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MOCKBA
 
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bullet Topic: female circumcision [Moderator Edited]
    Posted: 21 March 2005 at 12:10am

Could anyone share some reference at least indicating that female circumcision was practiced and approved during the time of the last Prophet, Muhammad [Peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him]?

The fact that it is widely practised in Malaysia, Egypt and Indonesia is not evidence enough of it being part of Islaamic teaching or practice. The consumption of hot fresh chilies is also above normal average in these countries; doesn't give it any Islaamic flavour, unlike dates for example. 

It may not be necessary to create unecessary commotion around strictly cultural practice and infusing it with religious character. Whether it has solid proof for its medical benefits is a different subject. 

Looking forward to authentic sources, Insha Allaah.

MOCKBA

 



Edited by rami
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ummziba
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bullet Posted: 21 March 2005 at 7:02am

This is undoubtably a very contenious topic.  I would suggest anyone considering such a thing as female circumcision, more appropriately called female genital mutilation, really do some homework.

There are tons of opinions on the web, but I would suggest sticking to the opinions of learned scholars of Islam to find the Islamic viewpoint.  It would seem, on reading many fatwas about it, that even the scholars are divided on their opinion about it.  Here are a few examples:

http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hF atwaID=87230

http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hF atwaID=79655

http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hF atwaID=31397

You can find almost as many opinions on circumcision as there are Muslims!!!  The thing is, I think we have to use our knowledge and REASON to come to any conclusion for ourselve on this topic.

As Muslims, we are not supposed to get tattoos, cut our teeth, have unnecessary plastic surgery or even pluck our eyebrows.  Muslims use the following Qur'anic verse to justify not altering one's physical features as Allah created them:

4:118-1:20 Allah did curse him (Satan), but he said: 'I will take of Thy servants a portion marked off;'  'I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah.'  Whoever, forsaking Allah, takes Satan for a friend, hath of a surety suffered a loss that is manifest.  Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desires; but Satan's promises are nothing but deception.

It seems, to my reasoning mind, after reading much on this subject in the past, that it is one of those things we must consider on its merits.  I do not personally believe that a merciful and loving Allah would not allow me to pluck my eyebrows but would expect me to have my genitals mutilated!  This makes no sense at all.  I would not take the word of one who seems happy with her mutilation as justification to do so myself.  I happen to enjoy the Allah given pleasure that my genitals allow me in the form they were shaped by Allah.

I am sure there are many different opinions out there, this is only mine.  I urge anyone out there to seek knowledge from reliable sources.

Peace, ummziba

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AhmadJoyia
 
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bullet Posted: 21 March 2005 at 5:43pm

I think female circumcision is purely a cultural issue which, at the time, needed some sort of religious support and hence appeared in the form of unauthentic hadiths. It is not a contentious issue at all untill we start making it ourself with a single view point of cultural obligation. I would rather go out a little further by properly classifying that male circumcision is also not a mandatory obligation i.e. its not a Farads, but come into the category of Sunnah. Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (and not his wives) and continuing down to sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (and not his wives). Rest Allah knows the Best.

Now as far as Sis Amena99999's comments are concerned, I am really amazed to see how easily people get trapped in the cultural practices without dewelling into authentic literature/sources.

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abuayisha
 
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bullet Posted: 21 March 2005 at 8:46pm

Ibn Qudamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said, in his book al-Mughni: "Circumcision is obligatory for men, and it is an honour for women, but it is not obligatory for them. This is the opinion of many scholars. (Imam) Ahmad said: For men it is more strictly required, but for women it is less strictly required." (al-Mughni 1/70).

Circumcision of the female consists of the removal of a part of the clitoris, which is situated above the opening of the urethra. The Sunnah is not to remove all of it, but only a part. (al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah 19/28).

In this matter, it is wise to follow the interests of the female: if the clitoris is large, then part of it should be removed, otherwise it should be left alone. This size of the clitoris will vary from woman to woman, and there may be differences between those from hot climates and those from cold climates.

A hadith on the topic of female circumcision has been attributed to the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), according to which he said: "Circumcision is a Sunnah for men, and an honour for women," but there is some debate as to the authenticity of this hadith. See Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da‘ifah by al-Albani, no. 1935.

How circumcision is to be performed is mentioned in the hadith narrated by Umm ‘Atiyah, may Allah be pleased with her, according to which a woman used to perform circumcisions in Madinah. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) told her: "Do not abuse (i.e. do not go to extremes in circumcising); that is better for the woman and more liked by her husband." (Reported by Abu Dawud in al-Sunan, Kitab al-Adab; he said this hadith is da‘if).

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MOCKBA
 
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bullet Posted: 21 March 2005 at 9:40pm

Jazzak Allahu Khair for the inputs. It helps. We must distinguish between modern body piercing popular among some "modern world" youngsters, tattoo  common among some elderly Kurdish women and other similar cultural practices and not let it blend with Islamic teachings.

On the other hand, an instant flash of prohibition of "plucking of eye-brows" in one of the replies above, should similarly not be put in the catogory of cultural practices as there is strong evidence in the ahadeeth. Unless the plucking is done for reasons other than beautification... may be medical... etc.  

And Allaah knoweth best.

MOCKBA

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rami
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bullet Posted: 22 March 2005 at 3:21am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum

The following is from sunnipath.com the answers are according to the shafii and hanafi traditional schools of thought respectively.

