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Thread: Sex Change in Islam

  1. #1
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    Default Sex Change in Islam

    Dear ALL:

    Salam. I am posting this to know about a very interesting issue, particularly Islam's viewpoints on it. This kind of incident was not probably available in our Prophet (SM)'s time. With passage ef time, new new issues are coming up, and solutions have to given on the present day socio-cultural perspective. That's why I am asking this query to get an answer.

    This is on a recent true incident.

    A boy, say aged 23/24, who was WOMAN-type from his childhood, has recently converted himself into a girl through sex-changing surgery. Whai I mean is, his behavior and attitude were like a girl since his childhood. It was not his fault--he was born with that that kind of mentality-attutide-behavior. Precidely, he was a semi-girl from his baby age.

    Day by day, his GIRL-ness increased. And at one point, his parents and others adviced him to go for sex-change. So he happily went for an operation in Bangkok and now he is completely converted into a girl. And (s)he is very normal and happy and comfortable with it that now (s)he is a girl. I saw her one day--she was wearing a burkha (veil) and she has a boy friend also now.

    My question is: is it okay from religious perspective--specially given the fact that he was not like normal boys by birth? Is it ok if she now stays like this and gets married with her boyfriend and has children?

    How does Islam deal with sex-change?
    (Plz remember that in this case, the boy did not deliberately change his sex--in fact, he HAD TO do it because he was already semi-girl from his childhood.)


    Me and my other friends will be very happy to get this answer. We are teaching in a university and that boy (now girl) happens to study in this same university. As teachers, we actually do not know how to deal with it--because our other students are asking us about it, and we are confused.

    Thank you.

    Warmest Regards.

    Shahed

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    Assalaamu'alaikum Shahed

    Firstly, welcome.

    Secondly, with regards to the issue, it is not permissible to change the creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Of the things that Shaytaan says that he would do to mankind is "making them change the creation of Allah", as it is mentioned near 3/4 of Surah An-Nisa. The Prophet sallAllahu'alaihiwasallam has cursed men who imitate women and vice versa. As such, the person should not have done the change.

    With regards to "her" having a boyfriend - that is not permissible in Islam even for a real woman. Premarital relationships with the opposite sex are to be kept at a bare minimum and only in the case of necessity. At any rate, the best thing is to encourage the person not to be discouraging. When a person is of a tender age, the environment has the most stunning impact. I do not blame the person, but I blame their parents or guardians. The best advice that I can give is to treat them with compassion and to advise them to repent for their sin of changing the creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. You do not need to make a big deal out of it, discretion is best. If that is how they have chosen to live, then it would health-wise it would probably be more stable for them to stay in the current situation. I think, however, that the point should be made, that changes to gender are not permissible. And Allah knows best.

    Regards

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    I would like to add that if there is an Imam on this forum with the knowledge required to give a qualified opinion on the subject, I have not seen him. So take what you read on this thread with a pinch of salt.
    The image-obsessed, bloodthirsty, sensationalistic world outside your window is the real madhouse.

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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    Wa salaam,

    Your question is fully loaded, and leaves out significant details. For example, when you say the person had girl tendencies, were these tendencies a result of biology? Or were they just a matter of 'psychology' and 'perception'?

  5. #5
    Veteran Member junaid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    SUNNI ISLAM:

    http://flanaganfamily.org/AlAzharFat...anges1988.html

    To the honored general secretary of the Doctors' General Syndicate. This is an answer to the Syndicate's letter number 483 of May 14, 1988, asking for the opinion of religion on the matter of a student of medicine at the al-Azhar university, who has been subjected to a surgical operation (removing his male organs) in order to turn him into a girl.


    It is permissible to perform the operation in order to reveal what was hidden of male or female organs. Indeed, it is obligatory to do so on the grounds that it must be considered a treatment, when a trustworthy doctor advises it. It is, however, not permissible to do it at the mere wish to change sex from woman to man, or vice versa.

    ********************

    SHIA ISLAM

    http://english.bayynat.org.lb/Jurisprudence/sex.htm

    Sayyid Fadlullah

    Unless we have legal evidence that disallows changing sex primarily, in principle, changing sex and the surgeries in question are permissible.

