Is it permissible for males or females to undergo an operation to change their gender?
In terms of Islamic Shar’ie Principles, there is no way that a woman or man would be permitted to undergo a sex-change operation in order to change his/her Allah-given gender status to that of the opposite sex.
Allah Ta’aala has created each human as a member of a specific gender, male or female. If he/she now undergoes an operation to transform him/herself into a member of the opposite sex, he/she would be flagrantly violating many injunctions and commandments of the Qur’aan and Hadeeth.
In order to protect and preserve the identity of each gender, Shari’ah has gone to the extent of even prohibiting males and females from merely emulating members of the opposite gender, in their dress and appearance, etc. How then would Shar’iah tolerate complete sex-change operations?
Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Hasan Saheb Gangohi rahmatullahi alaih has emphatically mentioned its prohibition (see Fataawa Mahmudiyya, Vol. 5, Pg. 163].
The following Hadeeth is also noteworthy in this regard: –
“Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam cursed those men who emulate women and also those women who emulate men.” [as narrated by Bukhari. (Mishkaat, Pg. 380)].
Furthermore, undergoing a sex-change operation would tantamount to altering the natural and normal features, organs and attributes given to a person by Allah Ta’aala. Altering and tampering with the creation of Allah Ta’aala for the sake of undergoing a sexual transformation would hence be totally forbidden. The prohibition of altering Allah-given normal features and attributes is labelled by the Qur’aan as being a ploy of Shaytaan, as the following Aayah of Surah Nisaa illustrates: –
Translation: (Shaytaan said): “And I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle and to deface features and attributes created by Allah Ta’aala.” (Allah Ta’aala then warns people who fall prey to the ploys of Shaytaan): “Whoever, takes Shaytaan as a friend, while forsaking Allah, has surely suffered a loss that is manifest.” [Al-Qur’aan, 4:119].
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)