A wide variety of misjudgments are being given regarding homosexuals and their punishment in Islaam. First, let it be known that homosexuality is dispraised by Allaah al-Ahad and it is forbidden to indulge sexually with the same gender, whether you are married to them or not.
It is a perversion that is from a persons own inclinations and it is not something inborn or natural as many are claiming. This belief has been scientifically discredited by Dr. Neil Whitehead, when he provided evidence that the “gay gene” is not from genetics, by studying identical twins. What is more important and greater, is what Allaah as-Samad tells us about Prophet Lot’s sermon to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah:
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ
And Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality [faaHishat] as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?”
Therefore, they were the first ones to practice this behaviour.
But even so if it was part of the human body and is considered innate, we are still required to have it under control as Allaah aza wajal has said narrating the saying of Prophet Lot:
إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاءِ ۚ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ
Indeed, you approach men with desire [shahwat], instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.
Shahwat [شَهْوَةً] is sexual desire that is connected to the libido. The consequence of approaching other men with such a desire makes a person a transgressor, or someone who is immoderate and excessive with his lusts.
Now what if someone has fallen into their extreme desires and indulged into homosexuality? No doubt the person should repent, ask Allaah’s forgiveness, conceal their sin, and do their best to never get into it again. However, if a person openly admits to this sin and wants to be penalized, what would be the worldly punishment for them? Oddly enough, there are at least seven different opinions reported on what the actual punishment for homosexuality should be, and this alone disproves the idea of a divine punishment. These seven opinions are:
- Anyone involved in sodomy, the doer and the one being done upon, should be burnt alive.
- The doer and the one done upon should be thrown down from the highest point and then be stoned.
- They should be stoned to death.
- They should be executed [sword].
- The one being sodomized should be stoned, but the doer should only be stoned if he was married. Otherwise he is to be lashed like a fornicator.
- If both men are married, they should be stoned. If they are not, then they should be lashed similar to fornicators.
- They both should be given non-capital punishments [up to 10 lashes].
Without even getting too technical, we can see numbers 1 through 6 are wrong since they are not even derived from Allaah’s revelation. They are taken from views related to some of the companions, whose opinions are not Islaam. However, even the reports related to the companions are all inauthentic, with doubtful isnaad. So we will only briefly go over their weaknesses due to their irrelevance and having no backing from Qur’aan and Sahih Sunnah.
NOTE: Death penalty for sodomy exists only in Jewish and Christian scriptures, but not in the Qur’aan. There is a high possibility that many Muslims have adopted Judaic-Christian beliefs and expressed them to be from Islaam.
1) Anyone involved in sodomy, the doer and the one being done upon, should be burnt alive
It was said to be given by Ibn Sam’an who reported it from someone [unknown] he heard saying that Khalid bin al-Walid was told by Abu Bakr as-Siddiq from ‘Ali to burn alive men who “took the way a woman was taken” i.e. sexually.
Ibn Sam’an was a known liar (ref. Malik) and had never met Khalid nor Abu Bakr. He claimed to have heard it from someone without mentioning his name. So this person is unknown and the report is unreliable.
It is also reported by al-Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Imaan with ‘Ali saying “Only one nation disobeyed Allaah by committing such a sin and you know how Allaah dealt with them. I see that we should burn the man with fire.”
This is also weak.
If someone claims its soundness and decides to use it as evidence, it can easily be countered. First, from the obvious, no mention was made about the Prophet. Second, none of the companions knew what to do until ‘Ali spoke, and despite his ruling, he never attributed it to the Prophet. Third, punishing with fire is believed by many to be prohibited, therefore, contradicting another judgment.
2) The doer and the one done upon should be thrown down from the highest point and then be stoned
3) They should be stoned to death
Opinions 2 and 3 will be looked at together since they are both related.
Opinion 2 was reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musunnaf and attributed to Ibn ‘Abbas.
Opinion 3 was reported by Abu Dawud also attributing it to Ibn ‘Abbas, and Malik in his Muwatta attributed it to Ibn Shihab.
