why? Because it makes some people uncomfortable? If so, in what world can we be expected to serve heterosexual egos so much that we must marginalize and deny non-heterosexual identities and realities?As I’ll discuss here and there below, if it’s anal sex (between women and men or between men) that is “haraam,” then a) can female homosexuality be halaal? and b) can gay men do everything but have sex with each other? (This isn’t to say I don’t think they should have sex just because a bunch of male scholars who would most probably identify as heterosexual today decided that anal sex between men is haraam. It’s to raise some questions that go unaddressed by the people who are most vocal about “omg homosexuality ew that’s haraam.”

For a more nuanced discussion on what homosexuality is, what we mean by it by claiming that it’s haraam, what “Islam” says about homosexuality, the fact that the Qur’an never even uses the term homosexuality, check this article called What does the Koran say about Homosexuality? (Ugh at “Koran,” tho.)

exception for men and anal sex. and stuff.

I’ve also wondered about the exceptions traditional Islam is always making because reality, in which case I’ve wondered if anal sex may be perceived as a sin only for heterosexual couples but not for homosexual couples because they, too, deserve a right to sexual pleasures. (And the question of the prohibition on anal sex can be another one – why did the jurists think this was such a horrible thing to do, etc.) Most Muslims believe that it’s not the desire for same-sex sex or attraction that “Islam” prohibits, but it’s acting upon that desire that is haraam. Funny story: This is often presented to us as something progressive. Like, hey, Islamic law recognizes human nature – it just says not to act on that desires. There are many things for which acting on the desire is a great rule to have. Being LGBTQ+ is not one of them.

And if the only reason that anal sex is prohibited is because of questions of procreation, we’re forgetting that 1) procreation is not the only reason for sex, not in Islam and not in reality; Islam recognizes sexual pleasure as an important part of life, important to healthy and happy marriages; and 2) eh – I’m not convinced: gay couples know that they can’t give birth biologically, they’re aware of it, many have alternatives (e.g., adoption), and if the reason we’re not okay with their sexual orientation is because of our concern for their inability to have children naturally, how about letting them deal with that and just being supportive with whatever decision they make regarding children? Let’s not make this about something it’s not at all about. Also, not all couples want to have children.

what is the sinful part?

Then there’s that question of sin. What is sinful about homosexuality or otherwise identifying as an LGBTQ person? It looks like many Muslims in the mainstream have moved on from the denial that LGBTQ individuals exist to its a sin to be one. Is it a sin to be one? To identify as one? To want equal rights, justice for yourself as one? To want justice for them if you’re not one? We know it’s not a sin for them to be attracted to someone who shares their sexual orientation because Islamic laws even claim it’s natural for men to sexually desire little boys (more on this below). So then is it their being intimate, having sex? That seems to be the (current and historical) majority opinion. In which case:

you remain celibate – FOREVER! says privilege.

Exactly what are we expecting of LGBTQ+ individuals, then? Especially Muslim ones. They can’t have sex because sex is illegal and haraam for them by the Islamic definition of marriage? What do these no-marriage, no-sex insistences mean for them? When traditional Islam has made laws and found loopholes for men based on the assumption that male sexual urges are urgent, how are we denying  homosexuals’ sexual urges? (E.g., men can have multiple wives in addition to as many concubines as they can afford. And they tell us sex outside of marriage is haraam. Clearly not for men.) It’s amazing that we’re not seeing the privilege with which we speak when deciding who else gets to marry – or perhaps we are seeing our privilege but don’t care to recognize how our privilege is harming others. I can marry,  because laws created by someone who shared my sexual orientation allow me to, but others can’t if they don’t share my sexual orientation. This is especially striking given traditional Islam’s stance on marriage and celibacy overall – i.e., marriage is almost mandatory; it’s half our religion. And celibacy is to be avoided at all cost. Yet we expect celibacy from LGBTQ+ identifying people. No, justice for them does not amount to acknowledging their right to marry and have sex, but sex and marriage are a huge part of the discussion especially in the Muslim context. To deny them marriage rights is to deny their existence. There’s no other way to see this, really.

the historical ideas of marriage and Islam.

