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Monday, November 21, 2016

Genital Cutting in Islam

Contrary to Reza Aslan's claims:

origin of circumcision


H2. Ahmad ibn Hanbal relates in his "Musnad" (5:75) from Abu al- Malih ibn `Usama's father that the Prophet (s) said: "Circumcision is sunna for men and an honorable quality for women"...


C1. Imam Nawawi said (commenting on the hadith of Abu Hurayra in Muslim): "Circumcision is obligatory (wajib) according to al- Shafi`i and many of the scholars, sunna according to Malik and the majority of them. It is further, according to Shafi`i, equally obligatory for males and females. As regards males it is obligatory to cut off the whole prepuce or skin which covers the glans or head of the penis, so that the latter is wholly denudated. As regards females, it is obligatory to cut off a minute part of the skin in the highest region of the genitals. The sound view in our school (Shafi`i), which is shared by the large majority of our companions, is that circumcision is allowed in a youthful age but not obligatory (at that time). One view is that the guardian must have the child circumcised before he or she reaches puberty. Another view is that circumcision is prohibited before the tenth year. The sound view according to us, is that circumcision is desirable on the seventh day after birth."

C2. Nuh Keller's Translation of al-Misri's "Reliance of the Traveller" (Shafi`i school) p. 59: "Circumcision is obligatory (Sh. `Umar Barakat: for both men and women). For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (bazr) of the clitoris (Keller: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (Sh. `Abd al-Wakil Durubi: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)"

C3. Ibn Hajar said (commenting on the chapter-heading in Bukhari, Ghusl ch. 28 #291; English 1:174, which is identical with `A'isha's hadith in Tirmidhi): "What is meant by the dual form in the phrase "the two circumcised parts" is the circumcised genitals of the man and the woman respectively. Male circumcision (khatn) is the removal of the skin of the head or glans of the penis. Female circumcision (khifad, khafd) is the removal of a tiny piece of skin in the uppermost part of her genitals which resembles the crest of a rooster, and between it and the entrance of the penis there is a thin membrane" ("Fath al-Bari" 1:520).

C4. It is obligatory for women neither in the Maliki school nor in the Hanbali school. Both schools consider it merely recommended. See Al-Qayrawani's "Risala" p. 161, 305; and "al- Mughni" 1:85. Ibn al-`Arabi al-Maliki says in "Tuhfat al- ahwadhi" (1:167): "_Khifad_ for the woman is like _khitan_ for the man and consists in removing a piece of skin the size of a rooster's crest in the uppermost region of the genitals on top of the urine passage"...

C6. The so-called "Sudanese circumcision" which consists in removing the whole external genitalia, i.e. the labia minora and majora together with the clitoris, is a barbaric mutilation which has no basis in the shari`a (Islamic law) whatsoever. Legal baselessness is also the case for most cultural practices which revolve around the event of circumcision, both male and female.

C7. The recent "Mu`jam lughat al-fuqara'" (Arabic-English Dictionary of Legal Terminology" by Dr. Muhammad Rawwas Qal`aji and Dr. Hamid Sadiq Qunaybi (Beirut: Dar al-Nafa'is, 1985) p. 198 provides another illustration of the misinformation being propagated on this topic. The Arabic definition for "khafd al- mar'at" (women's circumcision) is correctly given as: "Removal of the uppermost skin at the top of her genitals" but the English word given is: "Clitoridectomy," i.e. ablation of the clitoris which is excision or mutilation, not circumcision. Finally, many or most of those opposed to female circumcision routinely refer to it as mutilation or excision. And Allah knows best."


» Religion or Culture?

"The data from Iraq and preliminary reports from other parts of the Middle East and Asia point to a relationship between the practice and specific law schools within Sunni Islam. The four main law schools – Shafi’i, Hanbali, Maliki and Hanafi – have been dominant in different areas of the Muslim world. They differ in their interpretations of the teachings and provisions of Islamic law and guidance. Whereas the Hanafis do not regard female circumcision as “sunnah”, the practice is recommended on religious grounds by the Maliki and Hanbali law schools and is considered obligatory by the Shafi’i school. Though not without internal dissent, the Shafi’i position is clearly expressed: “The official position of the Shafi’i School is that it is obligatory for a woman. There is also a weaker opinion that Imam Nawawi relates in Rawdah 10/180 that it is recommended.”"

Keywords: female circumcision, Indonesia, Shafi, female genital cutting
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