Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Learning about Islam as a transgender male



I'm nervous to speak openly about this with an Imam so I hope you can help.  I was not raised Muslim but in my exploration of faith I find Islam very compelling.  What feels to be a road block for me though in continuing my pursuit and exploration of Islam is the fact that I am a transman (that is I was born female and transitioned to male).

I know transgender issues have changed a lot over the years so to put it in context, I do not agree with a lot of the way that people transition now without first seeking therapy and getting diagnosed by a mental health professional.  I think it is very sad to see so many people skip that and regret their decisions after making permanent changes because they never actually had gender identity disorder to begin with.  I actually went to therapy, received a diagnosis, and transitioned 10+ years ago.  Very few people in my life now know that I'm transgender.  I visited a mosque once and of course was allowed to watch in the main area where the men pray because there is no reason for them to question me as a man.

But I'm scared to move forward with investigating the faith, getting to know people at the mosque near me, etc. because, already in my first visit there they were talking about how they will help me find someone to marry.  Not that I would mind it because I haven't had much luck in love thus far, but obviously that would not be possible without them knowing I'm trans because I feel it is only fair for a potential future wife to know my history which changes the pool of women who might be interested.

What should I do?  Should I move forward and just forever keep it a secret and always divert attention about my dating life? Maybe I can find a Christian woman to marry who is okay with my gender and it won't have to be an issue among the Muslim brothers?  Or should I privately (and hopefully they would be discrete about it) talk with the Imam and tell him?  How do the sharia decisions and law work in these matters?  Would they have to "hear my case" or something and approve of the fact that I'm trans and I'd have to get their "blessing" on it?  Does that even happen in the US?  Even if it does, it seems really hard and scary to put "who I am" on trial among other men to feel like I have validation before seems kind of messed up to do it that way.  Am I misunderstanding?  I've heard of transitioning being permitted by Islamic law in some countries but I've never heard anything about it in the US.

And of course I know many believe it is wrong and sinful.  Hadith to support that is very easy to find.  Others say there are Hadiths that support transitioning but it's hard to find anyone who can clearly present the cases made on each side.  I heard of an Islamic group in Chicago that does outreach to trans people and helps to support them when they can't go to other mosques and I tried to contact them to ask questions but never heard back.  I'm not sure where else to seek answers.  I just don't see how I could live as my birth gender.  For those of us who have a true case of gender identity disorder, it's very real.  I just don't know how to move forward or who to talk to about this so any advice you can offer me I would really appreciate.

Thank you and I pray that Allah will bless you for the time you give to my story.


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7 Responses »

  1. Salaams,
    Are you saying by changing your sex that you felt that Allah swt made a mistake?
    Allah swt created you to be a female for a reason, Allah swt never makes a mistake or will give you more than you can handle, this is Haraam, transgender, lesbian, gay, quere, not allowed in Islaam!
    this angers me and should anger the rest of this forum to think we need to help with something that you were ungrateful to!
    This is Haraam and we should not play part to this, you made this decision all on your own, now you expecting some sort of compassion and care, forget it, You are ungrateful to your creator!

    • Asalamualaykum za,

      I find your post very discouraging and hurtful, and I am not even the one who is transgender here.

      We all have our own life journey and learn things at the precise time that Allah wills. Are you sinless?

      Gender-identity disorder is a very real disorder and to berate someone for doing what they did before they had knowledge is also questioning Allah's timing as you accuse the OP of doing. The goal is to move forward in the best way possible. Perhaps this poster could not find a better solution for their distress at the time that they went through this transition...after all, they are learning about Islam and this faith just now.

      We should set a positive example to those in need of our help. Your attitude is keeping people away from Islam, from the natural way, and from the straight path, whatever your intentions. Please say something helpful or don't say anything.


      • Thank you so much for your kindness Nor. I've been researching Islam for about 2 years and haven't ever moved forward with Shahada or even establishing much of a relationship with anyone at the mosque because I wasn't sure how to proceed in this situation and I was fearful of responses like the one above. Many youtubers I've seen have had responses to LGBTQ issues that are hard to hear but I always hoped that was just out of them getting so many trolls and people who don't have genuine and seeking hearts. The thing that gave me the courage to post about this here was because I had seen another LGBTQ question get posted and it was responded too with similar compassion. And to see you responding this way to my post too is a comfort. Thank you.

        • Salam!

          You are so welcome and no problem at all! It was my honor to help and I hope that I have put at least a few of your concerns to rest.

          A lot of people are afraid of Islam due to the media and other propaganda, and I SO wanted you to know that those of us who have chosen to have a direct link with our Creator have been given a limitless gift. Being a Muslim improves my self esteem, gives me self-worth and confidence, and softens my heart such that very few things really truly bother me anymore. And for challenges that I do have, I know that if I pray about it, I will be responded to in the best way possible, even if it takes some time and patience. I truly hope that you too will one day claim your place in Islam, which Allah is holding just for you!