Regarding the question of marriage in Islam: Actually, the idea of marriage in Islam is established on assumptions and expectations that most Muslims today, at least in the West, would utterly reject. For instance, according to the classical and medieval Muslim jurists who created and developed Islamic laws, husbands are in charge of women (there’s a book with this title – but with a question mark at the end: Men in Charge?: Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition – that tears apart this claim, though, so read that); husbands give wives mahr, or dower, in order to gain sexual access to their wives, which the wife owes him for accepting mahr from him and thus cannot deny him sex no matter what (today, most Muslims do not think of mahr this way, though. The concept has evolved to almost be divorced from its connection to sex and the husband’s exclusive sexual control over his wife, but instead means something like “this is basically to help the woman survive on her own in case of divorce”… which assumes that the wife will not be the one to initiate the divorce, since when the wife initiates the divorce, she must return her mahr to the husband, because she’s choosing not to give him access to her anymore; when the husband initiates the divorce, the wife keeps the mahr, because he is choosing to not continue to have sex with her).

Given the time periods these laws were created in, given the assumptions of the men who were creating them, we can reasonably challenge the traditional positions on even heterosexual marriages. Plenty of scholarship today has highlighted the patriarchal (sometimes even misogynistic) contexts in which traditional notions of marriage emerged historically and have remained important and in practice till date.  So, in this “no same-sex marriages because Islamic laws on marriage don’t allow them,” I’d challenge those traditional laws on marriage. Shouldn’t the obvious (or at least the most just) course of action be to a) ask why exactly those laws were created, seen as necessary in the first place, and in which contexts they may either remain or may not (both because of questions of justice for women and justice for LGBTQ), b) acknowledge that those laws apply only to heterosexual marriages, c) create a new set of laws that aa) are NOT hierarchical, in heterosexual marriages, or based on gender, based on the assumption that the wife is secondary, and bb) also recognize same-sex marriages? Because let’s be honest with ourselves: if we’re going to talk about correct marriage according to the Shari’a, let’s also remember that concubinage is totally legit. What’s with us and our unwillingness to remember the no-longer-socially-acceptable parts of “Islam,” but for LGBTIQ questions, it’s “the marriage contract wouldn’t work for it!”

I’m not sure how some people see nothing wrong with the fact that, yes, yes, the scholars “by consensus” claimed that all humans are heterosexual, but, dude, clearly there were no non-heterosexual people in this consensus! Again, talk about privilege. That’s no different than when a group of men talk about women and make laws about women. Oh, wait, these same men making laws about “homosexuals” also made laws about women *based purely* on their own opinions and experiences with women. Women were excluded from their discussions. #iroll

okay, but the same “laws” that claim “homosexuality” is haraam/illegal also permitted a whole bunch of things we today consider questionable or even immoral or un-Islamic.

Folks, let’s be real here: Even if we agree that “Islam forbids homosexuality,” here’s another problem: That same historical Islamic tradition that mainstream Muslims against homosexuality invoke in support of their opposition also  allows slavery, both general and sex slavery, for men to have concubines in addition to multiple wives; it declares forced child marriages licit and halaal; it allows men by consensus to beat up their wives; and so on. Many (I wish I could say most with confidence) Muslims would be appalled by this today. Understand that many Muslims would consider child marriages absolutely haraam today, because we had to fight to get to this point in history; we had to fight against slavery to get to where we are today where slavery is officially illegal universally. Norms are constantly changing, and humans have to push for that change to occur. The prevailing attitude towards LGBTQ+ concerns is one of those attitudes that is one day going to change, and we’ll look back and be ashamed of ourselves for having stood against them. Just like we had to fight all other ills historically, we have to fight our phobias against LGBTQ+ interests.

So, you see: I’m not going to buy the opinions of the men who, for argument’s sake, claimed that “homosexuality” is a sin while also allowing for so many other unacceptable or otherwise questionable norms to claim divinity. Their opinions are not evidence that The Creator doesn’t support LGBTQ individuals; supporting the status quo ain’t evidence that homosexuality is a sin. There’s a huge difference between what GOD expects and wants from us and what men (yes, men – historically, they were all men) think God wants from us.

