I pretty much know the Christian (including Catholic) views on these issues, as well as the Jewish views (which are a little more complicated), but what about Islam? From what I’ve read, homosexual behavior is condemned; however, I’ve also read that transgenderism is viewed differently in certain Islamic countries, in which gender divisions are not dualistic, but rather divided into three or even five. Could a knowledgeable Muslim (or anyone else) please expound on this? And is this view shared by only some movements of Islam and not by others?
Islam is divided, like so many religions, so pinning down one set of doctrines on this topic is problematic. For instance sodomy is not an uncommon practice in Islamic countries yet in most countries sexual deviancy as it is defined by them is punishable by death. From what I have read and seen it appears that they generally condemn homosexuality as well as its associated behaviors as do all faiths that spring from the God of Abraham.
Islam has always has taught that homosexuality is wrong, against nature and against God’s design. This is proven in the narrative of Sodom and Gomorrah, which the Qur’an mentions numerous times. Here are some examples:
“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!’ But we saved him and his family, except his wife: she was of those who legged behind” (surah 7:80-83)
“The people of Lut rejected the messengers. Behold, their brother Lut said to them: ‘Will ye not fear (Allah)? I am to you a messenger worthy of all trust. So fear Allah and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it: my reward is only from the Lord of the Worlds’. ‘Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing (all limits)!’ They said: ‘If thou desist not, O Lut! thou wilt assuredly be cast out!’ He said: ‘I do detest your doings.’ ‘O my Lord! deliver me and my family from such things as they do’. So We delivered him and his family, all except an old woman who lingered behind. But the rest We destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!” (surah 26:160-173)
“And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: ‘Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?’ But his people gave no answer but this: they said: ‘Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth’. He said: 'O my Lord! help Thou me against people who do mischief!’” (surah 29:28-30)
We believe that men were made for women and women were made for men. That is the proper and appropriate coupling-- not a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Here, in surah 49:13, we have the perfect picture of Allah’s design in regards to marriage and human sexuality: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other…”. If you ever get an invitation to an Islamic wedding, I can pretty much guarentee that the invitation will have that verse quoted somewhere.
So yeah, that is, in a nutshell, what Islam has to say about homosexuality. It’s sinful.
Thank you, drac. But I think the perspective of Islam on transgendered people is different from that on homosexuality, at least according to what I’ve read. That is, it is not frowned upon. Do you have further information on why this may be?
Ah, I think I know what you’re referring to :newidea:. There are some quote-on-quote “Islamic” nations in which transexualism is rampant. Iran is well known for having a lot of transexuals in its population and its government even approves of sex change operations [astaghfirullah]. This has been going on for quite a while: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7259057.stm. Iran is also famous for practicing what’s known as Mutah, which is, more or less, prostitution. Shias get all offended when sunnis [like myself] say that, but on a practical level, there’s not much of a difference between Mutah and prostitution. Mutah is a temporary marriage; it’s a practice that is filled to the brim with blasphemy and carnality.
Muslims do not go by a society’s culture, though-- we go by the Qur’an first and foremost. With that in mind, I don’t see how transexuality and homosexuality would be any different, from an Islamic perspective. Though the Qur’an does not specifically mention transgender/transexual people, hormone therapy or sex changes, there’s every reason to derive that, like homosexuality, it’s sinful (or ‘haram’, as muslims say). For example, internet pornography is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the Qur’an, but it doesn’t have to be specifically mentioned in order to derive authentic rulings on it.
There are countless examples in the scriptures that speak to the wickedness of transexualism. What a transgender person is convinced of is that he/she was born in the wrong body. In my ear, that sounds like they’re saying that God made a mistake when He made them. The Qur’an says that it’s Allah who creates babies stage by stage. He takes full credit for that. “…He [Allah] creates you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, within three darknesses. That is Allah , your Lord; to Him belongs dominion. There is no deity except Him, so how are you averted?” (surah 39:6).
I’m glad you asked these questions, though. They’re very relevant and important. Thank you.
Iran allows sex readjustment for medical reasons.
And go learn more about Mut’a…