Islam & Sexuality

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the Qur’an say about Homosexuality: Isn’t it a sin?
A: The Qur’an says little about homosexuality and many claims are made about the content of the Qur’an that do not necessarily stand scrutiny.
We have prepared a FAQ Document that discusses the subject.

Qur’an FAQ


For Parents:

Your child is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender)

You and your family are not alone, there are many people who have had the strength and courage to come out to their parents as LGBT. Some statistics state that 1 in 10 people are LGBT, there are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world. If 1 in 10 is LGBT that makes 100 million Muslim people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, like your child and approximately 200 million parents just like you.

Initially, you may feel that your child has died, and you may go through a grieving process with the accompanying emotions of shock, denial, disbelief, guilt, anger, a sense of loss, and disappointment. You have not lost your child, what you have lost is the perception you had of your child. As you love your child, you owe it to him/her and yourself to understand and accept the reality of the situation.

There are many people out there that you can talk to, who have been through what you are going through now. PFLAG (Parents, families and friends of Lesbians and Gays) are an excellent resource and can help you through this difficult period.

As with every other culture, Muslim cultures throughout the world have negative stereotypes of LGBT people, and have created myths and stories that have served only to alienate and hurt LGBT people. You probably have many questions, many of which stem from the myths and stories you may have heard, we try to answer some of them below. (Some answers courtesy of Himat part of LEAN)

Our religion says that homosexuality is a sin
What will people in my community say?
Is homosexuality brought about by poor parenting or a lack of religion?
Homosexuality is a Western phenomena
Is homosexuality an illness?
Maybe I should take my child to the local Imam/Peer/Fakhir/Baba
Is there a cure for homosexuality?
Once my child is married s/he will be happy
Allah sent AIDS to punish homosexuals

Our religion says that homosexuality is a sin
Muslim religious leaders have joined Christian and Jewish leaders in issuing a joint pleas for tolerance for LGBT people. They have issued a joint letter that states “We affirm our resolute support for Dr Williams’ (leader of the Anglican Church) endeavour and we rededicate our efforts to fighting…homophobia, and to defending the values of tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for differences we all cherish”


The Guardian 26th September 2003
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What will people in my community say?
You will be surprised to find that many of your peers, friends, and family will be sympathetic towards the situation that you are in. Many will even be supportive to you and your family, as most are aware that one day it could easily be their family in the same situation. If there are people who shun you, or are difficult towards you and your family, it would be a wise step to re-evaluate your relationship with those people. Do you really want to have friends who kick you when you are down?
Also bear in mind, that if you feel you are having a difficult time within your community, how do you think your child is feeling?
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Is homosexuality brought about by poor parenting or a lack of religion?
No. It’s not your fault. Parents can’t influence their childs sexuality. LGBT people grow up in all types of homes, with all types of families be they religious or non-religious.
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Homosexuality is a Western phenomena
LGBT people represent every socio-economic, ethnic and religious background possible, and live in every country of the world.
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Is homosexuality an illness?
Homosexuality is not an illness or a disability and should not be classed as one. It is a statement of love between two people of the same gender. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states “Sexual orientation is not to be regarded as a disorder”.
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Maybe I should take my child to the local Imam/Peer/Fakhir/Baba
Many parents take their children to see the local Imam/Peer/Fakhir/Baba to ‘cure’ their child (called reparative therapy). The effect of this is a negative relationship between you and your child, this also causes guilt, depression and low self esteem in your child.
The pressure to conform to cultural and religious stereotypes can lead to many LGBT people harming themselves. Recent research has shown that 25% of young men under the age of 25 who are questioning their sexuality are more likely to attempt suicide.
By labelling LGBT people as sick or as sinners reinforces society’s homophobia and encourages violence towards LGBT people. Would you want your child to be treated this way?
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Is there a cure for homosexuality?
Homosexuality is not a disease or disorder, so there is nothing to cure.
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Once my child is married s/he will be happy
Sexuality is not a choice, no one chooses to be LGBT. People are not seduced or taught to be gay, and cannot be ‘turned’ straight.
Marriage can be destructive for your child, and lead to further isolation, if you force your child to get married not only will you be ruing his/her life but that of their spouse.
The only real choice that LGBT people have is whether to live their lives honestly, or according to their community’s unrealistic expectations, and by doing so be completely unhappy.
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Allah sent AIDS to punish homosexuals
Ninety per cent of HIV cases are the result of sexual transmission and 60–70% of HIV cases occur among heterosexuals.


UNAIDS
No disease can be considered a punishment from Allah. Regardless of whether you are black, white, or any other colour, whether you are LGBT, straight, rich or poor, whether you live anywhere in the world, HIV has a potential to infect anyone.
HIV is not a gay disease or a punishment from Allah.
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