The Gaps in Fatwā on Intersex Corrective Surgery: Some Reflections in the Context of Malaysia

Intellectual Discourse 26 (1):75-89 (2018)
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Abstract

Intersex being a birth impairment in human babies is a fact of humanprecreation. Opposed to normal birth of humans as males and females incidentsof babies with vague gender identity have perturbed people and families asto how to socially place them within the binary system of men and womenin the community. In Islam, it is more important in view of the genderedorientation of some Islamic laws and its system of social ethics. Accordingly,jurists formulated an Islamic blueprint to manage this segment. However,their main criteria to align such individuals to one of the normal genders wereinadequate to assign a specific sex to all intersex. Medical science, on the otherhand, proposes not only to achieve precise diagnoses of intersex conditionsbut also to manage them medically. Accordingly, Muslim jurists and muftisby and large celebrated this medical solution as a better remedy to resolve thisjuridical perplexing question. This study, however, argues that juristic stamp ofapproval needs to be more ethically grounded so as to avoid pitfalls inherent inthis medical innovation.

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