Hit

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Hit is a character who makes a brief appearance in the Sunan Abu Dawoodan, an early Islamic religious text. As the hadith goes, the Prophet Muhammad encountered him when he was calling upon his wives. Hit, a mukhannath who was acting as an attendant, made a saucy remark describing the attractive rolls of belly fat one of the wives had on her. Muhammad was outraged that someone whose job required him to have no interest in women could tell what caused men to lust over them, and Hit was subsequently banished from the household.

Considerable debate exists as to whether Hit and other mukhannathun should be viewed as homosexuals, transsexuals, transvestites, or eunuchs. The word itself translates to ‘men who resemble women’, but the definition is too expansive for easy classification. Male pronouns are used for Hit in accordance with the consensus of the linked sources, though the mukhannathun bear a close resemblance to the contemporary category of trans women, and so should arguably be referred to with female pronouns.

No images of Hit were easily available online; the above tapestry depicting an Arab music scene is the closest depiction that could be found, though it has no characters in common (unsurprising, given the prohibition on depictions of Muhammad).

 

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