What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: What does Islām say about having a gender change i.e. is it permissible in Islām for a male to become a female, and likewise, a female to become a male?

Questioner: Husayn from England, U.K.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایة الحق والصواب

Sex change – for a man to become a woman and a woman a man – is impermissible & unlawful in Islām. The reason being that this is changing the creation of God, in other words, transforming i.e. changing what God created from the onset, and it is impermissible & a sin to change God’s creation and a satanic act.

Thereby, it being stated by the Lord Almighty,

{وَلَاٰمُرَنَّہُمْ فَلَیُغَیِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللہِ}

{and I will definitely order them so that they will change the creation of Allāh [Almighty]}

[Sūrah al-Nisā’, v 118]

It is stated in Tafsīr Khazā’in al-‘Irfān regarding this verse that males wearing the clothing of females or something similar, talking like women, behaving in the same manner as females, applying eyeliner, or red colouring on their body as women do, having patterned designs applied [e.g. Mehndi – henna] on their skin like females, tying their hair in large, long plats as they do all come under this.

[Khazā’in al-‘Irfān]

When it is impermissible & unlawful to imitate women in just their physical appearance, one can only begin to imagine as to how prohibited & impermissible it will be to transform the entire body into that of a female’s.

The Noble Prophet ﷺ has also stated such person who changes themselves is severely deprived from Allāh’s Mercy, and has also prohibited people from doing this. There is a blessed Hadīth thereby stated in Sahīh Muslim,

“لَعَنَ اللَّهُ الوَاشِمَاتِ وَالمُوتَشِمَاتِ …المُغَيِّرَاتِ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ”

“Allāh [Almighty] has cursed women who tattoo themselves, get tattooed…who change God‘s creation.”

[Sahīh Muslim, vol. 2, p. 205]

‘Those who change God’s creation’ has been mentioned in this Hadīth, and Muftī Ahmad Yār Khān Na’īmī, upon whom be mercy, states with regards to the explanation of this, referencing Ash’’iah, that one should bear in mind that there are two forms of changing the creation of God in Islām:

1 – Lawful

2 – Unlawful

Furthermore, even though there is also changing the creation of God in circumcision, cutting the nails, trimming the moustache, cutting one’s hair, however, these have been commanded to be done. On the other hand, the aforementioned things, filing/shaping teeth, etc are regarded as changing the creation of God which is of the unlawful kind. Here, this is referring to unlawful change i.e. because there is an unlawful change in this action, thus this being prohibited.

[Mir’āt al-Manājīh, vol. 6, p. 153]

In other words, such type of change is also prohibited which is done for the purposes of beautification, so one can only begin to imagine as to how prohibited and how much of a severe cause of deprivation from Allāh’s Mercy it will be to completely transform one’s whole body.

In reality, a person is not the true owner of their own body, thus only that form of change is permitted which Allāh Almighty Himself has permitted.

Just as it is stated in Irshād al-Sārī,

“أن جناية الإنسان على نفسه كجنايته على غيره في الإثم، لأن نفسه ليست ملكًا له مطلقًا، بل هي لله، فلا ينصرف فيها إلا بما أذن له فيه”

“Without doubt, it is a sin for someone to physically injure/wound themselves, just as it is a sin to physically injure/wound someone else. The reason for this being that a person is not the true owner of their own body; rather, it is in the ownership of Allāh Almighty; only that form of change is allowed which has been permitted.”

[Irshād al-Sārī li Sharh Sahīh al-Bukhārī, vol. 14, p. 72]

والله تعالی أعلم ورسوله أعلم صلی الله علیه وآله وسلم
کتبه أبو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء القادري

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qādiri
Translated by Haider Ali al-Madanī

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0865] Is gender change allowed?

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