Stabilizing female Cirumcision.

Dr : Fathiya Hasan Margani

ورقة د. فتحية حسن المترجمة

In the name of allah , the most beneficent , the most merciful Ministry of Religious Endowment and National Guidance
Aseminar titled : Standards and values of controlling harmful traditional practices (i.e.female circumcisions.)
Apaper titled :
Stabilizing female Cirumcision.
Prepared by :
Dr : Fathiya Hasan Margani
College of Islamic sharia and law
Omdurman Islamic University.
Khartoum :13th may 2002
In the name of Allah , the most beneficent , the most merciful .
Praise be Allah , and prayers and peace be upon our prophet Mohammed , and on to his family and companions.
Circumcision is one of nature's disposition qualities , affirmed by the prophet's Sunna , it is an old , and well-known practice to Arabs and others.
Even before the coming of Islam . In this paper we consider these following two axis:
First : the definitions of circumcisions both lexically and idiomatically .
Entry circumcision , to circumcise both boy and girl .The noun is circumcision, and the transitive verb of it is circumcised.The term is different in the Arabic language but it could be applied and used for both males and females
In English .Circumcision , is the part circumcised of a male's , or the part
To be removed of a female's genital parts
Abu Mansour stated :( Ii is the part ,which is removed out of a male, and female's genital parts.) And as the prophet's traditional Hadith states ( If the two circumcised parts met. Then it is obligatory to perform the ritual ablution) 1* The term {the circumcised parts} suggests a genuine dual not an alteration one.2* It is start that female circumcision is like male's circumcision , so the term can be applied and used for both sexes.3*
The idiomatic definition of circumcision:-
Abi Hajer said : ( circumcision is the infinitive of circumcised ,meaning to cut or remove .And circumcision is the removal of a particular part from a particular organ.)4* Al Mawardi said regarding male's circumcision : ( Males circumcision is the removal of skin covering the prepuce.) And he said on female's circumcision : ( It is the removal of the skin at the top of her vulva ,above the male's entrance. Whish is like a rooster's crest,and it is proper to cut the transcendent skin without ablation .) And Ibn Taymiyya said on female's circumcision :( To circumcise her ,is to cut of the transcended skin whish is like a rooster's crest.) This definition was also agreed upon by both ,Mohammed Ali El Bar in his saying : (Circumcision is the removal of the prepuce on the penis ,or the covering layer of skin on a female's clitoris.) 1*And by Dr : Mohammed Bin Mohammed El Mukhtar El Shingitti on circumcision surgery : (It is the surgery concerning the removal of the piece of skin covering the prepuce ( the top of the penis) for men (or the cutting of the lowest part of skin on the top of the vulva for women.) 2* Dr :Hamid Rshwan
And other doctors stated that : (Sunna circumcision means to cut the skin ,or the prepuce covering the clitoris.) 3*
Thus ,it is clear that female circumcision by sharia law is like male's circumcision , which is the removal of skin covering the prepuce for males and the one covering the clitoris for females .
Second: the Origin of legitimacy and manner of circumcision :
(A) The traditional Hadith concerning circumcisions are general for both males and females ,some of them are :
1- Stated on the Sahihes , upon Abu Hurrayra's narration: (Five things are in accordance with Alfitra : to be circumcised , to shave the pelvic region , to pull out the hair of the armpits , to cut short the mustache , and to clip the nails.) 1*
2- What's reported on Ibn Abbas's may god be pleased with him on the glorified and Almighty's saying : (And remember that Abraham was tried by his lord with certain commands , which he fulfilled .) 5* He said : ( God has afflicted him with modesty .five on the body .The ones on the head are :trimming of the mustache , rinsing out the mouth , cleaning the nose trails with water ,Brushing the teeth , and parting of the hair .And the five on the body are : Nail clipping , shaving of pubic hears , circumcision ,Depilatting the armpits , and the washing of feces and urine tracts with water.) 6* These scripts indicate that circumcision is one of nature's disposition , and that it is general for males and females alike .And there hasn't been a script restricting the act to males alone .
