I’m a Homosexual and I want to Embrace Islam


http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhruzek/4276840183/in/photostream/Originally posted in June 2007

Question:

I am not a Muslim but I met a guy who never drinks or wastes any of his time, which I found to be impressive. While talking to him I realized that he was a Muslim and I started studying the religion. The complications lie in the fact that I have feelings towards men. I know it is wrong. I consider it an abomination. I don’t need anyone to tell me how sinful it is. But I can’t help it. I can stay away from committing the act but the feelings are always there. After reading the other questions about gays on the site they do not help me much. I cannot ignore the feelings and get married. I do not feel any attraction towards women. I need some serious help. What is your view on a non-practicing homosexual? The feelings exist but not the acts.

Answer:

Thank you for your question and I hope my answer pleases Allah and is of benefit. I have divided this answer according to your question.

No One Is Free of Sin

Your question is one of great importance and reminds us, as a community, of our duty to support and assist those who are struggling with sin. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Every son of Adam makes mistakes. But the best of those who make mistakes are those who repent.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In another hadith the Prophet said:

“If you failed to commit sins, then Allah would destroy you and create those who would sin and seek His forgiveness and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)

Thus, it is important to note that every one of us commits sins and falls into error.

The Message of Islam

Islam means submission and peace. Instead of original sin, Islam teaches that the nature of humanity is good. However, humans, since they were created as such, will make mistakes at times and struggle to overcome their lower desires. This is based on each person’s desire to serve or worship.

Instead of preaching that human nature is full of evil, Islam teaches that the nature of humanity is to worship. In the Qur’an we read what means:

“And I (Allah) have not created Jinn and men except to worship Me.” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Thus, our true nature is inclined to serve our Lord. However, there are times when that nature can be misdirected to things which are unbecoming of worship. False deities, fame, and success caused many people to slip and fall from the noble station that the Creator has given them. Thus, by submitting to something other than the true Creator and Sustainer of all, people will feel depressed, saddened, and lost.

To make this more clear, could you imagine if the power of the sun and rain were under different political powers? Wouldn’t there be unthinkable madness? Aluding to this the Qur’an says what means:

“If there had been in them any gods except Allah, they would both have certainly been in a state of disorder; therefore glory be to Allah, the Lord of the dominion, above what they attribute (to Him).” (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:22)

Thus, if this is the case with nature, then what is the situation of people who try to serve many gods? What would be the outcome of trying to submit and worship many deities all having different agendas who, in reality, fail to posses the true qualities of the one Creator, the sole Ruler and Sustainer of the universe? The Qur’an says something very nice about this:

“Allah sets forth an example: There is a slave in whom are (several) partners differing with one another, and there is another slave wholly owned by one man. Are the two alike in condition? (All) praise is due to Allah. Nay! most of them do not know.” (Az-Zumar 39:29)

The Path of Submission Is the Key

Islam is a faith which serves as an alarm clock reminding the creation of their true purpose. It helps to focus the heart, discipline the mind, and perfect the morals and actions.

The outcome of such a submission is the dawn of a very special relationship between the Creator and the created. For one cannot develop a true relationship with another until the latter is acknowledged.

Thus, by knowing Allah and submitting to Him alone, one will truly feel the heavy shackles of sin lightened and escape from the dungeon that one’s soul had languished in.

“There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

“If one firmly believes in Allah, He will guide his heart.” (At-Taghabun 64:11)

Faith First

Based on the above, my first advice to you would be to focus on understanding faith in Islam. Faith in Islam is not a mere spiritual exercise, but includes knowing faith, believing in it, and acting upon it.

Faith changes the human being’s entire persona. Its result is a person whose character, actions, and behavior are linked to a divine purpose. Thus, the person gains confidence and realizes the divine purpose behind his or her being.

It is through this faith that three important questions are realized:

  1. Where have I come from?
  2. Where am I going?
  3. What is my purpose in life?

In order to understand this better, think of an organization with no mission statement. With faith you gain your mission statement and realize your purpose. Thus, you are able to build a framework that lays the foundation for a life connected to the Creator.

Thus, every act is done with sincere thought, and every thought is examined and touched by the light of faith. For this reason, you will have come to life. Life has a purpose; the shades of despair and sadness are cast away by the light of faith and happiness.

“The blind and the seeing are not alike. Nor the darkness and the light, Nor the shade and the heat, neither are the living and the dead alike. Surely Allah makes whom He pleases hear, and you cannot make those hear who are in the graves.” (Fatir 35:19-22)

“Is he who was dead then We raised him to life and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like him whose likeness is that of one in utter darkness whence he cannot come forth?” (Al-An`am 6:122)

A Loving, Merciful Creator

Since we are bound to fall into error, it is important to remember that our Creator is an understanding and loving Lord. This mercy and understanding are exhibited by the following:

Allah is ready to forgive. One of the great bounties that Allah has bestowed upon His servants is forgiveness for evil thoughts and actions that are not acted upon. When the following verse of Qur’an was sent, the Companions of the Prophet were greatly disturbed.

“If you reveal what’s in your hearts, or hide it, Allah will call you to account.” (Al-Baqarah 2:284)

Finally, they went to the Prophet complaining, “If we are called to account for the whispers of our souls, then we will surely perish!” (Ibn Kathir).

Suddenly, Allah revealed:

“Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear.” (Al-Baqarah 2:286)

It is one of the great mercies of Allah that we are not called to account for the evil inclinations that appear in our hearts. And, in fact, such evil inclinations if ignored and not acted upon can bear sweet fruit!