“being gay is a test from God.”

Some say being gay is a test from God – that’s despicable. The only way that homosexuality is a “test” from God is that most if not all cultures do not recognize them or their concerns, and they are subject to violence in too many communities.

older men raping little boys is not homosexuality. that’s pederasty. that’s pedophilia.

Are we sure we’re not confusing “homosexuality” with pederasty? Pederasty is a form of pedophilia but specifically older men being attracted to and having sex with little (prepubescent, “feminine-looking”) boys. Highly popular in classical Greek cultures and still to an extent a thing universally.  That is, pederasty is the rape of little boys. THAT, by all means, should, must be, and is illegal and haraam. The reason I bring this up is that on so much of social media, people’s response to the mention of homosexuality is: “EW! It’s all over Afghanistan!” Uh, no, you’re thinking of bachcha bazi, which is pederasty. The two are not the same thing. Just because the sex of the adult male raping the little boy is the same as the boy he’s raping does not make it comparable to actual homosexual love, identity, etc.

However, undeniably, older men’s lust towards little boys is recognized throughout Islamic history. We have records of older men lusting after little boys, some fearing their potential to lust after little boys, and we have evidence of men raping little boys. (I highly recommend Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800, by Khaled Rouayheb, for detailed discussions on this.)

You want to talk about what’s “natural” and “unnatural”? Fine – but that means we have to agree that older men’s sexual desire for little boys is NOT natural. It’s not natural anymore, at least. Not in our time. Apparently, Abu Hanifa (and many other scholars), when teaching their young beardless male students, would have their backs turned towards them because of the fear of potentially being attracting to them. (Again, more on this in Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World.)

Quoting Kecia Ali:

Male desire to penetrate desirable youths (generally, although not always, defined as “beardless,” amrad) was perfectly normal — if never lawful — and not necessarily indicative of a deviant subjectivity, desire, or a particular sexual orientation. The commonplace, not pathological, nature of such desire is illustrated by Reliance of the Traveller’s passing mention of the “handsome beardless youth” in its discussion of circumstances under which it is permissible or impermissible for a man to look at a female who is not his wife, slave, or kinswoman. Notably, Keller omits this portion of the text from his late twentieth-century English translation. (Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on the Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence, pp. 105-106)

Another reason I bring up this pederasty not homosexuality discussion is that in an article I’m not going to link to here on how homosexuality was dealt with by pre-modern Muslim scholars, the only examples the author gives of liwat (the term for “sodomy”) are pederastic examples – older men desiring beardless males; the evidence to his answer “it wasn’t deal with” is that older men desiring little boys and expressing that desire very openly in their poetry, etc. were rarely punished.

Again, for humanity’s sake, this is NOT homosexuality. Older men not being punished for openly describing their sexual desires for little boys (and often for having sex with them) is not the same as adult men not being punished for having sex with or sexually desiring other adult men.

Then there’s this other article, Orland Shooting: It’s different now, but Muslims have a long history of accepting homosexuality. The problem with this one? In a section titled “Writing on same-sex love,” the author writes (the problematic part italicized in the below excerpt):

In fact, far from being pejorative, Muslim societies once openly spoke of same-sex love, even celebrating it at times. Mahmud of Ghazni, a towering sultan of his time (971-1030), was actually held up as an ideal for, among other things, deeply loving another man, Malik Ayaz.

Mughal Emperor Babur wrote of his attraction to a boy in the camp bazaar in his 16th-century autobiography – a celebrated work of literature in the medieval Muslim world.

That the Mughal emperor Babar “loved” a little boy does not tell me anything about homosexuality and its acceptance or rejection in Muslim history. If anything, it tells me that pedophilia was deemed acceptable and natural and a normal part of life for adult men. In what world can I be given this as evidence that “homophobia” is a very modern trend in Muslim societies and communities?