(B) The particularized Hadith on females circumcision are :
1- On behalf of um Attiya the supporter that while a women was circumcising in Al Madina the Prophet said : ( Don't exhaust for it is fortunate for her , and desired by her husband.)7* Abu Daoud claimed that the Hadith was weak on the narration of Mohammed Bin Hassan Al Kufi and he is weak. And this Hadith was also delivered by the narration of Al Alla Bin Al Arra , and he is a proper attributer . It was also brought out by Al Allbani on the proper Hadithes series under the number (922)
2- There were two witnesses to Annas's narration and to um iman's with El Shiekh , on a book called { Al-Ageeg} and in another book with Al Dhahak bin Gais 1*. And it was also mentioned on [ Al Mustadirk] by Al Hakem, the saying of the prophet may prayers and peace be upon him , to the supporters women : ( Dye by dipping ,and circumcise , but don't exhaust.) it is proper and was delivered by Al Haithamy on [ Muja'm Al Zaw'aid ] and was brought out by Al Tabarani .
And on the evidence supporting Um Attiyah's report , was the narration of Al Bukhary , in the [Al Adab Al Mofrad] .That Um Muhajir may Allah's pleasing be upon her said : (I was captured along with other Roman women . Osman Bin Affan offered Islam to us , so me and another made impraced Islam , he ordered us to be circumcised , and we used to serve him may Alla be pleased with him.)
But Ibn Al Munzir weakened the Hadith regarding circumcision by saying: ( There aren't any benefits or proper Sunna that we can refer to and follow concerning circumcision) 2*
This was refutable by the narration of Al Arra and the number of Hadith and evidence stated , which strengthens and confirms the narration of Mohammed Bin Hassan Al Kuffi .For the prophet had confirmed females circumcision , and didn't forbid the women to perform the rituals , but he ordered her to complete , which means to cut from above , and he prevented her not to exhaust , which means not to cut too extremely .And Ibn Al Gaiem Al Juziyah said : ( There is significance in the Hadith to the order of minimizing the amount to be cut.)3 *
Third : scholars 'decisions and views regarding circumcision:
Scholars have stated three views on circumcision:-
The first view :-
Circumcision is obligatory for males and females .This is proper and well known to Al Shafiya , Al Hanabila , Ibn Taymiyya , Ibn Al Gaiem Al Juziyah . The Shafiya said is obligatory .And Attah said: ( A mature person doesn't became a complete Muslim , unless circumcised .) And they said : ( A man should order his Muslim wife for circumcision , just as he order her for prayers.) And they based the obligation on the following :-
(A) On Allah the glorified and Almighty's saying :( Follow the ways of Abraham the true in faith) 4 *
It was presented on both Sahihes ( Abraham circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcise himself with an adze.) And Abu Al Sheikh presented on [ Al Ageega] through Musa Bin Ali Ibn Rabah , upon his father's words :( That Abraham may peace be upon him asked to be circumcised when he was eighty years old , but he shied ,so he was circumcised with adze.) And so the incident indicates necessity .
(B) Circumcision is painful , and pain exists only for necessary measures.
(C) Circumcision involves exposure of the genital organs , and exposure is forbidden , but only allowed for necessary measures .Ect.