The proponents for these views also attempt to further their opinion by using the Qur’aan. They say since Allaah destroyed the people of Lot because of homosexuality, then we should too.
This is an extremely flawed and dangerous argument, as it can be Shirk. They are equaling, or comparing, themselves with Allaah. Just think about it, Allaah doing something does not mean we can do it also. Allaah creates and takes life does not mean we can do similar. Allaah is the legislature and makes whatever He wants forbidden and permissible, we cannot do that. Allaah calls for his worship and we cannot. And to add to that, there is no evidence to use what Allaah does as proof to kill people.
Another thing is, they also mistakenly concluded that people of Prophet Lot were destroyed solely due to homosexuality. This is wrong. In fact it is very clear their crimes were more than just homosexuality, they were also punished for denying the Prophet and his message, that being Kufr. Allaah says:
كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطٍ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
The people of Lot denied the messengers
Also, keep in mind there is no authentic proof that Muhammad Rasoolullaah ever killed homosexuals, or that he gave such a judgement to be implemented during his lifetime.
4) They should be executed
This is once again attributed to Ibn ‘Abbas. One wonders how many opinions did Ibn ‘Abbas have or at least are said to be his?
Unlike the other opinions, the following narration is used as evidence, narrated ibn ‘Abbas who reported Allaah’s Messenger said:
مَنْ وَجَدْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُولَ بِهِ
“Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Lot, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.”
(Musnad Ahmed, Sunan Abi Dawud, Sunan ibn Maajah, Jami’ at-Tirmidhi & others)
This hadeeth is clearly weak and does not hold up to the level of authenticity.
The chain from Musnad Ahmed: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو سَلَمَةَ الْخُزَاعِيُّ، قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ
It is reported through ambiguity [‘An] and there are three individuals that are problematic: عبد العزيز بن محمد, عمرو بن أبي عمرو, and عكرمة مولى ابن عباس, but عبد العزيز بن محمد is not as serious as the other two.
عمرو بن أبي عمرو Both Malik bin Anas and Yahya bin Ma’en said he was weak. His main problem was making mistakes and this harmed his reliability.
عكرمة is a disputed person due to him belonging to a “Khariji” sect and reporting contradicting narrations. So the safest thing to do is not take from his narrations unless they are free of any doubt.
Abu Dawud in his Sunan gives three isnaad:
1)حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ النُّفَيْلِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ
2) رَوَاهُ سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ بِلَالٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو مِثْلَهُ، وَرَوَاهُ عَبَّادُ بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ
3)ُ ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ الْحُصَيْنِ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ
The bold names are the weakness and have been briefly mentioned above, with the exception of the one underlined.
عباد بن منصور has been declared weak by pretty much all the major scholars, ‘Ali al-Madani, an-Nasa’i, Abu Hatim, Abu Ja’far, and he was also a convicted mudallis as mentioned by al-Bokhaari.
Chain from Sunan bin Maajah: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الصَّبَّاحِ، وَأَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ خَلَّادٍ، قَالَا: حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيرِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ
Same problem as the others.
Chain from Jami’ at-Tirmidh: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو السَّوَّاقُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ أَبِي عَمْرٍو، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ
Once again, the same issues.
There is a similar hadeeth from Abu Hurayrah that mentions to stone the one on top and the one on the bottom.
The isnaad is : عَاصِمِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنْ سُهَيْلِ بْنِ أَبِي صَالِحٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ
عَاصِمِ بْنِ عُمَرَ al-Bokhaari said he was munkar al-hadeeth and an-Nasa’i said he was abandoned.
The isnaad from Musnad Ahmed: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ بْنُ أَبِي الزِّنَادِ، قَالَ: أَخْبَرَنِي ابْنُ أَبِي حَبِيبَةَ، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ الْحُصَيْنِ، عَنْ عِكْرِمَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ
ابْنُ أَبِي حَبِيبَةَ al-Bokhaari, an-Nasa’i, ad-Daaraqutni, and at-Tirmidhi all declared him to be weak in hadeeth.
[to be continued InshaAllaah…]