    As for the cause behind permitting this surgery, in the basis of legislation, if we don’t have any evidence that necessitates prohibition and in the state of hesitation and suspicion whether something is permissible or not, it is deemed permissible in principle. It is worth mentioning that I am not the only one who adopts such a ruling, for both Imam Khoui in his book “Mounyat El Sail” (the wish of the one who asks) approved sex-change.

    *************

    Disability in Islamic law / by Vardit Rispler-Chaim.

    Publication info: Dordrecht, The Netherlands : Springer, c2007.

    p. 74

    One of the leading Iranian Shii scholars, Ayatollah al Khaminai (Al Khaminai 1999, v. 2, 73) gave permisison for sex change operations for khunthas and for males who emotionally and sexually incline toward female behavior or appearance, with an obscure reservation that "prohibited acts should be avoided in the process".
    There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic ~ Blessed Mother Teresa

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    Veteran Member junaid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    I'll suggest the following article.

    http://www.umich.edu/~iinet/journal/..._in_cairo.html

    Sex Change in Cairo: Gender and Islamic Law
    There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic ~ Blessed Mother Teresa

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    Veteran Member junaid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexual

    Most transsexuals agree with the idea proposed by Harry Benjamin, that gender is hard-wired in the brain before birth. Being transsexual is instead an intersex condition: a mis-match between physical and mental gender. The main symptom of this condition is a unique type of depression: Gender Dysphoria. Most transsexuals assert that because mental gender cannot be changed via psychiatric means, the only alternative left is to change the physical body to match the mind. If untreated, it can lead to mental and emotional problems, and sometimes suicide.

    Many psychological causes for transsexualism have been proposed, while research has been presented to suggest that the cause of transsexualism has its roots in biology. There remains no agreement, however, as to the cause of transsexualism.
    There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic ~ Blessed Mother Teresa

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    Veteran Member vinod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    I honestly feel this is not addressed by Islam at all and is left to us to determine the right course of action. The principle of 'not changing Allah's creation' is more apt for regular men and women. Those suffering from such seemingly genetic problems, whose causes are yet to be determined, somehow get prejudiced, in my view, when the 'not changing Allah's creation' principle is applied on them.

    Salam
    1.4 billion people live under the poverty line - 1.25 USD per day. 20000 Africans die needlessly everyday due to AIDS, malaria and TB. 1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat. 3/4s of this are rural poor farmers who will also bear the brunt of global warming.

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    Veteran Member junaid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by vinod View Post
    Those suffering from such seemingly genetic problems, whose causes are yet to be determined, somehow get prejudiced, in my view, when the 'not changing Allah's creation' principle is applied on them.
    Both Egyptian Muftis and Iranian Ayatollahs are very considerate of the plight of such people. As such they are well advanced and enlightened compared to Christian clerics who have spewed so much hatred against such people that the suicide rate among the transgender community is 14 times higher compared to the usual population.
    There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic ~ Blessed Mother Teresa

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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    Thank you so very much--all of you--who have posted their thoughtful opinions regarding my query.

    What I understand as a whole is :while on the one hand Allah's creation shouldn't be subject to whimsical changes by individuals, on the other, it may be allowed if there is any dire need (that is, no other way is left out).


    I am not sure about this boy's case as to how far he had genetic problems. But there is no doubt that emotionally and psychologically, he had been undergoing feminine tendencies since his childhood. It proves that he had hormonal disorders.

    He told one of my colleagues that when he had gone to Bangkok for treatment for the first time, doctors gave him 2 options: either they will make him a complete MAN or they will make him complete FEMALE. He chose the latter option without hesitation. It indicates his hormonal aspect also....that is, he was emotionally more a girl and he would be comfortable with that.

    As I haven't personally talked to the changed-person (I admit I have been havong bit uneasiness seeing him after he became a girl because I never saw this kind of incident face to face before), and thus I am not completely sure about the person's genetic aspect--whether he was already transforming automatically into a girl or not. But the way parents of that person have allowed and spent the huge amount of money after the surgery proves that they might have been in a helpless situation.

