Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Sexuality and gender in Islam


I've been very confused about this for a long time, and I've heard different opinions on this.
As a muslim, I respect all cultures and all people regardless of gender, race, religion, etc.
I respect everyone and I try to be friends with all types of people. If someone drinks or does something that might be against my religion and is bad, I would give them advice instead of scolding or judging. In my opinion, only God can judge me, and I don't think it's up to us to judge other people for what they think is right, when the other person may have a different opinion.
Everyone's way of life is different.

Being gay, or perhaps not "being" as in born/you are gay, is against Islam. My parents have told me it's against our religion if someone who is homosexual has relations with another homosexual. They are strongly against gays. In my opinion, I support all LGBT right. I respect everyone, regardless of their sexual preference. It's not any of my business about their love life or who they are attracted to. It has nothing to do with me at all. My parents have only told me that to have homosexual relations is against Islam. They say man and woman should only be together.

Well alrighty then, but what about the people who are transsexual?
Born gay?
Gay and don't have any relations with other homosexuals?
Is that against Islam? Asexuals, pansexuals, bisexuals?
What is and isn't against Islam in sexual preference?


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9 Responses »

  1. Dear aisuzuki,

    We have answered many questions on the subjects on "Trans-sexuality", "Gays" and similar subjects; we have discussed the issues at length. You are requested to search the archives.

    In short, the concept of 'being born gay' is invalid in Islam. No one is born gay, they choose to become gay, influenced by the environment and the way they are brought up. They choose to follow their own desires and follow the path of the people of Prophet Lut Alaihis Salam; the act, due to which they were destroyed.

    Being trans-sexual is unacceptable in Islam, as it amounts to following one's desire against the Creation of Allah, claiming that they were born so. No, no one is born so, they are influenced by the environment and the way they are brought up and make choices which make them so. In other words, they ignore the laws of Allah or are ignorant of them and they choose to follow whatever they like.

    Having said that homosexuality is haraam, pansexuality and bisexuality are other forms of following one's desires. In this, one just wants to have physisical relations, regardless of who they are having it with. Assexuality is another form of transgression and oppression upon oneself. Allah Allowed sexual relations, but with some conditions, which are: between a man and a woman who are legally married. Allah Has Set boundaries through His Religion - Islam - and Ordered us to safeguard them. It is upon us to remain within them and not cross them, because if we do so, we are sure to find ourselves astray.

    You asked what is against Islam in sexual preference.

    Allah Has made us male and female and we have no "preference". We have no choice to switch over to the other gender. Yes, when the case of hermaphrodites is considered, they are considered to belong to the gender they are inclined to. Other than this, we have to thank Allah for what we are and deny Shaitaan the opportunity to lead us astray with thoughts that one was born homosexual or one belongs to the opposite gender, as though Allah Was mistaken (Na'oodhu Billah).

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • Assalamu Aalaykum

      With all due respect, actually people are kind of born into it. I myself is kind of confused with my sexuality, ever since a young age, I didn't even know that there were different kind of sexualities I didn't even know that word meant. I knew that I liked guys but then something weird happened.I started having feelings for a girl. I was so confused I thought it was unnatural and weird, so I did some research on it.i found out about the word and looked up bisexual. I asked my mom about it but she started yelling about it. So I apologized and went up. A few years later, I started having feelings for another girl and found out that she liked me. I wasn't that religious back then, so I figured we could be girlfriends, and then I kissed a long one and it fell magical. A few weeks ago this hit me again and realized I never figured out my sexuality but I'm very religious now so I'm very confused. So you see it isn't because of my environment it was because deep inside I already know an I'm still digging to find, and I'm a little mad that you said " it's because of our enviroment".

  2. Asalamu alikum,

    I agree with the above poster.

    Allah created men and women and they are meant for the opposite sex. Anything else is haram. Look into the story of Lut- this is Islams perspective on sexuality.

    As for your views, i also share the same- its not my business what you do and respect everyone. I dont aprove or promote homosexuality- I say Allah is the Judge of all that we do- Allah will judge the people not me.

  3. Assalaamualaikam

    My understanding is that a person cannot necessarily help the sexual urges they have, or their concept of gender identity, but what a person can control is what they do.

    There has been a lot of research into why people have different sexual preferences or feel they are the wrong gender. Genetics, hormones, exposure to different chemicals and so on in the environment during development, upbringing... A lot of people have tried to understand why some people have these challenges and others don't. But whatever the mechanism, this is a trial for the people experiencing it and for their loved ones. So, it's really important that we do not discriminate against people because of the trial they are facing, while at the same time we and they need to be aware of the guidance given by Islam.