To summarize this then: Adult men being attracted to, having sex with (that is, raping), and lusting after little boys is *not* homosexuality, and condemning that sort of behavior and practice is *not* homophobia. We should be condemning pedophilia. That’s not homophobia. Homophobia is the rejection, exclusion, marginalization, oppression of non-heterosexual identifying humans who are attracted to, want to marry or do marry, and want to have sex with or do have sex with consenting people they are attracted to. (Yes, yes, rape and violence occurs among heterosexual communities, too. That’s not the point in this discussion for now, though.)

And this is why it is so crucial to recognize that when we claim that homosexuality is a sin in Islam, we are using terms, concepts, examples that don’t even address the reality of LGBTQ-ness today!

the Qur’anic verses often invoked in this discussion

There are several hadiths with homophobic and violent statements like “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.” But given that hadiths are generally a questionable source of law (certainly for me personally but also for a lot of Muslims, including for LGBTQ-supporting Muslims), this will need a lot more space. I’m not going to get into that now. But for a detailed discussion on hadiths and “homosexuality,” read ch. 5 of Scott Kugle’s Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims. But let’s first talk about what the Qur’an supposedly says about homosexuality. (FYI, the hadiths are problematic for many reasons, including the history of its compilation and all, however careful the process may have been; and also because of the bunch of misogynistic hadiths that exist that are actually given the authentic status.)

When you ask a Muslim to given you Qur’anic evidence for condemning “homosexuality,” they can invoke only the story of Lot – the Biblical Lot. Without realizing that the exegetical scholarship actually takes its ideas of what exactly happened to the People of Lot and how and why are all taken from Biblical stories. The popular and historical assumption is that Prophet Lut (Lot) was sent to warn against and to end anal sex between men, and the term for male homosexual sex — specifically, anal sex between men, or “sodomy,” then is liwat. This term does not appear in the Qur’an and is an extension of the assumption of what Lot’s purpose was.

So the story of Lot is presented universally to us as “the evidence” against homosexuality, without any questions about exactly how we know what happened, what even happened, and if homosexuality is even what that story is even talking about because the Qur’an tells us that the people of Lot were annihilated for doing something that no people in history had done until that point. Same-sex  intimacy is far too ancient for it to have been invented by the people of Lot.

Because the Qur’an doesn’t use any term for the homosexuality that many Muslims are condemning today or have ever condemned before (which should make Muslim condemners of “homosexuality” think, you’d think), the best the scholars could do was 1) invent the word liwat, and 2) read into the verses to find justifications for their assumption, and that meant relying on the term shahwa (desire, lust – used in the Qur’an for both positive desires and negative desires) significantly.

Here are the verses:

26:165: “What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, and leave what your Lord has created for you as azwaaj? But you are a people transgressing.” (azwaaj = plural of zawj, or mate, partner).

How is this verse “clearly” condemning homosexuality? Could it not be something like, “Yo, don’t abandon your mates/spouses/families!”?

7:80-81: “And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: What! do you commit an indecency which no people before you have committed? Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people.”

“Coming to males in lust besides females.” Again: don’t abandon your families and wives, men. Or perhaps, like Kecia Ali suggests (see below), perhaps it’s about a person’s choice to be something that they are not.

11:78: “And his people came rushing towards him, and they had been long in the habit of practising abominations. He said: “O my people! Here are my daughters: they are purer for you (if ye marry)! Now fear Allah, and cover me not with shame about my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man?”

One take on this verse: Yeah, Lot, not cool how you just totally offered your daughters (townswomen, whoever) without their consent and all…. but they tell me not to worry about this too much ’cause in your time, consent wasn’t a thing and other nonsense.

Anyway, folks, this verse, too, honestly doesn’t tell me that homosexuality is a sin. Why can’t it be more about the who as in his guests vs the evil folks of Lot and not the gender necessarily?

Scott Kugle’s interpretation of the verse is as follows:

Some readers might rush to judge that Lot is saying women are purer for the men who are rushing at him, meaning that women are more suitable for sex and are legal as spouses for men. However, to read these verses as an assertion that heterosexual desire normative takes it totally out of context.

