LETTERS: THE International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education (Wafiq) would like to discuss the actions of Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman, who entered Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as a biological man, but identifies as and performed the rites of umrah (minor pilgrimage) as a woman.
Sajjad was born, and still is, biologically and anatomically male.
It naturally follows then that he is, pursuant to Islamic religious teachings, prohibited from partaking in prayers as female, nor is he allowed to stand in line with women during congregational prayers.
The laws that have been ordained by Allah with respect to differences between men and women still apply to him.
No matter what his external appearance is, science confirms that every single somatic cell in his body carries an X and a Y chromosome. The syariah recognises neither a third sex nor a combination of both sexes in one individual.
Islam upholds the fundamental truth that our bodies do not belong to us and this extends to every detail, from the tips of our toes right up to the locks of hair upon our heads.
A commonly recited verse from the Quran, usually recited upon hearing news of a person’s death, translates as: “Verily, we belong to Allah and to Him will be our return.”
Accordingly, we are prohibited from appearing as the opposite gender and also from permanently altering what has been bestowed upon us.
Still, even though the actions of transgender people contravene the syariah, this does not warrant an open season of taunting and degrading them, particularly as many of them may have mental illnesses or psychological issues.
Wafiq upholds the right of women to be respected and valued, to ensure the sanctity of families is preserved for better functioning of society and strives for better education for all, in accordance with the Federal Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam and the Asean Human Rights Declaration.
DR RAFIDAH HANIM MOKHTAR
International Women’s Alliance
for Family Institution and Quality
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times