50 clerics affiliated with Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat have issued a fatwa that marriage with a transgender person is lawful. The religious decree also states that a transgender person having “visible signs of being a male” may marry a woman or a transgender with “visible signs of being a female” and vice versa. Fatwa also underlines that a transgender person carrying “visible signs of both genders” may not marry anyone. Fatwa also highlights the issue of inheritance of transgender people. There is a growing trend in the society of robbing transgender people of their share in inheritance. Clerics declared that parents who deprive their transgender sons or daughters of inheritance actually act against the will of god. They asked government to take action against such people.
At a time when attacks against transgender community have increased, this fatwa contains great importance to stir the debate regarding rights of this community in our society. This fatwa can pave the way for more meaningful debate that addresses antipathy towards transgenders in Pakistan. It is no secret that community is oppressed in Pakistan. Usually this oppressed community has little choice but to fit the occupational roles that society has chosen for them. They remain deprived of the very basic right to choose what they want to do in their lives.
This fatwa reflects that how clerics can play highly positive and constructive role in making this society tolerant. Considering the fact that clergy still holds a great deal of influence in shaping public opinion towards societal issues, other religious organizations should also play their part in eradicating discrimination of all sorts against marginalized communities in Pakistan.
Fatwa would stir debate regarding rights of transgender community in the society.