Fighting against evil inclinations brings one closer to Allah. Many times we find evil thoughts and ideas coming to our minds. However, if not acted upon, such thoughts can actually be a means of drawing closer to our Lord. The Prophet said:

Whosoever intends to do a good deed but does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it with Himself as ten good deeds, up to seven hundred times, or more than that. But if he intends to do an evil deed and does not do it, Allah records it with Himself as a complete good deed; but if he intends it and does it, Allah records it as one single evil deed. (Muslim)

Thus, by fighting oneself and struggling to obey the Creator, one draws nearer to Him. Although this might seem monumental, struggling and striving towards the Divine requires only a sincere heart and obedience to His commands. In a sound hadith, we read that the Prophet said the following:

Allah the Almighty says: “I am as My servant thinks I am. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself. And if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me a hand’s span, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.” (Al-Bukhari)

Points to Remember

Thus, drawing near to Allah by doing good actions and struggling with oneself brings great spiritual and physical blessings. However, there are a few important points to remember:

Personal responsibility. Keep in mind that all of the above requires work and determination on your part. You are responsible for yourself and must struggle against evil thoughts and desires. I would encourage you to strongly think about submitting to your Creator and learning the correct practices associated with the Islamic faith.

The great Muslim scholar and imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“Unlawful desires are usually associated with ugliness. They leave behind a lingering sensation of pain and guilt. Hence, whenever you are tempted, think about liberating yourself. Think about all the remorse that would accompany the realization of those desires, and then make up your mind. Struggling your way through obedience is not an easy task. It is, however, associated with goodness and soothing pleasures. Whenever you overburden yourself (with unlawful desires) think about how nice it would be to repent and set yourself free. Think about the pleasures that lawful desires will provide and try to make the correct choice. The dilemma you will experience should be reduced by remembering the sweet pleasure and the ultimate happiness that your obedience (to Allah) will provide. Logically, your mind should opt for the more rewarding option and help you to endure the pain of denying yourself the realization of such desires.” (Al-Fawa’id)

Communal Responsibility

It is never enough to struggle alone. The whole community must begin to answer the call of those who are struggling with different issues. Our community is not free of drugs, abuse, and other different types of negative behavior. However, we have not admitted that these problems exist. Thus, we are impotent when it comes to handling such issues.

We must reflect on the statements of the Prophet “Give glad tidings and don’t cause others to flee” (Muslim) and “Whoever removes a difficulty for a person, Allah will remove a difficulty for that person on the Day of Reckoning” (Al-Bukhari).

Muslim imams should be trained in counseling and, better yet, each community should have its own group of professional counselors. We can no longer turn away from the struggling sinner, but must reach out with a sincere hand and walk with our brothers and sisters through the difficulties that they face.

Finally, I pray that you can find a community leader who will be willing to sit with you and assist you through these difficulties. You are not alone and only need a mature community leader who will be willing to accept you and help you overcome your problems.

Please keep in touch.

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67 Comments

  1. Zaynab Ansari says:

    Thank you Imam Suhaib! This is the best answer to this type of question that I have ever seen.

  2. N says:

    Okay. You’re in my blogroll. May Allah shower you and your family with his blessings.

    This is a wonderful answer to a sadly widespread problem.

    Wassalam.

  3. Nabeel badshah says:

    i think its best answer i have even seen
    he must in contact with maulana sahib.

  4. Abdul Qadir says:

    Shaikh Suhaib,
    Your reponse to this person reminds me of the incident in which the man murdered 99 persons then 1more to make 100 then he repented and received the mercy and grace of Allah. This person is only battling with some undesirable inclinations but has not put anything into act yet as he claimed,so I pray he gets help. I pray Allah Ta’ala guides him and grants him the strength to submit to HIM and prevents him from submtting to his desires.

  5. Mehr says:

    Asalamu-alaykum Sheikh Suhaib!
    Your reponse is AMAZING mashAllah!
    May Allah reward you for trying to help this person and may Allah guide him and all of us to the straight path ameen!

  6. ameena says:

    asa sheikh suhaib -

    while your response starts beautifully, i must respectfully disagree with your conclusion.

    while i am not homosexual myself, i do not believe homosexuality is evil. it is a natural human tendency and can have the same tenderness, commitment and love that a heterosexual relationship does.

    a person who is naturally homosexual and tries to fight his/her inclinations will suffer – and perhaps visit that suffering on others.

    in the way they force left-handed children to write with their right hands, the result of turning a simple, natural behaviour inward can have serious psychological effects that manifest themselves elsewhere.

    but worst of all, by doing that, we can turn a person away from his/her Creator

    and that is never, ever any person’s purpose.

    i apologize for my temerity but as a muslim, i must speak for people who are oppressed, marginalized and often suffering bigotry and discrimination.

    • sbak says:

      In the last ayah of Surah Fatihah, we ask Allah to “guide us to the straight path,the way of those who have earned His grace and not the way of those who have earned His wrath or who have gone astray.”

      Sister,this tells us that as Muslims, it is never our place to decide what sin is and what it isn’t–rather the straight path is defined by Allah and sin is defined as earning His anger. We ask for His guidance so that He can lead us to His grace, away from what angers Him. Allah answers this call to guidance with the rest of the Qur’an.

      So, we only need to be sincerely in touch with the Qur’an, this Mercy, to know what guidance is. This is our reference point, the lens with which we see this world. If we find that our own views conflict with the message of Islam in the Qur’an, we should repent and ask Allah to guide us.

      In surah 7, we are told very clearly that homosexuality is a sin: We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: (7:80)”Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you?”

      We are all sinners, but the best of us is the one who can acknowledge our shortcomings in actions and intentions and repent for them.

      May Allah SWT guide us all.

    • Sara says:

      Homosexuality (sodomy) is an undeniable sin in Islam. It is not our choice to debate this if we wish to be obedient to Allah and His guidance.

