Islam’s Stance on Sexuality.
Alhamdulillah all praise is due to Allah, who created Adam with his hands and taught him how to communicate. He honored Our Father by asking the angels to bow down and from him created his mate, and from the two of them he spread forth mankind, every one of us unique and each with his or her own fate, from his miracles and signs is that he created us in two genders, each with his personality and traits, and he legislated for us marriage and gifted the husband and wife with a unique love and a special bond to procreate.
All of this so that we may live as families caring and nurturing to worship together and to celebrate, to may salat and salaam be upon the one born in Makkah and sent by the Rob.
As to what follows know that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala has commanded us to be conscious of him when he says in the Quran,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ [3:102]
Recently a parent brought me his young daughter who was having questions about Islam, troubling questions. She might have been 14 or 15 years old and by the way she was going to Islamic school and the first question she asked me, why does Allah care, If two men love each other why does it bother us??
This question takes on even more relevance given that we have just begun the month of June and June has been designated since the time of President Clinton as pride month, and this pride month has now gone Global in Europe and across the world, and in this month Millions actually billions, and I’m not exaggerating billions of dollars are being spent by businesses, corporations, to promote this lifestyle, Across the Western World during this month in particular there are so many activities organized, festivals, parades, sales in the marketplaces even children’s reading books and Selections in schools to reflect this alternative lifestyle, and of course since we live here, our children get swept up and caught up in this and they wonder and they ask.
We wish we didn’t have to talk about such Matters from the pulpit, but given the prevalence of this topic and given the mass confusion about our values. We have no choice but to address this challenge head on and to bring it to these holy and sacred places of our masjids and to be explicit even from our members and our mehrabs and so I apologize dear parents, I apologize in advance if you find this khutba too explicit but unfortunately we have no alternative, we must preach the truth, and our children are seeing Alternatives of the truth, Alternatives of reality, and unless we speak out and unless we educate there is no other source for them to learn haq from batil.
Todays khutba will answer five questions that I have heard myself not only from the tongue of this young teenager but from many of the Next Generation countless times the same types of questions, and even though one khutba cannot be the definitive end-all and much more must be done I hope inshallah, that this is at least the beginning of a deeper conversation that parents have with their own children in the privacy of their own households.
The first question our youngsters ask,
What is the Islamic verdict about same-sex relationships?
what does the Quran say?
what does our Lord say?
Is there any room for ambiguity, the response to this question the Quran is very explicit about this reality. the topic is discussed multiple times all of them around the story of the Prophet Lut alaihissalam and this story is mentioned more than a dozen times in the Quran, and I will list some of the surahs so that you can have them for reference, Surah Al-A’raf, suratul Hud, Suratul Hijar, Surah Al-Anbya, Surah Ash-Shu’ara, Surah An-Naml, Surah Al-‘Ankabut, Surah As-Saffat, Surah Al-Qamar and others they all mention the story of Lut alaihissalam, for example in Surah Al-A’raf Allah says
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ And ˹remember˺ when Lot scolded ˹the men of˺ his people, ˹saying,˺ “Do you commit a shameful deed that no man has ever done before? [7:80]
Remember when the prophet Lut said to his people scolding them are you committing a shameful deed he called it and fahisha means a deed you should be ashamed of, a deed that should cause you regret and remorse, he said to his people are you committing a shameful deed that no one before you has done. nobody before you did this what was this deed?
إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاءِ [7:81]
Do you come to men with lust, do you come to men wanting sex rather than your wives.
انكم قوم عادون
You are people that have gone beyond, that which is normal.
So the Quran is very clear the people of Lut’s the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were acting upon their same sex urges and desires. They were engaging in consensual intercourse, as for the claim that they were raping the bystanders perhaps they were raping the Caravans, but within their communities there was consensual intercourse and the Quran explicitly criticizes this intercourse multiple times.
In fact the Quran is so explicit and the Sunnah is so explicit that in our entire 14 and a half centuries of our tradition. no two Scholars have ever differ heard about this ruling, no group, no sect, no mazhub, no firka, no Trend, in the entirety of the ummah has ever said that same-sex actions are Halal and permissible.
There is what we call in our Sharia Ijma, which means unanimous consensus. one of the greatest Scholars of our tradition Ibn Qudamah, who is considered to be the authority of the hambani mazhub and also an authority in all over the mazahib.
Ibn Qudamah say,
قال ابن قدامة: أجمع أهل العلم على تحريم اللواط
All the people of knowledge have unanimously agreed that same-sex actions are Haram, and that Allah has criticized them, and that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has criticized those who do these Deeds.
