By Muslim Mirror staff-reporter
In a decree which can be termed as highly progressive, fifty top clerics in Pakistan have declared that transgender people have full marriage, inheritance and funeral rights under Islamic law.
“Transgender people also have full rights under Islamic inheritance law, the Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Pakistan,” said in its fatwa.
The fatwa stated that a female-born transgender person having “visible signs of being a male” may marry a woman or a male-born transgender with “visible signs of being a female”, and vice versa.
“Also, normal men and women can also marry such transgender people as have clear indications on their body.”
However, it ruled that a transgender person carrying “visible signs of both genders” – or intersex – may not marry anyone.
Pakistani marriage law remains murkier, however.It is currently impossible for transgender people to marry in Pakistan, where gay marriage remains punishable by life imprisonment, and no “third gender” is recognised on official identity cards.
In 2012, Pakistan’s Supreme Court declared equal rights for transgender citizens, including the right to inherit property and assets, preceded a year earlier by the right to vote.
Muhammad Zia Ul Haq Naqshbandi, the Lahore-based head of the Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat religious law organisation that issued the fatwa, said parents who deprived their transgender sons or daughters of inheritances were “inviting the wrath of God”.
Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat is not a political organisation, and its fatwas are not legally binding. But the group wields influence thanks to its tens of thousands of followers across Pakistan.