When we visualized a transgender, the gaudy tinted face along with shrills of clapping comes to our mind. But when I have seen Rani draped in a long white shawl on her head beholds me with her ethereal modesty. Rani Khan gives daily Quran lessons at Pakistan’s first transgender-only madrasa. She set up this Islamic religious school herself using her life savings. She is a front-line warrior to break the silence. Pakistan’s First Transgender-Only Madrasa Has Opened: Milestone for LGBTQ Community.
The madrasa is a momentous step for the LGBTQ community in Pakistan. Here transgender people face ostracism on all levels. However, there had been no official restraint on them attending religious schools or praying at mosques, but due to financial trauma, they usually head to signals for begging or indulge in prostitution. But Rani turned heads by showing yet another but safe and modest way to spend a life.
Pakistan’s First Transgender-Only Madrasa Has Opened: Milestone for LGBTQ Community
The 34 years pioneer spelled out
“Most families do not accept transgender people. They throw them out of their homes. Transgender people turn to wrongdoing. Without thinking them a live creature of Allah. At one time, I was also one of them. At 17, I had joined a transgender group, dancing at weddings and other functions. But quit it to connect with religion after a dream. A deceased transgender friend and fellow dancer pleaded with me to do something for the community. I’m teaching the Quran to please God, to make my life here and in the hereafter. The madrasa offered a pace for transgender people to worship. They learn about Islam and repent for past actions. It gives their heart peace when they read the Quran, one of my students Simran Khan, shared her feelings with me. She is eager to learn life skills. It is much better than a life full of insults. I’m hopeful that if you replicate this model in other cities, things will improve,”
In the background of Rani, other transgenders with covered heads were reciting Quran verses. Holding back tears, Khan recalled how she was repudiated by her family at 13 and forced into begging. Khan studied the Quran at home, and attended religious schools, before opening the two-room madrasa in October. She said,
“The school has not received aid from the government, although some officials promised to help students to find jobs. Along with some donations, I am teaching my students how to sew and embroider. I hope to raise funds for the school by selling clothing.”
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat told Reuters
“The madrasa could help trans people assimilate into mainstream society.”
Pakistan’s parliament recognized the third gender in 2018. They have now individuals’ fundamental rights such as the ability to vote and choose their gender on official documents. However, transgenders remain on the brink of brutality in the country. Society treats them like a punching bag and often forced them to beg, dancing and prostitution to make a living.