      However, that does not mean that we have to oppress, marginalize, or discriminate against people who claim to be homosexual.

      We all suffer from temptations that are haram, and yet we must have the willpower to overcome these thoughts. Simply because someone is a good person despite their sin does not make the sin ok; someone may get drunk every night and be the nicest person you know, but that doesn’t mean that drinking is halal now.

      You also have to understand the wider consequences of normalizing homosexuality. We have gender divisions in place within Islam to prevent infidelity and maintain chastity. If we accept the man can be attracted to/marry other men (and women do the same with women), then gender separation serves no purpose. Every interaction runs the risk of tempting the believer to sin, and thus men would not be able to spend time with other men (and women with women). There would be no freedom of expression, and no allowance of personal relationships outside of marriage and family. It’s a bleak outlook.

      • Amina says:

        Dear Sara,
        “Homosexuality (sodomy) is an undeniable sin in Islam”

        - Sodomy DOES NOT = Homosexuality…. and
        - Homosexuality DOES NOT Always = Sodomy

        Many heterosexual couples practice Sodomy… and Many Homosexuals (gay men) choose not to practice Sodomy.

        The fact that someone identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual does not necessarily reflect any kind of sexual act.

        • Amir says:

          Assalamu alaikum

          Sister, of course it is not a sexual act simply for a couple to be together. However, you must acknowledge the fact that it could potentially lead to such an act. And this is what Islam tries to prevent, but how in the world will it be successful in doing so, if these couples are freely allowed to be in the company of one another?

    • Elena says:

      Sister, Suhaib did not say that Homosexuality is “Evil”, he like so many others using the Quran and Hadith as references only tell you that its a sin, like so many other things we do in life. Sins can be overcome, sins can be forgiven. All sins can be forgiven can be forgiven except shirk (unless you are one who returns from it, say having been pagan and convert to Islam?) Evil, the way we understand it in the West was created by Christians in order to wholesale condemn something as the opposite of Godly. God created you, It knew what your struggles would be and how you will handle them; I do not think It would leave you alone in this world with this particular “jihad” so to speak and expect you then to also desert It. Some people stop praying when they commit and continue to commit something they believe is a sin that takes them from God, like drinking or pre-marital sex or the like, and that’s wrong. Whether or not you believe homosexuality to be a sin, that should not keep you from God nor should what people tell you. God will always want you, always recognize you even when you do not recognize it and never shun you. That’s what people do.

    • Kamal says:

      what about non homosexuals who fight their desires and inclinations, do we suffer? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean we can just give in, right?

    • Gibran says:

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Isn;t there the principle in Islam that whoever declares something widely known as haran, halal(like zina for example), is a kaffir?

      I mean I know people can be excused for ignorance but it seems like most Muslims should know this.

    • Imran says:

      I agree with this answer. Completely. It’s up to Allah to judge and forgive or accept. He made us the way we are. Homosexuality is a genetic+ environmental phenomenon. Ok perhaps it’s a struggle that Allah imposed on certai. Individuals perhaps purely for the jihad aspect.. It’s such a multi layered issue. Perhaps islam may help homosexuals to be good people who are not promiscuous. Compassion might be our lesson. Regardless of our beliefs. Allah judges. Somehow I don’t feel that as humans we are designed to judge freely.

    • Hairul says:

      Assalamua’laikum,
      I hope my comment will be useful InsyaAllah (with Allah’s willing). To me sodomy is something that angers Allah (see what happens to the people of Luth), however homosexuality in itself is a test. Although it will not be a popular statement to some,I view homosexuality as a disability similar to being blind, paralyzed etc. Is it fair? well is it any fairer being born blind.

      I think the motivation behind it should be to accept it as a test from Allah and embrace it as a gift because if one can fight and resist the temptation to give in,for Allah. MasyaAllah,I’m sure they will be rewarded magnificently in Jannah.

      For example this blind kid in the link below prays to Allah that he will remain blind for a reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpghrntu4zQ

      I’m not homosexual, but I have a friend..a guy with “very strong feminine side” if I may say, who works as a makeup artist. One look you’ll bet he is gay but the fact is he has a wife and 3 children and a practicing muslim.

      May Allah guide us all. Thanks

    • Bob says:

      Of course homosexuality is evil! Do you not know the story of Prophet Lut (AS)?

  7. Abu Nada says:

    JazakAllah khayran, Shaykh.
    MashaAllah, thoughtful response. May I suggest: that you make a bit more explicit what your response conveys impliclty? i.e. Stress the fact that this person should not consider his homosexual tendencies as a barrier or delay to being (or considering becoming) Muslim; a person does not have to be perfect (even in actions, let alone in unexpressed feelings) when entering Islam.

  8. Sulayman says:

    I should point out there’s a group called Straight Struggle, which is a group of Muslims (converts included) who are dealing with same-sex attraction and ways to help them cope or minimize it. It’s run by a brother who once called himself bi and now is straight. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/StraightStruggle/

  9. Yusuf Kelley says:

    Sheik Suhaib,

    I apppreciate your answer to this young man. All humanity is drawn towards some evil or another. This young man knows his inclinations, is disturbed by them, and trys to avoid acting on them. He is in precisely the same position as a heterosexual man or woman attracted to someone other than his wife, who resists his very human, if sinful inclination.

    If this man does resist out of his desire to do the will of God he is on the way. Inshallah Allah will guide him to Himself. Nothing then is impossible, and he receives great merit for resisting his wrongful inclinations.

    Your merciful answer reflects the Mercy of Allah.

