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What does Islam say about people who are born with both male and female sexual features. What are their rights?

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As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


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What does Islam say about people who are born with both male and female sexual features. What are their rights? 


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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


A eunuch is a human being who is naturally born with both the sexual organs, of the man as well as the woman. The eunuchs are people with sound and intelligent minds, but born with freak sexual features. Apart from this one physical difference, they have been bestowed with the exact same sense of right and wrong, guidance and mis-guidance, Truth and falsehood, sin and virtue, etc. like the rest of the ‘normal’ human beings. Thus they will be accountable like everyone else for their deeds in the Court of Allah on the Day of Judgment.


If the eunuch is more inclined towards the male sex in his habits, he will be treated like a male; and if the eunuch is more inclined towards the female sex in his habits, he will be treated like a female.


But there are some eunuchs, whereby it becomes difficult to ascertain whether they are male or female. The Messenger of Allah (saws) advised the woman in Islam to observe ‘purdah’ from these eunuchs, and they will neither pray with the men or the women. In the times of the Prophet (saws), the way the congregational prayers were held were that the men used to pray in the front, then the children in the back and then the women behind the children. For the eunuchs when it is difficult to ascertain whether they are male or female, they were commanded to pray neither with the men nor the women, but a different ‘saff’ or line will be formed behind and separate from the men in the mosque.


Sahih Muslim Hadith 5416 Narrated by Aisha

A eunuch used to come to the houses of wives of Allah's Messenger (saws) and they did not find anything objectionable in his visit considering him to be without any sexual desire. Allah's Messenger (saws) one day came as he was sitting with some of his wives and he was busy in describing the bodily characteristics of a lady and saying: ‘As she comes in front, four folds appear on her front side, and as she turns her back, eight folds appear on the back side.’ Thereupon Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘I see that he (the eunuch) knows these things; do not, therefore, allow him to enter.’ She (Aisha) said: ‘Then they began to observe veil from him (the eunuch).’


Thus eunuchs are a phenomena of nature, just like the Creator creates some people with a deformity or handicap as a test, to see how they treat others and how others treat them. If the Lord Willed, He could have created one amongst us with a deformity; thus those who are born with what we call ‘normal’ must be grateful to the Lord, and treat those with deformity with compassion and kindness, not ridicule and scorn. Other than possessing both the sexual organs of the male and the female, the eunuchs have perfect sense of right and wrong, sin and virtue, guidance and misguidance, etc.; and thus they will have a full accounting just like all the other human beings in the Court of Allah Subhanah on the Day of Judgment.


The only human beings who will be excused on the Day of Judgment and will have absolutely no accounting are those who died before reaching the age of understanding, or those who are ‘majnoon’ (crazy, mad, etc), those who were not bestowed with intelligence or the power of reasoning to differentiate between right and wrong, Truth and falsehood, guidance and misguidance, etc. Other than these fortunate ones, every single human being will be responsible for his deeds and will have a full accounting in the Presence of the Majestic Lord on the Day of Judgment.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.



Your brother and well wisher in Islam,





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