Standing up against Homosexuality
By Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad
Homosexuality has once again become a hot topic in our society, and especially with current plans to change legislation relating to marriage, people have all sorts to say on the matter. However, in being Muslims who follow divine guidance as revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), we are ordained to stand in justice and truth against what has been determined as a great evil and harm to society. Allah informs us,
And (remember) Lot, when he said to his people: "Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in all that has been created? You practise your lusts on men instead of women; you are but a people transgressing beyond bounds." And the answer of his people was only that they said: "Drive them out of your town; these are indeed people who want to be pure!" Then We saved him and his family - except his wife, she was of those who remained behind. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). See how came about the end of the criminals!"( Al-Qur’an 7:80-84)
As we see in the verse, the primary evil of Prophet Lot’s fellow citizens was that they practised homosexuality, defined in the verse as a criminal act whereby the perpetrator engages in sexual acts with a member of the same sex. As Lot informs them, they initiated an evil never committed before them and as a result of their transgression Allah destroyed them. He says in surah al-Dhariyat that they have been left as a sign/lesson for those who fear a harsh punishment.
Some absurdly argue that homosexual inclinations are inherited through one’s genetics. However ridiculous such a claim may be, even if accepted for the argument’s sake, it still does not justify the criminal act. Many scientists have argued a genetic basis for a disposition to commit crimes such as burglary, theft, and sexual abuse, yet the law rightly condemns and punishes these acts. Some scientists have claimed that it is programmed into men’s genetics to be unfaithful to their partners, yet society does not deem such behaviour morally acceptable. My point is not to enter into a scientific discussion on genetics but to emphasise the inconsistency of such an argument.
In order to combat the scourge of homosexuality Allah has ordained us to speak out, and that we should co-operate with others in righteousness and God-consciousness. He says,
"Cooperate in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate in sin and enmity."( Al-Qur’an 5:2)
It is in this vein that I commend the many Christian bishops and ministers who have come out in opposition to the current proposals to allow homosexuals to ‘marry’, and I support them in their endeavour to dissuade the government from including LGBTs in current marriage legislation. We also appreciate the brave stance of the Nobel peace prize winner and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in defending a law that criminalises homosexual acts and determinedly standing for higher moral standards.
It is one thing to give equal rights to different communities so as to reflect our diverse and multicultural society, and quite another to afford a criminal act (according to the fundamentals of all faiths) the same legitimacy as an extremely natural and godly method of seeking union with a member of the opposite sex. Currently same-sex couples are allowed to enter into civil partnerships which provide the legal consequences of marriage. The idea of marriage is intrinsically religious; it was within a religious setting that marriage was instituted, both around the world and in this country, and so, we must question the desire of a secular government and godless homosexuals in wanting to attack and alter this profoundly religious notion when they are, quite regrettably, already afforded its benefits. Just as some Christian leaders have spoken out, Muslim community leaders and scholars should not feel intimidated in speaking against this great offence and must stand for godly principles which many Christians are failing to do. Muslims must demonstrate a sense of responsibility and uphold the higher moral principles that Allah has commanded. Allah says,
"Thus We have made you the best of nations, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger a witness over you."( Al-Qur’an 2:143)
"You are the best of peoples ever raised up amongst mankind; you enjoin in good and forbid evil, and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are disobedient.( Al-Qur’an 3:110)
It is with the sentiment of this verse that we call upon Christians to refer back to the original teachings revealed by their creator, Allah, and to turn to the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad as well as institute and embody all that they preached, commanded, and forbade. Allah says,
"...and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: "We are Christians." That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud. And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised. They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses. And why should we not believe in Allah and in that which has come to us of the truth? And we wish that our Lord will admit us along with the righteous people." So because of what they said, Allah rewarded them Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein forever. Such is the reward of good doers."( Al-Qur’an 5:82-85)
I pray to Allah to preserve this country from evil practices, to save us from such acts, and to keep us steadfast in enjoining good and forbidding evil.