View on Transgender

Q: What is the Islamic view on transgenders?

A: This is regarding a person who has both organs; of a male and female. This person is called a Khunthaa in the books of Fiqh.

Obviously it is no fault of the person that he is born in this way. It is not permissible to ridicule tease and taunt such a person.

There are three types of Khunthaa:
1. Although the person has both organs, but he urinates from the male organ. This person will be included among the males and the laws regarding males will fall on him.

2. The person urinates from the female organ so will be included among the females. The laws related to females will fall on this person.

This applies before the person reaches maturity. After maturity, the person will be rechecked. If he experiences wet dreams like a male then he will be counted as a male. On the other hand, if the person develops breasts and other signs of being feminine the she will be included among the females.

3. When both masculine and feminine signs are equal and it cannot be determined whether the person is more male or more female then such a person is termed Khunthaa Mushkil. There are different laws regarding such a person, a few examples:

It is not permissible for a Khunthaa Mushkil to wear silk and jewellery. Both these are permissible for females. But because this person’s condition cannot be ascertained, so precaution demands that such a person not wear silk and jewellery, because of the possibility that the person may be more male.

Such a person cannot travel without a Mahram because of the possibility of being more female.

When this person dies, Ghusl will not be given because the question arises that who will render the Ghusl, male or female? The law is that this person will be given Tayammum. If a Ghayr Mahram is rendering the Tayammum then the person has to wear a cloth over the hands. A Mahram does not have to wear a cloth over the hands.

Allah Ta’aala knows best.

Moulana Yusuf Laher