Sexual Orientation In Islam

Cultural context

In the West, sexual orientation is one of many phenomena examined and studied by scholars in fields such as sociology, anthropology and psychology.

One of the main difficulties in discussing sexual orientation in the context of Islam is that sexual information is normally considered very private in most Muslim countries. This is similar to the American army’s policy of “don't ask, don’t tell”. In our increasing age of information and in a multicultural secular society where Muslims and gay people can work together on solving social problems, it seems more helpful to engage in an honest dialogue about these phenomena than to just ignore the existence of gay people and of their personal struggles.


The only examples of homosexual acts in the Qurʾān come from the stories of the people of Lūt?. The Qurʾān clearly describes the people of Lūt not only as preferring men over women, but also as engaging in many activities including sexual debauchery, rape and bestiality.

In modern Arabic slang, the term Luti is used for gay men, cementing a correlation between the people of Lut and the practice of male homosexuality in the popular culture.