Is It Permissible to Identify as Non-binary or Agender?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Is it permissible to identify as non-binary or agender? They are both separate identities, and both mean something different. Is it not allowed, even if you use the pronouns expected of someone, due to their biological sex? Or is this more of a grey area?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and bless us with all forms of goodness, Amin.

It is unlawful to identify as non-binary and a-gender, as it is widely understood today, and Allah knows best.

Allah Created Everything in Binary

The Quran is crystal clear about the fact that Allah created everything in pairs (binary).

Allah (Most High) says, “And We created pairs of all things, so perhaps you would be mindful.” [Quran, 51:49]

Allah (Most High) says, “And He created the pairs—males and females” [Quran, 53:45]

Allah (Most High) says, “Glory be to the One Who created all (things in) pairs—(be it) what the earth produces, their genders, or what they do not know!” [Quran, 36:36]

Based on the above evidence, claiming to be a-gender or non-binary contradicts the Quran and is unlawful.

Allah is the Only Non-Binary

Allah is neither male nor female as He says, “And there is none comparable to Him” [Quran, 112:4]. Therefore, as the contemporary scholar Shaykh Hamza Yusuf explained, when people want to be called non-binary, they want to be called God.

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory would get into Paradise. Verily, Allah is Odd [He is one, and it is an odd number], and He loves the odd number.” [Muslim]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.