Embracing our natural human disposition brings about well-being
By: Dr Daud Batchelor
Source: Australasian Muslim Times
Muslims acknowledge that God Almighty created everything in the Universe and ordered it following His divine laws.
‘Fitrah’ means ‘sound human nature’ as God created it. ‘Fatara’ in Arabic means ‘to create.’
Prophet Muhammad (s) clarified this: “There is none born but is created to his true nature (natural Islamic human disposition). It is his parents who make him a Jew, Christian or Magian, quite as beasts produce their young with their limbs perfect. Do you see anything deficient in them?
Then he quoted the Qur’an, ‘The nature (fitrah) made by Allah in which He has created men; there is no altering Allah’s creation; that is the right religion.’” (30:30) (Muslim)
Al-Qur’an emphasises that God “bestows (children) male or female according to His Will.” (42:49). The gender assigned by God at birth is part of our fitrah, not to be changed.
Among God’s beautiful names is ‘Al-Malik’, Possessor of the Universe. We belong to Him and our bodies are a trust to use wisely in the Path of worshipping Him.
For such submission God grants Paradise: “God has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth in return for Paradise.” (Qur’an 9:3)
Consequently, we would seek only healthy heterosexual relations in marriage.
A 2015 review for Queensland’s AIDS Council highlighted “Studies in Australia consistently show LGBTI individuals … to be at a greater risk for not only depression and anxiety, but an array of mental health issues, including suicide.”
A wider study covering seven countries revealed that “the risk of depression and anxiety disorders among gay and bisexual individuals was at least 1.5 times that of heterosexuals. Furthermore, the lifetime relative risk for suicide attempt in gay and bisexual men was over four times that of heterosexuals. Rates of suicide attempt among trans* individuals are particularly elevated.”
These findings surely indicate to any thinking person that it is wholly unwise to even contemplate LBGT practices if one is concerned about well-being.
Given the high risks indicated, it is highly irresponsible to have promoted programs in Australian schools where children were encouraged to believe gender is fluid and to experiment with changing their gender.
It is not unsurprising that “The Prophet (s) declared a woman should not wear a man’s clothing or a man a woman’s. He cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men. Such imitation includes the manner of speaking, walking, dressing and moving.
The evil of such conduct, which affects both the life of the individual and of society, is that it constitutes rebellion against the natural ordering of things. There are men and there are women, and each of the two sexes has its own distinctive characteristics.” (Yusuf Qaradawi)
As for religious persuasion already discussed, parents and others can consciously or unconsciously, influence an individual’s gender behaviour negatively. However, in such cases Islam calls for rectification back to the fitrah state through positive encouragement.
One might wish to become an angel or a bird but that is not to be.
When a non-Muslim seeks treatment and surgery to become a transgender person of opposite sex, the individual’s sex chromosomes still proclaim their fitrah gender (male XY or female XX chromosomes). Such is akin to becoming a kafir – covering one’s natural fitrah state.
Let us encourage our Muslim youth to give thanks and be content with what God has pre-ordained. That is the best Path towards attaining peace, tranquillity and well-being, and seeking God’s Good Pleasure.
Dr Daud Batchelor, an Australian Muslim, was Associate Fellow until December 2015 at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia. He holds an MA in Islamic and Other Civilisations and a Diploma in Islamic Studies from the International Islamic University Malaysia, PhD from University of Malaya, MSc from the University of London, and MEngSc in environmental management from Griffith University. He is cofounder of the Islamic College of Brisbane and currently resides in Brisbane.
First published in “Australasian Muslim Times” on 25 October 2017.