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The Debate on Female Circumcision: Sunnah, Harmful Practice or Cultural Tradition?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: According to the Western ‘enlightened’ medical doctors, female circumcision is regarded as a savage, cultural practice which has absolutely no benefits but causes much harm to the woman. They intend to ‘eradicate’ female circumcision “within a generation”. They have such a dislike for it hence they have termed it as “female genital mutilation – (FGM)”. According to the kuffaar it only mutilates a female’s private part. I have included a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – run by non Muslims.

1. At what age should a woman be circumcised?

2. Are any benefits of circumcision mentioned in the Hadith?

3. In the report I have sent, under the heading of Procedures, four types of female circumcision is mentioned. Which type is the Sunnah circumcision for women?

4. Are there any Hadith on the topic of female circumcision?

5. In SA, where can a woman be circumcised?


A: The practice of circumcision for women is a recommended practice and its benefit has been explained in the Mubaarak Hadith. It should be understood that the benefit which is obtained through any medical procedure is subject to the medical procedure being carried out correctly. Any surgery or medical procedure, if not carried out correctly or if carried out by someone unqualified, will obviously be harmful and damaging and at times could even prove fatal. This damage, however, will be attributed to the one who is incompetent and unprofessional in carrying out the procedure as well as the patient who hired the services of such an unqualified and unprofessional person.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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