The Quranic input on Homosexuality and its accountability
It is not the subject of this article to highlight the Quranic stand on the issue of homosexuality as this is clearly stated in the story of Lot and his sexually perverted people. This practice is abhorred by God and promised severe punishment. The subject of this article is to reply to a specific question which is often asked by many. The question is:
A number of medical researches have pointed out that homosexuality could be genetic and that some people are born that way. If that is the case, why would God punish them for the way He created them?
To reply to this question, it is first necessary to look into the claim that homosexuality is genetic, after which we can look into the Quranic reply to this question.
Are people born gay?
In an attempt to answer this question, it is found that there are as much affirmative researches as there are refuting researches. Each claiming validity! Many researches claim to have found genetic basis for homosexuality, while an equal number of researches claim that these researches are flawed and thus their results are inconclusive. The latter type of researches ascribe the cause of the homosexual tendencies primarily to social and cultural influences.
The Quranic verdict
Let us assume, for argument’s sake, that homosexuality is genetic, then try in the light of the Quran reply to the above question. We can be assured that the answers to all questions are given in the Quran:
We have brought the Book down to you providing explanations for all things plus guidance, mercy, and good news for the submitters. 16:89
The answer to many Quranic questions lies in various key words which God deliberately places within the relevant verses. These key words provide the correct answers that we are seeking.
With regards to the issue of homosexuality, and in connection to its accountability, the following verses shed light on this matter:
You approach men lustfully instead of the women. Indeed, you are an excessive people. 7:81
Indeed, you approach men lustfully instead of the women! Rather, you are a people acting ignorantly. 27:55
Indeed, you approach men, you criminally intercept the roads and you commit depravities during your gathering!" The response of his people was but to say, "Bring us God's punishment if you are of the truthful. 29:29
Immediately, we notice one common key word that is used in all the above verses. The word is “approach”. When Lot was reprimanding his people and warning them of God’s punishment, he always used the word “you approach men”. So what exactly is the significance of this word?
This word in fact tells us that these people were not only homosexual but they were practicing homosexuality. It follows that any person who may be homosexual, but is not practicing homosexuality, would not be subject to the warnings, nor the accountability.
Before we proceed further with this subject it may be good to pause here and reflect on another divine rule which is connected to our subject.
God designs different kinds of tests for different people. No two people are given identical tests in every aspect of the test. To cite some examples, some people may be tested through poverty, others through poor health, others in the loss of their children and others still in the inability to have children. Here lies the heart of the test. Genuine believers, who have the awareness of the importance of the Hereafter when compared to this life, will make sure to pass their test and trust in God. They are ascertained that this life is but a fleeting moment when compared to the eternity of the Hereafter. Not only will they accept their test gracefully, but in fact they will turn their loss into a gain. The purity of their faith assures them that through passing their test they would have earned a prominent place in the Hereafter.
Whether some people are born with homosexual tendencies, or they acquire it after birth, they are all tested by God just like anyone else is tested. A homosexual person who reveres God and is blessed with genuine faith would indeed curb his tendencies and consider this to be his test.
A number of relevant question arise and need addressing. For this purpose, the following is a hypothetical debate between two people. The first person, who defends homosexual activities, is called A, while the second person, who attempts to represent the Quranic view, is called B:
A: Why can’t a gay person enjoy sex just like everyone else?”
B: Why can’t the sterile have children just like everyone else? Why can’t the paralysed walk like everyone else? Why can’t the blind see like everyone else?” … the list is endless. Would the homosexual trade his homosexuality with blindness or paralysis?
A: But the blind cannot see if they wanted to nor can the paralysed walk if they wanted to, but a homosexual is able to have sex in the manner he pleases and at the time he pleases.
B: With the same logic, we can say that any person engaging in an activity which is prohibited by God, say eating pork or taking intoxicants, is able to indulge himself as he pleases and when he pleases, does that make it acceptable with God?
It is important here to note that a blind person, or a paralysed person, gets credited if he gracefully accept God’s will. In contrast, a homosexual person who curbs his tendencies gets credited twice. First, for gracefully accepting God’s will and second for refraining from practicing homosexuality, when he is able to. The second credit is because he had the choice and chose to abide by God's law, in contrast, the blind had no choice to see or not to see, neither did the paralysed in his predicament.
A: Homosexual people find it very difficult to curb their tendencies! How can they be blamed?
B: Equally, a paedophile may claim that he finds it impossible to curb his tendencies! Should he too not be blamed?
A: But a paedophile is committing a criminal act while a gay person is not!
B: Not necessarily! This is a matter totally dependent on the time and place. In some countries today homosexual activities lead to stoning, while as during the earlier centuries, when the church had the upper hand and applied many Biblical rules to the letter, men who were caught in the act of homosexuality were put to death in accordance with the law in Leviticus 20:13:
"If a man also lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:13, King James Version)

The Quran decisively puts the argument of ‘Genetic or not’ to bed. The Quranic solution by-passes all genetic and social issues.
Whether a person is born gay or is influenced by his social and cultural circumstances to become so, he should curb any gay tendencies he may have and accept this to be his test; the test given to him by God.