Let me be clear, all clitordectimes (female genital mutilation) are abhorrent no matter who the perpetrators are. But this Reuters headline is deceitful, defamatory, and deliberately misleading in the cause of Islam. This is sharia propaganda spread by one of the world’s leading ‘news’ organizations. Hundreds of millions of Muslim girls have their vaginas mutilated in order to remove future sexual pleasure. 96% of girls in Egypt, for example, have been sexually mutilated. Imams sanction this misogynist practice – not just in Muslim countries but here too in leading mosques.The AMJA (Muslim Jurists of America) Fatwa Committee issued a fatwa claiming clitorectomies are an honor and obligation for American Muslimas. Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization claims female genital mutilation is a “human right”.
Clitorectomies are “an Islamic obligation”.
“Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris.” Sacred Islamic Reliance: page 59, Umdat al-Salik (“Reliance of the Traveler”), the classical manual of Islamic jurisprudence certified by Egypt’s Al-Azhar University,Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university.
More than half a million girls and women from diaspora communities in the United States have undergone or are at risk of FGM, according to U.S. government data, mostly Muslim woman. But this story indicts evangelicals Christians in what we find out as we scroll down is a 40 year old case. No where in the entire article about female genital mutilation does it mention imams, Islam – the main driver of this barbaric practice or that Muslim doctors in the US and UK have been indicted for performing this savagery. No less than three Muslim doctors have been arrested in Michigan for performing female genital mutilations.
At least some Muslims justify it based on religious freedom and, in at least one state in which anti-FGM legislation is currently working its way through the legislative process, one legislator reports receiving a phone call from a Muslim constituent urging her to oppose the legislation as ‘a conspiracy against the Muslim community.’ ”(more here.)
Can you imagine ever seeing a headline that shouted: “US woman says strict Muslim parents subjected her to female genital mutilation.” Google it. Nothing. Ever.
FGM involves partial or total removal of the clitoris causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits for girls and women, and removes all possibility of sexual pleasure. It is the worst kind of misogyny. Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
The enemedia always goes out of its way to cover for and scrub Islam from any connection with this misogynistic Islamic practice. Authorities will never be able to address the problem adequately because they’re too busy going out their way to say that it is not Islamic in practice Female genital mutilation (FGM) or clitoridectomy is an Islamic tradition, rampant in the Muslim world. Dissemblers and deceivers claim that FGM is cultural phenomenon, not religious. FGM is an Islamic cultural phenomenon. FGM is found only within and adjacent to Muslim communities (source: Gerry Mackie, “Ending Footbinding and Infibulation: A Convention Account”, American Sociological Review.)
And don’t think it doesn’t affect American society. Just last year the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that doctors perform this “ritual nick” (we exposed it on the net and it was withdrawn after the ensuing public outcry). Many Muslims in America support clitoridectomies and justify them as religious freedom. In one state in which anti-FGM legislation is currently working its way through the legislative process, one legislator reports receiving a phone call from a Muslim constituent urging her to oppose the legislation as ‘a conspiracy against the Muslim community’” (more here).
“In fact, genital disfigurement has become so common in America’s immigrant communities that the Department of Justice has taken to printing Arabic brochures for immigrants, encouraging them not to disfigure young girls by removing their sexual organs.”
Unlike male circumcision, female genital mutilation has no health benefits for girls and women.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves partial or total removal of the clitoris, causing injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
Female genital mutilation procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. It removes all possibility of sexual pleasure. It is the worst kind of misogyny.
Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where FGM is concentrated.
FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.
FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
This procedure has one purpose and one purpose only, to remove the female’s most sensitive erogenous zone and the source of human female sexual pleasure. Chalk it up to another of Islam’s contributions to [in]humanity.
