Mazin AbdulAdhim is a prominent Canadian Muslim scholar and Imam of Iraqi descent who is affiliated with the pro-Caliphate Islamic global movement of Hizb ut-Tahrir.
I’ve been asked many times about whether or not I believe that homosexuality is genetic. And my answer is: I believe that homosexuality is absolutely not genetic in any way, shape, or form. It is entirely conceptual, period. It is no different from being sexually attracted to one’s own siblings, or one’s parents, or infants, or animals. None of those things are genetic, and neither is homosexuality.
The human desire to have sexual relations with another being (called the “procreation instinct”) can be molded to feel desire toward almost anything – living or even non-living. This desire is molded by one’s upbringing, one’s environment, and whatever one is exposed to of ideas, images, and behavior by others. What we find attractive is determined by what we are taught is attractive.
Back in the 1500s in Europe, the women who were considered sex symbols were chubby and not what people today would consider generally attractive. In the 1800s in Persia, the women who were sex symbols had unibrows and a mustache. Today, sumo wrestlers in Japan are considered sex symbols. What we find attractive is determined by the environment we live in. Just like our environment can cause us to be attracted to black women or Asian women or to not find them attractive at all, or to be attracted to overweight women or very skinny women or to not find them attractive at all, similarly our environment can cause us to become attracted to the same gender or to our siblings, or not at all.
Now, some people will say that most homosexuals were not taught to be attracted to the same gender. But I do not believe that to be true. I believe that they allowed the thought to enter their minds, they allowed it to grow, and then they allowed it to define them.
But they are not totally to blame. Not everyone is capable of addressing or fixing their own desires. Some Muslims feel the desire to commit Zina (pre-marital intercourse), and they can’t figure out how to stop themselves, and then they fall into it. Part of the problem is the absence of competent people to help those struggling with these feelings, and explain to them how to get it under control, and then to eliminate it or at least minimize it to the point that it doesn’t affect them anymore.
Of course, the next questions that would come to mind are: Why is homosexuality so prevalent today? And how are these inclinations being introduced into their minds? I believe the answer is there are two main sources for the widespread homosexuality we are witnessing today (aside from serious sexual abuse or an intentional hedonistic lifestyle choice):
1- Early exposure to sexuality without any guidelines, and
2- Direct suggestions by adults that homosexuality is normal.
As for the first one, exposure can be seeing a picture or a video of people having intercourse, or being taught the details of how intercourse works at a very young age, with no outlet for it nor any idea how to deal with it, and then they spend most of their time with the same gender and become confused about their feelings. Or it can be something like witnessing their parents walking around naked in the house or even witness them having intercourse – as is the case with some of these Western families who lack shame or boundaries – or witnessing people in public behaving inappropriately, and this may similarly confuse those children.
As for the second one, simply suggesting to a child who was, for example, taught about sexuality in school that feeling attracted to one or both genders is natural and normal, and that there is no need to feel like either one is specifically “normal” – hardly any child at the age of 8 or 10 or 12 has any independent capability of wrestling with such deep thoughts and figuring out right from wrong. Most adults can’t even figure it out without help. And these are trusted teachers teaching the children these things. So it is no wonder that homosexuality is becoming so prevalent throughout the West, as they fully embed these teachings into the very education curriculum of their schools starting at a very young age.
I know of at least one female teenager who stated that she was completely heterosexual before going to public school, and then after just one year of being taught that homosexuality is “normal” and was made to participate in all the “gay pride month” activities, she was taught and became convinced that homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality. And since spending time with boys at her age was far more awkward than hanging out with other girls, this girl decided that she was “bi” and started a relationship with a friend of the same gender.
The correct Islamic viewpoint is as follows: The *desire to procreate* is genetic, and procreation can only take place with the opposite gender, and therefore the default desire of a human being (the Fitrah) is to be attracted to and seek to have intercourse with the opposite gender. This default desire can be changed by one’s environment, the same as the default desire to worship the Creator of the universe can be changed by one’s environment.
And just like homosexuality can be caused by the environment, it can also be reversed. There is nothing genetic or natural about it, and nothing about it should be accepted. Homosexuality must be dealt with in the same way that any one of us today would deal with a child that has sexual feelings towards his mother – despite Freud’s famous claim that a child’s first sexual experience is breastfeeding off his own mother. It is a sexual perversion, an illness of the desires, and it must be accepted as such, then suppressed and trained out of one’s feelings through a positive process of correction of one’s concepts, control of one’s inner thoughts, positive reminders of the Islamic viewpoint on procreation and sexuality, and a strong focus on one’s Akhirah.
I believe that the correct angle to approach Muslims and non-Muslim who are struggling with this issue is to tell them that their desires can be changed, and to show them the practical steps to do so. This is best because it will help them not feel like they are intrinsically, genetically corrupted, and know that they can change in a positive and natural way. They will realize that the corrupt society around them is to blame, not them or their internal design.
I will make a post at a later date detailing the steps I believe a person would need to take in order to deal with such malformed thoughts and desires and to reform them into correct Islamic thoughts and desires – or maybe I will have a livestream to go through the details inshaAllah.