          I wanted to also say too, on the subject of acceptance in the Muslim community, that even if you do not find people you connect with, Allah and Islam are "enough." I have no Muslim friends, they are all either Christian, Jewish, or Atheist, yet I still practice this religion. It empowers me as a woman, and I wouldn't have it any other way! Inshallah you will be led to the Shahada one day, and trust me when I say that you can go at your own pace from there!



  2. Salaamu alaikum. I met a transgendered woman who accepted Islam a few years after her transitioning, A friend of hers introduced her to me because she needed advices and knew I was a Muslim who was not judgmental -- with a Masha Allah attitude. The lady was concerned about interacting with women in the masjid and wanted to avoid any conflict with anyone. I explained that some women with a very shy personality might be uncomfortable in the company of a transgendered woman and many women like myself would not really care. This was all said to preface my comments in relation to your situation.

    I would suggest you keep your transgendered status private. Many people simply do not understand transgendered life. I know that I do not. I would even admit to you that sometimes I don't like it when someone who was not born female claim to be a woman. I am almost 70 years of age, so there is a generational disconnect. My children, however, having grown up with transgendered people don't even think about it. I do know I have a duty to be kind, polite and tolerant of Believers as well as non-Believers. I also know that most Muslims will not be kind, polite or tolerant to someone who is transgendered.

    It will not be an easy journey, but you might want to establish friendships with others and at some point when you feel secure in the friendship considering telling them of your status. Or just keeping it exclusive to yourself. In terms of marriage, if you can not have children this is something you should share with a woman when you establish an interest in her. Some women don't want children, some women are willing to adopt or foster children so marriage is not an impossibility. Some women might find your status a plus since you might better understand women and not have misogyny built into your psychology. A bi-sexual Muslim woman who is living with her own secrets might consider marriage with a transgendered man acceptable. I do know that an Imam once advised a Muslim man who felt he was gay to possibly consider marriage to a Muslim woman who was not that feminine. My understanding of gender is that there is no one way to be female or male and that some people are more and/or less masculine or feminine.

    As with any dilemma a Believer is faced with, petitioning Allah for help and constantly praying to Him will benefit you considerably. I may not have answered your questions completely, but I hope I have offered you some direction that can be useful.

    • Thank you Roses for leaving a comment,
      I really appreciate your warm response. I have thought of finding a bisexual woman but I suppose discredited the possibility of finding a muslim bisexual woman because it seems like that would be a difficult thing to navigate. But I must trust that Allah will guide me.
      There is also the possibility, though it just seems impossible to swallow, of de-transitioning. I know people do it but usually they do it because they feel they made a mistake and their internal sense of self is more aligned with being female. Since that is not the case for me I think I must just wait and see if Allah guides me in that direction because if I did it would be so hard and solely out of following Allah. Its such a complicated thing because not only is it against my internal and not external sense of self, I'm also established in a good career where no one knows I'm trans, and I live in an area where trans people are not well accepted either. Please pray for me as I will continue asking Allah for guidance as well.

  3. Asalamualaykum,

    I don't have all the answers as this is an area of Islam I am currently researching, but on the topic of how you will be accepted in the Muslim community, I want you to know that Muslims that are practicing Islam the way it is supposed to be practiced would not ostracize you for decisions you have made in the past, nor what gender you currently feel you are.

    I am Muslim, I pray the daily prayers, fast the best I can, give zakat (also the best I can), and seek Allah's help alone for my own struggles. I have about 13-15 LGBTQIA / Non-Binary friends! Not just acquaintances, but friends who I respect and who respect me, cherish and who cherish me. One should never assume that Allah has not created companions for all of us who would accept us for who we are, our own personal beliefs aside. Allah would not do that, as he created us as social beings who need companionship.

    On the issue of marriage, I personally believe that by their very natures, men and women have different and unique yet compatible qualities, and a union with the someone of the same "born" gender will come with serious challenges. I think RosesRoses' idea of the goal being to unite masculine and feminine energies in a union or marriage is a very enlightened one.

    For example, I am a woman, but I have never been attracted to your typical "male jock" stereotypes, finding men who are sensitive and emotional more attractive (I am not married as of yet, however, so you can see what luck I've had with that!!) My personality tends to be more direct as you'd usually associate with males, which probably has something to do with it.

    The main reason I'm dropping you this note is to show and comfort you, through my example, that there are Muslims out there who will accept you, complete with your particular life challenges and journey. If you come across those that don't, they are not the right ones for you, so you should not waste your scarce energy with them and keep it moving! You will find your people, even within the Muslim community, I am sure of it!

    I know I didn't answer all your questions but I hope I have provided you a little more hope and peace than you started the day with. Remember, your Creator always comes first, and with Islam and this beautiful religion, you have a direct line of communication with Him through your daily Salah (prayers). You needn't acquire anyone's approval but Allah's. He knows you deeply and He wants to give you all that you have dreamed of. Your main goal should be stay close to Allah and ask for ALL your needs from Him, be it a grain of salt. He will then send you people and resources like you couldn't have imagined.

    I will say a prayer for you, and if you have learned Salah and Dua, please pray for me too, as I am currently experiencing a new health challenge.



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