while it is obvious that homosexual behavior is immoral by the standards of the qur’an and the hadith, what should be the role of government (if any) in sexual behavior? is it right for a government (islamic or not) to regulate in these matters and administer punishments for homosexuality?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
As you have stated in your query, homosexuality is indeed immoral behavior and is a major sin in Islam. The practice of homosexuality began with the people of Lut (Alyhis Salaam). Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran:
ولوطا إذ قال لقومه أتأتون الفاحشة ما سبقكم بها من أحد من العالمين
“And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people: Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceded you has committed in the worlds?” (7:80)
In this verse, the word “Fahishah”, which means an atrocious, obscene, lewd, shameless act, is referring to the practice of homosexuality. After the people of Sodom ignored the warnings of Lut (Alayhis Salaam) to stop this act and to follow the true path, Allah Ta’ala wiped them out with a severe punishment by turning their towns upside down and burying them with stones of baked clay. This was a telling punishment by Allah Ta’ala for going against the natural order created by Him.
Allah Ta’ala has also stated in several places of the Quran that He has created men and women so that they may be mates for each other (in marriage). The inception of marriage for mankind on Earth was to maintain the human race through procreation. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that homosexuality is strictly prohibited.
As far as the roles of government are concerned in regulating these manners, a true Islamic government obviously governs and regulates according to the rules and principles of Shari’ah which originate from the Quran and Sunnah. The Deen of Islam is a complete way of life so preserving morality in society is as important to an Islamic government as other matters. Hence, proper action will be taken by an Islamic government against those who commit such acts.
Secular governments also have the responsibility to look out for their people and to protect them and society from lewd acts. However, the main difference of course is that a secular government is not run according to religious law and values, thus spreading immorality instead of regulating it. Unfortunately, nowadays the plague of homosexuality has vastly infected a society where preservation of morality is no more considered to a large extent. There are some in government who try to regulate these matters by voicing their opposition to gay marriages etc., but as a whole with laws of freedom in society the secular governments will never be able to administer punishments for those who practice the act of homosexuality or many other immoral acts for that matter. As a result, we see that modern, secular governments are not doing much to discourage and prevent these acts.
Alhamdulillah, we have been blessed by Allah Ta’ala that He has made us Muslims. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) came to this world and left as the final Messenger sent down by Allah. Therefore, as Muslims the responsibility of da’wah and setting the example of the beauty of Islam lies on us as the Ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). This can be done by abiding by the commandments of Allah and following the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). When this is done, others will see the beauty of Islam and the way Islam stresses morality in society. Allah Ta’ala guides those whom He wills and we ask Allah Ta’ala to give hidayah to all. Aameen.
And Allah knows best
Ml. Asif Umar,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah