Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear brother, thank you for your question that shows your interest in Islam.
It is clearly known that homosexuality is a heinous sin in Islam. So, your friend, as a Muslim, has no choice but to be good Muslim leaving such an abominable sin and saving no effort bringing himself closer to Allah Almighty.
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,
Your brother is not at all different from those who have been conditioned to fornicate or commit theft or murder or addicted to watching pornography or even television for that matter. All of these are destructive habits which one learns through continuous exposure or conditioning. So, he must ask himself whether he would prefer to continue in this destructive behavior or change himself.
If he is a Muslim, he is left with no choice but to change. For homosexuality is considered one of the most abominable sins in Islam; it is so enormous in intensity and gravity about which Allah Almighty tells us in the Qur’an that an entire nation was horribly destroyed because of committing it. We should know that the stories narrated in the Qur’an are not meant for chanting or entertainment. Rather, they are meant to teach us valuable lessons for our benefit.
Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an, “Truly in their stories is a lesson for people of understanding, for this (Book) is not a forged tale, but is a confirmation of the revelations of that preceded it, a detailed explanation of all things, guidance and a mercy to people who believe.” (Yunus: 12:111)
So, he should ask himself whether he wishes to belong to the category of those who have been condemned to eternal perdition by Allah. It is his choice, and his alone; he cannot say I don’t have any choice. The one who abused him would also be taken accountable about his sin; he will surely meet his Creator for his sin; his sin does not justify yours, for you are a free person with your own choice and will.
If you really believe in Allah, and convince yourself sufficiently of the need to change, and motivate yourself by reading and reflecting and thinking of standing before the Lord of the worlds, you would be able to break free of any such destructive habits. Islam is full of examples of those who had been addicted to all sorts of crimes and sins, but eventually they changed their lives around by affirming faith and commitment in Allah and working diligently upon themselves.
The Arabs before Islam were addicted to drinking, womanizing and all kinds of vices, and yet after having embraced Islam, they became a better breed of people, breaking free of all such vices.
So, I advise your brother to summon and mobilize all his spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and practical resources to break free of this most destructive and abominable habit and learn new positive habits that are pleasing to Allah.
Here are a few tips to help him in his struggle:
- Let him convince himself that the pleasure that he derives from such an abominable behavior is in reality nothing but pain and suffering in the long term. So, instead of associating this behavior with pleasure, let him learn to associate and link it with pain. So, every time he is tempted to do it, let him picture the pain and suffering of hell fire. By repeatedly going through this exercise, he would eventually come to abhor and shun this behavior altogether.
- Let him continuously read, reflect and meditate on the verses of the Qur’an which deal with the punishment meted to the nation who practiced this abomination. Let him also read the verses depicting hell fire. (Take these verses as examples: 7: 80-84; 11:77-83; 40:47-50, etc.)
- Let him ask himself whether he wishes to belong to the group of the wicked sinners condemned by Allah or join the company of the Prophets, saintly ones, the martyrs and the righteous who are blessed by Allah. The choice is his and his alone.
- Let him immediately cut off all relations with people who lead such a life-style; let him, if there is need, relocate himself into another city where he will be able to erase his past, and form friendship with those who are righteous and engaged in good works and thus occupy himself in such works with them.
- Let him meditate on the ephemeral and transient nature of this world; the pleasures of this world are fleeting while the pleasure and pain of hereafter are ever-lasting.
- Let him make dhikr and du`a’ his constant companion. By seeking Allah’s help to fight this behaviour, he can surely overcome and break free of this abomination. Allah has promised to come to the help of those who strive in His way, “As for those who strive for Our sake, We will guide them unto Our ways; verily, Allah is with those who behave with excellence.” (Al-`Ankabut 29:69)
- Last but not least, once he has repented and changed himself into a better person, he should get married and seek a lawful Islamic relationship, which will be approved by Allah as well as rewarded by Him. May Allah help us all to hate disbelief and sins in all forms, and may He make dear to our hearts faith and righteous actions-amen.
Allah Almighty knows best.