“When I returned to Cardiff, I told the teacher my bum had been cut. She said, ‘That’s nice.’ She saw it as part of our culture.” Â Â Clit Cutting Culture: “That’s Nice!”
‘Cheat genital mutilation ban by going abroad’: British Muslim leader caught on camera advocating female
A British Muslim leader has been caught on camera advocating female genital mutilation.
Mohammed Abdul, the Imam of a Bristol mosque, was filmedÂ urging a follower to take women and girls abroad so they can be circumcised legally. Â The practise was banned by law in 2003, and it’s illegal to help or encourage anyone to carry out the barbaric procedure overseas.
The Masjid al-Huda mosque in Bristol, where Muhammed Abdul is an Imam
The footage was obtained by an undercover reporter working for theÂ Sunday TimesÂ newspaper, who posed as a Muslim seeking advice.
During a meeting with Mohammed Abdul at the Masjid al-Huda mosque:Â
‘In this country, it is not possible, we cannot do that. (For) any other Muslim who likes to practise the way of Prophet Muhammad, the best way is to go to other countries.
‘Some families, they go to Africa or Arab countries.‘In this country you have to fight for your religion, your cultures, They (the British) don’t like your Muslim cultures.’
Although female genital mutilation (FGM) has not been advocated by Muslim scripture, a number of clerics encourage it.
That’s just wrong. Who doesn’t “encourage it?”
This guy here says “its natural and part of nature”- Â and according to the “way of the profit Muhammad” (sunna) it must be done. Its just like “clipping your nails, or like cutting your hair or mustache….”
Anti FGM campaigner Naana Otoo-Oyortey was made an MBE by the Queen in 2008
The procedure, which involves the removal of external female genitalia, causes incredible pain and leaves women scarred for life.
In some cases the vagina is sewn shut.
It’s estimated 100,000 women in Britain have undergone the procedure and another 24,000 are thought to be at risk.
Dr Yunes Teinaz, who works for anti-FGM charity Forward, tells The Sunday Times: ‘As a result of misinformation spread by so-called Muslim scholars, young girls are being mutilated and subjected to unimaginable pain and suffering.’
The police have confirmed they have received the Sunday Times video and that the ‘material will now be assessed.’
Since the law was passed in 2003, no-one has been prosecuted for carring out female genital mutilation.
Forward chief executive Naana Otoo-Oyortey said she hopes the new evidence will force the government to do more to combat the problem.
She said: ‘With the summer approaching, this is the time when most children are at risk of being taken abroad to be mutilated.’
JW puts it in context:
“Circumcision is obligatory (O: for both men and women. For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (A: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)” –Â ‘Umdat al-SalikÂ e4.3
We’re constantly told that female genital mutilation is a cultural practice that has nothing to do with Islam, and are warned that only greasy Islamophobes think otherwise. Yet Mohammed Abdul not only didn’t get this memo, but apparently he assumes that his hearers all share his point of view. What are the Vast Majority of Moderate Muslims planning to do about this spectacular misunderstanding of Islam?
“‘Cheat genital mutilation ban by going abroad’: British Muslim leader caught on camera advocating female circumcision,” by Ian Garland for theÂ Daily Mail, April 29
AMJA Senior Committee Member: Female Genital Mutilation Is ‘an Honor’ per Islam
|Dr. Hatem al-Haj, addressing
Islamic Institute of Orange County,
June 2009 (link)
A couple of weeks ago I posted a translation of a paper by Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) senior committee member Dr. Hatem al-Haj, PhD, MD, in which he warned American Muslims against working in law enforcement in our ‘infidel’ nation (seeÂ hereÂ for more details). Now in my latest translation, Dr. al-Haj explains why female circumcision is recommended and even ‘an honor’ for women. This is the same practice which is popularly known as female genital mutilation (FGM) due to the pain it causes women. The World Health Organization (WHO)Â asserts thatÂ “the procedure has no health benefits for women,” and causes a range of health problems including “severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth.”
Yet Dr. al-Haj, a medical doctor and fellow at theÂ American Academy of Pediatrics, ignores FGM’s detrimental effects on women’s health, and instead argues that it is ‘an honor’ for women. He justifies this position by referring repeatedly to the words of classical Islamic scholars from the four schools of mainstream Sunni Islamic thought, all of which attest to FGM’s legitimacy under Islam. He also refers to the words of the Prophet Muhammad himself, who reportedly counselled people in his day on how to perform FGM in a way that would be “more beautiful to behold and better for [the woman’s] husband.”
