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Untitled comments[edit]

Mm ... I was strolling along and noticed this thing. I think this article is in need of some sort of cleanup or perhaps even deletion at this point, though I believe this is a perfectly valid topic. This lacks references, and it would be great if somebody provided some sort of explanation of the passage (and is somewhat outlined in the external links) which seems to be floating in the middle of nowhere. Otherwise, I think that the passage should be scrapped for now. I've left mostly everything the way it was, the only thing I think is worthy of mention is that the bulk of the article seems to have derived from here: Lily McDermott 22:40, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Well... I personally am one of these people. I am a muslim. I am a transsexual. This passage of wikipedia is valueable. It explains how I can be both of those things, to people who are neither. It educates people, muslim and non muslim, as to the status of those who are either transsexual or intersexed in Islam. Most people assume that from Morocco to the River indus anything but being "straight" will result in a death warrant. While it is true homosexuality is Haram(forbidden). In the Sharia being either intersexed or a classic primary transsexual are permissible. With one caveat there has to be "something in body" that will be cured by the operaton. This can vary from as sever as having both parts formed and working to haveing a really messed up endocrine system. Which,from my personal observation, most classic primary transsexuals have. 22:30, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

no evidence of any physical, neurological, or endocrinological differences outside of the male norm has ever been found. i am open to the search for evidence, obviously. still no unrefuted documentation on this has been made, in the form of any study, collection of case reports, or shared medical experience. 19:32, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
That is not true. Various studies have found that there are many subtle differences between transsexuals, gay men, and straight men. If you look at the wikipedia page on transsexualism they are all cited there.
On the topic of this article I have found some information on some of the Mukhanathin of Medina. I will look for some other sources of it then incorporate this into the article.


Munkhannathun in Early Islam
Like other ancient cultures, writings from early Islam record a transgender culture. People known as mukhannathun lived in the cities of Mecca and Medina (in present-day Saudi Arabia). Mukhannathun were "an identifiable group of men who publicly adopted feminine adornment... in clothing and jewelry." They are described in the hadith, which are accepted prophetic traditions, according to historian Everett Rowson.25
Hit was a mukhannathun who lived about the time of the Prophet Muhammad, around A.D. 630 in the Western calendar. Because women could be accompanied only by their children, female slaves, and mukhannathun, these last were well positioned to supply inside information about prospective brides to eager suitors. In describing a girl's charms to a potential suitor, a mukhannathun had to be discreet, however, and Hit earned condemnation for being too explicit, even crude in this regard.
According to one of the Prophet's wives, Hit told the Prophet that if he was victorious in taking a certain city, he should "go after Gbaylan's daughter; for she comes forward with four and goes away with eight." The reference was to the four belly wrinkles that wrapped around the sides of her body, so that eight could be seen from the back, a sensuous image for the time. The Prophet was outraged and said, "Do not admit these into your presence." According to Asian scholars, "The Prophet's words imply that the mukhannathath's awareness of what men found attractive in women was proof of his own sexual interest in them, and that this is the reason that he and others like him should be barred from the women's quarters." Hit was thus condemned not for "expressing his own appreciation of a woman's body, but describing it for the benefit of another man." Granting a "license to be with women" was appropriate only for "one whose limbs are languid and whose tongue has a lisp by way of gentle natural constitution, and who has no desire for women and is not. . . in evil acts." Despite Hit's transgression, mukbannathun continued to play a significant role as matchmakers for eligible bachelors who, as a rule, had little opportunity to meet eligible women.
Tuways was a mukhannathun who was born in A.D. 632 and died in A.D. 711 at the age of eighty-two. He was distinguished as a musician who sang "art music" using measured rhyme. He was a musical innovator and trained the next generation of musicians, relying on a kind of tambourine called a duff. He was married and had fathered children. Tuways was a "leader of a group of male professional musicians who publicly adopted women's fashions and were appreciated for their wit and charm as well as their music, but were disapproved of by others who saw their music and flippant style as immorality and irreligion." They were not matchmakers like Hit.
Al-Dalal was also a mukhannathun, less cultured than Tuways and, like Hit, best known for getting into trouble. Though physically beautiful and charming, al-Dalal's wit was crude and seriously irreligious. According to one story, "He farted during prayers and said, 'I praise Thee fore and aft!'" He was also a go-between who arranged assignations, and is depicted as encouraging immodesty and immorality in women. AlDalal was close to two scandalous women in Medina who were said to engage in "horse-racing, and while riding to have shown their anklebracelets." The women were killed, and when al-Dalal fled to Mecca, the women there viewed him as a threat: "After killing the women of Mcdma you have come to kill us."
Al-Dalal's sexual orientation was toward males. He "adored women and loved to be with them; but any demands [by them for his sexual favors] were in vain." In one story, a Syrian commander overheard his singing and invited him to visit. Al-Dalal refused to sing unless he was sold a beautiful servant boy. The commander meanwhile wished for a slave girl of a particular and very voluptuous description, which al-Dalal arranged. Another story relates that "after arranging a marriage, al-Dalal would convince the bride that her sexual excitement at the prospect of the wedding night was excessive and would only disgust her husband, and then he would offer to calm her down by having sexual intercourse with her first. He would then go to the groom, make the same point, and offer himself, passively, to cool him down as well." The outraged and "jealous" ruler Sulayman then ordered all mukhannathun castrated:
"They are admitted to the women of Quraysh and corrupt them." Interestingly, even with explicit testimony about al-Dalal's homosexuality, which is condemned in the Quran, it was the corruption of women that was used to justified the punishment, not effeminacy or homosexuality.26
Although the castration of mukhannathun as punishment begins a repressive period for gender-variant people in Mecca and Medina, the supposed victims showed curious reactions:
Tuways: "This is simply a circumcision which we must undergo again."

