i want to know about female circumcision in detail.
In the name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalāmu ῾alaykum wa Rahmatullāhi Wabarakātuh
We acknowledge receipt of query and your answer follows hereunder;
Female circumcision has been a very controversial issue for last few decades even among those who had been performing from former times. Apart from its scientific views lots of scholars have been intensely arguing the value and religious views of female circumcision.
In Islam, circumcision is considered to be ‘fitrah’ which means the natural character and instinctive temperament of human being.
It has been narrated by Abu Huraira (Radhiyallahu ‘anhu) that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi Wassallam) said, “Five practices are characteristics of the Fitrah: circumcision, shaving the pubic region, clipping the nails and cutting the moustaches short.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Circumcision has also been regarded as the sign of Islam; to the extent that if a dead body is found, the manner of verifying that he was a Muslim is to see if he’s circumcised.
Now before delving profound into the question of female circumcision, we would like to make it lucid that “female circumcision” means removing the prepuce of the clitoris which is situated above the opening of the urethra, not the clitoris itself. The Sunnah is not to remove all of it, but only a part.
Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah (Radhiyallahu ‘anha) narrates that a woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. [Sunan Abu Dawud]
“Circumcision is Sunnah for men, and it is an honour for women, but it is not obligatory for them.
وختان المرأة ليس سنة بل مكرمة للرجال وقيل سنة
( قوله وختان المرأة ) الصواب خفاض ، لأنه لا يقال في حق المرأة ختان وإنما خفاض حموي ( قوله بل مكرمة للرجال ) لأنه ألذ في الجماع زيلعي ( قوله وقيل سنة ) جزم به البزازي معللا بأنه نص على أن الخنثى تختن ، ولو كان ختانها مكرمة لم تختن الخنثى ، لاحتمال أن تكون امرأة ولكن لا كالسنة في حق الرجال ا هـ .
أقول : وختان الخنثى لاحتمال كونه رجلا ، وختان الرجل لا يترك فلذا كان سنة احتياطا ولا يفيد ذلك سنيته للمرأة تأمل
[Fatawa Raheemiyah Vol: 6 Pg: 261 (Darul Ishaa’at)]
Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi ‘alayhi) said: For men it is more strictly required, but for women it is less strictly required.” [Al-Mughni by Ibn Qudamah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayhi)]
We conclude from aforesaid discussion that “female circumcision” will be regarded as Mustahab and Sunnah for the male.
And Allāh Ta῾āla Knows Best
Ml. Mohammad Ashhad bin Said
Correspondence Iftā Student, Mauritius
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Dārul Iftā, Madrasah In῾āmiyyah