Separating Facts from Fiction: The Terror of Female Circumcision in Islam

* Islamic taqiyya spin-doctors give you all kinds of excuses for this barbaric practice. Like ‘it has nothing to do with Islam,- its a cultural thing’- or ‘others do it too’- like some black tribes in Africa. But they will not tell you that it is proscribed in the hadith, the sayings and traditions of Muhammad.

Although there is no mention of it in the Quran itself, there are several hadiths, where Female Genital Mutilation is encouraged by Mohammad:

The first hadith is from Abu Dawud (Book 41, Number 5251): Um ‘Atiyyah is reported as an exciser of female slaves who had immigrated with Mohammad.
On one occasion Mohammad allegedly asked her if she kept practicing her profession, to which she responded in the affirmative. Then she added: “unless it is forbidden and you order me to stop doing it.” Mohammad replied: “yes, it is allowed.”
Mohammad then gave Um ‘Atiyyah specific instructions on the methodology for female circumcision (Aldeeb, 1994, p. 6), explaining to her that his method of “female circumcision” would bring radiance to the face of the woman.
This hadith is also quoted by al-Hakim and al-Baihaqi on the authority of al-Dhaahhak ibn Qais (al-Sabbagh, 1998, p. 17).

Another well-known hadith is that of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He relates in his Musnad (5:75) from Abu al-Malih ibn, Usama’s father, that Mohammad said:
“Circumcision is sunna (tradition) for men and an honorable quality for women”

A third hadith states: “If the two circumcision organs (khitanan) meet, ritual ablution (gusl), becomes obligatory.” This is cited in Malik, Muslim, al-Tirmithi and Ibn Majah in their respective hadith collections and can also be found in other collections (al-Sabbagh, 1998, p. 38).

There are many documented justifications by Islamic scholars through the ages, based on these Hadiths. And many of them, coincidentally, are from the same aforementioned Al-Azhar university. Possibly because Egypt is pretty much FGM-central, with 97% of women there having been subjected to it. You’d think if the practice contradicted Sharia it would have become less prevalent, if not stamped out by now.

In Reliance of the Traveler, a classical manual of Islamic law, endorsed by Al-Azhar in 1991 as conforming ‘to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community,’ we find the following, with notes from several scholars and the translator:

e4.3 Circumcision is obligatory (commentary of Sheikh ‘Umar Barakat: “for both men and women”). For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Arabic: Bazr) of the clitoris (remark by the translator: “not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert”). (comment by Sheikh ‘Abd al-Wakil Durubi: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)”

A look at the original Arabic show the text to actually say:

Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female)
by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male,
but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris
(this is called HufaaD).

Tao of Defiance has more:

10 thoughts on “Separating Facts from Fiction: The Terror of Female Circumcision in Islam”

  1. Mo sure had a lot of time on his hands-seems like he was interested in every single aspect of life. I don’t know where he found the time to mention this sort of thing with all the killing and raping and handing out of war booty he was seemingly busy with. I’m sure his followers were pleased to have him take such active interest in them. No wonder people try to emulate this most worthy of worthies.

  2. How would these women know if it is good or bad? They will never know the difference.

    Barbaric practice and committed by “doctors”.

  3. I cannot wait to run into one of those feel good amnesty international charity collectors again. The gall of them %@#$ dogs asking me for a donation…

  4. Female Circumcision is one of the most misunderstood practices of Islam. Here’s an excellent article showing that it is not the kind of mutilation it is commonly believed to be and that is the same as hoodectomy which western women are increasingly choosing to undergo for better genital hygiene and an enhanced sex life :

    There exist many ahadith or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to show the important place, circumcision, whether of males or females, occupies in Islam.

    Among these traditions is the one where the Prophet is reported to have declared circumcision (khitan) to be sunnat for men and ennobling for women (Baihaqi).

    He is also known to have declared that the bath (following sexual intercourse without which no prayer is valid) becomes obligatory when both the circumcised parts meet (Tirmidhi). The fact that the Prophet defined sexual intercourse as the meeting of the male and female circumcised parts (khitanul khitan or khitanain) when stressing on the need for the obligatory post-coital bath could be taken as pre-supposing or indicative of the obligatory nature of circumcision in the case of both males and females.

    Stronger still is his statement classing circumcision (khitan) as one of the acts characteristic of the fitra or God-given nature (Or in other words, Divinely-inspired natural inclinations of humans) such as the shaving of pubic hair, removing the hair of the armpits and the paring of nails (Bukhari) which again shows its strongly emphasized if not obligatory character in the case of both males and females. Muslim scholars are of the view that acts constituting fitra which the Prophet expected Muslims to follow are to be included in the category of wajib or obligatory.

    That the early Muslims regarded female circumcision as obligatory even for those Muslims who embraced Islam later in life is suggested by a tradition occurring in the Adab al Mufrad of Bukhari where Umm Al Muhajir is reported to have said: “I was captured with some girls from Byzantium. (Caliph) Uthman offered us Islam, but only myself and one other girl accepted Islam. Uthman said: ‘Go and circumcise them and purify them.’”

    More recently, we had Sheikh Jadul Haqq, the distinguished head of Al Azhar declaring both male and female circumcision to be obligatory religious duties (Khitan Al Banat in Fatawa Al-Islamiyyah. 1983). The fatwa by his successor Tantawi who opposed the practice cannot be taken seriously as we all know that he has pronounced a number of unislamic fatwas such as declaring bank interest halal and questioning the obligation of women wearing headscarves.

