Status of Eunuchs
Social Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Tariq Haashmi

What is the status of eunuchs in the Islamic Sharī‘ah. I mean if a eunuch wants to live in accordance with Islamic laws, what laws would apply to him: of men or of women? Moreover, should such a person live a whole life of sexual abstinence? If so, would it not be the toughest test given to a human being? Don’t you think, in most of such cases, the person might become faithless? Please place yourself in the position of such a person and suggest what should be the way to guide such people towards Islam.


Specific directives regarding eunuchs have not been covered in the Islamic Sharī‘ah. Muslim scholars can form an opinion on this matter keeping in view the spirit of the Sharī‘ah. There are two major viewpoints regarding eunuchs. According to the first view, eunuchs will be dealt with according to their apparent traits of gender. If their physical traits relate mostly to males, for example having a beard, they would be considered male and vice versa.  The proponents of the second view hold that the religious decrees, related with sex discrimination, are not applicable to them at all. This entails that they are not obligated to wear the hijāb and other obligations of similar nature.

Eunuchs normally lack the ability to have sex. Therefore the nature of their test no doubt is very tough. However, the inherent guidance regarding sexual relationship corroborated by the Sharī‘ah directives may not be overlooked by them. Many other people also suffer some kind of physical abnormalities in this world of trial. If we appreciate that all of us are put through a test in this worldly life, it would surely lessen the sense of deprivation. We should try to indoctrinate these people to the real nature of the fleeting life and prepare them for the eternal world where none will feel deprived of anything. Focusing on the real target and abandoning excessive care for the joy of this transitory world will greatly help. We ought to make these people realize that those who live through this life according to the stipulated guidance will certainly be blessed with everlasting bliss in the Hereafter.

Usually such people are not accepted even by their parents in the first place and later by the society. This is a totally uncalled for behaviour and may force them to adopt an indecent way of life. Instead of denial, they should be provided with an equal opportunity of education and also other facilities of life. If they are not allowed to live with normal human beings and are treated as a secondary creation, they are sure to lose the right path. It should be appreciated that they are living through certain conditions as a test not as a punishment. Love and sympathy can lead to their betterment both in faith and social status.

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