Homoerotic tendencies in the Islamic Middle Ages was more accepted than people may think. Scholar Melanie Christina Mohr notes, "The division between hetero and homo is something Franz X. Eder describes as 'a phenomenon specific to modern, Western cultures...By implication, this means that individual love was not subject to the same social discourse in the Islamic Middle Ages, because it didn't have to be. It was only under colonial influence that the homoerotic poetry composed in the Islamic world was treated as something indecent and categorized in a correspondingly negative way."
Along with the widespread conviction that the masculine form was part of divine perfection, homoeroticism was even preferred over heterosexual metaphors as the result of societal separation between sexes.
Mohr writes, "The 17-year-old Babur first describes his amorous feelings when, shortly after his marriage in around 1500, he catches sight of a beautiful boy named Baburi in a bazaar in Andijan.
A few lines previously, he details the aversion to intimacy with his new wife that is consuming him: '[...] from modesty and bashfulness I went to her only once in ten, fifteen or twenty days. My affection afterwards declined [...] my mother the Khanum used to fall upon me and scold me with great fury, sending me off like a criminal to visit her once in a month or forty days.'
By contrast, he became lovesick at the sight of the boy Baburi: Up till then I had had no inclination for anyone.' And when he finally stands before him, he is rendered speechless, crippled, and he notes: 'Desire overwhelmed me, made me reel / What every lover of a comely face does feel.'"