Non-binary sexual and gender identities in the community
the khuntha as an isolated being in the mosque
Keywords:Intersexuality, Khuntha, Gender variance
The Maml?k jurist ?Abd al-Ra??m al-Isnaw?’s legal manual on the cases involving a khunth? (an intersex person) was comprehensive on matters of religious practice. It allows us to understand the underlying doctrinal strategies that the jurists used in regulating the khunth?’s access to public life. This article attempts to examine specific strategies that al-Isnaw? used in his legal manual’s chapter on ?al?h (ritual prayer). Through an exploration of the doctrines in the chapter affecting a khunth?’s comportment and location, I assess the possible consequences of such doctrines on the life of a khunth?. The major consequence is the khunth?’s social isolation in the name of accommodating them in a community’s mosque by providing a specific row for them. The accommodation requires outing a khunth? as such within the community space, leading to further isolation, even when the khunth? is not a singular subject within the community.
Ahmed, L. (1992) Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Elewa, A. and Silvers, L. (2010) ‘I am one of the people’: A survey and analysis of legal arguments on woman-led prayer in Islam. Journal of Law and Religion 26(1): 141–71. https://doi.org/10.1017/S074808140000093X
Ali, K. (2006) Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence. Oxford: Oneworld.
Almarri, S. A. (2016) ‘You have made her a man among men’: translating the khuntha’s anatomy in Fatimid jurisprudence.’ TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 3(3–4): 578–86. https://doi.org/10.1215/23289252-3545251
Almarri, S. A. (2018) Identities of a single root: the triad of the khunth?, mukhannath, and khan?th. Women & Language 41(1): 97–109.
Almarri, S. A. (2019) The khunth? and the community: a study in the medieval Islamic understanding of the body and a critical edition of ?Abd Al-Ra??m Al-Isnaw?’s ???? Al-Mushkil F? A?k?m Al-Khunth? Al-Mushkil. PhD dissertation, Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Amer, S. (2009) Medieval Arab lesbians and lesbian-like women. Journal of the History of Sexuality 18(2): 215–36. https://doi.org/10.1353/sex.0.0052
Calderini, S. (2011) Contextualizing arguments about female ritual leadership (women im?ms) in classical Islamic sources. Comparative Islamic Studies 5(1). https://journals.equinoxpub.com/index.php/CIS/article/view/11114
Calderini, S. (2013) Classical sources on the permissibility of female imams: an analysis of some hadiths about Umm Waraqa. In V. Klemm and N. Al-Sha’ar (eds) Sources and Approaches across Disciplines in Near Eastern Studies 53–69. Proceedings of the 24th Congress, L’Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, Leipzig 2008. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 215. Leuven: Peeters Publishers.
Certeau, M. de. (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life (trans. S. Rendall). Berkeley: University of California Press.
El-Rouayheb, K. (2005) Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500–1800. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226729909.001.0001
Fortier, C. (2019) Sexualities: transsexualities: Middle East, West Africa, North Africa. In S. Joseph (ed.) Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. https://hal.archivesouvertes.fr/hal-02448267
Gesink, I. F. (2018) Intersex bodies in premodern Islamic discourse: complicating the binary. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 14(2): 152–73. https://doi.org/10.1215/15525864-6680205
Habib, S. (2007) Female Homosexuality in the Middle East: Histories and Representations. Routledge Research in Gender and Society 13. New York, NY: Routledge.
Habib, S. (2009) Arabo-Islamic Texts on Female Homosexuality: 850–1780 A.D. Youngstown, NY: Teneo Press.
Hammer, J. (2012) American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More than a Prayer (1st edn), Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series 28. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Hamzi?, V. (2016) Sexual and Gender Diversity in the Muslim World: History, Law and Vernacular Knowledge. Library of Islamic South Asia 1. London New York: Tauris.
Hsu, S.-S. A. (1994) Dress in Islam: looking and touching in ?anaf? fiqh. PhD thesis, University of Utah. https://search.proquest.com/docview/304141533?accountid=14168
Hsu, S.-S. A. (2003) Modesty. In J. D. McAuliffe (ed.) Encyclopaedia of the Qur??n 3:403–5. Leiden: Brill.
Katz, M. H. (2003) Nudity. In J. D. McAuliffe (ed.) Encyclopaedia of the Qur??n 3:548–9. Leiden: Brill.
Katz, M. H. (2013) Prayer in Islamic Thought and Practice. Themes in Islamic History. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139034333
Katz, M. H. (2014) Women in the Mosque: A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice. New York: Columbia University Press. https://doi.org/10.7312/katz16266
Knott, K. (2012) Spatial theory and method for the study of religion. Temenos: Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion 41(2). https://doi.org/10.33356/temenos.4778
Knott, K. (2014) The Location of Religion: A Spatial Analysis. London: Routledge. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&AN=1052333;
Mahmut?ehaji?, R. (2006) The Mosque: The Heart of Submission (1st edn). Abrahamic Dialogues Series, No. 3. New York: Fordham University Press. https://doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225842.001.0001
Melchert, C. (2006) Whether to keep women out of the mosque: a survey of medieval Islamic law. In B. Michalak-Pikulska and A. Pikulski (eds) Authority, Privacy and Public Order in Islam 59–69. Proceedings of the 22nd Congress, L’Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 148. Leuven: Peeters Publishers.
Mernissi, F. (1987) Beyond the Veil: Male–Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society (revised edn; 1st Midland Book edn). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Mernissi, F. (1991) Women and Islam: An Historical and Theological Enquiry (trans. M. J. Lakeland). Oxford: Blackwell.
Mohammed, K. (1999) The foundation of Muslim prayer. Medieval Encounters 5(1): 17–28. https://doi.org/10.1163/157006799X00231
Ragab, A. (2015) One, two, or many sexes: sex differentiation in medieval Islamicate medical thought. Journal of the History of Sexuality 24(3): 428–54. https://doi.org/10.7560/JHS24304
Renard, J. (1996) Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Rowson, E. K. (1991a) The categorization of gender and sexual irregularity in medieval Arabic vice lists. In J. Epstein and K. Straub (eds) Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity 50–79. London; New York: Routledge.
Rowson, E. K. (1991b) The effeminates of early Medina. Journal of the American Oriental Society 111(4): 671. https://doi.org/10.2307/603399
Sanders, P. (1991) Gendering the ungendered body: hermaphrodites in medieval Islamic law. In N. R. Keddie and B. Baron (eds) Women in Middle Eastern History 74–95. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Schacht, J. (1982) An Introduction to Islamic Law. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press.
Sirry, M. and Omar, A. R. (2014) Muslim prayer and public spheres: an interpretation of the Qur? ?nic verse 29:45. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 68(1): 39–53. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020964313508736
Tucker, J. E. (2008) Women, Family, and Gender in Islamic Law (1st edn). Themes in Islamic Law 3. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841316
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.