Friday, April 24, 2009

Islam and Female Genital Mutilation

I have been hearing yet again more attacks upon Islam and the bounty of benifits that it provides believers, and especially the dignity that it provides women. There have been those that choose to slander Islam, and say that Allah does NOT demand FGM, nor does Islam endorse the practice.

These insulters of Islam are mistaken!

First, they will claim that it was was not mentioned in the Koran but the Hadith. This is true, however the Hadith and the Quran are not totally separate.

The Quran is the book of divine law handed down by Allah to Muslims and is organized by Suras. The Hadith are a recounting of the life of the prophet and his actions. It is those books (Hadiths) that help Islamic Jurisprudence solve moral, social or criminal questions under Sharia. (and all four schools of Islamic Sharia accept many of the books of the hadith as authentic).

The Hadith do not promote another god, but are a "reference manual" if you will. Anyway, there is clear Hadith in the collection of Sunan Abu Dawud Book where the prophet does state that he encourages the partial removal of the clitoris:

Book 41, Number 5251:Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah:

A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is
better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.

The above Hadith is often quoted by many Islamic scholars as a justification for FGM.

The "spiritual leader" of the Muslim Brotherhood (the largest Muslim organization in the world with umbrella groups like Hamas and the Council of American Islamic Relations -CAIR) is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

He has stated:

"It is reported that the Prophet (peace and
blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: 'Reduce the size of the clitoris but
do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by
husbands'. The hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman's health
and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband. It's noteworthy that the
Prophet's saying 'do not exceed the limit' means do not totally remove the
clitoris... Anyhow, it is not obligatory, whoever finds it serving the interest
of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current
circumstances in the modern world."

Those that still are trying to besmirch the good name of Islam with lies, may also be interested in the opinions of the Muslim women themselves (with regards to FGM as practiced in Egypt where 90% of women have undergone FGM).

The link for this video is here:

Partial Transcript:

Interviewer: In the Islamic religion, and in the villages and neighborhoods, it is always said that girls should be circumcised just like boys. Does it come from the Sunna, or is it a custom or yours?

Female villager: Circumcision is part of the Sunna of the Prophet. We used to bring a daya, and she would circumcise the children, but when the role of the daya was abolished, we stopped. Now we take our children to the doctor, and he circumcises them.

Interviewer: So it is the doctor who circumcises the girl?

Female villager: Yes. If a girl is not circumcised, she can't stand it. When she is circumcised, she is calm and has self-restraint. The circumcision protects the girl and makes her calm.


Interviewer: So you think all women should be circumcised to protect their honor?

Female villager: The Prophet said that the men go and wage Jihad for a year. He said that girls should be circumcised so they can bear it for a whole year until the men return.

Thus, can one really say that Islam and the teachings of the prophet Muhammad really have nothing to do with this practice?

How can one say that Islam doesn't endorse this practice, where the spiritual leader of the largest Islamic organisation on the planet says that it does?


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