Ruling on circumcision

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  • Publish date:17/07/2007
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
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What is Islamic ruling for female circumcision? I heard that some countries like Egypt have already banned this ritual. In my home country it is still considered waajib for both male and female. And the authorised party explained that it was taken from Shafi'e school. Is it right? Here in Japan, a few Japanese Muslims ask me if they must go for a circumcision. Of course, they fear it, especially women. Please advise me how to answer them correctly with Hadeeth and Quran if possible. Syukran.


Circumcision is one of the fitrah acts (natural disposition upon which Allah created mankind) and the Islamic Shaiah has emphasized it. Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Five things are parts of one's Fitrah: shaving the pubic hair, circumcision, trimming the moustache, removing the hair under the armpits and trimming the nails."

The scholars have three known different opinions about circumcision:

1 -It is a Sunnah for men and likable for women.

2 -It is obligatory on both men and women. This is the view of the Shafi'e school of Fiqh.

3 -It is obligatory on men and likable for women.

However, the scholars  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them have different opinions over this matter because there is no explicit authentic text (Quran or sound Hadeeth) on which the rule could be based. It is only that each group of scholars  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them has a given its opinion with some evidence that the other group rejects for not being sound or failing to be indicative of where the disagreement is, so they give instead their own opinion.

Anyway, circumcision is more established and stressed for men than it is for women as it is difficult for the non-circumcised man to be fully sure of not having some dirt or urine on his penis, but this is not the case for women.

As for our Japanese brothers, you should make clear to them that circumcision is one of the Fitrah elements which are part of religion and which are among the Islamic rites. It is also a feature of Muslims as opposed to non-Muslims. Muslims are known to be circumcised. 


Circumcision has some purification profits. Tell them also that Ibraaheem (Abraham  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention )), the father of the Prophet's, got circumcised at the age of eighty as narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them. Try also to clarify to them that what they fear is no longer a problem as there are now very modern surgery techniques. This is for men.

As for women who have passed the adolescent age, it is better not to ask them to do circumcision as there is no text asking them to do so. And when there is no order to do something or to leave it, the person has the choice then.

Allah knows best. 

Mofti: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb


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