    At the same time, however, what is required in Islam, is the removal of only the prepuce of the clitoris, and not the clitoris itself as is widely believed. The Prophet is reported to have told Umm Atiyyah, a lady who circumcised girls in Medina: “When you circumcise, cut plainly and do not cut severely, for it is beauty for the face and desirable for the husband” (idha khafadti fa ashimmi wa la tanhaki fa innahu ashraq li’l wajh wa ahza ind al zawj) (Abu Dawud, Al Awsat of Tabarani and Tarikh Baghdad of Al Baghdadi).

    This hadith clearly explains the procedure to be followed in the circumcision of girls. The words: “Cut plainly and do not cut severely”
    (ashimmi wa la tanhaki) is to be understood in the sense of removing the skin covering the clitoris, and not the clitoris. The expression “It is beauty (more properly brightness or radiance) for the face” (ashraq li’l wajh) is further proof of this as it simply means the joyous countenance of a woman, arising out of her being sexually satisfied by her husband. The idea here is that it is only with the removal of the clitoral prepuce that real sexual satisfaction could be realized. The procedure enhances sexual feeling in women during the sex act since a circumcised clitoris is much more likely to be stimulated as a result of direct oral, penile or tactile contact than the uncircumcised organ whose prepuce serves as an obstacle to direct stimulation.

    A number of religious works by the classical scholars such as Fath Al Bari by Ibn Hajar Asqalani and Sharhul Muhadhdhab of Imam Nawawi have stressed on the necessity of removing only the prepuce of the
    clitoris and not any part of the organ itself. It is recorded in the Majmu Al Fatawa that when Ibn Taymiyyah was asked whether the woman is
    circumcised, he replied: “Yes we circumcise. Her circumcision is to cut the uppermost skin (jilda) like the cock’s comb.” More recently Sheikh Jadul Haqq declared that the circumcision of females consists of the removal of the clitoral prepuce (Khitan Al Banat in Fatawa Al Islamiyya. 1983).

    Besides being a religious duty, the procedure is believed to facilitate good hygiene since the removal of the prepuce of the clitoris serves to prevent the accumulation of smegma, a foul-smelling, germ-containing cheese- like substance that collects underneath the prepuces of uncircumcised women (See Al Hidaayah. August 1997).

    A recent study by Sitt Al Banat Khalid ‘Khitan Al-Banat Ru’ yah Sihhiyyah’ (2003) has shown that female circumcision, like male circumcision, offers considerable health benefits, such as prevention of urinary tract infections and other diseases such as cystitis affecting the female reproductive organs.

    The latest is the study Orgasmic Dysfunction Among Women at a Primary Care Setting in Malaysia. Hatta Sidi, and Marhani Midin, and Sharifah Ezat Wan Puteh, and Norni Abdullah, (2008) Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, 20 (4) accessible which shows that being Non-Malay is a higher risk factor for Orgasmic Sexual Dysfunction in women, implying that Malay women experience less problems in achieving orgasm than non-Malay women. As you know almost all Malay women in Malaysia are circumcised (undergo hoodectomy) in contrast to non-Malay women who are not. This would suggest that hoodectomy does in fact contribute to an improved sex life in women rather than diminishing it as some argue.

    For more benefits of Islamic female circumcision also known as hoodectomy see

  5. Ahmed
    You can quote anything you like:
    You show a terrifying ignorance of female biology, sexual response etc.
    Go look at the disgusting and sadistic methods of FGM on You Tube.
    As for *smeg* this occurs in MALES and is the reason that many are circumcised for health reasons, as babies or as adults.
    It is very personal, but, I have never suffered from cystitis or a urinary tract infection, this is more closely related to living with general dirty conditions.
    As the *Sheik* says, you really need to do more research. In general FGM is calculated sexual sadism carried out by men who fear women.
    Yes, I am a woman. There is no way I would ever support this. In fact I denounce it on behalf of all the girls and women who have suffered and continue to suffer.

  6. Hi English

    I’m surprised that as a woman you don’t seem to be aware that your clitoral hood continues to accumulate smegma if it’s not cleaned regularly. It can cause bacterial build up, infections and recurring ailments like UTIs and Cystitis . It also smells terribly.

    As a woman who voluntarily underwent a hoodectomy (Islamic female circumcision) as an adult, let me share my experience with you. Whenever we indulged in oral sex prior to my circumcision my husband always insisted I wash beneath the hood with soap as he could n’t stand the smell. As you know men are turned off my bad smells during sex. For another, I suffered terribly from UTIs before going for the snip.

    As for the result. Far from diminishing my sex life, my hoodectomy has increased it. I did not know what I was missing in enjoying sex till I had that smelly hood taken off. It increased the surface area of my clit for greater stimulation, particularly of the oral type which I enjoy immensely. Another benefit was that I have not suffered from a single UTI since my hoodectomy.

    I’m sure this holds true for every woman. It does liberate. Believe me !

  7. In support of sister Roze, here’s another interesting news item that supports the need for a hoodectomy (Islamic female circumcision):

    Oral sex linked to cancer risk

    US scientists said Sunday there is strong evidence linking oral sex to cancer, and urged more study of how human papillomaviruses may be to blame for a rise in oral cancer among white men.

    In the United States, oral cancer due to HPV infection is now more common than oral cancer from tobacco use, which remains the leading cause of such cancers in the rest of the world.

    Researchers have found a 225-percent increase in oral cancer cases in the United States from 1974 to 2007, mainly among white men, said Maura Gillison of Ohio State University. “The rise in oral cancer in the US is predominantly among young white males and we do not know the answer as to why.”

    It is obvious that the only way men can acquire the HPV virus is through the oral stimulation of one’s partner’s clitoris which allows the virus to enter the mouth. The virus no doubt is harboured in the prepuce of the clitoris just as it has been found that HPV also resides in the foreskins of males, through the transmission of which cervical cancer occurs in females. Thus a hoodectomy could, by removing the part that harbours the virus, significantly reduce or eliminate the risk of women transmitting the virus to their male partners.

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