A Hadith on an “Effeminate” Man

Next time someone dares to tell you that Islam doesn’t recognize the existence of multiple genders and that it’s unnatural for people to behave in a way that everyone else in their gender group seems to behave in, at least in public.

A story related in Qushayri’s Risala (trans. Knysh, pg 154):

It is related on the authority of Abd al-Wahhab b. Abd al-Majid al-Thaqafi that he said: “Once I saw a funeral bier [pass by] that was carried by three men and one woman. So I took the place of the woman and we headed toward the cemetery. We prayed over it [the bier] and buried it. Then I asked the woman: ‘What relation was he to you?’ She answered: ‘He was my son.’ I asked: ‘Don’t you have any neighbors [to help you]?’ She answered: ‘I do have neighbors, but they despised him.’ I asked: ‘Who was he then?’ She answered: ‘He was effeminate.’ I felt pity for her, so I took her to my house and gave her some money, grain and clothing. I went to sleep that night and, in my dream, I saw a visitor, who shone like a full moon. He was dressed in a white garment. He began to thank me. I asked him: ‘Who are you?’ He answered: ‘I am that effeminate man, whom you buried today. My Lord has bestowed mercy on me because of people’s contempt for me.’ ”