What is permissible as a whole must not be banned
Fatwa No: 31205

  • Fatwa Date:21-1-2014 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 20, 1435
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Question

What is the Islamic ruling on female circumcision? Is it a religious obligation? What is the ruling on the law that bans it in terms of their accordance with the Islamic Sharee‘ah?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Circumcision is unanimously prescribed under the Sharee‘ah for both men and women, however, scholars held different opinions regarding its Sharee‘ah ruling i.e. whether it is obligatory or not for men and women. Indeed, what is permissible as a whole must not be banned. The utmost that a law can do, is to render circumcision optional. Moreover, the law can set the due rules and restrictions that would eliminate any potential exaggeration in the process of female circumcision. It was narrated on the authority of Umm ‘Atiyyah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that there was a woman who used to perform circumcision in Al-Madeenah. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said to her: “Do not cut severely as that is better for the woman and more desirable for the husband.” [Abu Daawood; Al-Albaani: Saheeh]

The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, told her not to overcut the clitoral prepuce or remove it totally.

Allaah Knows best.

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