In the natural world, humans live in a world where sexual aspects are involved, a vast realm that often parallels the relationship between identity and pleasure. The human’s urge for pleasure is indisputable – a condition that is emphasized in daily life. Throughout history, religious perspectives and various philosophies have aimed to create a universal framework to ensure the fulfillment of sexual pleasures via healthy means. A substructure deemed not only healthy for an individual, but humankind is the objective. American Muslim writer, Dr. Muzzamil H. Siddiqi, once said, “homosexuality is a moral disorder, a sin, and corruption. No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar, or murderer. People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education.” Islam’s notion of sexual morality tends to lack a distinctive basis in creating the permissibility of sexuality; however, the Quran offers rational implications in creating a universal and neutral standpoint on sexuality.
It is essential to understand that the Quran does not directly talk about sexuality. Today, not many people realize that sexuality is considered a modern concept. Moreover, the Quran offers a view of sexual acts. Besides, Classical scholars and Prophet Muhammad emphasized desire and sexual acts; however, there was no attention in the distinction between identity and sexual acts (Kugle, pg.192). To a further extent, the modern gulf between “sexuality” and “sex” is just as significant. According to Tam Sanger, “sexuality” refers to the desires and feelings or emotions that an individual presents towards others, as well as actual sex acts. Meanwhile, “sex” is a reference to sex acts. The Quran places a significant emphasis on the relationship between a man and a woman. Besides, there are no rules in place for gay or lesbian relationships. It is instead an appropriate assertion that the Quran doesn’t necessarily prohibit same-sex relations. Islamic law tends to suppress this issue for many reasons. For instance, from a Muslim Jurist’s perspective, a typical heterosexual relationship offers the reproduction of human species. As Siraj Kugle mentions, although same-sex couples can raise children, the sexual experience lacks the effect of having natural babies (pg.193). Moreover, another reason is that the earlier Muslim Jurists stressed the importance of a child’s development. They did not want a young boy or girl to be raised without the presence of the father, as the father is critical in the Islamic household (pg. 195). It is essential to realize that during this time, women did not provide valuable income, men did. Due to this disproportion, it was imperative to have a man in the family to ensure the family is stable both socially and financially. Finally, heterosexual relationships were the core of the framework since it consisted of the majority of people. Therefore, the scholars were concerned with the needs of straight relationships. It is appropriate to assume that homosexuality in the realm of different sexualities does exist. You can’t entirely prohibit the classification of homosexuality because it feels as of nonexisting matter.
From a unique perspective, the analytical viewpoint of sexual diversity from the Quranic experience is critical. We can’t deny the fact that homosexuality does indeed exist. The question is, “did Allah intend sexual diversity?” Animals participate in homosexual practices; however, the Quran notes that animals are obedient to Allah and do not have free will. To a further degree, Surat Ar-Rum (Quran 30:22) explains how Allah’s creation, such as human beings, has different “alwan”. “Alwan” in Arabic means colors and can also mean tastes. In analytical terms, we, as humans, possess unique and different flavors in different things, such as sexuality (Kugle, pg.196). Besides, Siraj also states, “…human nature that has been created diverse, not just in language, ethnicity, and appearance, but also in inward disposition and personality (pg.196).”One can argue that sexual diversity itself presents a transparent type of diversity that Allah created. Moreover, Surah An-Nur (Quran 24:31) briefly, yet states explicitly, “men who are not in need of women.” The reference to the men who don’t like women may potentially be gay; however, they are not heterosexual from a definitional perspective. Throughout the Quran, there are no judgments or condemnations whatsoever towards these “men.” American scholar, Kecia Ali states, “being gay is not a matter of choice – but rather a divinely created reality. The exclusion of “gay people” from Islam…would be excluding a whole dimension of The Creation, and this would, in fact, undermine any claim by Islam to be The Truth (which it is) (pg.89).” Ali gives an interesting viewpoint, noting that the ostracism of same-sex from Islam is a criminal act. In other words, it is as if Islam did not accept people with disabilities. Rather than placing a tremendous emphasis on how acceptable the same sex is, Islamic society should embrace the “dimension,” a part of Allah’s intention in his creation.
Many people ask whether Islam, from a broad perspective, states anything about homosexuality. The answer is simple: no, however, it is not appropriate to refer to Islamic law or Islam. The reason is that people only speak for what they feel is right or wrong; therefore, the Quran is the only valid source of answers. As the basis of Islam, the holy book does not have the term “homosexuality” in it, not once. There is no reference to lesbians, bisexuals, or gays. The term “shudhudh” was created by scholars, which means sexual deviance or unnatural in Arabic (Kugle, pg.199). If there were indeed a term in the Quran, meaning homosexuality in Arabic, then scholars would have clearly used it.
Sure, the Quran has its ambiguous aspect; however, it is crucial to analyze its validity and power from rather a Muslim perspective. Yes, it is difficult to understand the Quran’s natural emphasis and implications, yet, from a logical point of view, it is straightforward when you ask yourself rational questions.
Often, we hear the statement, ‘why would I be punished for things God created in human beings?’ This statement is invalid for several reasons. First and foremost, everything in this world would be categorized under the same argument if this logic was valid. Clearly, nonbelievers would go to hell and burn like summer if Allah created them as Jews, Christians, Buddhists, as nonmuslims. Moreover, Allah would burn thieves, the same thieves with the trait innately created by Allah. Why would Allah do this? Exactly, this is why the statement is invalid. On a higher note, one might argue that various scientific research papers have proven the effects of specific genes, genes that impact one’s sexual orientation. Individuals are born with their sexual orientation — besides, the removal of homosexuality from the APA’s database and manual of Mental Disorders. Moreover, the APA (American Psychiatric Association) has proved that an individual identifying as homosexual, does not have a mental disorder. It is clear that this argument engages in science. This argument is invalid because science is never a means of proving each and everything. Instead, it is a means of hypothesizing things. Another individual almost always rebuts these same hypotheses. Rich Deem, an active apologist, states, ‘The question of genetic influences on sexual orientation has been recently examined using DNA microarray technology, although the results have largely failed to pinpoint any specific genes as a factor in sexual orientation.’ Aside from this, Islam instructs that no reference or science is superior to Allah; therefore, we must accept and abide by the Quran in integrating a ‘halal’ lifestyle.
Let’s say researchers discovered today that homosexuality is healthy. Will you go on to practice it? The bottom line is that we, Muslims, are conditioned to obey Allah and not what science instructs. As an Egyptian Muslim, I accept the idea that the Quran and science never contradict; Quran is flawless; science is fluctuating. Apart from this, the second aspect of the argument regards the removal of homosexuality from the APA’s Manuel of mental disorder is in itself ineffective. When you look at the underlying components of ruling homosexuality non-mental disease, you realize what was happening behind the curtains in 1973. The realization that this removal was instead a forced one and not of natural efforts.
Dr. Ronald Bayer, professor at Columbia University, published a book seven years after the removal of homosexuality and is titled Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis. In his novel, he talks about how homo-sexual activists attacked members of the APA in 1970 at a conference in California. The activists disrupted the meeting, “interrupting speakers and shouting down and ridiculing psychiatrists who viewed homosexuality as a mental disorder (pg.93).” While the APA members were quickly forced to remove homosexuality from their Manuel by the activists, others are convinced that the removal of homosexuality from the DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) was not contingent upon scientific research. As Dr. Bayer states, it was merely the pressure of “power politics, threats, and intimidation (pg.194).” Furthermore, American Psychiatrists, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, and Dr. Charles Socarides argue in their book that homosexuality meets the criteria for the diagnosis of mental disorder, and it should and can be treated.