Would anyone believe that a Prophet would offer his daughters to assailants intent on rape, as if their raping women would make the act “pure”? Rather, Lot makes a sarcastic comparison to show his assailants how wrong it is to rape guests over whom he has extended protective hospitality. Both he and his tribe know that it is far from pure to take his daughters, whose dignity he protects; Lot argues that assaulting his guests is even worse in his sight than fornicating with his daughters.  Far from giving them license to rape his women, he is expressing, with sarcasm born of despair, that vulnerable strangers are as valuable to him as his own children. [Emphasis mine.] On the surface, he may appear to talk about the correct gender for men’s sexual orientation, by in reality he is preaching that both men and women deserve protection from rape and humiliation. Such protection, extended to both women and men, is a consequence of the ethic of care that fuels his Prophetic mission. This ethical message comes through clearly in another verse’s narration of these events. Lot said, “Surely these are my guests, so do not dishonor me — stay mindful of God and do not humiliate me.” They said, “Have we not forbidden you [granting others protection] from the wide world?” Lot said, “These are my daughters, if you are intent on doing it” (Q. 15:68-71). The comparison by gender is only to emphasize to his audience that strangers of either gender deserve the same protection one gives to daughters.

Scott Kugle and other Muslim scholars have argued that the idea here wasn’t Lot’s people’s desire to have sex with men but to rape the angels who had visited Lot. (The tafsirs discuss anal sex, but it’s not at all clear from the Qur’anic verses that that’s what it’s talking about.) Ibn Hazm, Kugle discusses in detail, was at least the first classical scholar we know of who disagreed with the popular interpretation of the Lot story and the destruction of his people and argued that God’s wrath on the people was not because of their “homosexuality” but for their desire to commit violence against Lot’s guests.

Kugle asks why Lot’s wife was given the same punishment as the men, then, if it were indeed about same-sex desire. I’m sure that question can easily be answered: because she did not support Lot’s message and instead supported the townsmen, facilitating their desire to commit their violence. BUT then is that why all the other women in the town were punished, too? Because we know that only a handful of people from Lot’s community were saved and the rest were all gone. What happened to the women, since the story revolves around all the men?

Again quoting Kecia Ali, in Sexual Ethics and Islam, who writes:

The more significant obstacle to reinterpretations of the Lot story is that the Qur’anic text seems to object clearly to the men’s choice of sexual object: these men approach men in preference to those whom God created to be their mates. One way of getting around this objection would be to argue that men who would otherwise choose female partners were opting to seek sex with men – this argument would be compatible with the view, expressed by some queer Muslim authors, that there are men created to take male mates….There is strong justification for reading the Qur’an to suggest that males and females are created to mate with one another, and any choice to deviate from that path is blameworthy.” (pp. 104-105).

homosexuality is not a “western” thing; homophobia certainly is. so stop giving the west so much credit for our fights for equality for lgbtq+ rights!

What even! It’s westerners, as colonialists, that have contributed to the phobias against non-heterosexual individual in Muslim cultures today; it’s the west that declared centuries of scholarship on Islam *that is replete with disagreements* static and frozen that Muslims have internalized today; its westerners who were shocked that homosexual desire was considered legitimate in Muslim spaces and communities, that men even had sex with or otherwise intimate with other men. And that there were no laws in place against it. Most Muslim legal systems that exist today are hardly guided by Islam; they’re guided far more by their colonialist men in charge and their views. It’s laughable that people think the West is so welcoming of LGBTQ when uh I mean homophobia is rampant as hell here still and same-sex marriage became legal when in America now? That’s right. In 2015.

So, no, let’s not attribute a justice-conscience struggle to the West. There’s nothing western about demanding justice for the marginalized. The opposite is true, actually, given the west’s history.

Also, quoting from this article:

It is telling, as a widely shared article has shown, that the five Islamic countries with no anti-homosexual laws on the books were those never colonized by the British. Article 534 in Lebanon, which criminalizes “sexual intercourse contrary to nature,” was derived from the French colonial Mandate period.

references: please read.

