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Imam Khomeini’s Innovations in Changing Sex in Spousal Sentence

One of the recent issues of jurisprudence is the issue of “sex change”. This, in addition to transforming the sex of a person, changes his legal and jurisprudence life. The gender of a person changes from man to woman or vice versa.

Today, the issue of “sex change” is not only considered by the medical perspective, which is also important in terms of legal and jurisprudence issues. Of course, the discussions about “neutral” or “bisexual” individuals are not considered as an emerging phenomena; since past so far, there have always been people who have been neutral or sexually active in human societies, and in Islamic traditions and Islamic jurisprudence there have been discussions on these people. What has become important in gender mainstreaming is the advancement of medical knowledge, especially surgical knowledge. There is always a news story about the gender change. This is not only true for physical illnesses, such as bi-sexual (hermaphroditism), but also sex change for healthy people. In the past, the change of gender and the conversion of the boy to the girl, and vice versa, was an impossible thing, but in recent decades, thousands of gender changes has occurred in Iran and abroad. One of the questions raised here is whether the permission or lack of permission is in jurisprudential terms, as well as the legality or illegality of this issue. The answer to this question can be the subject of an article or even a thesis. The issue of permitting or non-licensing is referred to as the task of the case, which we are not currently looking for and responding to. What we are looking for is the examination of one of the precepts of gender change. In other words, this phenomenon has the effects and consequences of which one of the effects is the effect of gender change on couples’ marriage. Even if we believe in the illegality of gender change, we can again speak of the state of affairs of this phenomenon (Bohrani, 1995: 66).

From the first Shiite jurisprudents facing this issue, and inevitably for a scientific discussion, deduction, and fatwa, was Imam Khomeini, who in 1964, in his great jurisprudential book, “Tahrīr al-Wasīlah”, referred to this issue as the issues of the accession to be deduced, and along with ten issues, discussed various aspects of this issue and the validity of the principle of sex change and finally passed his fatwa (Imam Khomeini, 622.2). After this fatwa, though the issue of sex change came within the realm of the emerging issues of Shi’a Islamic jurisprudence, it was still silent on the part of the jurisprudents, until again, in 1987, a person (the former Fereydoon and later Maryam Malek Ara) went to Imam, and arguing that he considers himself to be a woman psychologically, was given permission to change his sex, and Imam allowed him to do so after approving expert doctors’ opinions. After that, the legal and jurisprudential process was facilitated in the Muslim country. Since then, the reasoning and jurisprudential debate has been opened on this issue and the Shi’ite mujtahids and authorities have been discussing it.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Imam Khomeini’s Innovations in Changing Sex in Spousal Sentence

Author(s): Hamidreza Abdia, Abbas Ali Heidarib and Mahmoud Ghayoomzadeh

Published in: Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education Vol.12 No.11 (2021).

Language: English

Length: 5 Pages

Imam Khomeini’s Innovations in Changing Sex in Spousal Sentence

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