    • Faduma Hassan says:

      It is not in anyway similar to a person who is attracted to someone other than his or her lover. When you have a lover, you can go to them when you are amorous. You can not do that when you are gay at all. It is way more difficult. I think, with all due respect, we need to acknowledge how big of a deal homosexuality is and that many people do NOT feel that they can suppress their feelings their entire life. Many people fall into depression or masturbation. It’s very difficult. Please understand that.

      • Kamal says:

        Obviously we will never be able to see it 100% from their perspective, but which muslim’s life isn’t difficult? I think the key thing is to be certain and to clarify this issue with regard to what the Quran and Sunnah have to say about it. If there sprung up a mass movement of people who were only attracted to their siblings, or to animals, as crazy as that sounds, their inability to love another would not make it permissible, would it?

      • Simone Saeed says:

        I agree with sister Faduma. I have several non-Muslim homosexual friends (mainly women) from before Islam (I’m a convert), though I myself am hetero. Talking to them, I realized how useless it is to compare homosexuality to other sinful inclinations and also to claim that it is a choice rather than something in the person’s nature.
        All other sinful desires have a halal alternative. Homosexual desires don’t, unless the person is bisexual. Unless Allah changes their condition, which surely is in His power, the person will have to stay unmarried (or married but not attracted, with all the implications of this on the marriage).
        I believe as most of the people here that sodomy (i.e.: acting on homosexuality) is a sin in Islam, and one of the major ones. Yet, if we want to help our brother who are struggling with it we need to show that we understand that their problem is not like other problems. Otherwise we will be of no help. May Allah help us and our brothers and give us means and guidance to deal with this issue.

        • Ahmed says:

          Drugs don’t have a halal alternative either.

        • omar says:

          Also some straight Muslims can not get married for various reasons, and also have such struggles.

        • hasnain says:

          “the person will have to stay unmarried (or married but not attracted, with all the implications of this on the marriage)’

          sorry but that’s completely wrong. this is the western way of thinking that if you’re not attracted sexually to someone you don’t marry them. in islam even if the woman is not sexually attractive someone has to marry her. obviously you have a choice whether you want to or not but someone must.
          in this man’s case all that needs be required of him initially is to be kind and respectful to his wife and take care of her needs. love will build with time. if the person asks Allah (Swt) for help i see no reason why he can’t overcome this.

  10. Aanand says:

    Please change “eluding” to “alluding” … I think it was an honest mistake, but it gives the sentence an entirely antithetical meaning. When the Quran “eludes” it means the Quran is “running away”

    elud·edelud·ing
    Definition of ELUDE
    transitive verb
    1
    : to avoid adroitly : evade
    2
    : to escape the perception, understanding, or grasp of

  11. Aanand says:

    It is amazingly insightful that you’ve pointed out the responsibility of our community to help our brothers and sisters grappling with this.

  12. JazakAllah khair Imam Webb for addressing the issue- there is so much ignorance surrounding the subject.

    However, I feel very uncomfortable with some of the points made, such as the ‘There are a group of professionals who offer counseling to those who are struggling to fight the whispers of homosexuality.’ It seems to imply that homosexuality itself is inherently evil, and not just the act.

    This I find to be problematic- all homosexuals i have met do not view their ‘gayness’ as a choice. Rather, it is just who they ‘are’, just as someone just ‘is’ heterosexual. Therefore your suggestion that they should go to some therapy, an implication that they should be ‘cured’ would offend many gay people. It reminds me of the Arabic word for homosexuality:’deviated’.

    InshaAllah you will address the questions i have raised. Thank you for your continuous efforts in educating the Muslim community. May Allah swt reward you.

    • Sara says:

      If you accept the guidance of Allah, you accept that homosexuality (or bisexuality) is not something inherent.

      I personally view homosexuality to be a choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s a “choice” like choosing what you want for dinner. It is a choice much in the same way that our culture is a choice… exposure to this certain lifestyle makes us feel that we are unable to walk away from it even though biologically there is nothing actually causing this to be a part of our identity. As a convert, abandoning my pre-Islamic culture is difficult even though I can rationally, emotionally, psychologically, (in every way) acknowledge that non-Islamic practices are inferior. But I was raised as a non-Muslim and so it is hard to suddenly change my identity. Similarly, homosexuals feel that their thoughts define them, when really they have the power to break away from that lifestyle if they choose.

      • K says:

        It is pretty much a scientific fact that homosexuality (same-sex attraction) is NOT a choice. There is nothing in Islam to contradict this. It is, however, a choice to act out on those attractions. I think it’s a big mistake to write off the gay issue by labeling it as a choice – it drives away many Muslims who are struggling with this issue, and drives wedges between families and friends. I say this not as a homosexual, but as someone who has seen other people struggle with same-sex attraction while trying to remain a good Muslim. We, as a community, need to come up with a way to deal with this issue that is both compassionate AND in line with correct Islamic teachings. I don’t think this is impossible, but we are not doing a good job of it right now! I like this article because it is a good start. I hope more Muslims start to take a nuanced view of this issue.

        • Maysara says:

          There is no scientific evidence to say homosexuality is inherent. No gene has been identified. The media likes to say that scientific evidence proves it, but thats not true. Present conclusive evidence that ppl are “born this way” if you have any.

        • Simone Saeed says:

          I think what homosexuals who are struggling with themselves say is enough evidence for it not being a choice. We (I mean, people who are not homosexual) have not created them, nor do I know of any aya or hadith which explicitly states that Allah has not created people with same-gender attraction, rather i know that in fiqh books there is discussion of hermaphrodites and whether they should lead the prayer or not, although that’s a different issue.
          If someone who’s homosexual comes and explains to me how he/she has not been attracted by people of the other sex when growing up until he/she realized to be attracted by people of the same sex, I would be a liar to say that the way he sees his life experience is mistaken and I know more than him about his feelings. This especially if the person I’m talking to is a Muslim who acknowledges that sodomy is a sin and is struggling to control his desires, so he’s not trying to defend homosexuality.
          And may Allah forgive me for what I have no knowledge of.