Scott Kugle’s books (Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims, and Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims) & articles on the subject (here’s an intro of the first book:…/ssalhk-homosexuality…)
Ch. 5 on same-sex intimacy, in Kecia Ali’s Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on the Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence.
– Samar Habib’s books: Female Homosexuality in the Middle East: Histories and Representations (Routledge Research in Gender and Society); Islam and Homosexuality(2 Volumes Set); Arabo-Islamic Texts on Female Homosexuality, 850 – 1780 A.D.
– Kathryn Babayan and Afsaneh Najmabadi’s edited volume Islamicate Sexualities: Translations across Temporal Geographies of Desire (Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs)
Things straight Muslims and other allies can do to support asexual Muslims & My Islam is Queer (see this whole blog)
“Same-Sex Relationships & the Fluidity of Marriage in Islamic History” by Ali Olomi
Queer Muslim Masterpost: This is an excellent page with a long list of resources (blogs, articles, books, 101 knowledge on queerness – check esp this out: The “hate the sin, not the sinner” view of homosexuality in Christianity is ridiculous.) The page also provides resources for queer individuals – e.g., suicide and crisis hotlines).
– Here’s another list of resources on another blog: Allah Made Me Queer!
an interview with Kugle:…/
– for something challenging Kugle’s argument(s), check out Joseph Massad’s book Islam in Liberalism (see at least ch. 3 on this)
– an awesome tumblr: (great resources listed here:
– Film/documentary: A Jihad for Love
– Rudolf Pell Gaudio’s Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City
– the chapters on Islam/Muslims in the book Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ claims shape International Relations (Interventions), edited by Manuela Picq and Markus Thiel
– the ch on Islam in the book Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives
– Helie and Hoodfar’s Sexuality in Muslim Contexts: Restrictions and Resistance (two chapters: Shuchu Karim’s “‘Living Sexalities”: Non-hetero Female Sexuality in Urban Middle-Class Bangladesh”; and Anissa Helie’s “Risky rights? Gender equality and sexual diversity in Muslim contexts.” (Here’s a review of the book:…/book-review-sexuality-in…/)


 More to come later, inshaAllah.

14 thoughts on “Islam, Homosexuality (and Pederasty!): What does Islam REALLY say about homosexuality?

  1. Imagine if you were told that Muslims would be totally feminist if it weren’t for sexist Victorian morality imposed by the British during the colonial period. The very idea is so patently absurd absolutely nobody would take it seriously. And yet the idea that if it weren’t for colonialism Muslims would be totally fine with homosexuality is indisputable in academia these days. What gives? Sure, Malaysia was colonized by the British once but this ( doesn’t happen because Malaysians just love British colonial laws. Sure, Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch once but this ( doesn’t happen because Indonesians desire desperately to pay tribute to their old colonial masters. At what point does common sense kick in, I wonder?


    • You should read this article of mine:

      And the colonialists shared a great thing in common with Muslims and others they colonized: misogyny. So they didn’t have to work much on that front. While I wait to have some time to write on this some more, you go and read up on how patriarchy works and how it seeped itself into Islam, mainly through male-centric interpretations of the texts that are often more ambiguous than clearly patriarchal or feminist. I’d begin with Leila Ahmed’s Women and Gender in Islam. It’s fantastic as a starting point. Afterwards, check this list out and choose what you like: It includes lists that challenge traditional historical “Islamic” attitudes towards women AND colonialist, orientalist ones.


  2. Summary:
    All you have done is said that old scholars interpretations are wrong…. and new scholars interpretations are right. they are fool and we are intelligent because they don’t understand sex and sexual desires….
    And come on… are you that naive??? quran doesn’t use homosexual word so it is allowed??? quran also doesn’t use a lot of other modern words…. but you guys gladly use them… it is like you guys are waiting for verse saying “quran prohibits homosexuality, including anal sex,doggy sex, horse sex and other animal sex position” but since oral sex is not mentioned it is allowed… similarly like terrorist are waiting for verse saying “terrorism is forbidden, killing children, their parent, their siblings, their dogs, their property” since their grand parents aren’t mentioned we can kaboom them… and eat them alive…. waoooo HALAL meat….

    remember doing sin is something… and justifying it an other….