There is unanimous consensus in this regard and for our Sharia unanimous consensus is binding, unanimous consensus is the highest form of Islamic law, why?
because the verse of the Quran you might have two opinions but when you have unanimous consensus this means nobody disagreed about what the Quran said therefore from our perspective the highest level and authority of Islamic law is unanimous consensus it actually is higher than a verse because a verse can be interpreted when you say there is ijima, this means there is no other interpretation the verse has one interpretation and this is one of those deeds, one of those actions, regarding which there is unanimous consensus in the entirety of our Sharia. Therefore
what is the quran’s verdict?
what is the verdict of our Sharia?
what is the verdict fiq?
That same-sex actions that gay sex and lesbianism is something that is Haram, unethical and sinful. Now this isn’t just from the Sharia if one wanted to one could bring in other evidences as well from nature, biologically, the male and the female are not the same, and male and female anatomies and bodies are meant to be United for the act of procreation, intimacy, and the sexual Union from our Sharia is nothing to be ashamed of rather it should be celebrated in marriage.
it is a gift to couples, it is a gift to husbands and wives, it is a gift that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala explicitly mentions as being a gift to them, that brings about a special love, there should be nothing to be ashamed of in healthy sexuality between a man and a woman, and it is that sexuality that comes after the Niqah, after the marriage contract, and children are born from this natural Union, and children are raised by the couples, because this is the natural order of things, and the mother and the father being in the life of the child, each one gives a level of emotional stability, each one teaches each one is complementary to the other, and surveys after Studies have shown, that children raised in regular households come forth generally speaking more intellectually, more emotionally intelligent, more mentally stable, more productive to societies, and children that are raised in single-family households are not to that level.
So even from a natural and biological level, we can say that opposite sex unions are the norm husband and Wives come together and get married, historically this has also been the understanding of family biologically this is exactly what makes sense.
When intimacy occurs outside of marriage, even it’s between a man and a woman, if it occurs premarital or extramarital, it cheapens and destroys the sacred bond between husbands and wives.
So the Sharia has forbidden even intimacy between a man and a woman, but outside of marriage. When the intimacy occurs between the same sex, not only does it have the same destructive elements against family, but also same-sex unions are considered to be unnatural. they’re considered to be against the Norms of how men and women have been created, and I apologize for the explicit nature of what I’m about to say, but it must be said. The orifice that is used in this act is biologically created for excreting fiqah matter, it is not meant for procreation.
So don’t be surprised when same-sex unions occur that diseases, STDs, medical harms, are far more common and this is something that not just religious people say, but every single mainstream Journal of Medicine will tell you. that STDs and medical problems that arise from same-sex unions is much higher than that which comes from the opposite gender.
So we can say and we should say, that from every angle biologic, historically, scientifically, medically, traditionally, even from the innate feelings of how the default of man is we can say that, the same sex Union is not normal, it is not conducive to healthy Society, it is not the default, but all of these other angles are secondary, because in the end of the day even if one person refuted the biological and the scientific and the medical what remains for us is the quranic evidence, and that is the primary evidence, and how Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala criticizes this act, and how Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala criticized the people of Lut, who did this the the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The adjectives that the Quran uses. The way that this deed is described, no other deed has been criticized in this manner. for example in Surah Al-Anbiyaa.
وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَت تَّعْمَلُ الْخَبَائِثَ [21:74]
We save Lut, from the city, that would do filthy Deeds Allah called it الْخَبَائِثَ
In Surah Al-Ankabut, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says
وَتَأْتُونَ فِي نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنكَرَ
you commiting munkar in your club, munkar that which should be rejected, munkar that which is not normal and celebrated, munkar that which is evil the people of Lut would have clubs like we have our nightclubs here, the people of Lut would do this deed in their clubs, in front of everybody, and Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala criticize them the types of parties, the types of fahisha, the types of nudity, the types of sexuality, that they would do, Allah says
وَتَأْتُونَ فِي نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنكَرَ
in your clubs you do that which is munkar, Allah called it munkar, munkar the opposite of maroof.
Maroof is good acceptable. munkar should be rejected.
Surah Ash-Shu’araa Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says, how would you leave your wives, and you go to men.
بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ عَادُونَ [26:166]
You are a group that have gone beyond that which is Adi, which is normal. You have gone beyond that which is normal, this is from the Quran I’m telling you.
Surah Al-A’raf Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says
إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاءِ ۚ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ
do you come to men with lust instead of women. you are a group that has committed israf. israf means you’ve gone beyond the bounds, israf means you have done something unnecessary and harmful. you’re all familiar with the term israf of money, israf of money, you are spending what you don’t need to spend, you are just doing it for sure you’re doing it for no reason, well there’s something called israf of sexuality and Allah calls this deed israf of sexuality.
You are going beyond that which is normal and unnecessary, no other sin has been describe with all of these adjectives.
بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ عَادُونَ
all of these adjectives is it there for any surprise that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala tells us what happened to these people,
إِنَّا مُنزِلُونَ عَلَىٰ أَهْلِ هَـٰذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ [29:34]
because they committed Fisk, Allah links their punishment with this deed. Because they committed this evil we’re going to send down a punishment from the heavens upon them, no other nation was destroyed like this nation was destroyed.
