Abstract

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

"What we learn from this is that supporting corrupt people who are involved in the evil illicit behaviour - like homosexuality and other unnatural sexual activities - is a crime that warrants Allah's punishment for those who support and endorse such people. The Wife of Lut (AS) was not punished because she was not directly involved in homosexual practices, but because she supported those who were."

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Introduction

In recent years, Western nations have been opening up to the granting of rights and freedoms to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Along with these rights, come a major push to normalize homosexual practices, pass legislations to allow “same-sex” marriages, introduce LGBT propaganda in school curricula and force others in society to accept sexual deviance as being ‘morally legitimate.’

This controversial shift over the past decade has left some Muslims living in the West in quite the dilemma, feeling it is those same rights and freedoms granted to them in liberal secular societies, now being granted to the LGBT community. They argue that, “if we Muslims demand our rights and freedom to practice Islam as we wish, then we must also equally support others in practicing their way of life as they wish. They further argue that if the Muslim community supports these rights, the LGBT community will likewise support the Muslims fighting for their rights in the West. This has led several Muslim leaders and Imams in the West to ally with LGBT leaders, to openly endorse gay marriages and to support the gay rights movement in the West.

The reality is that such an approach is contradictory and fallacious. These Muslims presume that by taking such a stance, they will gain reciprocal recognition and acceptance. They claim that supporting and endorsing gay rights is acceptable, so long as one does not believe gay practices are permissible in Islam. However, this mentality is problematic from the outset. If one believes Islam does not sanction homosexual acts, then on what basis would the LGBT community support Muslims if their religion does not sanction what they do? It is in fact precisely for this reason that the LGBT community does not support the broader Muslim community, and never will, as they know very well what Islam teaches about their way of life; if they are supporting anyone, it is the liberal minded secular Muslims who believe that Islam makes room for the LGBT way of life. Even insofar as they are supporting such duplicitous Muslims, then it is only due to their minority status - their being in need of ‘allies.’ Once the LGBT community gains full acceptance in society, they will desert the Muslims, reminding us of Allah’s statement:

“And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion.” . [1]

To what extent are we willing to go in supporting the rights of non-Muslims and their practices which oppose the teachings of Islam? Based on the logic used by these Muslims, if tomorrow a ‘pedophilia rights movement’ starts gaining momentum and Western governments legislate laws protecting their right to commit abuse against children, these same Muslims would stand with them in solidarity, despite Islam’s condemnation of such wicked practices.

More can be said in response to the stance taken by these pro-LGBT Muslim leaders, but let’s first pause here and examine what the Qur’an has told us about a similar situation that took place in the past.

The Wife of Prophet Lut (AS)

In the Qur’an, - like that of previous scriptures - the dispproval and penalty of homosexuality presents itself in the story of Lut (AS). In the various verses the story of Lut (AS) is mentioned, Allah (SWT) mentions the corruption and lack of shame that had engulfed the town of Sodom to which Lut (AS) was sent. Allah narrates how Lut (AS) confronted his people and admonished them, pointing out their corruption, criminal activities and unnatural sexual behavior. Instead of being admonished, they reacted aggressively to Lut (AS), threatening to drive him out of town.

Here are two such accounts from the Qur’an:

And when Lut scolded his people, [saying], “Do you commit a shameful deed that no man has ever done before? You approach men with desire instead of women! You are certainly transgressors.” But his people’s only response was to say, “Expel them from your land! They are a people who wish to remain chaste!” . [2]

The people of Lut rejected the messengers, when their brother Lut said to them, “Will you not fear Allah? I am truly a trustworthy messenger to you. So fear Allah, and obey me. I do not ask you for any reward for this [message]. My reward is only from the Lord of all worlds. Why do you lust after fellow men, leaving the wives that your Lord has created for you? In fact, you are a transgressing people.” They threatened, “If you do not desist, O Lut, you will surely be expelled.” . [3]

The Qur’an goes on to tell us that Allah eventually destroyed the people of Sodom, while saving Lut (AS) and his family. However, when Allah mentions that He saved Lut (AS) and his family, He makes one exception: the wife of Lut (AS).

So We saved him and his family except his wife, who was one of the doomed. . [4]

So We saved him and all of his family, except an old woman (Lut’s wife), who was one of the doomed. . [5]

The wife of Lut (AS) happened to be a disbeliever who sided with the people of Sodom, acting as a spy for them and passing on information to them about Lut (AS) and his activities. In one instance, when Allah sent angels in the form of handsome guests to visit Lut (AS), his wife immediately informed the townspeople about them. The word quickly spread and soon people were gathered outside Lut’s house demanding to see the guests. Mentioning the account, Allah says:

