Dr. Javed Jamil
Almost all religions with few exceptional orders express severe detestation for homosexuality. Faced perhaps with their receding popularity, only a few denominations of Christianity and Hinduism have tried to reconcile with the modern approach towards the issue.
Both Quran and Bible describe in gory detail about the destruction of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah on account of the sinful indulgence of their population in homosexuality. It will be interesting to unfold that story.
The Community of Lut repudiated the Messengers. A time came when their brother, Lut asked them: “Will you not be dutiful to (God)? I am surely a trustworthy Messenger (sent) to you. So, be dutiful to God and obey me. Further, I do not seek any remuneration for this, as my remuneration is to be (given) by none other than the Lord of the Multiverse. Have you found only males in the whole world abandoning those who have been created by your Lord as your spouses? On the contrary, you are a perverted community. (26: 160-166)
*And Lut (was also Our Ambassador). Once upon a time he addressed his community: “Do you commit a kind of obscenity which no one in the entire multi-world has committed before you? You have relations with men instead of women. You are indeed a pervert community. (7: 80-81)
(He said); “Do you really have relations with men disconnecting the (natural) course and indulge in the unacceptable practice even openly in your gatherings? (29: 29)
His community had no answer except that they said (to one another in hateful sarcasm): “Banish them from your city. They are the people who want to remain pure!” (7: 82)
At this his community had no answer except that they (challenged him) saying: “Bring on us the Wrath of God if you are right!” (29: 29)
He said: “I hate your practices. My Lord! Rescue me and my family from their activities!” (26: 168-169)
He said: “My Lord! Help me against the agents of turmoil!” And when our messengers came to Abraham with the good news (of going to be blessed with a son), they told (him): “We are surely going to destroy the people of this town as they have become (big) criminals. He asked, “But Lut is there.” They replied: “We do know who is there. We will certainly rescue him and his family except his wife who is going to be left behind.” (29: 30-32)
Interesting argument between Abraham and God
When the worry left Abraham and he got the good news, he began to argue with Us for the Community of Lut. Certainly, Abraham was a man, full of concern, compassionate and inquisitive. “Abraham! Now, give up this advocacy. Surely, the command of your God has been issued. The punishment will certainly reach them and there is no possibility of its cancellation now.” (11: 74-75)
Now, it is interesting to see what Hadhrat Ibrahim’s argument with Allah was regarding Hadhrat Lut’s Community. The very interesting description of that argument is found in the Old Testament. Here is that:
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.[a] 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[b] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[c] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.
Subsequently, when our messengers reached Lut, he felt worried and got tense about their safety, uttering “This is a difficult time!” People from his community came rushing to him, and (this was because) they had been addicted to (sexual) perversions for long. He pleaded, “My community! There are my daughters for you who are healthier for you (as spouses). Now, feel the awe of God and do not make me ashamed on account of my guests. Is there not a single right-minded man among you?” They said: “You know it pretty well that we have no interest in your daughters. You know quite well what we desire.” He pleaded: “I wish I had the power to stop you or could avail some strong support for myself!” (The messengers) said: “Lut! We are (in fact) messengers of your Lord. They will never be in a position to reach you. Now, (what you have to do is to) get out of here along with your family, except your wife, while a part of the night still remains, and anyone of you should not look back at any cost. To her will happen what happens to the (other people). Certainly, morning is the time fixed for them. Is not the morning close? When Our command arrived, We turned the city upside down and rained on them brimstones as hard as baked clay, spread in layers over one another, marked from your Lord. (God’s punishments) are never far from the offenders! (11: 76-83)
Eventually the blast overtook them at dawn, and We turned (the cities) upside down and rained on them the stones of the hard clay. Certainly, in this (story) are wondrous messages for those who try to explore. And (the cities) were right on the main way. (15: 73-76)
Biblical account is as follows:
1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” 3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” 6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” 9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. 10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. 12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. 15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” 16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” 18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.” 21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. ) 23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. 30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.”
There has been difference of opinion among jurists regarding the punishment of homosexuality. Some people have tried to argue that there is no punishment in Quran for homosexuality. This is erroneous. Quran says:
Further, if any two men among you behave illicitly, punish them both! If then they pledge never to repeat the act, and reform themselves, leave them.. Certainly God is Kind-to-repentance-Merciful. (4: 16)
Scholars interpret this as a direct command related to homosexuals. Further the punishment of 100 lashes in Surah Nur applies to all sexual relationships outside marriage, whether the one indulging in it is a male or female. And above all, the description of stoning of Lut’s people tom death leaves no doubt about the severity of the crime in the eyes of Allah and the need of punishment if they refuse to reform themselves,
This is high time the scholars of all religions took a united unequivocal stand against all types of homosexuality. The scourge of AIDS has already engulfed tens of millions, which has not been a lesser punishment than that given to Sodom and Gomorrah. Localities after localities in Africa have been devastated and it has killed tens of thousands in America and Western countries too. With the antiviral therapy now available they tend to think that future is safe for them. But the truth is that antiviral therapy only prolongs life but the pain associated with the disease even during treatment is huge and the medicines are to be taken till death. And with the kind of natural habitat Anal intercourse provides to the viruses and bacteria, there is always a possibility that some new infection emerges and engulfs millions more before any treatment is fund again.
Those who do not believe in religions or God and believe in Sciences, they should in fact be more vocal in their opposition to homosexuality if they have more concern for human lives and healthiness of lives rather than the false freedom propgated by the forces of economics in tandem with the forces of politics.
Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer and Head of Chair in Islamic Studies & research, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map” and “Qur’anic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”.