They Are also Human Beings
by Abdur Rahman
Homosexuality is defined as a romantic or sexual attraction between two people of the same sex and it happens when a person shows affection or desires someone of the same sex. Any person demonstrating such traits are denoted this way, and any civilization, society built on these foundations are designated that way as well. Every homosexual man, woman or human being is our brother sister and friend.
90% of our country is comprised of Muslims and because the brunt of us have adopted Islam, we tend to harbour a sullen attitude towards homosexual people. Not only that, members of the LGBT community are perpetual victims of torture and harassment from the likes of the police, antagonistic people and Muslim fundamentalist groups. But why are they being harassed? Don’t they count as human beings, can’t they live as we do!! We haven’t seen the government invest anything on attaining this basic moral criterion, but we haven’t seen them aid or encourage anyone on their own as well. We forget easily, that we are all human beings. If someone in your family was born with these traits, would you have been able to abandon that person?
I simply cannot add up as to why homosexuality is “haram” (sinful) in Islam, or why there are punishments on them? Why does Islam ban homosexuality? In my understanding, we are all Allah’s creation right! And yet we shunt ostracize them, ignore them, deprive them of everything and feel humiliated to identify them. Because Islam has labelled it haram, LGBTs n our country are being deprived of any opportunities, they keep themselves hidden from the world. In fact the constitution of Bangladesh allocates every religious and social rights to its citizens and yet, according to the Penal Code section 377 homosexuality is a punishable criminal offense and the penalty is in between 10 years to life imprisonment, along with a fine. And that is the reason they lead their lives in obscurity. We all know that Islam has identified “homosexuality” as a crime. But it is also true that homosexuality exists in Muslim communities as much as it does on other societies, and they keep their identities secret.
The Way Homosexuality Is Presented In Islam
Before we analyse how Islam presents homosexuality, let us first understand why it is banned. In Arabic sodomy is referred to as “liwat”, and those who engage in homosexuality are referred to as “luti”. Both the words have been derived from Hazrat Lut (Alaihiwasallam). Now let us lake a look at what the Hadith say.
- According to Hadith and Sirah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) declared homosexuality as an offence punishable by death and according to the Ibne-Al-Zawazi, in some Hadith he has declared homosexuality as a curse and announced death penalties as well.
- According to the Sunane Al-Tirmizi Prophet (pbuh) remarked, “If you ever see anyone committing the crimes Lut did, kill him, and those who do it and help others do it kill them as well.Those who follow Lut, they stand in the way of the Creator and his creations. In other words he rebels against the creator.”
This collection Hadith proves that, homosexuality was rife in ancient Arabic and people were interested in homosexuals as well. In afterlife, the riches of Jannat (heaven) await the believers. Vivacious “hurs” (virgin women) and handsome “gelman” await them for their entertainment. There is no way to tell what exactly “gelman” are. But perhaps what Persian poets describe as “Saki” is referred to as “gelman” in Arabian culture. The quartet of Imams who interpreted Islamic law, couldn’t agree on what the punishment of homosexuality should be.
- Abu Bakr Al-Jasos offers, “The two Hadith instructing to kill homosexuals are not acceptable, and therefore cannot be used to hand out any valid punishments.”
- According to Hanafi Mazhab any physical punishment cannot be given out. He considers the following Hadith to be the basis of his argument, “Muslim blood can only be spilled for adultery, apostasy and homicide”.
- Imam Hambli strongly opposed these views and declared homosexuality as a punishable offence.
- And Imam Shafi leaned towards a monetary fine.
There are varied opinions on how the death penalty will be executed as well. Abu-Bakr quoted “toppling a wall on the evil-doer” which means to burn the person alive. On the other hand Abu Talib advised Luti to be pelted with stones till they die. Ibne Abbas remarked, “The punishment has to be executed by pelting stones”.
If all creation belongs to Allah why should there be such restrictions on homosexual people. Why shouldn’t they being counted as humans. Just because two people of the same sex love each other, their very existence should be denied? Come let us see them as human beings and friends…