FGM is not Sunnah…

and anyone that practices it, those that actively support it, and those that irresponsibly encourage the practice should be severely punished.

The German human rights group TARGET recently held a conference in Cairo to discuss the crime of FGM from an Islamic perspective. Muslim scholars from around the world including the leading Azhari scholars published a statement condemning the practice as un-Islamic and calling it an “attack on women”.

“The scholars said circumcision inflicts physical and mental harm on women. Furthermore, they said, Islam considers it to be an aggression against women. Those who perform it should be punished.”

“The conference reminds all teaching and media institutions of their role to explain to the people the harmful effects of this habit in order to eliminate it,” the scholars said in their recommendations.”

“The conference calls on judicial institutions to issue laws that prohibit and criminalise this habit … which appeared in several societies and was adopted by some Muslims although it is not sanctioned by the Quran or the Sunna,” the scholars said, referring to Islam’s holy book and the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad.”

Alhamdulillah, that there are scholars that are willing to condemn this practice in unequivocal terms. So often, we hear opinions using questionable hadith and absurd and insulting appeals to the contrived medical and social benefits of FGM. The usual nonsense about increasing the beauty, decreasing wanton sexual desire, and how it leaves no harmful mental or physical side effects. It’s all made to seem so innocent, respectable, and full of religious recommendation and blessings for the individual woman, her husband, and society at large. Nevermind the excesses, which are not at all permissible they say, rather what we are referring to is something so minor and pleasing to the soul.

These types of discussions are a major source of contention today, amongst many Muslims. It is very difficult to have an open and honest debate about sensitive issues, which are not so easily dismissed with appeals to hadeeth irrespective of their authenticity and patronizing examples of the supposed common sense or wisdom behind the situation.

FGM is a major problem in certain communities and parts of the world. Citing some questionable hadeeth does not solve the problem, it may actually make the problem worse, as now its practitioners feel emboldened by a sense of religious approval.

Domestic violence and abuse is a major problem in many communities and citing an ayah or hadeeth does not help resolve or alleviate the issue.

The poor and apathetic treatment of women and by extension their children in far too many Muslim communities is not solved by citing ayat or hadeeth about the equality of men and women in the sight of Allah or that paradise lies at the feet of the mother. Especially not when those opposed to allowing women to exercise their full rights and potential in Islam, cite hadeeth or supposed common wisdom to the opposite effect.

People look to their imams and scholars for guidance. So when a sincere questioner comes and asks one of those difficult questions about FGM, sex with slaves, homosexuality, or domestic violence, they deserve more than oft-quoted ayat and hadeeth and mealy-mouthed responses about the supposed harms and benefits. They deserve real, un-dogmatic, practical, and pragmatic answers or solutions to the issue. And if one cannot offer that, then perhaps it is better to remain silent.

Read More:

SAFSpace: Female Circumcision in Islam

Islamic Law, Etc: Islamic Law on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and female circumcision

IPS News:
Will FGM Fatwa Make a Difference?


  1. as-salamu aleykum
    again one of these issues where muslimeen want to bow before the kuffar and not Allah, where it is portrayed as controversial when it is far away from any controversy.

    let me first say..
    A Qalafaa’ is a woman whom has not been circumcised, she is prone to being more sexually active least have more desire, if an Arab wanted to insult another person so bad, he will call him ” ya ibn al qalfaa’ ” you son of an uncircumcised woman, in other words you son of a woman who is “horney”. In pagan times and Islam too it was a shame that a woman was not circumcised,,,
    yet let us keep in mind that the Sunnah is not like what some African nations do, and the current practice of it in egypt is not like in african nations, but indeed there are better ways than those who do it “baladi” style )baladi = local/traditional

    the sunnah is to cut of the tip of the clitorises, and traditional scholars have usually not fallen out of categorizing it as wajib or mustahab, and the sahabiyat have practiced circumcision and so as daughters of the prophet salla Allahu 3alayhi wa sallam! If it was harmful it would have been clearly made haram and explicit, as it was widespread, yet sharia would not make it wajib or mustahab if it was so. And citing government employees in the light of what they say in other contexts does not please Allah nor the prorphet sallah Allahu 3alayhi wa sallam nor the faithful believers.
    There are plenty of authentic ahadeeth (which are not open to anyone to authenticate or de-authenticate) which talk about circumcision and give us guidance on how to perform it.

    I think you should be extremely careful of what you say, and check out what the 4 math-ahib have said in this, least that you do not insult the sharia of Allah.

  2. Asalamu alaykum,

    I have read the opinions offered by the four madhabs and can conclusively say as can everyone else that FGM is not permissible. FGM is not the same as what was described in the ahadeeth over which there is a difference of opinion.

    And from my reading, it was mentioned that none of the daughters of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam were circumcised. Circumcision and FGM are different terms but are often used incorrectly and interchangeably. In my post I am specifically referring to FGM although the conference was speaking more generally about circumcision.

    Samaha, back from the far reaches of comment exile are you? Alhamdulillah. 🙂

    Personally, I think death would be appropriate for those who are involved in FGM especially if the girl dies or has a miscarriage.

  3. Al-Hanbali:
    1- This post is not about circumcision, it is about FGM.

    2- From Adab would be not to mention those curse words that you mentioned above.

