Ibn Ḥazm on Homosexuality. A case-study of Ẓāhirī legal Methodology

Al-Qantara : Revista de Estudios Arabes. 2003;24(1):5-31

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Al-Qantara : Revista de Estudios Arabes

ISSN: 0211-3589 (Print); 1988-2955 (Online)

Publisher: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

LCC Subject Category: Auxiliary sciences of history: History of Civilization | Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Islam. Bahai Faith. Theosophy, etc.: Islam

Country of publisher: Spain

Language of fulltext: English, Spanish, French

Full-text formats available: PDF

 

AUTHORS

Adang, Camilla

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 48 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

This article discusses the views of the teologian and legal scholar Ibn Ḥazm of Cordoba (d. 456/1064) on homosexuality. Although reference is made to his literary work </i>Ṭawq al-ḥamāma</i>, which is rich in anecdotes on homoerotic attraction, the article focuses on Ibn Ḥazm's multivolume legal tract <i>Kitāb al-Muḥallā</i>, a work written from a Ẓāhirī, or literalist perspective. A step-by-step analysis of Ibn Hazm's legal reasoning on homosexuality, both male (<i>liwāṭ</i>) and female (<i>siḥāq</i>) is provided, and comparisons with the views of other jurist, especially Mālikis, are made.
 Unlike his Mālikī contemporaries, Ibn Ḥazm holds that homosexuality is not to be equated with fomication (<i>zinā</i>), which incurs the death penalty. Instead, he advocates a relatively mild punishment of up to ten lashes for homosexual practices, based upon his idiosyncratic interpretation of the revealed sources which is illustrated here. Although Ibn Ḥazm is believed by some modem authors to have had homosexual leanings himself, he categorically condemns sexual contacts between members of the same sex as immoral and sinful, and believes that homosexuals should be reformed.<br><br>Este artículo discute las opiniones de Ibn Ḥazm de Córdoba (m. 456/1064) jurista y teólogo, acerca de la homosexualidad. Aunque se hace referencia a su obra literaria <i>Ṭawq al-ḥamāma</i>, rica en anécdotas sobre atracción homoerótica, el artículo se centra en su voluminosa obra legal zahirí <i>Kitāb al-Muḥallā</i> y analiza el razonamiento legal de Ibn Ḥazm sobre la homosexualidad tanto masculina (<i>liwāf</i>) como femenina (<i>siḥāq</i>) comparándola con la de otros juristas, en particular, malikíes.
 A diferencia de sus contemporáneos malikíes, Ibn Hazm mantiene que la homosexualidad no debe equipararse a la fornicación (<i>zinā</i>) que incurre en la pena de muerte. Por el contrario, aboga por el relativamente suave castigo de diez latigazos por prácticas homosexuales, basado en su interpretación de las fuentes reveladas tal y como se expone en este artículo.
 Aunque algunos autores modernos han insinuado que el propio Ibn Ḥazm era homosexual, él condena categóricamente las relaciones entre miembros de un mismo sexo y mantiene que los homosexuales deben reformarse.