    When a person is experiencing trials in which they experience urges or thoughts that go against Islamic teachings, they can't necessarily stop themselves from having those. But what a person can do is keep their faith strong, avoid doing anything that goes against Islamic values, and seek help and support from appropriate people (supportive professionals such as therapists, trusted family members, support groups) - although it's important to make sure any people involved are: a) trustworthy, and b) going to give advice in light of Islam rather than condoning something that the person is trying to resist.

    In terms of supporting LGBT rights, all people (regardless of their race, sexuality, culture or faith) should be able to live without persecution.

    Midnightmoon editor

  4. The Fatwa of Mufti Tantawi on the permissibility of gender change operations.
    (The fact that I am posting this does NOT mean that I necessarily agree with it - I really don't know what to think.)

    Immediately after news had broken about the operation, Egypt's muftis were asked for fatwas on the question. As we know, apart from the Mufti of the Republic, there are the president of al-Azhar's Fatwa Council [ Lajnat al-Fatwa] and the mufti of the High Council for Islamic Affairs [ al-Majlis al-Acla li sh-Shu'un al-Islamiya], who publish their fatwas in the periodicals of these two institutions. The two former were immediately consulted by the journalists, at a time when few details about Sally were known, and both answered that sex-change surgery could be performed if the medical experts assured that this was the only way whereby the patient might obtain his true sex[25]. The mufti of the High Council, however, did not publish a fatwa until October l988, when he denounced the operation because it had transformed a man into something neither man nor woman, but much akin to a hermaphrodite, which was ironic since this was precisely the disease the doctor had purported to cure[26].

    As mentioned above, the Mufti of the Republic was consulted by the Doctors' Syndicate in May l988 for a fatwa on the subject. Given the official inquiry, this fatwa is much longer and better argued. It is reproduced below from the records of the Mufti's Administration, the Dar al-Ifta:[27]

    To the honored general secretary of the Doctors' General Syndicate. This is an answer to the Syndicate's letter number 483 of May 14, 1988, asking for the opinion of religion on the matter of a student of medicine at the al-Azhar university, who has been subjected to a surgical operation (removing his male organs) in order to turn him into a girl.

    We find that cUsama ibn Sharik tells: "A bedouin came to the Prophet and said, 'O, Messenger of God, can you cure?' And He said, 'Yes, for God did not send a disease without sending a cure for it, knowing it from His knowledge...'" This [ hadith] is told by Ahmad [ibn Hanbal]. There is another version: "Some bedouins said, 'O, Messenger of God, can you cure?'. And He said. 'Yes. God's servants can cure themselves, for God never gave a disease without providing a cure or a medicine for it, except for one disease.' They asked, 'O, Prophet of God, what disease is that?' He said, 'old age.'" This version is related by ibn Maja abu Da'ud, at-Tirmidhi, and others. ( Muntaqi l-Akhbar wa Sharhan nayl al-Awtar, v. 8, p. 200, and Fath al-Bari bi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, by al-cAsqalani[29], v. 9, p. 273, in the chapter on those who imitate women).

    As for the condemnation of those who by word and deed resemble women, it must he confined to one who does it deliberately [ tacahhada dhalika], while one who is like this out of a natural disposition must be ordered to abandon it, even if this can only be achieved step by step. Should he then not comply, but persist [in his manners], the blame shall include him, as well— especially if he displays any pleasure in doing so.

    The person who is by nature a hermaphrodite[ mukhannath khalqi] is not to be blamed. This is based on [the consideration that] if he is not capable of abandoning the female, swinging his hips in walking and speaking in a feminine way, after having been subjected to treatment against it, [he is at least willing to accept that] it is still possible for him to abandon it, if only gradually. But if he gives up the cure with no good excuse, then he deserves blame.

    At-Tabari took it as an example that the Prophet (God bless him and grant him salvation) did not forbid the hermaphrodite from entering the women's quarters until he heard him giving a description of the woman in great detail. Then he prohibited it. This proves that no blame is on the hermaphrodite for simply being created that way.

    That being so, the rulings derived from these and other noble hadiths on treatment grant permission to perform an operation changing a man into a woman, or vice versa, as long as a reliable doctor concludes that there are innate causes in the body itself, indicating a buried [ matmura] female nature, or a covered [ maghmura] male nature, because the operation will disclose these buried or covered organs, thereby curing a corporal disease which cannot be removed, except by this operation.

    This is also dealt with in a hadith about cutting a vein, which is related through Jabir: "The Messenger of God sent a physician to abu ibn Kacb. The physician cut a vein and burned it." This hadith is related by Ahmad [ ibn Hanbal] and Muslim. What supports this view is what al-Qastallani[30] and al-cAsqalani say in their commentaries on it: "This means that it is incumbent upon the hermaphrodite to remove the symptoms of femininity."

