Tawbah from sodomy

Q: There is no doubt that the people of Lot committed one of the most abominable acts, which is homosexuality. Will the repentance offered by one who commits homosexuality be accepted without the Had (ordained punishment for violating Allah’s Law) fixed for homosexuality being imposed on him? Is the administering of the Had prescribed for homosexuality a condition for sincere repentance? One who commits homosexuality is regarded as a Fasiq (someone flagrantly violating Islamic law), does repentance wipe out such description? Can one who commits (Part No. 24; Page No. 349) this major sin, or other major sins, be of those who fear Allah? What can a person committing such sin do if his country does not establish the Hudud fixed by Allah? What can a person do if he has been involved in this perverse behavior since childhood and he is twenty years old now? What is the appropriate Had for the abominable sin of homosexuality, especially for those who sometimes take a passive role and sometimes a positive role in this act? Is it right that, as said by some sheikhs, the penalty for homosexuality is up to the ruler as no penalty for such sin has been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him), and the Four Righteous Caliphs had not fixed the same penalty for such abominable act? Give us the ruling on this question may Allah bless you and preserve you on the right path!

A: First: All Muslims unanimously agree that homosexuality is one of the major sins which Allah (Exalted be He) has forbidden, as Allah states in the Noble Qur'an: "Go you in unto the males of the ‘Alamîn (mankind), "And leave those whom Allâh has created for you to be your wives? Nay, you are a trespassing people!" This affirms that it is abominable to leave what is lawful to you in order to commit what is unlawful to you. It was related by Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa'y, and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (Authentic book of Hadiths) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: “Allah will not look at a man who engages in sexual intercourse with a man or a woman through the anus.” . Second: The door to repentance will remain wide open to all sinners including the disbelievers until the sun rises in the west. As for the conditions for repentance as regards Allah's Rights, they are as follows: (Part No. 24; Page No. 350) Giving up the sin, feeling regret for the sin, and resolving not to commit it again. It is worth mentioning that the establishment of the Had is not a condition for repentance. This is because Allah (Exalted be He) states: Say: “O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh: verily, Allâh forgives all sins. He also states: Allâh accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they whom Allâh will forgive and Allâh is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise. Third: A person who commits a sin should hide his sin and never disclose it. Moreover, he must seek Allah's forgiveness and turn to Allah with sincere repentance. This is because it was related by Al-Hakim and Al-Bayhaqy that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: O People! The time has come for you to avoid the ugly things which Allah prohibited. Whoever has had any of these ugly things befall him should cover them up with the veil of Allah. Whoever reveals to us his wrong action, we perform what is in the Book of Allah against him. It was mentioned by Al-Dhahaby that the fundamental meaning of this Hadith is also mentioned in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim).As for the legal Had prescribed for such crime or sin, it is up to the ruler who takes into account the case and the surrounding conditions.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.