At least 50 clerics issue fatwa in Pakistan, declare transgender marriages lawful

"A transman can marry a transwoman and vice versa, but intersex person - people born with physical sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies - cannot marry at all according to Islam", stated Mufti Muhammad Imran Hanfi Qadri in a fatwa which was issued on the request of Chairman of Tanzim Ittehade Ummat Pakistan Muhammad Ziaul Haq Naqashbandi.

A transgender person with "visible signs of being a male" may marry a woman or a transgender having "visible signs of being a female" and vice versa, said the fatwa issued by a little-known religious body on Sunday.

The Tanzeem Ittehade-i-Ummat was established two years ago to foster harmony among Muslims.

A transgender declared female at birth, but whose gender identity transitions to that of a man, can marry a transgender who is declared male at birth but his gender identity transitions over time to that of a female. This person can marry a transgender declared female at birth who transitions over time into a male.

He, however, declared that an intersex person, called Khunsa-e-Mushkil in Islamic Sharia, can not marry at all according to Islam.

Islam, Qadri said, also prescribed their share in inheritance.

The clerics called upon the government to take action against such parents. "Through this fatwa, we want to inform the public that they can marry", he said. Even last rites ceremonies for transgenders would be the same as for any other Muslim man or woman.

This religious decree also urges parents of transgender people to give their children their due share in inheritance. Prayers, fasting, paying "zakat" (obligatory charity) and performing Haj are obligatory on them too, he said.

However, the fatwa was rejected by other schools of thought.