7 tips on talking to kids about homosexuality

7 tips on talking to kids about homosexuality

“And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?

Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk.” (Quran: 7:80-81)


It's hard enough trying to explain topics like menstruation and sexual intercourse from the Islamic perspective to kids.But this is not where sex education can end.

Homosexuality has gained greater acceptance as an “alternative lifestyle” in the last 10 to 20 years in North America. Not only has this mentality affected adults-it is now affecting kids' way of looking at the gay lifestyle as well.

Public school sex education, under the rubric of “Family Life Education” generally teaches an acceptance of homosexuality, a respect and/or tolerance for it. As is the case with sex education in general, there is little to no moral guidance on the topic. Just a neutral presentation.

Homosexuality, like others matters pertaining to sexuality, is openly discussed in the Quran and Sunnah. We have no excuse as Muslim parents, teachers, community leaders and individuals not to clearly discuss this issue with our kids.

In view of this, Sound Vision has asked Muslim counselor Shahina Siddiqui, Islamic activist and author Ahmad Sakr, and former Islamic school principal Abdalla Idris Ali how Muslims can discuss the issue of homosexuality from the Islamic perspective. Below are some of their suggestions.

Tip #1: Clearly outline what is homosexual behavior

This can be uncomfortable, but a young Muslim, even one who attends Islamic school, most probably has heard about homosexuality from television, newspapers, radio, and/or non-Muslim friends.

This is also important because in many Muslim cultures, it is not uncommon to find people of the same sex kissing on the cheeks, hugging, or holding hands. None of these actions are deemed sexual in any way. So this is why a child must not confuse real Halal affection between his brothers or her sisters, versus deviant sexual behavior.

In this regard, it may help to read up on the topic a bit before venturing to explain what it is.

Tip #2: Tell them what Islam says about homosexuality, with wisdom

To just say it is Haram, will not usually satisfy Muslim children, especially those who are used to questioning, discussion, and debate.

One point that has to be emphasized is that since Allah is the Creator of human beings, Who created us out of nothing, He knows best what our true needs and desires are. He also knows what is good and bad for us. He sees everything, knows everything and is the wisest and most Merciful. Therefore, the fact that He is telling us that homosexuality is wrong , just as He tells us consuming alcohol is wrong, for example, means that we must heed His warning.

This can be explained in another way. For instance, if 13-year-old Hassan dreams of having his own car, particularly a cherry red Corvette, one day Insha Allah, you can use his interest in cars to explain homosexuality like this: who knows what makes the Corvette tick, what causes its engine problems or how often it needs to get a tune up? Obviously the people who manufacture the Corvette, and who have provided its instruction manual to guarantee it runs as smoothly as possible, with little to no problems. The manufacturers of the Corvette also know what kinds of things a driver or owner of the car should not do to cause the car damage or destruction.

Similarly, Allah has created us, He is our Maker. He knows what makes us tick. He knows what can improve our bodies and minds and those things that can destroy them. He has provided not just an instruction manual (the Quran), but also a model to follow (The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him). If we trust the people who have manufactured the Corvette, then why can't we trust Allah?

What can also be done is to explain the harms associated with homosexuality. Some of these, says Siddiqui, include diseases like AIDS, the fact that this kind of sexual relationship does nothing to advance human civilization even in terms of population (in other words, homosexuals do not even procreate).

This point is important because one of the main aims of sex is to produce children in order to continue human life. Homosexuality does not yield any children. It is a relationship purely for the sake of pleasure, which is not only unnatural, but leads to disease and death.

As well, provide references from the Quran in your discussion on the Islamic position. Ahmad Sakr gives the following:

7: 80-84
11: 74-83
15: 61-75
21: 74-75

26:160-175
27: 54-58
29: 28-35

37:133-138
54: 33-39
66: 10

Tip #3: Get them to write a paper or do an assignment about it

If Aminah or Saeed are in their teens, get them to research the topic and write a paper on homosexuality, suggests Idris Ali. Provide books that give the Islamic perspective. This is a good way for them to grasp the concept, and who knows, maybe in the course of their research they will find another good reason homosexuality should not be practiced.

Tip #4: Make it clear people are not born that way

“We're born that way, so deal with it,” is the mantra of a number of gays. This is not true.

”They are putting the blame on God,” says Sakr. “If it is true, why in the world does God have to send an earthquake to the people of Lot in [the northern] part of Palestine, because they were the first group of people who started committing homosexuality.”

If people were born to commit homosexual acts, Allah who is most Merciful, would not have destroyed Prophet Lut's community. These people had an opportunity to change. They did not, and Allah destroyed them. This is a test Shaytan puts in our way.

Tip #5: Make the distinction between desires and actions

It should be noted that some people may have the desire to engage in homosexual sex, but that does not mean they have acted on that. In Islam the punishment is for the act, not the feelings.

Allah does not hold us responsible for our bad thoughts as long as we don't act on them.

A Muslim who develops homosexual desires, but does not act on them must fast and seek the sincere help and guidance of Allah to turn away from this lifestyle. S/he must also not dwell on these kinds of thoughts. Which leads to the next point.

