by Dr. Abdul Rahman Awang
According to the Quran Surah Al A'raf 7:80-82:
80: And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?
81: Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk.
82: And the answer of his people was only that they are (one to another); Turn them out of your township. They are folk, forsooth, who keep pure.
Surah Hud 11: 77-79:
77: And when Our messengers came unto Lot, he was distressed and knew not how to protect them. He said: This is a distressful day.
78: And his people came unto him, running towards him - and before then they used to commit abominations - he said: O my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you. Beware of Allah, and degrade me not in (the person of ) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man?
79: They said: Well thous knowest that we have no right to thy daughters, and well thous knowest what we want.
There are 3 opinions regarding the punishment for homosexuality. According to Malik, Hanafi jurists, Ahmad B. Hanbal and a popular view of Shafii, both the culprits should be killed whether they are married or not married. This view was reported from Abu Bakar, Umar, Ibn Abbas, Ali and others. Hence, the punishment has become a consensus of the companions.
Another view was reported from Shafii and another opinion of Hanbali schools that the punishment for homsexuality is identical to the punishment for 'zina'.
As for the punishment for lesbians (sihaq), it was agreed that the act is forbidden. The Prophet was reported to have said: "If a woman commits an act of sexual relationship with another woman they are adulterers" (see: Qud, p. 189). Despite the fact that the act is considered as immoral, the jurists agree that there is no 'hadd' for it. But the act is considered 'zina' which has no 'hadd' because there is no element of penetration as a basic requirement for 'zina'. However the jurists agree that both of them would be subjected to 'tazir' punishment.
If anyone, man or woman, was found to be engaged in sexual intercourse with an animal, the majority of jurists agreed that there is no 'hadd' for the act but 'tazir'. As for the animal, whether it is edible or not, it is to be killed.
With regard to the punishment of dhimmi (non-Muslims) who engaged in the act of homozexuality it should be first determined the nature of the punishment applicable to this offence.
(NOTE: The word dhimmi (plural dimam) literally means "protection, care, custody, covenant of protection, compact; responsibility, answerableness; financial obligation, liability, debt; inviolability, security of life and property; safeguard, guarantee, security; conscience" and ahl-dhimmi is "the free non-Muslim subjects living in Muslim countries who, in return for paying the capital tax, enjoyed protection and safety." [see: wikipedia )
The above is sourced from Dr Abdul Rahman Awang's book: The Status of the Dhimmi in Islamic Law, International Law Book Services; 1994
Dr Abdul Rahman Awang graduated with an LL.B from University Al-Azhar, Cairo and received his LL.M from Temple University. He taught Islamic law at University Kebangsaan Malaysia and later at International Islamic University. He received his Ph.D in Islamic law from University of Edinburgh in 1988 and currently is teaching at International Islamic University, Malaysia.