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IslamQA: Gender dysphoria in Islam

(1) Greetings. I have been following your blog and are fascinated by your wisdom in viewing life through Islamic lenses, but does not fail to be logical. I am a Muslim young woman in her mid-twenties and am thinking to be a transgender, because ever since I was little I sometimes thought myself as a male in a female's body. Also, I'm boyish. I know that Allah is Never wrong, but why is this feeling and thoughts exist? I just thought about this recently. What do you think of my consideration?

(2) The reason why I felt so is because I've always been leaned towards boyish things; clothes, hobbies, preferences, etc. I'm rarely consider myself girly, but the only time I become self-conscious and consider myself a girl is when my emotions burst upfront. I'm a feeler person. I rarely fall in love with boys/men, but I openly confess to my best friend that I love her and if only I'm a male, I would marry her. What should I do? That's all and thank you very much for your time.

(3) Also, I've never had any complain as a woman, it's just I imagine myself more comfortable if I were a man. I know that my feelings will never justify my wish to be a transgender, but I just wanted to spill this and you are the only person on earth I know would not judge me for saying such taboo things. I'm fully aware that Islam prohibits sex reassignment surgery and such to change one's gender. I don't mean to act ungrateful towards God. I just wanted your opinion and solution to this.

(4) Lastly, if what I question previously are not allowed in Islam, then can a Muslim woman also be a boyish or tomboy in looks and character? (I'm a hijabi and I wear abaya, by the way.) Is it not allowed or is frowned upon? Thank you so much for putting up with my questions patiently. May Allah Reward you and your family with an abundance of virtue and Paradise.

Assalamu alaikum,

There is no surprise in some women feeling boyish and some men feeling feminine. These things are determined by hormones and brain structures, which are strongly affected by genes and by the gestational environment (the hormones you are exposed to in your mother’s womb). Think of your condition as similar to someone being born blind or with another disability. These things happen.

The reason why God allows it to happen is that God wishes the universe to operate in a way that makes sense and that allows humans to have the choice of both believing and disbelieving in Him. If everything went perfect and nothing went wrong in our universe we would know that there is a God caring for it. But by hiding Himself from us and allowing the universe to function in a seemingly scientific way, God allows us to have the choice of belief and disbelief. I discuss this in my essay on reconciling Islam and Darwinian evolution and my essay on why God allows evil to exist and why bad things happen to good people.

My advice is to accept yourself as you are. There is nothing wrong with feeling boyish in your heart since that is something you did not choose for yourself. But my advice is also to accept what Islam asks of you as a woman. This too is something you did not choose, but accepting it opens the way for salvation for you in the real life that is to come, while rejecting it may give you some satisfaction in this life at the cost of God’s mercy in the afterlife.

The Prophet strongly spoke against men who dress like women and women who dress like men. So it would be best if you maintain a female appearance. As for having boyish interests and manners, then that is fine as long as you do not act in a way that goes against Islam or scandalizes people.

I recommend waiting patiently. One day you may meet a man whom you find attractive and who likes you the way you are.

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3 years ago

Sir If our brain and heart doest not accepted this thing that we are Female then what we happend??

3 years ago
Reply to  Areeka

Help yourself accept it. You can get official therapy in parts of Europe. Meditation, prayer and spending time with female friends doing feminine activities may help you reframe your mind.

3 years ago

Sir,i have similar question i am a boy of 22 but i feel like a girl in my mind but the problem with is i couldn’t be able to control my thought so i spend hours sitting in my room & thinking as a girl . These thing is effecting my mind ,i can’t focus on any thing during these time interval which make me frustrated & depressed on my condition ,it effect my study & my other life activities
Kindly guide me how i control that surge of transgender thinkings

3 years ago

Sir, i am a boy of 25 but i also feel like a girl & the problem with me is that i also wear woman dresses usually underclothes but only when i alone in my room ,for others i am just a normal boy . whenever i wear women clothes it makes me calm & i feel a kind of relief from anxiety created due gender dysphoria
Just want to ask that is it ok to wear women dresses only when you are alone in your or it also prohibited
Kindly guid me

2 years ago

Hey sir/ma’am, I wanna ask if a Muslim can choose the decision of becoming a transgender if they have medical issues like gender dysphoria. My friend is only 13 years old and is diagnosed with gender dysphoria. I’m not sure if she is suppose to use the FTM transition. I desperately need help.