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Religious Tolerance logo

Homosexuality and Islam

Books that discuss homosexual orientation
and behavior, from a Muslim perspective.

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Books discussing homosexual orientation and behavior within Islam:

It is worth noting that same-gender sexual behavior is a capital crime in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, Sudan, and Yemen.

We generally only list books with a Amazon customer review rating of 3 stars or more out of 5 stars.

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book cover Khaled El-Rouayheb. (2009). "Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800." University Of Chicago Press. Hardcover & paperback formats. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store.

Amazon review:

"Attitudes toward homosexuality in the pre-modern Arab-Islamic world are commonly depicted as ... visible and tolerated on one hand, prohibited by Islam on the other. Khaled El-Rouayheb argues that this apparent paradox is based on the anachronistic assumption that homosexuality is a timeless, self-evident fact to which a particular culture reacts with some degree of tolerance or intolerance. Drawing on poetry, biographical literature, medicine, dream interpretation, and Islamic texts, he shows that the culture of the period lacked the concept of homosexuality.

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book cover Samar Habib. (2009). "Islam and Homosexuality" (2 volumes set). Praeger. Kindle and Hardcove formats. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store

Amazon review:

"The place of sexual and gender minorities in the contemporary Islamic world is the subject of fascinating new directions in research and scholarly thought. Islam and Homosexuality gathers together 20 experts exploring these issues to provide an expansive look at the treatment of same-sex interactions in Muslim cultures today.

Islam and Homosexuality offers one volume on the specific experiences of gay Muslims today and a second volume viewing the issue from a global perspective. Essays explore the lives of LGBTIQ persons in both Islamic nations and Muslim communities in non-Islamic countries. Additional writings explore the roots of homophobia in the theology of Islam, the various judgments against homosexuality in the different schools of Islamic law, and the potential scriptural basis for including LGBTIQ persons in the Muslim community. No other resource on the relationship between LGBTIQ persons and the world's largest religion covers the topic with anything approaching this work's range or depth."

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book cover Aldhere Jama. (2014). "Queer Jihad: LGBT Muslims on Coming Out, Activism, and the Faith," Oracle Releasing. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store. Available in paperback for $14.99 plus shipping, or Kindle for $2.80.

Amazon review:

"Chronicling the struggles of key individuals and organizations on the path to reconcile sexuality and faith, 'Queer Jihad' is a look at a global movement that defies stereotype. Whether in the face of a post-9/11 West, or in the company of harsh laws in the East, a new generation of LGBT Muslims is rising up to own their voice, demand their rights, and encounter the change of the world as they know it."

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 Scott Siraj Al-Haqq Kugle. (2010). "Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims." Oneworld Publications. Hardcover and Paperback formats. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store

Amazon review:

"Homosexuality is anathema to Islam – or so the majority of both believers and non-believers suppose. Throughout the Muslim world, it is met with hostility, where state punishments range from hefty fines to the death penalty. Likewise, numerous scholars and commentators maintain that the Qur’an and Hadith rule unambiguously against same-sex relations. This pioneering study argues that there is far more nuance to the matter than most believe. In its narrative of Lot, the Qur’an could be interpreted as condemning lust rather homosexuality. While some Hadith are fiercely critical of homosexuality, some are far more equivocal. One even appears to actively endorse love between men. This is the first book length treatment to offer a detailed analysis of how Islamic scripture, jurisprudence, and Hadith, can not only accommodate a sexually sensitive Islam, but actively endorse it. Scott Kugle is the first Muslim to publish widely on the issue of homosexuality and Islam.

book cover Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle. (2013). "Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims," NYU Press. Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions available. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store

Amazon review:

"Living Out Islam documents the rarely-heard voices of Muslims who live in secular democratic countries and who are gay, lesbian, and transgender. It weaves original interviews with Muslim activists into a compelling composite picture which showcases the importance of the solidarity of support groups in the effort to change social relationships and achieve justice. This nascent movement is not about being 'out' as opposed to being 'in the closet' Rather, as the voices of these activists demonstrate, it is about finding ways to live out Islam with dignity and integrity, reconciling their sexuality and gender with their faith and reclaiming Islam as their own."

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book cover Brian Whitaker. (2006). "Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East," University of California Press. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store. Rated as 4.5 out of 5 stars by Amazon customers.

Some book reviews:

  • "'An extremely well-researched and well-written text that allows us an insight into the lifestyle of the gay and lesbian community in the Middle East...educates, informs and engages the reader from the outset to the last page.' Sable Magazine

  • "I enjoyed and learnt much from Brian Whitaker's book, which is excellent. It was inspirational to me on the challenges to international law, and the uses of nationalism to suppress dissent within countries.' Professor Fred Halliday

  • "This is a compelling read. It captures with detail and with disturbing accuracy the difficulties and dangers facing lesbians and gay men across the Middle East. It helps us to understand the social pressure, the sense of isolation, the anxiety and fear and trauma. And through it all we glimpse also the possibility of hope, of remarkable courage, and perhaps even in the longer term, the chance of a more open and accepting society." Lord (Chris) Smith, former UK Secretary of State for Culture

  • "This is an important, timely book, and lucid to boot - a must-read for anyone who believes in human rights." Rabih Alameddine, author of Koolaids and I, the Divine "A fascinating insight." Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive, Stonewall

  • "Brian Whitaker has given us a moving analysis of the hidden lives of Arab homosexuals. This genuinely groundbreaking investigation reveals a side of Arab and Muslim culture shrouded by the strictest taboos. Arab societies can no longer contain their cultural, religious, ethnic or sexual diversity within their traditional patriarchal definitions of the public sphere. Anyone interested in reform in the Arab world must read this book.' Mai Yamani, Research Fellow at Chatham House and author of Cradle of Islam.

  • "It is high time this issue was brought out of the closet once and for all, and afforded a frank and honest discussion. Brian Whitaker's humane, sophisticated, and deeply rewarding book, Unspeakable Love, does exactly that." Ali Al-Ahmed, Director of the Gulf Institute."


Compiled by B.A. Robinson.
Latest update: 2016-APR-21.
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