(Part No. 25; Page No. 45)
Sex change from male to female or vice versa
Is it permissible to undergo a sex change operation whereby I will change my sex into a woman? I was born a male and still have all the masculine attributes, including my physical body. I have been raised in a Western society in which abhorring and disgusting values prevail and which I detest. Four years ago, I started beseeching Allah in my daily prayers. It is only now that I feel the audacity to ask a knowledgeable person like you that Allah may help you answer my question with your knowledge and wisdom. The tantalizing question which I yearn for the answer to goes back to the strange feelings I have had since I was a child, as I have always hated having the role of a male, rather I consider myself as a female. My feelings are now more complicated. Although, I physically have all the masculine characteristics as well as being capable of performing all duties related to men, inwardly and psychologically I feel dominated by feminine characteristics. This finds its best expression in my emotional and sexual inclination to men. It is true that I have not had sex with anyone and my nagging desire of being a girl is haunting me, but I can not express my femininity, because my body is that of a male person. For this reason, I think that undergoing a sex change operation will be the best treatment for my condition, but I will not do it (Part No. 25; Page No. 46) if it is Islamically impermissible. Kindly give me the legal opinion in this regard.I might say that none before me has ever asked you this question, but I hope you would answer me and guide me to what is beneficial for me regardless of how complicated the question is. I am a Muslim, whether a male or a female, and I hope that Allah would cause me to die as a Muslim. I end my letter with the hope of receiving your answer. May Allah benefit you for your efforts to serve Islam. Peace be upon you.
Firstly, Allah (Exalted be He) says,
To Allâh belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.
Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able to do all things.
A Muslim person has to be content with the way Allah created them.If your condition is as you have mentioned that your outer physical shape reflects full manhood, and you can perform all the duties of a man, even if you have not had sex with anyone, you have to continue your life as a male and be content with this grace and privilege which Allah bestowed upon you that you were created a man who is superior to women and more able to serve the duties of religion and the community, as Allah (Exalted be He) says,
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.
(Part No. 25; Page No. 47) We also have what Allah mentioned in the story of
the wife of `Imran who vowed to dedicate her would-be-child to the service of Allah's religion, etc. Life itself provides real evidence to be witnessed in countries which still puts the Islamic Shari`ah (Islamic Law) into force, as well as other proofs mentioned in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace be upon him) that testify for the superiority of men over women.Secondly, if your masculinity is so evident, then your undergoing the operation to change your sex into a woman - is a change in Allah's creation itself and an expression of discontent on your part at what Allah chose for you. We say this upon the presumption that the operation is successful and you turned into a woman, but this is very difficult. Indeed, both men and women have their own innate systems which are only created and made to function in a certain way by Allah (Exalted be He), as it is not just a man's penis or a woman's vagina. We are speaking about a whole coherent and related reproductive system consisting of two testicles and other organs, each of which responds and excretes in a certain manner. The same could be said of the woman's reproductive system which consists of a womb and other related organs and each organ has a role of its own. This is all created and made to function by (Part No. 25; Page No. 48) none of the creatures; rather it is Allah, the All- knowledgeable, the All-Wise, the Omnipotent.Based upon this, the operation you want to undergo is a futile effort on your part and you will reap no benefit whatsoever from it; rather you are putting your life at stake. You could lose what Allah has given you without getting what you want, let alone the enduring devastating effect of the psychological complications you previously wanted to get rid of.Thirdly, if you are uncertain about your masculinity, but it is your outward physical shape that makes you look like a man, as well as the feminine characteristics dominating your behavior and that makes you have an emotional and sexual inclination towards males, you should then think carefully before getting involved in such a matter. It would be preferable to take the opinions of the knowledgeable and specialized doctors. If it is proved that you are outwardly a male but inwardly a female, then they should perform the operation to expose your real personality. This is not a mere change for you from a man to a woman, because this is in the Hands of Allah, but they merely help expose your femininity, and get rid of all the masculine physical features of your body. However, if their opinion is that you are enjoying full manhood, then do not embark upon uncalculated endeavors and be content with Allah's Decree and be patient with your condition so as to please your Lord, and avoid the dangerous consequences of such an operation. I advise you to turn to Allah (Part No. 25; Page No. 49) beseeching Him to relieve you of your affliction and psychological complications. It is Allah in Whose Hand the sovereignty of everything is. He is Able to do all things.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.