al-Dalal: "Or rather the Greater Circumcision!"

Nasim al-Sahar: "With castration I have become a mukhannath in truth!"
Nawmat al-Duha: "Or rather we have become women in truth!"
Bard al-Puad: "We have been spared the trouble of carrying around a spout for urine."
Zill al-Shajar: "What would we do with an unused weapon anyway?"
Reports of gender-variant entertainers resurface one hundred years later, in A.D. 813, again using the tambourine-like duff, together with a particular drum and a long-necked lute called a tunbar. Wit, more than music, now defined the presentation, described as "savage mockery, extravagant burlesque, and low sexual humor."

--Hfarmer 07:46, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I have found a book that actually has this exact quote in it. Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People By Joan Roughgarden--Hfarmer 08:00, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

By the way, the word "castration" does not actually usually mean "removal of the penis" (as it's currently used in the article)... AnonMoos (talk) 01:10, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Fun with google translator[edit]


I input the arabic text given here for mukhanathun and get "the lady boys" as the translation. Also interesting to me is that if I take the word "transvestite" translate it into arabic, then from arabic back into English using their tool I get transsexual. Also the arabic text from what little I know seems to read more like the way mukhanathin (singular) should sound. Notice the three dots at the end (reading right to left now) المتخنث . Here is how I read that from left to right. The vertical bar and the line following it denote the ubiqutos "Al" the characters in between resemble the ones in the text we have here on wikipedia. Last but not least the three vowel dots on the end sound like eeen as in Al-mukahathin. I thiks we should consider changing this text. Perhaps someone more expert in Arabic than I cay say which is more correct to use. --Hfarmer (talk) 17:52, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Thinking about that a bit more I am now totally confident to replace that spelling.

Not sure exactly what you mean -- مخنثون mukhannathūn (note long vowel) is the "sound" nominative plural form, while مخنثين mukhannathīn (again, with a long vowel) would be the "sound" accusative/genitive plural form. In colloquial Arabic, mukhannathīn would be used in all grammatical case contexts, but in standard written or Classical Arabic, mukhannathūn is the basic plural dictionary form or "citation" form (if you want to cite the word in the plural). The form mukhannathin with short vowel, spelled مخنث would be the genitive SINGULAR form, but the final -n in the singular (marking indefiniteness) would not ordinarily cooccur with the definite article... AnonMoos (talk) 00:41, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Woah I never realized that arabic had an accusative plural form. :-? So what I gather from your expert advice is that there are classical and coloquial variations. So what we should do is use the one that is appropriate to the source. Perhaps using the colloquial term would be best for the title. and the classical term when citing sources from back in the Islamic golden age? --Hfarmer (talk) 12:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the usual practice at Wikipedia is to go with standard written Classical Arabic unless there's some specific reason to do otherwise. AnonMoos (talk) 19:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)