        • WC says:

          Human nature inclination is meant to be hetero as Eve was created to accompany Adam. Both of them are our great great great grandparents. As nature as it is, only a pair of husband and wife could produce offsprings to sustain the generations.

        • fred says:

          Homosexuality can’t be a totally genetic problem if you have identical twin pairs where one twins claims to be gay while the other is straight.

    • Elena says:

      Again, I must point out that nowhere does it call it “evil”. The action of the sin maybe considered an “evil” act, but the sinner or the one who commits the act is not “evil”. Personally I do not find anything that doesn’t directly harm another person to be evil in any way. Whether or not evil is also something that harms the individual who participates in it is up for debate.

  13. Sidra says:

    Assalam-o-alaikum,

    JazakAllah khayr Imam Suhaib Webb for composing such a beautiful response. At times I feel sick how we Muslims refuse to open our eyes to reality and instead of helping our brothers and sisters, we become judgmental and end up turning them away from Islam. Even as a born-Muslim, I struggle with some things myself and wish that I had a community leader who held my hand and explained how certain things can be reconciled with my faith.

    I personally can’t wait to have you in Boston. The youth of New England has waited too long for an inspirational and understanding leader like you and alhamdolillah, Allah swt has finally blessed us.

    Wassalam.

  14. moteek says:

    The topic of homosexuality has caused me a lot of grief over the last few weeks. I am not a homosexual myself and alwayz believed homosexuality to be a sinful indulgence. But recent studies have almost conclusively proven that homosexuality is caused by nature and not nurture (in other words, homosexuality is an innate trait and not something that is developed or habituated). This means that a person can be born homosexual in much the same way as being born with a physical defect such as blind or deaf. feeling of homosexuality in of itself is not sinful until he or she has actually acted on his/her desires. While its very easy to fall into the trap of asking why then did Allah create homosexual desires in a person if the actions to fulfill those desires are evil. This would be tantamount to questioning the wisdom of Allah. He alone is the master of all dominion and he alone knows the hidden and the unseen. Blessed are those who are born homosexual and they desist from indulging in their desires. Allah will make their path to jannah that much more easier. May Allah grant them strength and make it easy for them..ameen!

    • Sara says:

      Studies have shown that sexuality is something fluid; when men and women are shown erotic images (of men or women, regardless of proclaimed orientation or gender), they get aroused. It’s not that homosexual men only get attracted to images of men… etc. It is our choice how to act upon our arousal, and that goes for straights and gays alike. We are taught that appropriate way to deal with our attraction (fast to restrain, marry to express) and anything outside of this sphere is unacceptable.

      I identified as a bisexual for many years, and felt out of control about my feelings. However, I blame this confusion on the media that projects so many images of scantily-clad women in sexual settings, and my own confusion about what I should look like to be attractive. However, after converting to Islam, wearing hijab, gaining some self-confidence, segregating from men, and marrying my husband (the first man that I was ever been attracted to), I realize how silly and false my “bisexual” label had been.

      • Andreea says:

        You are wrong, Sara. Homosexuality is not something you chose or are raised to or taught by society. A homosexual’s brain is wired differently. They respond to same sex pheromones. Moreover, the physical sex of the body and the sexual layout of the brain are predetermined in the womb of the mother by testosterone shots. As i wrote few days ago on the other article on the issue, when the fetus does receive enough testosterone for the bodily layout as masculine but not enough for the brain one as masculine too (the human baby matrix is female, fetuses are all first female then some become male) then we have a physical male with a female brain and so on (man that say they feel female despite having a male’s body). And so on you get homosexual man and women. It is not a choice and saying “to me this issue is that and that” is pretty…well, not ok. To you is one thing, but in fact comes above personal opinions. It is well for us to inform ourselves.
        Salamu aleikum to you all.

        • Fatima says:

          People are talking about this homosexuality issue as this is innate or hereditary? However as an MD, I have yet to see conclusive evidence and I am sorry I have not seen any yet. Please quote me a relevant study in a reputable journal and then I might consider that after looking at how the study was done. What I did hear was the studies done on homosexuality were skewed or flawed in the sense they only evaluated controlled subjects(brothers who were gay in a single family and traced their genes to their mothers etc and hence back in the days the theory that a dominant mother in a family gives rise to gay men etc, totally flawed).

          And as a muslim if you believe in islam or the quran then you know the origins of being sexually attracted to males as a male is in Sodom and gomorrha.

          Furthermore, the evidence of this being a nurture more than nature concept comes from the fact that when Prophet Muhammad SAW told his companions that a man is forbidden to sodomize another man or woman, many of them were shocked that such an interaction can even occur between men.

          Thirdly, there were instances afterwards I believe where the concept of passionate love is discussed and how there was a man who was passionately in love with another man and even died in that state.

          However, at the end of the day if you put your love for Allah SWT above everything else, you can conquer anything.

          there are diseases of the hearts that occur such as jealousy, arrogance, hatred, passionate love either of the same gender or another, either of a sexual nature or not and all these are due to whispers from your qareen or evilness of your soul. To counteract the whispers is a struggle and when you don’t act on the homosexuality then you get rewarded.

          Lastly, what Sara mentioned really honed in unto the reason of why you see a “rise” if I may say so of homosexuality, because of the lobbying, media suggestion and she gave a very good example of how not only in this society is homosexuality okay and don’t you dare say anything about it but actually encouraged and promoted.