When Our messenger-angels came to Lut, he was distressed and worried by their arrival. He said, “This is a terrible day.” And his people — who were used to shameful deeds — came to him rushing. He pleaded, “O my people! Here are my daughters [for marriage] — they are purer for you. So fear Allah, and do not humiliate me by disrespecting my guests. Is there not a single right-minded man among you?” They argued, “You certainly know that we have no need for your daughters. You already know what we desire!” He responded, “If only I had the strength [to resist you] or could rely on a strong supporter.” . [6]

However, it is important to note here that although Lut’s wife was a disbeliever and sided with the people of Sodom, she did not engage in those homosexual practices herself. Mentioning her betrayal, Allah (SWT) says:

Allah sets forth an example for the disbelievers: the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut. Each was married to one of Our righteous servants, yet betrayed them. So their husbands were of no benefit to them against Allah whatsoever. Both were told, “Enter the Fire, along with the others!” . [7]

The great exegete Isma’il Ibn Kathir [d. 774 AH / 1373 CE] says in his commentary of this verse:

“Yet betrayed them” does not mean committing illegal sexual intercourse, but refusing to accept the religion, for the wives of the Prophets were immune from committing illegal sexual intercourse on account of the honor that Allah has granted His Prophets, as we explained in Surah al-Nur. Al-‘Awfi reported from Ibn ‘Abbas, “They betrayed them by not following their religion. The wife of Prophet Nuh used to expose his secrets, informing his oppressive people whenever any person embraced the faith with Nuh. As for the wife of Prophet Lut, she used to inform the people of the city (Sodom) – those among them who used to commit the awful sexual act (homosexuality) – whenever a guest was entertained by her husband.” Al-Dahhak reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “No wife of a Prophet ever committed illegal sexual intercourse. Rather, they betrayed them by refusing to follow their religion.” . [8]

What we learn from this is that supporting corrupt people who are involved in evil illicit behavior – like homosexuality and other unnatural sexual activities – is a crime that warrants Allah’s punishment for those who support and endorse such people. The wife of Lut (AS) was not punished because she was directly involved in homosexual practices, but because she supported those who were. In order for her to have been saved from punishment, Lut’s wife would have had to accept Islam and also renounce her support for the homosexual practices of her people. This is evident from the fact that the people of Sodom were punished because of their lack of accepting Islam as well as their immoral behavior, as Allah (SWT) says:

We are certainly bringing down a punishment from heaven upon the people of this city because they have been acting immorally. . [9]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [d. 728 AH / 1328 CE] says:

A person must hate what Allah hates of illicit sexual acts, slandering others of such acts and spreading it among the believers. Moreover, whoever is pleased with the acts of a people will be rounded up with them (on the Day of Judgment), like Lut’s wife was rounded up with them (the people of Sodom) although she never used to commit the illicit act of homosexuality, for such an act is not done by a woman. But when she approved their acts, the punishment encompassed her. . [10]

This is further supported by Abdullah bin Mas’ud (RA) who is reported to have been invited to a wedding, but when he heard music, he refrained from entering. He was asked why he refrained, to which he replied, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, ‘Whoever increases the numbers of a people, he is one of them; and whoever approves the actions of a people, he is a partner of the one who does it.’” . [11]

What this means is that whoever stands with evil people, supporting their cause and endorsing them, even if he does not partake in their evil actions, he is still considered as one of them. So when Allah’s punishment descends on such evil people, it encompasses those who were directly involved in the act of committing evil, along with those who supported them despite not being directly involved; and this is what is vividly evident from the case of Lut’s wife.

So We saved him and all of his family, except an old woman (Lut’s wife), who was one of the doomed. Then We utterly destroyed the rest, pouring upon them a rain [of brimstone]. How evil was the rain of those who had been warned! Surely in this is a sign. Yet most of them would not believe. And your Lord is certainly the Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. . [12]

All success is from Allah, and Allah knows best.

Notes

  • . [1] Surah Al-Baqarah (2:120).
  • . [2] Surah Al-A’raf (7:80-82).
  • . [3] Surah Al-Shu’ara’ (26:160-167).
  • . [4] Surah Al-A’raf (7:83).
  • . [5] Surah Al-Shu’ara’ (26:170-171).
  • . [6] Surah Hud (11:77-80).
  • . [7] Surah Al-Tahrim (66:10).
  • . [8] Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Abridged Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Riyadh: Darussalam Publishers & Distributers, 2000), 10:73-74.
  • . [9] Surah Al-’Ankabut (29:34).
  • . [10] Ahmad b. Abdul-Halim Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmu’ al-Fatawa (Madinah: King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Qur’an, 2004), 15:344.
  • . [11] Ahmad b. Ali Ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani, Al-Matalib al-‘Aliyah bi Zawa’id al-Masanid al-Thamaniyah (Riyadh: Dar al-‘Asimah, 1998), 8:319.
  • . [12] Surah Al-Shu’ara’ (26:170-175).

Kamil Ahmad

Sheikh Kamil Ahmad's research concentrated on New Atheism and its impact on Muslims.