    And this is further sustained by the author of Fath al-Bari who says "...having given him treatment in order to abandon it..." This is a clear proof that the duty prescribed for the hermaphrodite can take the form of a treatment. The operation is such a treatment, perhaps even the best treatment. This operation can not be granted at the mere wish to change sex with no clear and convincing corporal motives. In that case it would fall under that noble Hadith which al-Bukhari relates through Anas: "The Messenger of God cursed the hermaphrodites among the men and the over-masculine women, saying 'expel them from their houses', whereupon the Prophet himself (God bless him and grant him salvation) expelled one, and cUmar expelled another one." This Hadith is related by Ahmad and al?Bukhari.

    To sum up: It is permissible to perform the operation in order to reveal what was hidden of male or female organs. Indeed, it is obligatory to do so on the grounds that it must be considered a treatment, when a trustworthy doctor advises it. It is, however, not permissible to do it at the mere wish to change sex from woman to man, or vice versa. Praise be to He who created, who is mighty and guiding. From what has been said the answer to what was in the question will be known. Praise be to God the most High.

    This is a rather difficult fatwa, and so vague that both parties cited it in support of their position, as we have seen. In order to make sense of it, we shall divide it into sections.

    The first part consists of various versions of a Hadith the meaning of which amounts to the observation that there is a cure for every disease, and consequently also for hermaphroditism. This is a standard introduction in Tantawi's medical fatwas: thus, for instance in the fatwa from 1989 on organ transplantation[31]. It reveals his eagerness to support medical progress as long as it does not infringe on Islamic moral principles.

    Next, Tantawi discusses those men who resemble women, that is hermaphrodites. Here he has consulted the various Hadiths on the subject, as they have been recorded and commented upon by the famous Egyptian Hadith scholar ibn Hajar al-cAsqalani (d. 1448). One particular Hadith is commented upon: it tells how a hermaphrodite at the conquest of Ta'if promised to lead one of the warriors to a lady who had four tyres of fat under her stomach and eight over her hips. When the Prophet heard about this offer he forbade his wives ever to let a hermaphrodite into their chambers[32]. Following al-cAsqalani and at-Tabari (d. 923), Tantawi deduces that since there was nothing wrong with the hermaphrodite until it was discovered that he had been spying on the women, a hermaphrodite cannot be blamed for being created as such. There are two different types of hermaphrodites, those who are so by birth, and those who have acquired their manners. Both must be told to strive to free themselves from the hermaphroditism, even if this will be a slow process. They must not indulge in it.

    Third, Tantawi concludes that hermaphroditism is something which must be cured, if possible, and if a doctor asserts that a surgical operation is the only way to do it, then he must go ahead and perform one, be it from man to woman, or vice versa. Here he makes an interesting remark: what the doctor should be looking for are a buried female or a covered male nature, which can then be brought to light by means of the surgery. This amounts to saying that every human being has one true sex which may be covered by limbs or organs belonging to the other sex. The truth, however, is always underneath. Tantawi thus makes a distinction between an outward appearance [ zahir], which may be deceptive and an inward essence[ batin] which is always true—a well-known and important theme in Muslim culture[33].

    Fourth, a Hadith about the Prophet sending a physician to a man to cut a vein is taken as evidence that removing parts of the body through surgery is permitted. Combining this with ibn Hajar al-cAsqalani's remark that the hermaphrodite must strive to abandon his state, Tantawi deduces that it is permissible to perform surgery to remove limbs or organs which do not belong to the hermaphrodite's true sex.

    As the fifth point, Tantawi finally relates the Hadith which seems to be most to the point and according to which the Prophet cursed hermaphrodites and overly masculine women and expelled one of them from his house. This Hadith, however, is taken not to signify a general curse on hermaphrodites, but rather a prohibition against performing a sex-change operation for the fun of it. It must be a treatment, curing hermaphrodites by revealing their true sex.[34]

    What is Tantawi doing in this fatwa? Well, basically he is quoting a former Mufti of the Republic, Jadd al-Haqq cAli Jadd al-Haqq, who issued a fatwa on sex-change operations in response to an enquiry from the Malaysian Center for Islamic Research in l981[35]. What, then, are they doing? They are not referring to the elaborate fiqh discussions of hermaphrodites and the like, but they discuss some of the Hadiths of the Prophet on the issue in order to come up with a new ruling on this new phenomenon—which means in legal terms that they are practicing ijtihad. There are around a handful of Hadiths dealing with hermaphroditism and transvestitism, all apparently quite hostile towards them; in several of them the Prophet expels the hermaphrodite to the desert. One of the first things to decide is which of the Hadiths gives the most general rule. Tantawi and Jadd al-Haqq both focus on the one where a hermaphrodite is expelled as a punishment for having revealed the secrets of the harem and conclude that, inversely, if he had not done this he would not have been expelled. From this they conclude that those who are hermaphrodites by nature cannot be blamed for it, as long as they strive to rid themselves of this ambiguity and move towards increased sexual inambiguity. If they move in the other direction—that is towards ambiguity, indulging in their hermaphroditism—then they are to blame and must be banished from the social world.