    • There is literally a verse in the Qur’an where non-traditional sex positions are allowed.

      Your women are a tillage for you; so come unto your tillage as you wish, and forward for your souls; and fear God, and know that you shall meet Him. Give thou good tidings to the believers. 2:223

      The tafasir say that groups of Jews used to claim in Muhammad’s time that having sex with a woman from behind would create cross-eyed children, so the verse was revealed to allow all forms of sex positions.

      Your women are a tillage for you, that is, the place where you sow [the seeds of] your children; so come to your tillage, that is, the specified place, the front part, as, in whichever way, you wish, whether standing up, sitting down, lying down, from the front or the back: this was revealed in response to the Jews saying that if a person had vaginal intercourse with his wife from behind, the child would be born cross-eyed. (Tafsir al-Jalalayn)

      This is obviously in the context of a heterosexual relationship, but yes, different sex positions have never been forbidden.

      And being gay is not at all the same as terrorism. And you also seem to be implying the Qur’an permits terrorism????

      Click to access jihad.pdf

      Click to access FATWA%20on%20Terrorism%20and%20Suicide%20Bombings.pdf


  3. This article was nothing but gobbledygook. – 7:80-81: “And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: What! do you commit an indecency which no people before you have committed? Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people”

    Yes: the Koran clearly condemns homosexuality. Don’t confuse human proclivities with Islamic doctrine. Yes; homosexuality has existed in the past. Yes; there are many Muslims who are gay. But don’t use that to further an agenda that does not fit doctrine. There are many more Muslims and Islamic scholars that disagree with the author of this article.


  4. The only thing I want to ask you is: what have you studied? Have you read the Quran thoroughly with full understanding and tafseer? Have you studied in detail or done a course on homosexuality? How many ulmas’ opinions and views have you heard? How extensively have you studied the Ahadith? Because your views seem so hollow to me without any legit points. This entire thing does not look to me written in the light of Islamic view. Even the references you’re quoting many aren’t even of Muslims. Because beware, sharimg such controversial views and getting Muslims to actually follow you, and in the end it being a grave sin, I’m sure you’d knoe the punishment for misleading people like that.


    • Scott Kugle, Kecia Ali and Samar Habib are Muslims. And one doesn’t have to be a Muslim to know alot about Islam. The writer of this blog is a PhD student of Islam, so she sure has read & studied for years about Islam. Scott Kugle & Kecia Ali also hold a PhD in Islam and are/were university teachers. Maybe you should look up what it takes to become a doctor in Islamic studies, and react to the posters arguments instead of trying to deconstruct her authority of speaking about Islam.


  5. i’d like to add on to the “gay is a test from allah”

    so, kids as young as 11 (and even younger) realise they are gay yet they are being tested from God? when did Allah say romantic feelings for the same gender was one of the exams? a child in australia, 13 years of age, obviously hasnt hit puberty if you see his photos, committed suicide due to homophobic bullying. homophobic mainstream islam rhetoric sickens me. first of the issue being pure blasphemy against Allah and second of all, sexualising children who are still developing and growing (before someone throws in the Aisha (RA) rhetoric, the average lifespan was much shorter then so of course humans would sexually mature faster)


  6. Pingback: the homophobic activism of (muslim/other) academics need to end asap. | Freedom from the Forbidden

  7. This hadith certainly would be questionable quote/ “There are several hadiths with homophobic and violent statements like “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.” The sin of Sodom is described in Ez 16:49-50. Undoubtedly it would include same sex intercourse but it would have been in the form of pederasty, rape, orgy. The bottom line was it was the intent to rape the “angels” of God. Undoubtedly motivated by a desire to blaspheme God.


  8. Pingback: Same-Sex Intimacy / Homosexuality in Islam: A Summary of Ch. 5 of Kecia’s Ali’s Sexual Ethics & Islam | What the Patriarchy?! – Freedom from the Forbidden

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