both the Quran and the Bible, we are told that the first people who started
this habit on a national scale were the people of Lot in the old city of Sodom
which used to occupy the area where the Dead Sea now exists. (See Genesis
19). Let us concentrate on what the Holy Quran says about these people:
In Chapter 26 Verses 160 to 173 we read; "The people of Lot rejected the messengers. Their brother Lot said to them: 'Will you not fear God? I am to you a messenger worthy of all trust. so fear God and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it. My reward is only from the Lord the of worlds. Of all the creatures of the world will you approach males, and leave those whom God has created for you as mates? Nay. You are people transgressing all limits.' They said: 'If you desist not O Lot, you will surely be cast out!'. He said: 'I do detest your doings. O my Lord! Deliver me and my family from such things as they do.' So we delivered him and his family, all except an old woman who lingered behind. The rest we destroyed utterly. We rained down on them a shower; and evil was the shower on those who were admonished."
In chapter 27 verses 54 to 56 we read: "And Lot who said to his people: 'Do you do what is indecent though you see its iniquity? Would you really approach men in your lusts rather than women? You are a people grossly ignorant.' His people gave no answer but this: 'Drive out the followers of Lot from our city. They are indeed men who want to be clean and pure.' But we saved him and his family except his wife: We destined her to be of those who lagged behind. And We raked down on them a shower: and evil was the shower on those who were admonished".
Then in Chapter 11 Verses 77 to 83 we read: "When our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved on their account and felt himself powerless to protect them. He said" 'This is a distressful day.' His people came rushing towards him and they had been long in the habit of practicing abominations. He said: '0 my people! Here are my daughters: they are purer for you (if you marry). Now fear God and cover me not with disgrace about my guests! Is there not among you a single tight-minded man?' They, however said: 'You know very well we have no need of your daughters. Indeed you know quite well what we want'. He said: 'Would that I had power to suppress you or that I could betake myself to some powerful support'. (The angels) said: '0 Lot! We are messengers from your Lord! By no means shall they reach you. Now travel with your family while yet a part of the night remains, and let not any of you look back; but your wife, to her will happen what will befall them. Morning is their appointed time. Is not the morning near'. When Our decree issued we turned the cities upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay, spread layer on layer, marked from your Lord. Nor are they ever far from those who do wrong".
Let us see now how the Bible depicts this incident. In Genesis 18, Abraham intercedes for Sodom and the Lord accepts his intercession. Then God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah as in Genesis 19. From these texts we notice that both scriptures (the Quran and the Bible) mention that Lot, the Prophet and Messenger of God, advised his people to stop this habit and to return to the natural relationship with their wives. Instead they threatened to expel him and those who followed his advice. (See the Quran chapter 26 Verses 160-173).
According to the Quran, Prophet lot never despaired nor gave up. He continued to warn his people against this crime of theirs. He faced a lot of hardships. They began to comment sarcastically that he tries and his followers to be pure. Even his wife was inclined towards them. When these people turned deaf ears to Prophet lot's call, both sides were put to the test. God sent down a group of angels in the from of attractive young men. These angels were first the guests of Lot.
As soon as his wife saw them, she immediately told her people about them. They rushed to practice their abominations against the guests (Quran 11, 77 83). Lot reminded his people once again to refrain from this and not make a scandal for him and his guests. As a matter of fact, until this point of time Lot took the guests for ordinary human beings. To his surprise and relief they told him that they were the Messengers of God and that no harm will be caused to him (Quran 11, 77-83). He even defended his guests physically; but when every attempt to stop them completely failed, God Almighty sent His punishment from Heaven. The city was turned upside down and brimstone rain was sent against them so that they all perished along with Lot's wife, their collaborator. The Holy Quran makes the following comment after this tragedy took place. rt says: 'Such a punishment is not far from the unjust ones' (11-83), which means that the same fate will happen to those who commit this injustice.
We are also told in the Quran that Lot's people used to practice this same sex relationship in public (27-54). They saw no harm in looking at each other while doing this. They claimed that it is beyond the capacity or human beings to be pure or clean in this area.
Part of the Quranic perspective of the universe is that God Almighty controls everything in this world. Being the Creator of life and death, He is also the Sovereign and the legislator. Me sends messengers to different peoples from among themselves who are role models as well as conveyers of His message to them. If they listen and obey, this is for their own good in this world and the next. Whatever God permits is everything that is good, pure and healthy; and whatever be forbids us to do, it is also for our own sake. This is how the Holy Quran looks at this issue of homosexuality. It is against human nature; it is harmful to man and it betrays one basic goal of sex, namely: procreation within the limits of marriage only. That is why it is prohibited to practice homosexuality.
It is really sad to remark here that while the Bible condemns homosexuality, it ascribes to lot, the Prophet of God and His Messenger, that be was given wine by his two daughters and that he committed incest with each of them in the cave to which they resorted. This, the Bible says, took place on two consecutive nights! (See Genesis 19). How can this be said about Prophets of God and their daughters? This is not, however, strange for those I who are familiar with the present version or rather versions of the Bible. David, the well-known Prophet of God and King of Israel, is accused of committing adultery with the wife of Uriah, a military commander of his. Several other crimes are also attributed to sons and daughters of prophets of God.
In the Quran, however, we find the image of all prophets of God to be the best images of obedient slaves of the Almighty. In Chapter 21 verse 73 and after, we have the following description of lot as well as other prophets of God: "And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our command; We inspired them to do good deeds, establish regular prayers, and to give alms. They constantly worshipped Us".
Not only this but the Quran specifically describes Lot as follows: "And to Lot, too, We gave wisdom and knowledge; We saved him from the town which practiced abominations. Truly they were a people given to evil, a rebellious people. And We admitted him to Our mercy; for he was one of the righteous". (Chapter 21, Verses 74-75).
Two more points deserve our attention before we conclude this article about Islam and homosexuality. One is that Islam does not consider sex as a sinful deed. It does not look down on this human instinct. On the contrary, it considers it to be rewarding by God provided that it is practiced within the limits of marriage. For the Prophet of Islam says: "He who gets married has acquired one half of his faith, so let him fear God in the other half".
The second point I would like to make is that the present Bible reports a number of sexual crimes attributed. falsely to Prophets, Messengers of God and their children. Not only this but crimes of incest are said to be committed by prophets with their own daughters as we mentioned earlier. On the other hand, there are passages of pornography in the Bible that escaped the. attention of religious censors. Take the song of songs by Solomon. You cannot imagine these passages to be pan of a Divine scripture.
It is time that the Bible itself be purified from all these falsehoods before purifying the actual lives of the people.