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How Can Love Be a Sin Even if It Is Between Two People of the Same Gender?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: I have a question regarding homosexuality. I am just wondering how can love (of any kind) be a sin? I read that some Islamic scholars nowadays are trying to find in the Quran if there are some signs that it is only the homosexual lust that is punishable, not the homosexual love. Could that possibly be true? If not, please explain to me how love can be a sin, as we can see many people in the world are in love with the same sex.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. That which you ask about are two different things in my mind.

True Love

There is nothing in and of itself impermissible about love. As a matter of fact, my teachers taught me that the heart craves love, and man will spend all his life trying ways to fill the heart with different things, but really only the love of Allah can fill it, as that is what it was created for. Please read this answer about true, intense love by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani:
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/ten-steps-to-allah-step-4-love-allah/

Types of love

Loving another falls into many categories; a few among them are: A) Loving someone that you can be with, such as a spouse, or B) loving someone that you can’t be with, such as a non-mahram or person of the same gender, usually termed lust. C) Loving the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace and his family and companions for their rank with Allah and for teaching us our religions. These are just a few, but the important difference between these is that we distinguish which love brings us benefit.
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/featured-articles/love-for-lady-fatima-habib-umar/
https://seekersguidance.org/articles/prophet-muhammad/allow-your-emotions-to-be-elevated-habib-umar/

Actions and feelings

Because the shari`ah governs actions and not feelings, one should pay the most heed to one’s actions, which will help make the feelings gradually fade. One must be careful to guide one’s heart to refrain and withdraw from what might lead one to the impermissible and allow its love to flourish in what is permissible. If one was to allow one’s lustful feelings to grow unchecked and not consider that they could overpower one and turn into action, one has been deluded by the Devil. If this were to occur, the doors of mercy would still be open to one through repentance.

Homosexuality

I haven’t heard anything about what you described in your question about love and lust from the Qur’an, but the rulings are clear. A person would do well to push away his desires, whether for the same gender or in an illicit heterosexual relationship, with help and support if necessary to fulfill Allah’s commands. As such, love is not sinful, but rather one’s acting on it illicitly would be. One’s reward would be infinite, and one’s pain and suffering would not be lost on Allah. Please see this link for more info:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/tackling-homosexual-feelings-supplication-repentance-and-going-cold-turkey/

Allah, Most High, says, “If you avoid the major sins forbidden to you, We will absolve you of your ˹lesser˺ misdeeds and admit you into a place of honor.“ [Qur’an, 4:31]

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next and grant you a love after which you will want for nothing else.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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