FGM in hadith:
There are many hadiths on circumcision, some of which will be presented here along with the commentary of some scholars:
From Abi-Hurayra, who attributed it to the Prophet: “Five (acts of) al-fitrah [Islamic law or way of nature] are circumcision, shaving pubic hair, plucking armpit hair, trimming fingernails, and clipping the mustache.” Also from Abi-Hurayra: “The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Abraham was circumcised when he was 80 years old’.”’ Allah said: “So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith” [Qur’an 16:123]. Also recorded in a hadith is the saying of (Muhammad) to a man who converted to Islam: “Remove your infidel hair and be circumcised.”
Muhammad also said regarding circumcision: “If you touch the two circumcisions, you must wash.” Here is evidence that women were circumcised, and therefore any of the hadiths on circumcision which do not specify men or women, can be assumed to apply to both.
From Sa’id bin Jabir: “Ibn ‘Abbas was asked, “How old were you when the Prophet (PBUH) died?” He replied, “At that time I had been circumcised. People (in those days) did not circumcise men until they reached puberty.” From the hadith of Umm ‘Atiyah–who used to circumcise girls–the Messenger of Allah said to her, “Reduce it, but do not remove too much, because it is more beautiful to behold and better for her husband.” This is the most explicit evidence in the hadiths of Muhammad for female circumcision being legitimate and even recommended. From Ibn ‘Abbas, attributing it to the Prophet: “Circumcision is sunnah for men and an honor for women.” This was narrated by al-Bayhaqi, and its attribution is weak.
Ibn al-Mundhir narrated from Abi-Barza: “We asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about an uncircumcised man making pilgrimage to the Ka’aba. He replied, ‘No, not until he’s circumcised’.” This was considered a weak hadith by Ibn al-Mundhir and others.
There’s no doubt that among these hadiths there are those which are sound but do not explicitly command or urge women to become circumcised. There are also those which are met with disagreement by scholars, and these hadiths are more explicit in confirming the legitimacy of female circumcision. But the hadiths on the laws of al-fitrah which mention circumcision–and these are sound–do not mean that it is done on men only and not women. It is certain that circumcision includes both men and women, as is clearly stated in the hadith about touching the two circumcisions.
Below are words from scholars on the ruling on circumcision:
The Hanafis: Al-Zayla’i said: “The general ruling is that circumcision is sunnah, and is one of the trademarks of Islam. In fact, if the people of Egypt or some land decided to abandon its practice, the Imam would make war against them, for it cannot be abandoned except by necessity… Female circumcision is not sunnah, but it is an honor for men because it is more pleasing during sex” [ellipses in original].
The Malikites: From al-Kharshi’s brief summary of Khalil: “Its ruling (i.e. circumcision) is that it is sunnah for men, and it cuts off the foreskin. It is recommended for women, and is called khifad [reduction].”
The Shafi’ites: From [Asna al-Mutalib]: “Circumcision is obligatory (at puberty). The reasoning for this is the saying of the Almighty: “So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith” [Qur’an 16:123]. In Abraham’s religion, circumcision was present. Also in the two Sahihs: “He was circumcised when he was eighty years old.” In Sahih Ibn Hibban, and in al-Hakim it was said 120 years, and it was also said 70 years. Also it was narrated by Abu-Dawud: “(The Prophet) (PBUH) ordered a man who converted to Islam to be circumcised.” They said that since he cut off a member which could not be replaced, it had to be obligatory like cutting off the hand. Since the man was injured during the process, he feared it. If it were not obligatory for him, then it would not have been permissible. This is unlike the circumcision of little boys, crazy people, and those who cannot endure it, because the first are too young to be required to do anything, and the last are harmed by it.” Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmu’: “Circumcision is obligatory for our men and women. This was stated by many of the salaf, as al-Khatabi relates. Ahmad was one of those who said it was obligatory. Malik and Abu-Hanifa said that it was sunnah for everyone. This was related by al-Rafi’i. He also related that (circumcision) is obligatory for men and sunnah for women. These were the two approaches of Shadhan, and of the sound and famous school of thought which was penned by al-Shafi’i, in which the multitude of scholars declared that circumcision is obligatory for men and women.”
