As Salaam Alaikum,
Dear Respected Teacher,
I would like to know the laws regarding female circumcision.
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
The Majority of the Fuqaha (Jurists) and Imams of Fiqh have stated that circumcision for females is not essential. It is only considered to be Mustahab or Mukaramah (Commendable and an honor for women). These scholars have stated that the Prophet (S.A.S) encouraged and instructed the males to do circumcision, and did not give such a directive to women. As such, there is no tradition (hadith) in which an instruction has been given for females to do circumcision.
The Hadith which states, ‘Circumcision is Sunnah for men, and an honor for women’, has been recorded by Imam Ahmad and Baihaqi, but has been considered weak by many scholars of Hadith. The Jurists have further explained that even if the hadith is acceptable, it does not give any instruction or advice for women to do circumcision. It simply states that it is an ‘honor’ for them. This, as stated by many scholars, refer to the fact that ‘female circumcision’ was a norm which was practiced among the Arabs, both Muslims and non-Muslims. It was accepted to be good amongst them and so, they continued to do it. Seeing that there was no harm in it, the Prophet (S.A.S) did not stop it and speak against it. He allowed it to continue among Muslim women, but did not give any specific instruction or encouragement for them to do it. As such, it is not to be considered a practice which started from an Islamic injunction, instruction or teaching, but rather, it was a cultural practice which existed among the women living at that time which Islam did not stop. Wherever this is acceptable as a norm of the women and they do not see anything harmful in it, they can do it, However, where it is not accepted as a norm or a practice of women, and it is seen as being harmful to them, it should be avoided.
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.