    Tantawi thus stresses that the correct position for a hermaphrodite is to be on the move away from the hermaphroditic state, that is under treatment. Surgery is such a treatment. In order to sustain the idea of the hermaphrodite being on the way either further into or out of his state,—that is, hermaphroditism as a process—Tantawi maintains the dogma that every human being has only one sex, which is its true sex. In this way, hermaphroditism is reduced to being corporal and psychological movements and manifestations denying this true sex. Consequently, the task of the doctor will be to identify which of the ambivalent outward forms corresponds to the true inner sex, which he describes as hidden, or covered. As mentioned, the task of identifying the true, inward [ batin] essence behind misleading, outward [ zahir] manifestations, is well-known to the Islamic tradition: that is also the concern of the mystic, the philosopher, and possibly even the theologian. It is called ta'wil, a key concept in the Islamic understanding of the search for truth. The search for the true sex is a search for the truth about a human being. This idea is not altogether alien to western thought, either. In the preface to the book Herculine Barbin dite Alexina B., Michel Foucault describes the shift in mentality when, with the break-through of the medical sciences in the eighteenth century, the possibility of a body having two sexes was abandoned and the idea of a true sex gained ground. One of the casualties in this new and more rigid understanding of the true sex—and indeed of an intimate relationship between sex (or gender) and truth—were the hermaphrodites who were now all taken to be "pseudo hermaphrodites"[36].

    Mufti Tantawi seems to be squarely on the side of medicine in this matter. Defending a binary sexual system, he maintains that every human being has one sex and only one. While to medieval Muslim jurists gendering was a way of eliminating ungendered bodies, to Tantawi they simply cannot exist in the first place: the surgery performed on Sayyid cAbd Allah was no 'gendering of an ungendered body', for such a thing as an ungendered body does not exist. Rather, the surgery was a re-gendering of a body whose sex had been socially and physically disguised but was nevertheless not changed in the least by the operation: far from legalizing a sex-change operation, Tantawi's fatwa denied the possibility of performing one altogether.

    • This is what Islamic literature suggests. All other ulama including the Permanent Committee for Fataawa in Saudi Arabia also allow SRS for people who have both male and female sexual organs and it is known which gender they are inclined to (hermaphrodites). Other than that, the surgery is equal to attempting to change Allah's Creation.

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

      • Jazak''llah khayrn.

        I had wondered on this because many years ago, when I was growing up, there was a lot of emotional trauma around the discovery that a very glamorous and attractive young lady who was the sister of an acquaintance actually suffered from one of XY female disorders- that is, she had the appearance of a female externally and for the most part internally but had XY sex chromosomes.. She remained female since she identified as female, her secondary characteristics were exceptionally attractive female, and there was, in any event, little that could be done to turn her into a male, even if she had wished to be one - which she most distinctly did not. The problem was discovered as she prepared for marriage and it came up that she had never achieved menarche. The marriage was performed. All involved were Christians and accepted this as God's will and not perversion,

  5. I think its against islam..I am not trying to judge them but you have to wonder, Why did Allah distroyed the people of Sodom, because they were practicing this acts of being gay and homosexual. When i was Christian, we were totaly against it. Sometimes i feel like they are trying to change Allah's creation, Allah does not make mistakes when creating something, so therefore i think the whole" gay, lasbiand" thing is wrong. Dont give me wrong i like them as humans, but just dont agree with them.. Plus all these things happening are signs of end of time, so we just have to pray Allah not to distroy us as the people of Sodom were distroyed..

    Allah Knows Best, may Allah protect and forgive us. Aameen

  6. Assalam alaykom
    being gay is a test from Allah
    being gay is not haram because you can't change your feelings but acting on it is haram
    So if you do have any sexual relations with men it's a very big sin
    Allah will not judge you upon your feelings and how you feel but Allah will judge you upon your actions
    If you do stay away from having sexual ingagement with men for the sake of Allah then you will get rewarded in the hereafter
    This life is only a test for all of us
    Each one of us has a test and in the end we either get to heaven or to hell fire
    May Allah forgive us and grant us paradise .

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