Tip #6: Emphasize the importance of Islamic practice in keeping these desires away

The only way we can truly protect ourselves from homosexuality, whether it is in the development of feelings, or in the actual sexual practice of it is to always remember Allah.

This means following the basics: prayers, fasting, Dua, etc. Even the basics done sincerely and regularly can, Insha Allah, provide a fortress against Shaytan.

Sakr says fasting in particular, is useful in controlling lust, and recommends doing so on Mondays and Thursdays.

As well, we can point out that if a person is having these desires, it can be a test from Allah, as well as an example of how Shaytan tries to turn us away from Allah.

In addition, we should advise ourselves and our kids to seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan by saying Aoutho billahi minash Shaytan ir Rajeem (I seek refuge in Allah from Shaytan the accursed) as well as reading Surah al Nas, the last Surah of the Quran, which mentions the whispering of Shaytan.

Tip #7: Emphasize the importance of and maintain Islamic rules of modesty, even with the same sex

How many of us watch television shows replete with sexual foreplay, titillation and innuendo? These types of “innocent” displays of sexuality are dangerous, to say the least. They put wrong ideas into the mind and are Haram for us to watch.

This is where lowering the gaze comes in.

As well, maintaining an Islamic dress code even in front of the same sex, is important. In Islam, for example, a man cannot see the body of another man between the naval and knees.

Contrast this with high school gym classes, where boys will often shower together, usually in complete nudity. The same happens in girls' locker rooms. Parents and Muslim communities must be on guard against these types of situations, which are not only dangerous to a young Muslim's Islamic practice, but can also make them the prey of gays and/or lesbians.

Another practice relating to modesty between brothers and sisters is to have separate beds or bedrooms for brothers and sisters, especially after the age of 10. Care should also be given to respecting the privacy of both the same and opposite gender when changing clothes for example, or in the shower. Permission should be sought before entering a room, where someone may be in a state of undress.

 

Comments

I think this article is of great importance. As muslim parents we should remember that if we are not open and honest with our children about matters of sexual education they may ask others questions about it. As a muslim parent in Western society we may not like the answers they are given by others! Parents take your responsibilities in this area very seriously.

Location

Australia

Hello,I am not Muslim, I am a christian. However, I think your article is very good. I am confronted with homosexuality being okey almost everyday in society. I believe we need to unite in order to preserve God's image of marrage.

Location

I am Nafees from Sri lanka.I was searching for an article "INTERNET USED AS HALAL" yo be published in our school magazine.then I found this web address and got to know about HOMOSEXUAL.Thiis is a very good advise for aur young muslims.THANK YOU !!!

Location

Sri lanka

esselem eleikumone can also develop homosexual feelings from being around people who areengaged in homosexual thoughts or activities. So that is another thing youmust be aware of as a parent. You should let this be known to your childso that he/she if he/she develops such feelings can realize that it may behis/her environment/friends/etc. and he/she can know that what he/sheneeds to do is to separate him/herself from these influences. sometimesjust spending time away from all the regular surroundings, and being withonly people of good character, who dress properly etc. can heal a personof the haram feelings.

Location

Excellent ideas! I have linked to this page from the site of the StraightWay Foundation. Basically, we're seeking to help same-sex attracted Muslims be successful in this life and the next. As well as providing scholars' rulings and explanations, we offer advice and discussion for Muslims going through this struggle. We'd value everyone's support and suggestions. Please visit our website!http://www.StraightWay.org.uk

Location

UK

salam, when my 8 year old sister asked what gay was i didn't no what to say. jaskallah for this article because now i know what to say. may Allah SWT reward you for dealing with this difficult topic.

Location

england

Hello,I am a 32 year old muslim man and i agree with this article completely. I have had homosexual feelings since my teenage years but i have never and i will never choose to act upon them because it is haram. Because of these feelings and my inability to feel love for a woman i have chosen to remain celibate. It is the right thing to do and I urge all who have similar feelings to do the same rather than commit a sin with a man or cause a woman to be in a loveless marriage. Insha allah, if we remain pure and do not act on these feelings we will be blessed.

Location

New Jersey

b4 this article i was confused about Homosexuality but now iam sure wad is this...this a gr8 article we all should all spread this thoughts ...iam 14 years old

Location

Pakistan

First, I think it is a common misconception that the people of Lot were destroyed because of their homosexuality; they were destroyed because they rejected their prophet. While it is true that their homosexuality seems to be direct reason for their destruction, the same is true with the Camel in the story of the people of Thamoud. However, they were not destroyed because of killing the camel, but because they disobeyed God's prophet. The only time God destroys a people is when they reject his messenger to them. Also, while homosexuality is a sin in Islam, so is fornication. Part of the education for children should be not to treat homosexuals differently from the way they would treat straight people who fornicate. It seems that no matter what sin people commit (including idolatry) we can still see them as people, but as soon as we are talking about homosexuals, we turn to hatred and disgust. Let's not forget our injunction to call people to the way of Allah in the best of manners. Cheers

Location

Toronto

I am also a christian and I agree 100% with this article. We must preserve what God says that marriage is, a union between a man and a woman!

Location

Tennessee

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