    3- Can you please provide us proof for your statements above? Specifically “…sahabiyat have practiced circumcision and so as daughters of the prophet salla Allahu 3alayhi wa sallam…”

    4- You would do yourself a favor to follow your own advice in checking out what you say before you say it.

  4. Asalamu aleykum

    here in egypt, people refer to FGM and circumcision as the same thing, its is not the same thing (arguably) but in many eyes it is the same thing, and this meeting you cite which i am aware of, wants to criminalise circumcision (one done in the way of the Sunnah) and those who are extremely active in it, are secular fundamentalist feminists, among others with sick hearts..

    if you know the conference talks about circumcision then why do you cite it when you talk about FGM ?!,,.. read the fatwa of sheikh 3aetya saqr, whom recently died a few days ago may Allah have mercy on him,,

    there is a fierce attack on the sunnah in egypt,, what you are saying is not supportive of it at all,, and you need to clarify your stance in the post if it is to be so
    baraka Allahu feekum,

    Muslim Apple: Post Edited. Posting a link is ok but please refrain from posting full articles in the comments.

  5. Asalamu alaykum,

    My post summed up in a few sentences.

    – FGM is not from the sunnah and is un-Islamic.

    – The punishment for those that engage in FGM should be death.

    – There has been a breakdown in communication between some scholars and the laypeople in dealing with controversial issues such that when an issue is presented rather than dealing in practical terms the issue is dealt with by resorting to appeals to the ideal or through the use of patronizing mealy-mouth apologetic “wisdoms”, which often do not help increase understanding or alleviate the misconceptions much less actually aid in helping the individual and may even cause more harm.

  6. It’s priceless when men defend (F)emale (G)enital (M)utilation, while ignoring or merely imagining the horrible infections, excruciating childbirth pain and lifelong misery it inflicts. For shame. I wish men would mind their own genitals.

  7. I just realized that I forgot to include the link to the group TARGET in the post.

    They have a section on their site under FGM called The Crime , which gives some actual stories of victims of FGM, much more powerful words than of those that extol its supposed benefits.

  8. As-salamu aleykum.

    O ye who believe! fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right:
    That He may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: he that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest Achievement

    again you have not addressed the issue i pointed out,
    that is separating between the two when the meeting you cite aims to abolish it altogether.

    your post fails to clarify!
    your post is not suffuce for those who lack knowledge about the issue, and its even more shameful when its an attack on the sunnah and you stand before those who fight it leaning on general rullings and avoiding the specifics.

    Those who CONCEAL the Clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after we have made it clear for the People in the Book, on them shall be Allah’s curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse.
    Except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the Truth): to them I turn; for I am Oft-Returning, Most Merciful [ al baqara-159-160]

    and then you go on to give on your unqualified, evidence lacking, new yorker fatwa concluding death hadd for some one who engages in it.

    and here is the link

  9. Asalamu alaykum,

    AlHanbali: In case you’ve forgotten, this is my blog not yours. I don’t write in order to please you so if you have a problem then I allow to voice it here in the comments as long as it is not overly offensive. I have heard your complaints and I am not going alter my post nor tailor it to suit your claims or demands.

    Yes, I support the death penalty for those that perform FGM, rapists, murderers, people that engage in genocide, child molesters, and some others. I do not say that is an official Islamic legal position in all cases, but that is my position unless someone can demonstrate that that position is not in accordance with Islam. On the Islamic law, etc. site, the brother posted some juristic rulings on analogous situations.

    Wa salaam.

  10. That last comment MA was on the dot. You tell him like it is! Goodness.
    Al Hanbali…really I think your getting beside yourself now.
    Don’t force your opinions on others and stop trying to pick fights. Really May Allah guide you.

  11. Those who CONCEAL the Clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after we have made it clear for the People in the Book, on them shall be Allah’s curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse.
    Except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the Truth): to them I turn; for I am Oft-Returning, Most Merciful [ al baqara-159-160]

    The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “[Under Islamic laws in an Islamic state] It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim except for one of three sins: a married person committing fornication, and in just retribution for premeditated murder, and [for sin of treason involving] a person renouncing Islam, and thus leaving the community [to join the enemy camp in order to wage war against the faithful].” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa’i)

    Um Luqman
    where is my opinion in all of this..
    yet this is my final reply in this post
    and this is a proof against me or you
    and in case you have forgotten you are speaking about the rullings of Allah, unless you want to rule by that which Allah did not reveal.

  12. As a non-muslim, may I ask an innocent question brought about by thinking of the implications of part of the previous comment?
    “It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim except for one of three sins”
    Does this mean that Circumcision, male or female, or FGM does not cause blood to be shed?

  13. Archie, the phrase to “shed the blood” means to kill.

    Al-Hanbali, you should know that quoting a single ayah or hadeeth out of context is not the way to build a strong argument as we know that even in the case of murder, death for the other party is not always lawful. And we know that women do often die from these FGM procedures, so the penalty of death is applicable.

    I can’t imagine the horror that has been inflicted on countless numbers of women or someone trying to perform any of these procedures on me and if they tried, I think I would fight them just as I would fight a rapist or someone trying to kill me until one of us met Allah.

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