    But thank you once again for your valuable insights into this matter. And at the end of the day, Allah knows best. We need to feel sympathy and pray for such people who have been born with such out-of-normal emotional or physical state. Life must have been very difficult and strange for them.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    If sex change is merely to have some fun and to see how it works on the other side, then it is haram because it is changing the God created nature.
    If however the sex change is to transfer to what the person really was supposed to be, then this is not only permissible but can even be seen as necessary. This is simply curing a disorder, like when a person is born with his noses blocked and they cure the person.

    So to summarise, Haram if it is not necessary, Halal if it can be seen as curing a disorder.
    Hope this is clear.

    Opinion of my friend AR.

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    Senior Member Hannahh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    It is very much discussed Vinod and Junaid has revealed a very important feature of the aya which states that Allah created all things as 1. male 2. female and 3. of both types (a spectrum of hybrids).

    Saudi Arabia is a great example because due to the high frequency of consanguinous (first cousin to first cousin) marriages, there are a huge variety of hybrids to study. Many of those I have seen first hand which present with "ambiguous genitalia" and must be subjected to a variety of medical studies to determine what sex the child actually is.

    I suggest a thorough analysis of Klinefelter's and Turner's syndromes (the two main types of sexual anomalies which are well known and studied) as well as the notion that what is to be tolerated is not the same as what is to be "permitted". In other words, "advocated" and without due cause.

    Klinefelter's males (some studies suggest that as many as 1 in 7 men have anomalous sex genes) can and are treated with testosterone therapy to relieve their feelings of discomfort related to the expression of feminine traits like low muscle mass, impotence and decreased body hair. They will however never be fertile. It is rare for a Klinefelter's male to reproduce...just as the aya states quite clearly: Allah makes whom he will fertile. Turner's females are the exact opposite...a few of them are infertile and most of them can reproduce.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    dear shahed it is difficult to answer ur question but i will try to find an answer to it with help of some scholars i know

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinod View Post
    I honestly feel this is not addressed by Islam at all and is left to us to determine the right course of action. The principle of 'not changing Allah's creation' is more apt for regular men and women. Those suffering from such seemingly genetic problems, whose causes are yet to be determined, somehow get prejudiced, in my view, when the 'not changing Allah's creation' principle is applied on them.

    Salam
    dear friend this subject is touched by islam indirectly n u cant say it is not touched at all

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hannahh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sex Change in Islam

    "Secondly, with regards to the issue, it is not permissible to change the creation of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. Of the things that Shaytaan says that he would do to mankind is "making them change the creation of Allah", as it is mentioned near 3/4 of Surah An-Nisa. The Prophet sallAllahu'alaihiwasallam has cursed men who imitate women and vice versa. As such, the person should not have done the change."

    First Harun, you have to know how Allah created this person. We've gone into this in great detail before and the aya is posted now in Doc's topic about the creation of male, female and both male and female mixed types.

    It is incumbent on the person who desires a sex change to study how they were created in the first place by going to see a qualified physician in that medical specialty (several actually including a geneticist). Then, when that person knows for a fact that they were created with female sex chromosomes and/or female "looking" genitalia..then and only then might they be permitted to adapt the creation so that they feel more comfortable with their own body.

    I don't think anyone here is very qualified to tell anyone else about what is forbidden and such. And if it is forbidden, then alot of Sunni Saudi Arabian doctors are in utter violation of Islam merely for testing infants who are born with what we in the health care field call "ambiguous genitalia" because naturally, testing something implies that you must do something to either correct it, heal it or in some way address it. It would be immoral to do such testing on individuals "for no reason" and a complete waste of time and money.

    It is the case however that not just everyone who wants to be the opposite sex can do that. That is ridiculous and society has condoned that sort of thing by advising people to do something without investigating properly in the first place. And we as muslims are doing the same thing by giving advise without being experts in it.

    So...if you were right on this Harun, that would mean that young children who are born with defective faces like cleft lip and palates, large mis-shapen craniums....all of those poor children would be forbidden from "changing" the creation and would have to live life being ridiculed by their peers.

    That is unacceptable advice and you should avoid giving it without considering all the other implications.
    Last edited by Hannahh; 29th September 2007 at 15:29.

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