        • Shawn says:

          I am a homosexual Muslim. No I am not open. Tho I am comfortable with my sexuality. I came to Islam because I contracted HIV and I wanted to seek peace because I felt Allah cursed me. Cursed me because I freely or knowingly sinned and never ever thought twice I thought to seek his forgiveness. When it comes to the topic if homosexuality a choice I ask my brothers and sisters did you guys choose to be straight? And I don’t think anyone would choose to be gay or an outsider. If you google homosexuality in Islam it says to throw gays from the highest building in town; burn them?!?!?
          Choosing Islam I learned to submit. And there is no one without sin. I’m actually 22 I contracted HIV when I was 20. I couldn’t tell my mom my family. So, I turned to religion I told Allah (swt). I no longer practice homosexuality, tho still my attraction to men is still there it doesn’t just disappear. However, through my own tragedy I’m forever scared. I never been with a woman ever. No I’m not feminine at all!!! Women are always throwing themselves at me but I am not and have never been attracted to females. So yes I’m a virgin lol. Making such rash secessions at such a young age I lost the privilege to have a wife and kids I will forever be without partner. In homosexuality, take it from a “homo” (lol j/k’ing), there is no balance it does not lead to creating a family that lifestyle does not promote creating families. Today I am alive and well happy back in school pursuing my dreams of being a teacher since I will never have kids of my own this way I will have several thousand kids an hopefully one day be the reason a young homosexual will safe guard his chassisty. This topic and the responses inspired me to speak up excuse my typos I’m at work.

        • Deannix says:

          Peace be upon you on the straight pathway.

          And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion Al Quran 43:36

          If we don’t realise this companion, who likes to whisper and giving some weird ideas to our mind, we would think that the idea comes from our own thinking.

          But actually it comes from the companion. Allahu a’lam. Some men got female companions and keep whispering them that they are female trapped inside male body.

          Some women got male companions that keep whispering them that they are male trapped inside female body.

          If you are having those kinds of companions. Do ruqyah yourself by reciting Sura Al Baqarah. In sha Allah by the will of The Almighty God, the companion will be tamed.

      • Andreea says:

        Sara, homosexuality is not something you chose or are raised to or taught by society. A homosexual’s brain is wired differently. They respond to same sex pheromones. Moreover, the physical sex of the body and the sexual layout of the brain are predetermined in the womb of the mother by testosterone shots. As i wrote few days ago on the other article on the issue, when the fetus does receive enough testosterone for the bodily layout as masculine but not enough for the brain one as masculine too (the human baby matrix is female, fetuses are all first female then some become male) then we have a physical male with a female brain and so on (man that say they feel female despite having a male’s body). And so on you get homosexual man and women. It is not a choice and saying “to me this issue is that and that” is pretty…well, not ok. To you is one thing, but in fact comes above personal opinions. It is well for us to inform ourselves.
        Salamu aleikum to you all.

        • Ahmed says:

          The brain can rewire itself ( see book “The Tell-Tale Brain”).

          And so being wired does not prove that it is inborn or permanent or cannot be rewired.

        • T says:

          Andrea.
          So how do you explain feminine lesbians or masculine gay men?
          Surely there is no difference in the wiring of their brains or chemical imbalances that would make them act like the opposite sex.
          By your assertions one can presume that they all do.

    • K says:

      Thank you for your comment. I completely agree

  15. Elena says:

    What, praytell, are “the whispers of homosexuality”?

  16. Nurul Zainul says:

    From my experience, if one sincerely wants to change for Him, then ask God Himself to help you to change with the condition that you are willing to accept anything from Allah to go through that process. He knows His slave best.

  17. Syed Zaim says:

    Alhamdulilah. What a great response and such an insightful article.
    God bless.

  18. Abou Yahia says:

    I have read and enjoyed very much the response given by Cheikh Suhaib -jazahoullahou kheiran- to the young man and all the comments made by the brothers and sisters. I am not a native English speaker, so forgive my intrusion. I am against the opinion that homosexuality is an innate thing in some peaole and there is nothing those people can do prevent it or get away from it. Shaykh Mohamed Al Ghazali, the late scholars [1917-1996], compared this to a fruit tree which,because of some defects in its roots, in the water which irrigates it or in the fertilisers, begins giving bad fruits: should we consider this tree as normal and let it continue giving rotten fruits or should we do something to cure it so that it gives natural, healty fruits? I personnally believe that homosexuality is an attitude born when certain social conditions are favourable, like in today’s life: pornography, zina (fornication), etc. Can someone claim that the consumption of alcohol or drugs, pedophilia, killing, etc. are innate instincts? It is totally against the Islamic faith: Allah, in His infinite justice, will not make us accountable for something which He kows is part of our nature. Islam belives in the purity of the human nature; it is the family and the society which are responsible whether he keeps in harmony with this nature or deviates from it one way or another. Salam.

  19. Tariq says:

    The article did not answer the question. I don’t see how this article could help homosexuals struggling to find attracting in the opposite sex. Coercion to find attracting is obviously out of the question. If the argument is that the inability to find attraction is biological or psychological, then I don’t believe suhaibwebb.com is the appropriate forum for this individual to seek help, or if anyone can help this person at all if the problem cannot be ameliorated. Encouraging someone to stop “sinning” when stopping such behavior is to inhibit psychologically unalterable behaviors seems counter-intuitive.

    I think the appropriate response should address whether homosexuals could be Muslim and homosexual simultaneously. This article seems to suggest that is possible, but with a limited set of outcomes: 1) that person stays a homosexual in theory because they are unable to release their desires to same-sex individuals, stay a Muslim, and live a life as a sinner, and continuously ask Allah for forgiveness for a condition for which they cannot control, or 2) That person lives a lifetime as a Muslim, but unintentionally avoids the opposite sex—due to a condition they cannot control—for the sake of being a Muslim and not engaging in sin. But the two mentioned scenarios seem fundamentally unfair to me, and not in line with the foundational principles of justice, mercy, compassion, equality, and fairness inherent in the teachings of the Quran, especially the latter scenario.