The second view:-
Circumcision is a Sunna for both males and females , which is the faith of Al Hanafiyah , Al I mmam Malik , and Ahmed said .presented on [Al Dour Al Mukhtar ]: ( Circumcision is a Sunna, it is a ritual of Islam and if people agreed to abandon it. Then the Imam should declare war against them , same as when they abandon Al Azzan . There for , it should not be left without a reason.) 2 *
Also , Al Imam Malik said L: ( If a person is not circumcised , he is neither accepted as a leader , nor his testimony.)3 *
The third view:-
For males it is obligatory , and for females it's a noble deed. This narration of Al Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, and some Malikiya and Dhahiriya refers to this .And they inferred to Shadad Ibn Aous's words : ( Circumcision is a Sunna for males, and it brings nobility to females.) 3*
Al Baihagi said that the Hadith is weak , for it has Al Hajaj Ibn Artah , and it he is an imposter but the Hadith has a witness by Al Tabarany . And on Abdul Razag's classification told by Omar, he said regarding circumcision : ( For males it is a Sunna, and it brings cleanness to females .) 5* Al Nawawi said :( What is proper in our faith , and followed by our companions , is that circumcision is permissible at childhood , and not obligatory .As AL Shawkani stated in [Al Tarjeeh] : ( Honesty , there hasn't been any genuine evidence suggesting positivness and obligation .It is of the Sunna and properness to follow the positive ,until we are obliged to do other wise.)6*
And from all this , it is apparent that scholars agreed on the permissibility of circumcision in general , but they disagreed on its obligation for both sexes .
And on whether it was a Sunna , or whether it is only obligatory to men, and whether it brings nobility to female .
But none of them said that it was forbidden for women. Even Ibn Al Munzir , where he weakened the Hadith , but didn't restrict it to males rather than females .
Types of female circumcision , its time ,invitation , and fare:
Female circumcision is divided into two types :-
1- Lawful circumcision :-
And it's the removal of the prepuce , which covers the female's clitoris .
And it's like the male's circumcision , and it's called the Sunna .
2- Unlawful circumcision :-
And it's removal of any extra parts beside the clitoris's prepuce , and it includes the (Complete) pharaoh's circumcision , the medium , and the improved one , and others.
There for , any type of circumcision involving the removal of any parts of the clitoris is under unlawful circumcision , and is not under the Sunna type , but is under the pharaoh type.
Scholars disagreed on its proper time .Al Mawardi said : (It has two proper times , an obligatory one , and a preferable one .The obligatory is when one reaches adulthood and the preferable one is before that .The choice is between the seventh day after delivery , but should it be postponed , then on the fortieth day. And should it be postponed also then on the seventh year.) The imam of the two Holy mosques said : ( It is not right before adulthood , for the boy is not obliged with bodily worship , let alone with painful ones .)
And Abu Al Faraj Al Sirkhasi said that: ( there is benefit in circumcising the boy while still young , for his skin is still soft.) And Imam Malik said : ( It is better if he is younger than seven years old , or around this age.) 1* Dr .Amal Ahmed Al Bashir said on the time of female circumcision : ( It should be around the age where it is easier for the doctor or well trained made to part and cut the prepuce from the clitoris without removing any other part from the surrounding area . And its different from one child to another , that's why there should be a medical check up for each female genital part before deciding upon a time for her circumcision.) 2*
The invitation and fare for circumcision :-
It was ststed on [ Al Al mofrad] on Aisha may Alla be pleased with her said: ( I was invited for a banquet , when I knew that it was a female's circumcision I said , we never used to announce for it. )
Ibn Al Haj Al maliki stated on his book [Al Madkhal] : (The Sunna on male's circumcision is to reveal it , and to conceal it on female's .)3 *
So female's circumcision was known , but the disagreement was on its revelation 4*.
Circumcision fees :-
It is acceptable to hire somebody for it ,Ibn Godamma said :(We have no knowledge of disagreement on the matter , and it is lawful )
Who pays the fees ?
Scholars said that : ( It should be from the circumcised own money . if he/she had any .Or from the father , or on whoever is responsible for his/her expenses.) 1*
The advantages of lawful circumcision :-
1- To establish the exalted and glorified Allah's laws ,and his apostle's Sunna , may Allah'a blessing be upon him.
2- To establish the rightful adequate substitution to fight a harmful practice (pharaoh's circumcision) with regards to the social and psychological outcomes in leaving it all together.
3- To elevate ritual adoration (lawful circumcision) rather than the habitual ( pharaoh's circumcision).
4- The Arabs always spoke ill of a prepuce person in both their poems and reality . They believed on its filthiness .And it becomes difficult to refine menstrual blood and urine , which leads to foul smells and illnesses 2 * .
