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Fatwa Permitting €˜Jihad Sodomy€™ for the Victory of Islam €“ The Question of Homosexuality in Islam

by Alamgir Hossain

25 Jul. 2012

Recently an al-Qaeda cleric's fatwa appeared in a video, which said: if a Jihadi is needed to be sodomized to widen his anus for inserting bombs into his rectum for jihad operations, it is permitted to do so in Islam. Because "Jihad is the pinnacle of Islam" and anything goes for its sake.

 

(Fatwa permitting sodomy for Jihad :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi8o_QLy5wM)

In 2009, al-Qaeda Jihadi Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri made a false repentation for his Jihadi activity, so that he could have a meeting with Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and killed him. So, before going for the meeting, he hid a bomb inside his rectum, which he wanted to explode while having the meeting with Prince Nayef. Al-Qaeda clerics had declared Prince Nayef an infidel for alliance with the West against al-Qaeda. But unfortunately for Asiri, he pushed the button a bit too early and as a result, although he earned Jihad martyrdom, but failed to kill the prince.

What happened is: although Asiri had repented, he remained in touch with al-Qaeda. One al-Qaeda cleric, named Abu al-Dema al-Qasab, had suggested jihadis of an €œinnovative and unprecedented way to execute martyrdom operations: place explosive capsules in your anus.€

Asiri and probably also others wanted to apply this new innovative Jihad technique. However, in order to insert a bomb through anus, the willing Jihadis needed to be sodomized repeatedly over a period of time to make their anus wide enough for the bomb to go in. One Jihadi, probably Asiri himself, asked an al-Qaeda cleric: €œIs it permissible for me to let one of the jihadi brothers sodomize me to widen my anus if the intention is good?€

€˜Yes€™ was the answer of the cleric, as he declared the following fatwa (see the video for original in Arabic). He said, although sodomy is forbidden in Islam,

€jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that €œnecessity makes permissible the prohibited.€ And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions€”and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you.

This issue brings the question of homosexuality in Islam, about which there is much confusion. Some moderate Muslims would say the Quran does not say anything about punishing homosexuals, while others would say punishment for homosexuality in Islam is death by stoning. At this opportune moment, let us examine what Islam truly says about homosexuality.

What Islam says about homosexuality?

Homosexual sex amongst men in Islam has been widely prevalent in history, especially at the highest levels of society. Even today in Islamic boarding schools, called Madrassas, around the world, which are all-male Islamic education schools, homosexual activity is highly prevalent among students, even involving Imams. Multiple reports have come out in the media in recent that Madrassa Imams have abused their young male-students by sodomizing them.

Muslim rulers, generals and nobles throughout history used to keep hundred to thousands of castrated slaves-boys. The handsome young ones were used their master for carnal indulgence.  They were called ghilman. They used to wear rich and attractive uniforms and often beautified and perfumed their bodies like women. The concept of ghilman originated in Islam from following verses of the Quran, which talks about pearl-like young male-attendants (ghilman), who would serve blessed Muslims in paradise:

Wrote Professor Hitti, €˜We read of ghilman in the reign of al-Rashid; but it was evidently the Caliph al-Amin, who, following Persian precedent, established in the Arab world the ghilman institution for the practice of sexual relations. A judge of whom there is record used four hundred such youths. Poets did not disdain to give public expression to their perverted passions and to address amorous pieces of their compositions to beardless young boys.€™[1]

Caliph al-Muqtadir (r. 908€“937) had some 11,000 eunuchs €“ 7,000 Blacks and 4,000 Whites (Greek) €“ in his Baghdad palace.[2] In India, Said Khan Chaghtai, a noble of Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-27), owned 1,200 eunuchs. Sultan Alauddin Khilji had 50,000 young boys in his personal services, while Muhammad Tughlaq had 20,000 and Firoz Tughlaq 40,000. Most of these slave-boys were castrated. Malik Kafur, Alauddin€™s famous commander, was a eunuch; so was Khusrau Khan, Sultan Kutbuddin Mubarak Khilji€™s favorite commander. Sikandar Lodi had once boasted, €˜If I order one of my slaves to be seated in a palanquin, the entire body of nobility would carry him on their shoulders at my bidding.€™[3] Sultan Mahmud had infatuation toward charming Tilak the Hindu, his favorite commander.[4]

While this has been the historical reality in the Muslim world, the Quran nonetheless has a rather mixed message about homosexuality. It is especially stern against homosexuality amongst women, and rather soft toward male homosexuality. Homosexuality-related Quranic verses can be divided as 1) condemnatory, and 2) punitive.

Condemnatory verses. The following verse of the Quran condemns homosexuality as an act of transgression:

  1. "Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?" [Qur'an 7:81]

According to this verse, homosexuality is an abomination, which no other creature engage in, meaning it is the €˜worst sin€™.

  1. "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" [Qur'an 26:165-166]

In this verse, Allah says that amongst all creatures, only men may approach other men for sexual gratification, ignoring the females, whom Allah has created as men€™s sexual partner. And He calls this a transgression against Allah.

Punitive verses. So, what will be the punishment for the €˜worst sin€™ and €˜transgression against Allah€™ that homosexuality is? The following verses tell us about the punishments.

  1. "...For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.... And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)" [Qur'an 7:80-84, also see Qur'an 27:54]

In this verse, Allah condemns homosexuality as the transgression against Him beyond all limits. He also gave an example of how He punished such transgressors of olden days, namely the people of Sodom, whom he annihilated by €œshowering rains of stones€. In accordance with this Godly punishment of the homosexual people of the Biblical Sodom, Muslim scholars have rightly prescribed €œstoning to death€ as the deserving punishment for homosexuals, which is practiced by some Muslim countries even today.

  1. "If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone." [Qur'an 4:16]

In this verse, Allah recommends punishing Muslim men, if they engage in homosexual acts, but they should be pardoned if the repent. That is, by repenting, Muslim men can save themselves from punishment for homosexuality. But how the female homosexuals have to be dealt with is commanded in the previous verses.

  1. €œIf any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.€ [Quran 4:15]

In this verse, Allah commands that if Muslim women are found guilty of homosexuality, they must be punished with eventual death. So, the difference is punishments for male homosexuals and female homosexuals are starkly different. Men can be given just any form of punishment and let go. They can even be let go without suffering any punishment, if they just repent. But for women homosexuals, there is no such option. Punishment for them would be such that it would eventually cause their death, nothing less.

From the Hadith: From the Quran, Allah seems to have been muddle-headed about dealing with the homosexuals, as its verses recommend punishing them with stoning to death to letting them go scot-free by simply repenting if they are male, or killing them if they are female. But in certain Hadiths, Prophet Muhammad commanded for summary execution of the homosexuals. For example,

  1. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done." [Abu Dawud 4462]
  2. "If unmarried man is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death." [Abu Dawud 4448]


[1]. Hitti PK (1948) The Arabs: A Short History, Macmillan, London, p. 99

[2]. Segal R (2002) Islam€™s Black Slaves, New York, p. 40€“41; Hitti (1961) The Near East in History, New York,  p. 276

[3]. Lal KS (1994), Muslim Slave System in Medieval India, Delhi, p. 106€“09

[4]. Elliot HM & Dawson J, History of India as Told by Its Own Historians, Vol. II, p. 127€“29   [Hit Counter]