  20. Umm Ibrahim says:

    This answer by the sheikh is soo different from the article “the elephant in the room” …unlike the writer the sheikh never said that there is an “islamic opinion” which allows homosexuality…and this makes a BIG DIFFERENCE…thereby the sheikh is not legalising something that Allah has made haraam…rather he’s trying to help out the person and bring him closer to Allah…and may Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accept this from him and bless him.

    • Gibran says:

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmtullahi wa baraakatuh

      I don’t think that other brother actually said there is more than one Islamic option on this…doing so would actually put him out of the pale of Islam.

      For example, someone denying the mandatory salah.

  21. Yaqub says:

    Listen people; it’s simple!

    Acting on the thoughts/feelings/temptations/yearning/inclinations towards homosexuality is a grave sin.

    When someone doesn’t act on it; it isn’t a sin.

    Hence; one can still be homosexual who doesn’t act on their inclinations and be Muslim just as much as a heterosexual who doesn’t act on their inclinations towards fornication is Muslim.

  22. HM says:

    Salam.

    While your answer to the poster’s question is elaborate and thoughtful, wiht useful references, I find it to be too general and not very helpful (and I mean no disrespect), when the person simply asks, quoting: “What is your view on a non-practicing homosexual? The feelings exist but not the acts.”

    So he has same sex attractions (SSA), but hasn’t acted illegitimate (from an Islamic point of view), that is, he hasn’t acted sinfully.

    A separation of thoughts and acts is an important one, as you point out in your reply with one of the Muslim’s hadith. To my knowledge, there are no valid arguments that SSA is something sinful, unnatural, immoral, or that they represent a disease of some sort. Thus, it cannot be considered evil.

    I know not of any verse in Qor’an (is this how it’s spelled?), or Sahih hadith, in which it’s explicitly said, or perhaps even implied, that SSA is a sin, and thus forbidden. Furthermore, there have been valid scientific studies that have shown that people experiencing SSA have both psychological and physiological differences, when compared to straight (heteterosexual) ones. And that those SSA are normal.

    Of course, commiting homosexual acts is forbidden, for the reasons I’m unwilling to go into; I shall leave it to Allah. Allah punished the people of Lot for the reasons He punished them, but, to my knowledge, He never said something like “Why do you feel that what you feel!?”. Instead He said (I’m not quoting of course) something like “Why do you commit acts which no person commited before?”. Also, Muhammed, peace be upon him, never said, as far as I know, that a homosexual is to be “thrown out” of house because he feels whatever he feels, but because and in the case that the person behaves (acts) like a homosexual.

    And just as the comment above mine states, it really is simple, from a certain point of view. To have a feeling, I think, is not nor it cannot be considered a sin, but to commit a forbidden act is a sin.

    Last, but not least, to consider SSA to be something a person chooses is, to my knowledge, false. It is not a choice, as many scientific studies have pointed out. Perhaps a certain number of SSA “cases” is not inborn, but rather acquired, but that changes not the fact (yes the fact) that the majority of such “cases” (and by “case” I imply nothing negative or wrong) are inborn. Not merely a genetics, but also hormonal influences during fetal development, and possibly many other things not known at the moment.

    However, everyone, including those with SSA have a choice how to behave. Allah has forbidden something, for whatever reasons (not necessarily because it’s “natural” or not), and that is His prerogative. Why He has forbidden is not a subject I will adress in this short (or long, depending on the point of view) post.

    To conclude: to my knowledge, having SSA is not a disease, nor it’s sinfull, immoral, evil or anything bad from an Islamic perspective; to have sexual intercourse with a member of the same sex is however, again to my knowledge, a sin.

    Salam.

    • Aadil9000 says:

      So let me get this straight. It’s ok for me to think about murdering but I shouldn’t act it out? It’s ok for me to think or feel about raping but I should act it out? It’s ok for me to think or fantasies about bank robberies, but ok I get it. No action please! Weird logic . Is a seriously obese man trying to put his life back on track and lose weight told to have happy “double whopper with upsize fries” thoughts or is he distracted so he looses that thought process and habit.

      My advice to this person who asked the question, since you got on this path from that Muslim guy who doesn’t waste time nor drink, how about hanging out with him? Why is he so efficient and why you wished you were like him? Ask him to teach you about his Creator. I pray that Allah guide you to Islam and thinking back about this question, years down the road, will only add to the gaps of your before and after.

      A small uplifting consideration , coming in the folds of Islam cleans the past of the person. It’s like being born again, similar to deleting the browser history and opening a new window .

      • HM says:

        “So let me get this straight. It’s ok for me to think about murdering but I shouldn’t act it out? It’s ok for me to think or feel about raping but I should act it out? It’s ok for me to think or fantasies about bank robberies, but ok I get it. No action please! Weird logic .”

        Perhaps it might be considered “weird logic”, from a certain point of view, to have such desires, feelings and thoughts, but continually and in the same time try to refrain from acting upon them.

        However, you might have implied, in the above quoted statement of yours, that I stated for such feelings and thoughts to be “OK”. Which I have not. I merely stated

        “To have a feeling, I think, is not nor it cannot be considered a sin, but to commit a forbidden act is a sin.”

        and

        “A separation of thoughts and acts is an important one/snip/”

        I said nothing about whether those feelings, thoughts and whatnot are good or bad for the person having them. But, can they be considered, and thus judged by the same standards, as deeds? I think not.

