Are sex change operations permissible to alleviate severe gender dysphoria and suicidal attempts?

Q:

I am a revert Muslim and I had a sex change operation from male to female and now, as a female, I am very happy and at peace with my body. The reason I had sex reassignment surgery was because I was suffering from severe gender dysphoria (distress between what gender I have identified closer to as a child to adult and between what my body was developing as biologically) and several suicide attempts prior to SRS. 

As someone who went through this journey as a transsexual (a person that has surgery and identifies and transitions to the opposite sex), to transition from the wrong sex (male) to the correct sex (female) is the only solution to have medicine and surgeries to affirm one’s gender and correct their sex to the right sex rather than suffer in the wrong sexed body. Are sex reassignment surgeries allowed in Islam to alleviate severe gender dysphoria, as a final option, and prevention of suicide attempts and thoughts?

A:

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.

All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon his Prophet Muhammad.

Allah has created males and females, each for a specific role to play in the development of humankind. Although most of the Shariah rulings are shared by both men and women, still there are certain rules and rulings that are specifically related to men and others specifically related to women.

The identification of one’s sex is naturally determined on the basis of anatomical facts, not psychological tendencies. It is the genital system that distinguishes males from females. As long as one’s biological sex is clearly determined on this basis, it is utterly prohibited to change it. 

The Quran speaks about how Satan promised to mislead mankind and drive them to commit the abhorrent crime of changing the creation of Allah, for being not pleased with it, “They call upon nothing besides Him (Allah) but [false] female [deities]. And they call upon nothing but a rebellious Satan whom Allah has cursed, and who has [himself] said [to Allah]: I shall most surely take hold of an appointed portion of Your servants. And I shall, most surely, lead them astray. Moreover, I shall, most surely, fill them with fancies. Thus, I shall command them: And they shall slit the ears of cattle [in false ritual]. And I shall command them: And they shall [seek unnatural] change [to] the creation of Allah. But whoever takes Satan as a patron, apart from Allah, has most surely suffered a manifest loss.” (An-Nisaa 4:117-119) 

Therefore, Muslim scholars are in agreement that this is an enormous sin and that such apparently sex transformation has no consequences with regard to shari`ah rulings related to one’s assigned/biological sex. 

Gender identity disorders are defined as “disorders in which an individual exhibits marked and persistent identification with the opposite sex and persistent discomfort (dysphoria) with his or her own sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex.” 

This is obviously a psychological disorder that needs treatment so that the patient becomes content with his/her biological sex. Islamic psychology can provide successful treatment in this regard. Surgical intervention is allowable only in the case of a hermaphrodite who has both male and female sex organs to determine the proper sex identity based on medical and anatomical reports. 

Almighty Allah knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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