Q: What is the status of homosexuality in Islam, and how should one cope with it?
Haamidaw wa Musalliyaa
At the outset the following should be borne in mind:
1. Our creator, Allah (SWT) has prohibited homosexuality in no uncertain terms.
2. Accordingly it is not natural. In fact it is something unnatural.
3. It is possible that a person becomes inclined to such activity due to the company he keeps, the material he reads/views or other external influences. This does not mean that he has been born such. The Hadith is very clear in that every person is born upon fitrah or the natural instinct of what Allah (SWT) wants of us.
4. Islam strongly condemns the act of homosexuality. Those who are involved in this heinous sin may however turn back by repenting from this evil and seeking the forgiveness of Allah who accepts repentance and would once again bless such people too. As such, it is not the people who are disdained in themselves. Rather, it is the heinous sin that they have got themselves involved in that results in them being cursed. If these very people repent and mend their ways, Allah will definitely forgive.
5. Hence if you have sincerely repented for these actions, Allah will definitely forgive you. You should now resolve never to displease him in any way and get back into this accursed evil practise. Do not engage in any illicit relationships. Strive to make up for the past sins. Cry before Allah and seek his help in granting you a compatible wife. May Allah ease your difficulty and protect us all from sins. May Allah keep you steadfast on your taubah and may He grant a pious compatible wife who will be of assistance to you in both this world and the Aakhirah. Ameen.
After the above short points we include hereunder some reading material on this subject which we trust will be beneficial to you.
How to Deal with Homosexuals
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 spread 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 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 loses 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 against 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 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 drinking alcohol, gambling or adultery.
We should have deep repugnance for 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 him out of this evil. We should not leave him/her to the temptations of the Satan
How to Deal with Ones’ Own Desire?
Letter of one in distress to Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi and his response:
Shaykh, when gazing at handsome lads, a fire of desire is kindled within my heart. Please help me!
Together with turning away the 'physical' gaze, the 'mental' gaze should also be turned away
The simplest way of achieving this is by directing the thoughts in another direction. It is unanimously accepted principle of psychology that the mind cannot concentrate on two varying subjects simultaneously. Thus, no effort should be expended in attempting to remove these thoughts (as this is extremely difficult), nor should the causes be pondered as this would only compound the problem.
The best remedy is to redirect the thoughts and the problem will be automatically solved. This is the only effective solution. At times, such terrible thoughts afflict the mind that a person begins to doubt the validity of his Iman. There is no need for concern so long as these thoughts 'appear' and are not voluntarily 'introduced'.
It is also recommended that “A'uzu” be recited on such occasions. In short, dhikr is an invaluable remedy to this problem since, turning the attention to Allah means turning the heart away from everything besides Him. Thus, the whispers will terminate immediately, as the mind cannot concentrate on two things at the same time.
And Allah Knows Best