Thanks again to theÂ Center for Security PolicyÂ for their assistance and expertise on AMJA.
The ruling on circumcision: Scholars have differed on the ruling on circumcision. They have agreed on its legitimacy for both sexes, but beyond that they have differed. Some–most famously the Shafi’ites–believe that it is obligatory for both sexes. Some believe it is obligatory for men only, and some believe it is recommended for both. At the very least it can be said that for women it is an honor, and for men it is sunnah [i.e. it is in accord with the tradition of Muhammad].
There are many hadiths on circumcision, some of which will be presented here along with the commentary of some scholars:
From Abi-Hurayra, who attributed it to the Prophet: “Five (acts of) al-fitrah [Islamic law or way of nature] are circumcision, shaving pubic hair, plucking armpit hair, trimming fingernails, and clipping the mustache.” Also from Abi-Hurayra: “The Messenger of Allah said, ‘Abraham was circumcised when he was 80 years old’.”’ Allah said: “So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith” [Qur’an 16:123]. Also recorded in a hadith is the saying of (Muhammad) to a man who converted to Islam: “Remove your infidel hair and be circumcised.”
Muhammad also said regarding circumcision: “If you touch the two circumcisions, you must wash.” Here is evidence that women were circumcised, and therefore any of the hadiths on circumcision which do not specify men or women, can be assumed to apply to both.
From Sa’id bin Jabir: “Ibn ‘Abbas was asked, “How old were you when the Prophet (PBUH) died?” He replied, “At that time I had been circumcised. People (in those days) did not circumcise men until they reached puberty.” From the hadith of Umm ‘Atiyah–who used to circumcise girls–the Messenger of Allah said to her, “Reduce it, but do not remove too much, because it is more beautiful to behold and better for her husband.” This is the most explicit evidence in the hadiths of Muhammad for female circumcision being legitimate and even recommended. From Ibn ‘Abbas, attributing it to the Prophet: “Circumcision is sunnah for men and an honor for women.” This was narrated by al-Bayhaqi, and its attribution is weak.
Ibn al-Mundhir narrated from Abi-Barza: “We asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about an uncircumcised man making pilgrimage to the Ka’aba. He replied, ‘No, not until he’s circumcised’.” This was considered a weak hadith by Ibn al-Mundhir and others.
There’s no doubt that among these hadiths there are those which are sound but do not explicitly command or urge women to become circumcised. There are also those which are met with disagreement by scholars, and these hadiths are more explicit in confirming the legitimacy of female circumcision. But the hadiths on the laws of al-fitrah which mention circumcision–and these are sound–do not mean that it is done on men only and not women. It is certain that circumcision includes both men and women, as is clearly stated in the hadith about touching the two circumcisions.
Below are words from scholars on the ruling on circumcision:
The Hanafis: Al-Zayla’i said: “The general ruling is that circumcision is sunnah, and is one of the trademarks of Islam. In fact, if the people of Egypt or some land decided to abandon its practice, the Imam would make war against them, for it cannot be abandoned except by necessity… Female circumcision is not sunnah, but it is an honor for men because it is more pleasing during sex” [ellipses in original].
The Malikites: From al-Kharshi’s brief summary of Khalil: “Its ruling (i.e. circumcision) is that it is sunnah for men, and it cuts off the foreskin. It is recommended for women, and is called khifad [reduction].”
The Shafi’ites: From [Asna al-Mutalib]: “Circumcision is obligatory (at puberty). The reasoning for this is the saying of the Almighty: “So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith” [Qur’an 16:123]. In Abraham’s religion, circumcision was present. Also in the two Sahihs: “He was circumcised when he was eighty years old.” In Sahih Ibn Hibban, and in al-Hakim it was said 120 years, and it was also said 70 years. Also it was narrated by Abu-Dawud: “(The Prophet) (PBUH) ordered a man who converted to Islam to be circumcised.” They said that since he cut off a member which could not be replaced, it had to be obligatory like cutting off the hand. Since the man was injured during the process, he feared it. If it were not obligatory for him, then it would not have been permissible. This is unlike the circumcision of little boys, crazy people, and those who cannot endure it, because the first are too young to be required to do anything, and the last are harmed by it.” Al-Nawawi said inÂ al-Majmu’: “Circumcision is obligatory for our men and women. This was stated by many of the salaf, as al-Khatabi relates. Ahmad was one of those who said it was obligatory. Malik and Abu-Hanifa said that it was sunnah for everyone. This was related by al-Rafi’i. He also related that (circumcision) is obligatory for men and sunnah for women. These were the two approaches of Shadhan, and of the sound and famous school of thought which was penned by al-Shafi’i, in which the multitude of scholars declared that circumcision is obligatory for men and women.”
