Are those who commit anal intercourse killed?

The Details of the Question

- Is it permissible to kill those who commit liwata (anal intercourse) according to this hadith?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma) narrates: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“If you see any people committing the perverted deeds of the people of Lot, kill the active and the passive person.” [Tirmidhi, Hudud 24, (1456); Abu Dawud, Hudud 29, (4462, 4463)]

Tirmidhi states that Abu Hurayra also narrated something like that. Abu Dawud states the following in a narration from Ibn Abbas (radiyallahu anhuma):

A bachelor (i.e., a person who is not muhsan) who is caught committing anal intercourse is also stoned.”

Scholars expressed different views related to the penalty to be given to those committing anal intercourse.  

According to the more apparent of the two opinions of Shafi’i, which is also the opinion of Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad, the penalty to be given to the active person is the same as the penalty of the fornicator. That is, if he is married, he is stoned, and if he is single, he is flogged a hundred times. As for the passive person, according to Shafi’i, whether he is married or single, whether it is a man or a woman, the punishment is one hundred flogs and banishment for one year.

According to Imam Malik and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and some other scholars, the punishment for those who commit anal intercourse is being stoned; it does not matter whether they are married or single.

Imam Shafi’i’s second opinion is that both the active and the passive person are killed, which is in accordance with the apparent meaning of the hadith in question.

As for the manner of killing, some scholars said, “The house in which they committed that dirty deed is demolished while they are in them.” Others said, “They are killed by being thrown off a cliff. “

Abu Hanifa said: “They are rebuked and reprimanded, but no hadd penalty is applied.” (Prof. Dr. İbrahim Canan, Kütüb-i Sitte Şerhi, Vol. 6 p. 253)

According to the narration of Imam Shafi’i, Ibn Abi Shayba, Ibn Abid-Dunya and Bayhaqi from Yazid b. Qays, Ali (ra) stoned a person who committed anal intercourse.

According to what Ibn Abid-Dunya, Ibnul-Mundhir, Ibn Bushran and Bayhaqi narrated from Muhammad b. al-Mukander and Ibn Qudamah narrated from Safwan b. Sulaym, when Khalid b. Walid heard that a man allowed himself to be treated like a woman, he reported the issue to Abu Bakr (ra). Thereupon, Abu Bakr gathered some of the Companions and consulted with them; Ali (ra), who was in the consultation committee, said, “No nation committed it in history except for a nation whom you know (referring to the people of Lot). You know their fate. Therefore, I suggest that you burn this man.” Abu Bakr (ra) sent an order to Khalid b. Walid to burn that man and the order was fulfilled. (see Ibn Qudamah, ash-Sharhul-Kabir, 10/176) Shawkani pointed out the weakness of this hadith by stating that it was mursal. (see Naylul-Awtar, 7/129)

According to what is understood from the sources, this burning, if it took place, took place after he was killed. (see ibid)

None of the scholars of any madhhab adopted the incident of burning narrated to take place in history. According to some scholars who base their views on different hadith narrations, when a homosexual person commits sodomy, he is punished with the same punishment as for the crime of fornication and whether he is single or married is taken into account.

According to others, it does not matter whether he is married or single, he is stoned in any case.

According to Abu Hanifa and one of the opinions of Imam Shafi’i, the homosexual is not punished with the penalty of fornication but with tazir (a deterrent punishment such as reprimanding, rebuking, or being flogged fewer than forty times). (Tuhfatul-Ahwazi, 4/94-Shamila)

In al-Hidaya, one of the Hanafi books, the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa is evidenced as follows.

“This act is not fornication because the Companions differed in the way of killing such a person. Some said he was to burned with fire, some said a wall would be demolished on him, some said he would be pushed from a high place and stones would be thrown at him, etc.  It is not regarded as fornication since destroying the child or mixing the generations is not in question in this deed. Since there is no desire for it from either side, it rarely happens. In fornication, on the other hand, there is a desire. As for the narrations that the one who commits anal intercourse is killed, they either indicate that he is killed for political reasons or they are related to those who consider this deed permissible.”

The punishment of these criminals must be carried out by authorities.

LIWATA (SODOMY)

Sexual intercourse between two men is called liwata.

Liwata, which is an example of immorality like fornication and prostitution, is also strictly forbidden in Islam. Liwata is also called sodomy or homosexuality. Liwata is one of the ethical crimes that does not fit human personality and dignity at all.

The Prophet Lot (Lut) was sent as a prophet to the people of Sodom, where liwata, the most despicable form of perversion, immorality and indecency, was prevalent. The people of Sodom went too far in this crime of immorality, which had not been seen in previous nations. In this society, where chastity, honor and modesty were forgotten, people like Lot tried to prevent them from such immorality, but they were silenced and neutralized.

The following is stated in the verse expressing the immorality and indecency of the people of Sodom:

“And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you?” (al-Ankabut, 29/28)

However, it is emphasized in other verses that their evil deeds did not go unpunished and they were destroyed with a severe punishment coming from the sky.

According to some fiqh scholars, the punishment for liwata, or homosexuality in other words, in Islamic law is the same as punishment for fornication. On the other hand, there are fiqh scholars who believe that the judge can impose punishment according to the public interest in order to prevent people from this bad deed, and there are also fiqh scholars who believe that the person who commits liwata must be killed.

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