جَعَلْنَا عَـٰلِيَهَا سَافِلَهَا
We made the highest part of the town the lowest part of the town, we flipped the town around. this is what Allah says in the Quran.
So dear brothers and sisters, the first question to answer there is absolutely no ambiguity in our tradition. there is no room for reinterpretation, there is no leeway same-sex actions be they between two men or two women are absolutely and unconditionally evil and sinful and Haram. there is no question about this, and when this evil is publicized, and then when it becomes celebrated, it becomes something that is a Hallmark of a society, as what happened in the time of the people of Lut well then we seek refuge in Allah from a potential Collective punishment coming. Because that is what happened to the people of lut.
This leads us to our second question, this young lady asked me,
why do we care if two people are doing something privately in their bedroom?
what difference does it make to us?
why are we so obsessed about teaching or preaching about what is taking place amongst two people in private. to respond to this question I said to her, actually there is an element of Truth in what you are saying but we need to expand a little bit more.
The element of Truth is that nobody is saying you go knocking down bedrooms nobody is saying you go spying in households, even in the most Ideal World even in the most perfect Society, we would say it is not allowed to hunt down private mistakes, it is not allowed to barge into people’s houses and see what sins they are committing, and if anybody commits to sin in private that is between them and Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala,
but even private sins, even if we don’t know who’s doing it we warn against it generically, and that is the job of the teachers and preachers.
We warn against it and we teach morality. We say even private sins are harmful to a collective Society. simple examples what if somebody is drinking alcohol, what if somebody is taking drugs, is there not a negative active impact on all of society, even if they do it in the privacy of their of their houses.
So yes even private immorality is something we publicly warn against, but we don’t go knocking down people individually and finding who is committing this sin, it is still the collective responsibilities of preachers of teachers of even parents and families and friends to keep everybody else in check, and we will warn publicly even against private Deeds it is one of the goals of the Sharia.
No Society has Angels living amongst them, all of us commit sins just because the sin is private, does it mean We Don’t Preach against it in a public manner. But when a private sin becomes public it becomes even more imperative to preach against it. our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said Allah has promised to forgive the sins of my ummah, as long as they don’t publicize them.
Somebody said what do you mean Ya Rasullullah by publicizing, he said a man commits a sin in the secrecy of the night, nobody knows about it the next day he comes, and he tells the people. You know what I did last night, I did this, and I did this, and I did this.
You see my dear brothers and sisters, to commit to sin is bad, but to boast about it is potentially Qufor, to commit a sin is between you and Allah and inshallah Allah is forgiving if you turn to him, to commit a sin and feel guilty, well you have still a conscience, but to commit a sin and flout it, to commit a sin and make it public, to commit a sin and post it in social media, to commit a sin and identify with that sin, to commit a sin and take pride in committing that sin, we seek Allah’s Refuge but you have left the realm of being a sinner, and you are potentially in the realm of disobeying and disbelieving in Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala and this sin that we’re talking about the sin of lgbtq the sin of same-sex. It is no longer a private sin in the bedroom, maybe 40 years ago that was the case.
Now this sin is a public one, it is a normalized reality, it is being flouted in every single corner, and in every single shopping mall, how can we not speak against it, when it is no longer a private sin, we are forced to give public Khutba, because this deed has been made public and mainstream. Frankly if this sin were private in the bedroom of two people, I would not be having khutba of this fashion, but because the entire month is dedicated to celebrating this fahisah, because this entire month is dedicated to normalizing this deed, well then yes we will go public, and we will say bluntly that this is a sin, that is against the teachings of every single prophet and it is an immoral reality that breaks societal bonds.
Brothers and sisters taking pride in identifying with the sin, is not submission to Allah, it is potentially Qufor. So we respond to this young brother and sister, and we say partially you are correct, that if this is a private sin between two people, it’s not my business to barge into their house, it’s not my business to spy on them, but collectively I must preach morality, and when this private sin becomes public, and when it goes mainstream, well then we too are going to go public, and go mainstream in this regard.
The third question that, sometimes I get asked,
is why are you obsessed with this topic when there’s so many other topics that we must talk about?
topics like racism, like poverty, like social injustice, like the broken Health Care System. Why are you preachers always obsessed with sexuality. of course the innuendo which is a very evil one, is that because we ourselves they say the preachers themselves are obsessed with sexuality.
That is why they talk about sexuality, we can respond to this charge and this question by firstly pointing out, that morality and sexuality are in fact very important topics, and that is why every Faith tradition and in fact every system of Life discusses what sexuality is and how it should be manifested even liberalism has its own rules and laws, sexuality is an essential part of being human, and so every system of law has some laws regarding sexuality.
So do we, you have your Vision, we have our version, but also the notion that why are you speaking about this and not that.