Female circumcision    
Answered by Sister Shazia Ahmad   

I have a question regarding circumcision according to the Shafi'i school. My understanding is, based on what I have read in the Reliance, that circumcision is obligatory for both men and women. I am clear on what circumcision entails for boys, but what about girls?

I came across an anti-Islamic site whose sole intent is to malign, denigrate, and demonize Islam and on their site, which is called answering-islam.org, they claim that Sheikh Keller's translation of the passage regarding female circumcision is deceptive and incorrect, claiming that the original Arabic calls for the removal of the female’s clitoris, whereas Sheikh Keller's translation, only calls for a removal of a bit of skin from it.

What is the correct meaning? I also ask this question because my wife is pregnant, and in sha Allah, we may have a girl and I want to know that if this procedure is obligatory, how exactly it is done so that my daughter is not harmed.

Female circumcision is it itself obligatory in the Shafi`i school, and Shaykh Nuh Keller’s translation in the Reliance of the Traveler is accurate and defines the meaning well.

It does not call for the removal of the clitoris (badhr), but rather a slight trimming of it (khafad) to increase sexual pleasure. If the removal of the clitoris was intended, the word badhr would have been used alone. See the following link:

Female circumcision

(see next Q&A)

Since the correct practice has become so lost, and has deviated in many cultures to gross mutilation, many opt to take the Hanbali or Hanafi dispensation, because the former considers it a sunna while the latter considers it a courtesy to the husband. [And living Shafi`i scholars in many lands mention that given that the correct practice has become an almost-lost art, the ruling within the school of the prevalent forms of circumcision would be impermissibility - ed.]

And Allah knows best.

Shazia.


RE: Female circumcision
Answered by Sidi Faraz Rabbani

I have a Question regarding female circumcision in Hanafi fiqh. I've heard from several sources that this is wajib according to Shafi'i fiqh, while according to Hanafi fiqh the decision lies in the hands of the husband. Can you shed some light on this and give the legal proofs for this ruling?!

Walaikum assalam,

That which is wajib in the Shafi`i texts is merely slight 'trimming' of the tip of the clitoris. It is neither excision nor FGM, nor anything else harmful to the woman or her ability to derive sexual pleasure. This is what the Hanafis considered an 'token' for the husband. It is not recommended per se.

As for excision, FGM, or other harmful practices, which have become culturally widespread, none of these are in any way permitted. This is why the scholars generally say that the proper practice is almost a lost art.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Just to point out all the countries mentioned above primarely follow the shafii madhhab which is why it is widely practiced there. I think it is important to know according to which madhahab a legal opinion (fatwa) is given otherwise the fatwa means very little.




Edited by rami
Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.
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AhmadJoyia
 
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bullet Posted: 22 March 2005 at 6:47am
A hadith on the topic of female circumcision has been attributed to the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), according to which he said: "Circumcision is a Sunnah for men, and an honour for women," but there is some debate as to the authenticity of this hadith. See Silsilah al-Ahadith al-Da‘ifah by al-Albani, no. 1935. 
 The only hadith narrated to support the female circumcision is itself doubtful. Secondly, this is a matter whose applicability is vastly spread among large proportion  of population of muslim ummah ( roughly around 50%). This calls for multiple sources of authentic sunnah from the Prophet himself to support any view. Similarly on the application of circumcision, the reference itself is declaring the hadith as 'daif'. (Reported by Abu Dawud in al-Sunan, Kitab al-Adab; he said this hadith is da‘if). As I see, different people quoting various scholars to provide final "verdict" on the matter without giving details of how they reached at the decision; seems quite uncomfortable to me. Even, Rami, the passage you quoted from some Q/A session, does the same error where despite the enquirer is clearly asking for the legal evidence "Can you shed some light on this and give the legal proofs for this ruling?!" This is a typical way of responses that I have seen on most of the websites that have been quoted above, except one which provides some good discussion on the topic. Remember, authenticity of a hadith is the most important parameter that must be confirmed before it is quoted what to talk about knowingly quoting unauthentic ones. All "hukums" or opinons of scholars become challangeable if they don't support their views with authentic sources. Similarly, quoting from some book of a scholar is meaningless untill the book also provides references from the original sources of Quran and authentic Sunnah. Allah knows the best.
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bullet Posted: 23 March 2005 at 6:49pm

Bismillah,

The supporters of this are ethnocentrically bound to their culture's influence on their Islaam.  Many of the statements the supporters have posted here are not well thought out. (What would the woman do if the man who raped her were circumsised?!?)  The woman who says she still enjoys being with her husband but is freed from unwanted sexual thoughts, and the experience is made more spiritual? A confused picture is given by this. The operation was physically very painful, but you would do it again because it was also spiritual?  That is not within Islaamic thought to enjoy pain! That is masochism. Have your heard of the people who pierce their back with a large hook and hang themselves up like meat?  They speak of this euphoric experience you do also.  And neither one of the descriptions of pain ectasy sounds like an action in any way encouraged in our faith. 

(If you have a problem with too many sexual thoughts, prayer and fasting are some Islaamic suggestions.) 

Islaamic circumsion is not intended to kill sexuality.  If Allah, SWT, wanted us to be asexual, Allah, SWT, would have created us that way. 

 Muslims have been much more open in discussions of sexuality than any church meeting I have ever attended.  It is an issue to be discussed based on need for knowledge, and it is.  The Christian tradition for years was that the subject of sexuality was not a religious one, and to be avoided. 

If you want to be bound to cultural practices in this way, it is up to you.  I have my own ethnocetrisms that I just have to keep also. AlHamdulilah, mine hurt a whole lot less than yours. 

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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