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Last Updated: 2011/06/14
Summary of question
Please explain the limits of a relationship between two men.
question
I am a 16 year old boy. It has been a while since I have become friends with one of my classmates. I have not experienced such a friendship before. We both behave quite differently from the other kids in class and we are both calm and quiet. This is why we have been together almost all year at school. (We have been like two brothers, and all the other kids, the principal and his assistant have noticed it). We like each other very much. Other kids think that our attitudes are weird and odd but as I said before, our strong friendship is only because we both behave and act in the same way. Our taste and interests are very alike and of course, different from the other kids. We want to live together in the future and we don’t want issues like marriage to come between us. We want to live in the same house and help each other out in life. I wanted to found out whether such a thing is against Islam or not. Is it the same as homosexuality? And do you think we should discuss this with our mothers and fathers? (Even though I think they too have realized such a thing from our behavior.) I must say that when I am away from him I miss him and feel depressed, because our relationship has gone beyond brotherhood. When I asked him about this issue he said that he might want to get married in the future because we are both boys and certain things can not happen between us. I wanted to know whether or not we can do some of the stuff normal people can not do, like hugging, kissing and etc, if we choose to live together in the future? What if one of us changed his sex, would this solve the problem? Can we live together in the same house without sex change? (Of course, both of us believe in Islam, and this relationship does not stem from some sexual or carnal desire, but from an inner love that we have and will have for each other.) Even now I try not to be attracted to the opposite sex because I don’t want to ruin this emotional relationship that is much stronger than a religious marriage can ever be.
Concise answer

Brief Answer:

Friendship and brotherhood is of great significance in Islam and this is why there are many conditions mentioned in regard to a good friendship that should be paid attention to such as being good tempered, honesty, faith, etc.

Humans are created in two forms of male and female. Allah has created humans in a way that they should only rely on their opposite sex for fulfilling their sexual needs. It is on this basis that Allah has made the woman a means of calmness and peace for man. 

Also, the creation of man and woman is such that each one of them is deficient alone and each gender needs the other, and when they bind, a complete and sufficient whole is created.

There is no dispute in regard to hugging and embracement being mustahab, unless one has a wrong intention by doing so, or that it stimulates his sexual urge, like the hugging of a young boy, a beautiful child and kissing him.

In regard to the limits of a relationship between two men, it is mentioned in a hadith: It is not right to kiss the lips (of anyone), except wives and infants.

Therefore, this relationship clearly contradicts the teachings of Islam and may lead to the committing of a haram act, and consequently you must stop taking part in this relationship as soon as possible.

Detailed Answer

We will answer your question by shedding light on a few points:

1- In Islam friendship and brotherhood is of great significance to the extent that the prophet conducted brotherhood contracts between his companions after his migration to Medina. Many conditions have been mentioned for a good friendship that should be paid attention to such as being good tempered, honesty, faith, etc.[1]

2- Humans are created in two forms of male and female. In this regard the Almighty says in the Quran: “O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and a female.”[2] And also: “…and made of him the two sexes, the male and the female.”[3]

Also, Allah has, due to His wisdom, created humans in a way that they should only rely on their opposite sex for fulfilling their sexual needs. It is on this basis that Allah has made woman a means of calmness and peace for man.[4]

3- The creation of two sexes and causing love and affection between them is one of Allah’s Ayat (signs).

In the Quran Allah says: “And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves...”[5]

Each one of the man and woman are deficient when viewed alone and each gender needs the other, and when they bind, a complete and sufficient whole is created. It is due to this lack and deficiency that each one of them moves towards the other and when they reach one another, they rest and come to peace, because every deficient being moves towards perfection and every needy being seeks to fulfill its need. This urge to move towards each other is the mutual sexual desire that they have been entrusted with.[6] 

4- Such a relationship that was mentioned above is not allowed by Islamic law, and the reason behind it is the ahadith narrated from the Ahlul-Bayt. Some of these ahadith are as follows:

Imam Ali states: “Men (and women) should not sleep together (in one bed), whoever does so should be punished with lashes.”[7]

In a lengthy hadith in regard to the signs of the Imam Mahdi’s appearance, Allah informs the prophet of Islam that: “(Near his coming)...men will sleep with men and women will sleep with women.”[8]

It is because of this that it has been said: “There is no dispute amongst the Shia in regard to hugging and embracement being mustahab, unless one has a wrong intention by doing so, or that it stimulates his sexual urge, like the hugging of an amrad (beardless boy/youth)[9] , a beautiful child and kissing him.”[10]

In response to a letter from one of his companions, Imam Musa Bin Ja’far stated: “It is not permissible to kiss the lips (of anyone), except wives and infants.”[11]     

5- In light of what was mentioned above, one can conclude that: the thoughts and intentions that you have in mind definitely stem from Satan’s temptations and you should stay away from them. Such a relationship clearly contradicts the teachings of Islam and will most likely lead to the committing of a haram act, consequently, you must stop taking part in this relationship as soon as possible. Instead you should think of marriage as a way of living for the prophet says: “Believing individuals protect half of their faith from all threats by getting married.”[12] 



[1] Ibn Shu’bah Harraani, Tuhaf al-Uqul ‘an Aal al-Rasul, Hasanzadeh, pg. 667, Aale Ali Publications, Qom, First Print, 1382 (solar calendar).

[2] Hujurat:13.

[3] Qiyaamah:39.

[4]  Rum, 21, This is why Allah says in the Quran:

“And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect.”

[5] Rum, 21

[6] Tabatabai, Muhammad Husein, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Quran, Musawi Hamedani, Seyed Muhammad Baqir, vol. 16, pp. 249 and 250, The office of Entesharate Eslamiye Jame’eye Modarresine Howzeye Elimiyeyy Qom Publications, Qom, Fifth Print, 1374 (solar calendar).

[7] Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Ihtijaajaat, Khosravi, Musa, vol. 2, pg. 106, Islamiyyah Publications, Tehran, First Print, 1379 (solar calendar).

[8] Muhaddith Ameli, Zeyn al-Aabedin, Al-Jawahir al-Saniyyah (a comprehensive collection of qudsi hadiths), Kazemi Khalkhali, pg. 531, Dehqan Publications, Tehran, Third Print, 1380 (solar calendar).

[9] A young boy that has not yet grown any facial hair

[10] Aadaab va Sunan, Kamare’i, Muhammad Baqir, pg. 24, Islamiyyah Publicatins, Tehran, First Print, 1365 (solar calendar)

[11] Majlisi, Ihtijaajaat, Khosravi, Musa, vol. 2, pg. 234.

[12] Sha’iri, Tajuddin, Jam’e al-Akhbar, pg. 10, Radhiyy Publications, Qom, First Print, 1405 (AH). There are many other ahadith in this regard that you can find at this same address.

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