Dear brothers and sisters, assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah.
This is my first post here. I am glad to join "ShiaChat" and I hope this forum will help me learn and understand more about the teachings of the Noble Prophet and his ahlul-bayt, peace be upon them.
My first question pertains to homosexuality. My question is not whether or not homosexual acts are haram. I am aware that homosexual acts are unambiguously forbidden in Islam; as the Quran and the ahadith (from both Sunni and Shia sources) condemn homosexual acts in very clear terms. My question is: As Muslims, and more particularly as Shia Muslims, how should we understand homosexuality?
Scientific research shows that people who are attracted to the same sex develop their orientation before their born. In other words, homosexuality (I am talking about the tendency and the inclination, and not the act) is not a choice, but a destiny. Is science right in saying this? If science isn't right, where is the counter-evidence?
If science is right, and homosexuality is indeed a sexual orientation, why is it not treated as such in our sacred books? My impression is that the Quran and the ahadith mention sodomy as a sinful action but make no reference to homosexuality as a sexual orientation or a complete identity. The whole concept of sexual orientation seems to absent from our scriptures and religious literature.
Furthermore, if we accept the scientific research (which we must accept unless conclusive counter-evidence is provided), how does this cohere with God's Justice and Mercy? Why would Allah, who is both Merciful and Just, place homosexual desires in the hearts of some of His servants; and then punish them for acting on those desires, and condemn them to a loveless life? By contrast, sexual desire directed towards the opposite sex can be halalified much more easily (through permanent marriages, and in the context of Shia Islam, temporary marriages).
Lastly, in your opinion, what would be the best way to explain the Islamic stance on homosexuality, and the reason acts of sodomy were made haram, to a non-Muslim and non-religious person, on purely rational grounds and without reference to scripture?
Many thanks for reading. I'll await your replies. JazakumuLlahu khayran.