Negotiating Homosexuality in Islam

A Legal-hermeneutical Examination of Modern Shīʿī Discourse


To enrich the existing debates on Islam and sexual diversity, in the present book, I seek the potential discursive spaces on homosexuality in modern Imāmī legal debates. I have undertaken this research on the thesis that modern Imāmī legal tradition on homosexuality is more flexible and dynamic than one might expect. To address this essential issue, I build the study around the following constructive question: what are the discursive spaces on homosexuality in contemporary reflections within modern Shiʿi legal scholarship? Responding to this central query, the study is premised on the notion that Imāmī legal sources consist of a tradition of sacred (textual) sources, intellectual reasoning, a vast stockpile of (often contrasting) interpretations of these sources, and a distinguished methodological repertoire called ijtihad. Following the same methodology, in this work, I describe, analyse, and critique such textual-exegetical and intellectual-rational discursive aspects concerning homosexuality.

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Mehrdad Alipour, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Utrecht. His study and publications mainly focus on the transformation of Islamic legal and ethical traditions concerning gender, sex, and sexuality diversity in the premodern and modern eras.
List of Figures
Notes on Transliteration, Translation, and Dates

Part I. Preliminaries
Chapter One: Sexuality, Gender, and Marriage in Islam
Chapter Two: Modern Shiʿi Ijtihād: a methodological discussion
Chapter Three: Modern Homosexuality and the Pre-Homosexual Categories

Part II. Homosexuality through the Lenses of Modern Shiʿi Ijtihād (Four Sources of Argumentation)
Chapter Four: Examining the Qurʾānic Discourse on Homosexuality
Chapter Five: Gauging the Sunna on Homosexuality
Chapter Six: Consensus and Reason on Homosexuality

Part III. Homosexuality through the Lenses of Modern Shiʿi Ijtihād (Investigating Practical Solutions)
Chapter Seven: Homosexuality, Procedural Principles, and Legal Maxims
Chapter Eight: Same-sex Unions and Islamic Legal Ethics

Appendix 1. Typology of Shiʿi ḥadīth on Same-Sex Sexual Behaviours
The book will benefit academic libraries, institutes, scholars, graduate students of Islamic studies, gender and sexuality studies, and religious studies.
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