The Hanbalis: From Ibn Muflih’sÂ Furu’Â [body of rules and regulations for man’s behavior]: “(According to Ahmad), circumcision is obligatory on all but women, for whom it is recommended. Our Shaykh said, ‘It is obligatory because cleanliness and prayer are obligatory’.” Ibn Qudama said: “Circumcision is a duty for men, and for women it is an honor, but it is not obligatory. This has been stated by many scholars.” Ahmad said: “The man is more difficult, because if the man is not circumcised, then the skin dangles over the [penis] and cannot be cleaned. But the woman is easier.”
TheÂ al-Mawsu’a al-FiqhiaÂ (“The Encyclopedia of Jurisprudence”) summarizes scholars’ opinions on circumcision as follows:
“The ruling on circumcision: Scholars differ on circumcision as follows: First, the Hanafis and Malikites–and very rarely the Shafi’ites–hold to the opinion of what Ahmad said, that circumcision is sunnah for men but not a duty. It is one of the acts of al-fitrah, and one of the rituals of Islam. If the people of a particular land decided together to abandon its practice, the Imam would make war against them, just like if they abandoned the call to prayer. This also represents what the Malikites think about circumcision of women. Hanafis and Hanbalis consider female circumcision to be an honor and not sunnah. It is said by some Hanafis that it is also sunnah for [women], and some say that it is recommended. … Second, the Shafi’ites and Hanbalis, as is also stated by Sahnoun from the Malikites, believe that circumcision is a duty for both men and women. … Third, this is written by Ibn Qudama in al-Mughni, that circumcision is a duty for men, and for women it is an honor but not a duty” [ellipses in original].
It appears that for male circumcision the most correct view is that it is obligatory, owing to the saying of Muhammad to the man who converted to Islam: “Remove your infidel hair and be circumcised.” This was obligatory–there was no alternative.
Regarding women, perhaps the most correct view is that it is recommended, however there is consensus that it is (at least) legitimate. Muhammad also endorsed it, as was narrated in the hadith of Umm ‘Atiyah, who used to circumcise girls. He said to her: “Reduce it, but do not remove too much, because it is more beautiful to behold and better for her husband.” He also said, “If you touch the two circumcisions, you must wash.” This shows that female circumcision was prevalent during his day, and he did not repudiate it. Nor did he stipulate anything else regarding female circumcision.
Perhaps the saying that it is (only) recommended is due to the pain women must go through to carry out the acts of al-fitrah, such as circumcision, as stated in the sound hadith. But as we mentioned, this is not evidence of it being confined only to men. The term circumcision was used for both men and women during Muhammad’s time. But it is clear that performing circumcision must be preferable to not performing it, especially when one considers that circumcision includes both pain and revealing one’s nakedness. Thus if there was no benefit to it, the Messenger of Allah would not have agreed to it. However there is still no evidence for making it obligatory. The fact that the Messenger of Allah agreed to it despite the pain and discovering one’s nakedness is not evidence for making it obligatory. Instead, this is evidence for preferring the action over not doing it, as we stated. (Muhammad’s) command to Umm ‘Atiyah is not a command to all women to (be circumcised), but rather he was regulating its practice. He was not telling her not to do it, he was telling her not to go too far and injure the women.
His command to the man who converted to Islam does not apply to women. Even though the principle is that “women are men’s sisters”, and women are often included when addressing men and vice versa, that only applies when there is no reason to differentiate between them. Here the issue is different for men and women. The man’s foreskin could trap urine at the end of it and affect his cleanliness. The issue is not the same for women. Therefore it is appropriate for this to be stressed more for men, and this is apparent in the words of scholars and the works of the ummah.
I have summed up the words of Muhammad and of scholars to show that
circumcisionfgm is legitimate, and that the principal issue in the study is the limits of circumcisionthe mutilation.