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Gender change: masjid and inheritance

Fatwaa ID: 1217

Assalaamu 3laykum w r7matullah w barakatuh

A woman undergoes surgery and is on medication for a gender change.
She now looks like a man and attending the masjid.

The family is heart broken and so concerned about

  1. Is she allowed to attend the masjid? What can be done?
  2. Is she allowed to inherit? If she does, is it as a son or daughter?

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

May Allaah Ta’aala guide the individual and grant her family sabr jameel and happiness. It is important for the family to understand that hidaayah is in the Hands of Allaah Ta’aala. Our job is to remind with wisdom and make du’aa to Allaah Ta’aala. Leave the rest to Him.

In principle, the Shari’ah does not recognize sex changes. A person will be regarded to be the gender he/she was born with, as Allaah Ta’aala has created him/her. A male will always remain a male and a female will always remain a female even if he/she looks, feels or “identifies” otherwise. Similarly, even if he/she undergoes an apparent “sex change” or gender “reassignment” surgery, it will not be recognized in Shari’ah. However, if one undergoes a change that makes him look different than his gender, then the laws of hijaab and inter-gender interactions pertaining to both genders will apply with him, one considering his real biological gender and the other considering his apparent.

A person who undergoes a sex change will remain a Muslim unless he/she regards his deviated actions to be permissible and/or justified. In that case, he will be out of the fold of Islam. Similarly, if one regards the LGBTQ+ movement or any of their strands to be permissible or he supports any of them, then he will be out of the fold of Islam.

Accordingly, the answers to your queries are as follows,

  1. She is permitted to attend the masjid. However, she may not stand with the men nor with the women. She will stand in a separate line behind the men. However, if she is actively promoting her deviance while in the masjid, then she will be prevented from coming to the masjid.
  2. If she is a Muslim, based on what was mentioned above, then she will inherit as a female, i.e., a daughter. If she is out of the fold of Islam, i.e., she regards her deviances to be permissible or justified, then she will not inherit any of her Muslim relatives.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

11/07/1444 AH – 05/27/2023 CE | AML3-3414

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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