        • Fatima says:

          Allah SWT has forgive whatever thoughts cross our minds and we do not act upon them. However, ideas becomes thoughts, and continual thoughts lead to incentives and incentives lead to execution of the thoughts, right?
          where do you draw the line, who puts those thoughts there in the first place?

          controlling of the thoughts will allow you to control your desire and prevent desires from actualizing.

  23. Ahmed says:

    The answer misses out on providing some hardcore spiritual techniques that can be used to get over it.

  24. annisa says:

    i’m a lesbian toO. and it’s naturally. sometime i don’t knOw how to cope it. buT after i stUdieD “Mukhasyafah Al-Qulub” imam Al-gHazali, i becAme aware. i cAn pRevent my dEsire to woMan. i cAn totalLy worShIp AlLah, cz human createD for worshIp. buT i cAn change my soul, is like a man, meanwhIle i’m a gIrl.
    :-( i knOw how to do now. buT i’d like to ask soMe questioNs:
    1. are there many lesbians in moslem?
    2. is there any lesbian in AraB?

  25. Gerry says:

    Salaam Brother who asked the question?
    I am homosexual and reverted to Islam 2 years ago. Islam is designed to aid in being God conscious! Because every thing you do is for Allah. For example: fasting once a week and it keeps ones mind on the job, lowering ones gaze and so on. When you pray five times a day, the last thing you think of is sex. Well it should be the last thing. Your opening line in your question was about a brother who “never drinks or wastes any of his time”, this is Islam, you live like you have never lived. InchAllah make prayer to God (Allah) and ask him to open your heart. It seems to me its happening.
    Take it easy bro.
    Gerry

  26. hasnain says:

    the main debate in this comment section seems to be whether or not homosexuality is a choice or “hard-wired” into our brains. some people are claiming studies prove this is genetic. which studies? what was the procedure? who funded the studies? the media nowadays is also claiming multivitamins and nutritional supplements can’t prevent disease. results can easily be manipulated.
    homosexuals can and do overcome this (with effort). so is this truly genetic or could it perhaps be psychological?

    another thing i see frequently popping up is saying that the marriages won’t work out b/c there is no sexual attraction. this is deeply flawed from an islamic standpoint. in islam even if someone is not sexually attractive they are obligated to marry. you obviously have a choice in whether to marry them or not but someone must marry them. even in the west they say (although few act upon it) that what matters most is the personality. all that is initially required is to treat your spouse with kindness and respect and to take care of her needs. love builds with time. you don’t need to be in a bf/gf relationship to build love. and if steps are taken and help from Allah (Swt) is asked for then i don’t see why homosexual tendencies can’t be overcome.

  27. shayan says:

    Assalam o Alaikum!
    I m ex-gay guys. and I want to inform u those people who says that homesexual feelings can’t change. Yeah it is true that no one can change such feelings but Allah, the Merciful, can change. and it is true that Allah has changed my sexual attraction. But it is necessary to Surrender first to the will of Allah and Prophet Muhammad pbuh, and continue pray and ask his forgiveness, believe me I am sharing my personal experience for those who are too much worried about such kind of ugly desires. I know how much ugly these desires because upto the age of 23 years, I never feel any attraction to woman because Allah was angry with me due to my sins! please ask his forgiveness and try to read quran with translation and try to follow its beautiful instructions, you will get your all answers if u really want to leave such ugly desires. pleaseeeee, no one can know what is homesexuality, even scienticsts, psychatrists, no one, but I am telling you it is nothing only the devilish desires of Shatan, by the grace of Allah, I am normal and I don’t feel any desire towards man, but I feel desires towards beautiful relation with wife, which is pure and natural, and blessing of Allah! He is great, Merciful, thats why he says himself in Quran: “REHMAN”

    • Sami says:

      assalam alikum.
      Great article by Shk Suhaib, my advise to brother is give in to Allah.

      I am also a convert (for a few yrs now) and struggling with SSA.

      I do think the some people with SSA can change their condition somewhat to have a married life, however it requires constant prayers to Allah and discipline. I do believe that Islam does provide tools to maintain that discipline, however for some people SSA might be too much and married life may not be a healthy option.

      I personally would like to get married and have children. Inshaallah, I will be able to do that in near future.

      Bro Shayan, I am proud of you and i pray for you and ask that you do the same for me.

  28. Jack says:

    Great input, Thank You.

    May Allah guide all man kind to the straight path regardless of their sexual orientation, mental status, size, age, color, race etc… Amen

    Just remember the awe of resurrection and the trumpets …
    Peace

  29. Muslimbrother says:

    Allah knows whats in the breasts and He knows what they utter and what they conceal even though a person appears sincere words are just words people may be fooled but Allah is the one who will judge u not people refrain from sins for the sake of Allah SWT homosexuality is not a title that people are using as a title freely this word is being thrown about so people begin to accept the idea and little by little it will be accepted as permissible bu future generations. If u are homosexual or u think u are and dont want to be that way then seek a cure and if u think its normal then i need no further evidence that u are a deviant. If homosexuality was from Allah SWT then why would prophet lut A.S people the first to commit such acts then lut said here are my daughters if homosexuality is not a choice then why did lut A.S say here are my daughters i.e women and then came the destruction of these people because they thought they were right rather then the messenger of Allah lut A.S . They rejected a message from God and were destroyed fight ur nafs ie desires inclinations and never let the kafir and hypocrites lead u astray. InshaAllah

    We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women : ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.”
    And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” (Surat al-Araf: 80-82)

    The people of Lut rejected (his) warning. We sent against them a violent Tornado with showers of stones, (which destroyed them), except Lut’s household: them We delivered by early Dawn,- As a Grace from Us: thus do We reward those who give thanks. And (Lut) did warn them of Our Punishment, but they disputed about the Warning. (Surat al-Qamar:, 33-36)

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