LAHORE: An Islamic scholar belonging to the Barelvi school of thought issued a religious decree (fatwa) on Sunday, stating that Islam allows transgender men to marry transgender women.
“A transman can marry a transwoman and vice versa, but intersex person – people born with physical sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies – cannot marry at all according to Islam,” stated Mufti Muhammad Imran Hanfi Qadri in a fatwa which was issued on the request of Chairman of Tanzim Ittehade Ummat Pakistan Muhammad Ziaul Haq Naqashbandi.
A transgender, declared female at birth but whose gender identity transitions to that of a man can marry a male or with a transgender who is declared male at birth but his gender identity transitions over time to that of a female.
Mufti Imran said the same Islamic rule will be applicable on a transgender, who is declared male at birth but his gender identity transitions to that of a female, can marry a female or with a transgender who is declared female at birth who transitions over time into a male.
He, however, declared that an intersex person, called Khunsa-e-Mushkil in Islamic Sharia, cannot marry at all according to Islam.
Islam, Mufti Imran said, also prescribed their share in inheritance. The parents who expel their transgender children from house or deprive them of their due share in inheritance commit a sin. He urged the government to take action against such parents.
According to him, making fun of a transgender, even by way of hooting, considering them inferior and insulting them is forbidden. “They are also created by Allah Almighty.”
Citing page 174, volume 9 of Fatawa Rizvia authored by Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, Mufti Imran said funeral prayers for a Muslim transgender would be offered like other Muslim men and women.
He also warned all transgender persons to abide by the tenets of Islam in the same way as all male and female Muslims. He said prayers, fasting, zakat and Hajj are obligatory on them too.
Mufti Imran said the government was duty-bound to ensure provision of rights of transgender by introducing proper legislation in this regard in consultation with religious scholars eliminating negative thinking against transgender.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2016.