Does the Quran explicitly prohibit homosexuality? Why? Please cite specific verses which say something about homosexuality.

  • 1
    As i understand it, later saying of the last prophet invalidate older ones that may condemn homosexuality, like Leviticus 18:22, and his Last Sermon preaches equality for everyone. Oct 14, 2012 at 16:46
  • Please do consider looking about the narrowed topic of lesbians here. Mar 10, 2016 at 6:30

3 Answers 3


Homosexual acts are strictly forbidden in Islam. Although it has mainly been focused around men, women homosexuals are not that strongly discussed. This could be that in adultery, the focus is mainly on penetration.

In the holy Quran, the people of Prophet Lut have been discussed often. These were the people who heavily dowelled in homosexuality (male). Quran discusses them in a number of verses.

And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, "Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?(80)Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people."(81) Al-Araf 80-81

Ash-Shura 25:165-166

Do you approach males among the worlds(165).And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing."(166)

Al-Naml 27:55

Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly."

Quran 4:16

And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

The above verses clearly say sodomy is not allowed in Islam and is punishable. But it is somewhat soft. If you look at hadiths, homosexuality is rebuked in even stronger words.

This sin, the impact of which makes one’s skin crawl, which words cannot describe, is evidence of perverted instincts, total collapse of shame and honor, and extreme filthiness of character and soul… The heavens, the Earth and the mountains tremble from the impact of this sin. The angels shudder as they anticipate the punishment of Allah to descend upon the people who commit this indescribable sin.

This strong rebuke merely comes from the fact that our society has always condemned sodomy, esp male and those who use their back end.

What is left out?

Lesbian sex has been completely left out as if does not exist. Female homosexuality is very real just like male. Female homosexuals have zero interest in men and ideally they would not want to marry (a man). Why were they left out? The verdict seems to be incomplete and merely something that came from society not from Allah.

One hadith that I cannot find sources for is something like this (note these are my words) :

If two men commit sodomy, the one who is in the receiving end gets death penalty while the other gets 100 lashes.

This clearly makes the case for penetration. The man who penetrated clearly was not looked down upon. He was given a regular punishment for adultery, the receiving guy was given the punishment for being gay. This is what the society thought of it at the time.

While I am not entirely sure but if two gays fondle each other, that may include kissing and other body parts, the punishment might be less severe.


Almost all sahabas agreed on severe punishments for sodomy. Some agree that they should be burned and stoned, other said they should be thrown from height and then stoned, some said they should just be stoned, but most agreed, their punishment would be death.

A point to consider

The punishment for sodomy can only be enforced if there are two witnesses. Usually they are very hard to produce. By witness most people agree, they must have seen the act with their own eyes including the penetration. This could be impossible to produce as some people argue. I will leave that out of the answer as it is off topic here.

  • +1 I will just add also that Prophet Lot and his story is also interpreted as Sodom and Gomorrah en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah
    – adopilot
    Jul 11, 2012 at 14:48
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    So the Quran only says "dishonor" them, and certainly doesn't say anything about physically abusing them for having sex with one another. Feb 19, 2015 at 4:51
  • @LarryHarson no sure what you mean.
    – muslim1
    Feb 19, 2015 at 15:10
  • @muslim1 Are you seriously unable to distinguish between dishonour and execute? The Quran makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin, but there's no mandate for Muslims to intervene, so it is not a crime. It's only the hadith that assert that being gay is criminal. The Quran does not. In fact, I can not find a single case where the Quran gives Muslims any mandate to aggress. We are commanded to defend the innocent from aggression and oppression. There's no mandate to initiate conflict with people for their sins.
    – Carl Smith
    Dec 26, 2015 at 21:56
  • @CarlSmith Qur'an does not say homosexuality (being attracted to the people of same sex) is a sin! The punishment is for sodomy only. May 8, 2016 at 1:20

Asalam wa alaikum

وَلُوطًا إِذۡ قَالَ لِقَوۡمِهِۦۤ أَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلۡفَـٰحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِہَا مِنۡ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ (٨٠) إِنَّڪُمۡ لَتَأۡتُونَ ٱلرِّجَالَ شَہۡوَةً۬ مِّن دُونِ ٱلنِّسَآءِ‌ۚ بَلۡ أَنتُمۡ قَوۡمٌ۬ مُّسۡرِفُونَ (٨١)

Translation (interpretation of meaning):

We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: "Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? (80) "For ye practise your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds." (81)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

مَنْ وَجَدْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُولَ بِهِ

Whomever you find doing the actions of the people of Lut then kill the one doing it, and the one it is done to


  • Include thafseer's from great scholors in stead of just quoting from quran
    – Tachyons
    Jun 25, 2012 at 1:44
  • 3
    Wow, That answer in the link has the worst english, but one of the best explanation I have read about this topic. +1.
    – Youssef G.
    Jul 5, 2012 at 2:05
  • -1 The question is specifically asking what the Quran says. Your answer uses hadith to promote killing gay people, when the Quran does not tell people to do that.
    – Carl Smith
    Dec 26, 2015 at 22:22
  1. The holy Quran forbids having sex with someone other than your spouse.
  2. There is a allowed list of female to whom a man can marry. Similarly there is a list for Girls.

So it is clear that a man can marry women and an woman can marry a man. Without marriage sex is haram. So it is clear that homosexuality is forbidden in Islam.

  • 3
    Please add more sources and also maybe a link to these "lists" as it can prove to be more helpful answer.
    – user123
    Jun 23, 2012 at 11:36
  • 5
    The holy Quran forbids having sex with someone other than your spouse. Not quite. You can also have sex with slaves, see islam.stackexchange.com/questions/649/… . I suppose they must be female, too.
    – Lev
    Jul 7, 2012 at 13:08
  • @Lev, please read the answer there first.
    – Inshan
    Jul 9, 2012 at 4:26
  • Obviously I had read it before pasting the link.
    – Lev
    Jul 10, 2012 at 5:05

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