The Hanbalis: From Ibn Muflih’s Furu’ [body of rules and regulations for man’s behavior]: “(According to Ahmad), circumcision is obligatory on all but women, for whom it is recommended. Our Shaykh said, ‘It is obligatory because cleanliness and prayer are obligatory’.” Ibn Qudama said: “Circumcision is a duty for men, and for women it is an honor, but it is not obligatory. This has been stated by many scholars.” Ahmad said: “The man is more difficult, because if the man is not circumcised, then the skin dangles over the [penis] and cannot be cleaned. But the woman is easier.”
The al-Mawsu’a al-Fiqhia (“The Encyclopedia of Jurisprudence”) summarizes scholars’ opinions on circumcision as follows:
“The ruling on circumcision: Scholars differ on circumcision as follows: First, the Hanafis and Malikites–and very rarely the Shafi’ites–hold to the opinion of what Ahmad said, that circumcision is sunnah for men but not a duty. It is one of the acts of al-fitrah, and one of the rituals of Islam. If the people of a particular land decided together to abandon its practice, the Imam would make war against them, just like if they abandoned the call to prayer. This also represents what the Malikites think about circumcision of women. Hanafis and Hanbalis consider female circumcision to be an honor and not sunnah. It is said by some Hanafis that it is also sunnah for [women], and some say that it is recommended. … Second, the Shafi’ites and Hanbalis, as is also stated by Sahnoun from the Malikites, believe that circumcision is a duty for both men and women. … Third, this is written by Ibn Qudama in al-Mughni, that circumcision is a duty for men, and for women it is an honor but not a duty” [ellipses in original].
It appears that for male circumcision the most correct view is that it is obligatory, owing to the saying of Muhammad to the man who converted to Islam: “Remove your infidel hair and be circumcised.” This was obligatory–there was no alternative.
Regarding women, perhaps the most correct view is that it is recommended, however there is consensus that it is (at least) legitimate. Muhammad also endorsed it, as was narrated in the hadith of Umm ‘Atiyah, who used to circumcise girls. He said to her: “Reduce it, but do not remove too much, because it is more beautiful to behold and better for her husband.” He also said, “If you touch the two circumcisions, you must wash.” This shows that female circumcision was prevalent during his day, and he did not repudiate it. Nor did he stipulate anything else regarding female circumcision.
Perhaps the saying that it is (only) recommended is due to the pain women must go through to carry out the acts of al-fitrah, such as circumcision, as stated in the sound hadith. But as we mentioned, this is not evidence of it being confined only to men. The term circumcision was used for both men and women during Muhammad’s time. But it is clear that performing circumcision must be preferable to not performing it, especially when one considers that circumcision includes both pain and revealing one’s nakedness. Thus if there was no benefit to it, the Messenger of Allah would not have agreed to it. However there is still no evidence for making it obligatory. The fact that the Messenger of Allah agreed to it despite the pain and discovering one’s nakedness is not evidence for making it obligatory. Instead, this is evidence for preferring the action over not doing it, as we stated. (Muhammad’s) command to Umm ‘Atiyah is not a command to all women to (be circumcised), but rather he was regulating its practice. He was not telling her not to do it, he was telling her not to go too far and injure the women.
His command to the man who converted to Islam does not apply to women. Even though the principle is that “women are men’s sisters”, and women are often included when addressing men and vice versa, that only applies when there is no reason to differentiate between them. Here the issue is different for men and women. The man’s foreskin could trap urine at the end of it and affect his cleanliness. The issue is not the same for women. Therefore it is appropriate for this to be stressed more for men, and this is apparent in the words of scholars and the works of the ummah.
I have summed up the words of Muhammad and of scholars to show that circumcision is legitimate, and that the principal issue in the study is the limits of circumcision.
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