CIRCUMCISION: TO CUT OR NOT TO CUT? (PART 2 of 2)

Here comes the big question: what about the girls? First, girls don’t have penises, but they have a miniaturised homologue, known as the clitoris. It follows that, the foreskin covering it will also be extremely tiny and, in fact, almost nonexistent in some normal girls. However, there are cases where the clitoris or its foreskin or both are abnormally large. In such cases, not only circumcision will be required, but sometimes a clitoridal reduction sugery must be done to prevent the pain and  disfigurement during sexual excitement.

Although, there are attempts to outlaw female circumcision, some cultures still practise it. Circumcision is desirable, but not obligatory for muslim girls. Of course, Islam clearly prohibits any form of mutilation in the name of circumcision, for both males and females. It is important to note that the female clitoris plays a major role in the excitement and orgasmic phases of sexual intimacy. Hence, any disruption in its anatomy can have devastating effect on her satisfaction.

The Messenger of Allaah (saw) was reported to have said to the woman who did circumcisions in Madeenah: “Leave something sticking out and do not go to extremes in cutting. That makes her face look brighter and is more pleasing to her husband.” (Abu Daawood 5271)

Scholars have deduced from this hadith that circumcision is allowed for girls, but it’s not mandatory. ONLY THE EXCESS skin, if any, should be cut because it is believed to provoke excessive libido in them. Extreme cutting is clearly prohibited. It is this extreme cutting that is referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM) in which some people cut off the entire clitoris, and even part or all of the labia. Apart from the risk of bleeding and infection, FGM could result in sexual dysfunction, anatomical distortion, difficulty during childbirth, genitourinary fistula  and low self esteem.

WaLlaahu Ta’aala A’alam.

Khadijah Sanni-Tijani

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