What is the mu`tamad qowl (relied upon position) of the Shafi`ee Mazhab regarding the khatnah (circumcision) of women? Is it wajib (obligatory) or sunnat?
Also, what if a woman was ignorant if it being wajib will it be incumbent on her during her advanced age to perform khatnah?
الحمد لله رب العالمين ، وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين، وبالله التوفيق
الختان واجب على الرجال والنساء عندنا (المجموع: 1: 164)
ويمنع من ختان الكبيرة لخوف التلف (الروضة: 3: 384)
Circumcision is obligatory upon men and women according to us (i.e. the Shafi’is). (Majmu’ of Imam An-Nawawi 1:164) The circumcision is wajib upon men and women according to the rājih qawl of Shāfiʿī madhhab. In a situation a woman is in her advanced age, it is not permissible to circumcise her if it may harm her (al-Rauḍah of Imam An-Nawawi: 3: 384).
Allah knows best
Sidi Abdullah Muḥammad al-Marbūqī al-Shāfiʿī
Al-Ustāż Fauzi ibn Abd Rahman
Shaykh Nuh Keller translates and comments in his Reliance of the Traveller (عمدة السالك):
This answer was collected from Shafiifiqh.com which was a repository of Islamic answers as per the Shafi’i madhhab. The website no longer functions. At its peak, many ‘ulama were involved with the site including Shaykh Mawlana Taha Karaan, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah ibn Abdullah, and Shaykh AbdurRagman Khan.