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Circumcision for Converts

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher

Can you explain the ruling regarding circumcision in the Shafii madhab? Is it wajib or even fardh? And does a new convert gets circumcised according to Shafii madhab? I am asking for a brother who recently accepted Islam and follows the Shafii madhab and wants to know the ruling for him regarding the circumcision, since he would have to expose his awrah to another man.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

All scholars agree that circumcision is a religiously praiseworthy act, but they differ regarding its obligation. The position of the Shafi`i school is that circumcision is obligatory, but other scholars have held that circumcision is merely recommended.

Because of this difference of opinion, scholars are generally easy-going and gentle with recent converts to Islam on the issue of circumcision.[1] The most important goal with new Muslims is to preserve and nurture their newfound faith, and imposing difficult rulings such as circumcision on them early on may well drive them away from Islam altogether.

If, of his own accord, a new Muslim insists that he wants to get circumcised, he will be doing something praiseworthy by scholarly agreement. It would be permissible for him to reveal his nakedness to the doctor to get circumcised, although this would have to be limited to the extent of the need.

And Allah knows best.


[1] Shaykh Amjad mentioned that the scholars of Hadramawt do not emphasize the issue of circumcision when calling desert Bedouins–most of whom do not get circumcised–to religious practice. Imam Hasan al-Basri used to say, “People–black and white–accepted Islam and whether or not they had ever been circumcised was never made a matter of investigation.”

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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