5- To reduce eroticism by removing the prepuce ( Eroticism means , to be preoccupied by your sexual desires. Reducing the prepuce means more moderation.) for both circumcised males and females alike .
6- Reducing the possibility of cancer in both sexes.
7- To minimize masturbation among mature people , because the prepuce discharges stimulates the sexual nerves around the prepuce which leads to itching , which is in itself a delightful invitation for grown-ups.
8- The prevention of infections , because the stench and microbes resides on the prepuce of both sexes .3*
Disadvantages of unlawful circumcision (The pharaoh) :-
1- It differs in manners to the lawful one.
2- Mutilation and changes to Almighty Allah's creations by cutting parts of a female's genital organs .The exalted Allah said: ( We indeed created man in the best of moulds.)4 * And the prophet May Allah's blessings be upon him cursed those who try to change the creations of Allah.
3- Health hazards such as: bleedings , infections , abscesses , retention of urine , difficult delivery , risk to the infant , puerperal fever , the risk of torn perineum.
4- Psychological problems such as : psychological shocks , to fear and dread marriage , and labor with the difficulties of social relations.
5- The social damages of getting married to foreigners ,which leads to divorce.
And by view the stated of affairs in our current Sudanese society today , we find the following :-
1- The strong attachment to circumcision , and exceeding the limits stated by the Sharia ( The Islamic laws ) by using the pharaoh type .
2- Those who are against , and abandoned female circumcision. Because of its damages .
3- Those who were guidea by the sharia ( The Islamic laws) and offered their worship and services in order to bring them closer to Allah .And neither sharia nor a mind accept the pharaoh type.
Female circumcision in the Sudanese law:-
By referring to the Sudanese acts and laws for the years 1925 and 1974 ,chapter twenty-two under crimes against human body ,we find the following :-
Article 284-(A) unlawful circumcision :
Except where it is mentioned , it is a crime on to any person performing unlawful circumcision . Or whoever causes intentionally any harm or damage to any external part of a female's sexual organ.
Exempt :
The removing of the pointy part , which descends from a female's clitoris is not a crime according to this act.
3- Whoever commits the crime of performing unlawful circumcision is subjected for less than five years imprisonment or subjected to fine or is subjected to both penalties.
4- Explanation:
Considered a criminal , any female who self-prefomes these acts. 2*
The Sudanese laws for the years 1925 and 1974 , divided circumcision into two types:
One is accepted by the laws , and the other is unlawful and is under criminal behavior , since one does not comply to the law in the matter of removing only the pointy part of a female's clitoris.
The magistrate Derrar said : ( According to the article 130 (A) (D) from the criminal procedures for the year l974 , it is not acceptable to take any legal actions concerning article 284/A unless by permission from the governor.)1*
The state of the capital punishments laws for the years 1983 and 1991:-
There hasn't been a term in the capital punishment law for the year l983, nor in the criminal law for the year 1991 , that is similar to article 284/A in the law of 1925 and 1974 . The articles concerning circumcision had been omitted from the 1983's law .The magistrate Derrar said : ( What is known about jurisprudence of criminal law , that a crime has two parts: a material side and a moral side . And if we look into the components of the materialistic side of circumcision , in comparison with the materialistic side for the crimes of damage or amputation of organs , we find that it is exactly similar in kind .But the matter differs when viewed from the moral side , where the criminal intention in damage crimes differs from the straight forward good or the probable intentions. The doers intentions in circumcision's crimes are not in an atrocious manner .In fact he is seeking the welfare (of the circumcised) whether it be socially or health wise. Therefor , it is difficult to establish to the crime and include it with the rest of crimes .And according to the public principals' explanation of the law. The omitting of the criminal section in this manner is an indicator of the intentions of those who wrote the law ,as not to include it as a crime)
The article 272/2 of the criminal law for the year 1983 is as follows :-
A- The removal of any organ of the body or to cause damage to it, whether be it partially or completely .
B- To paralyze the sense of hearing , or sight , or articulation , or smell , or taste , or the removal of voice , or the ability to intercourse , or to remove the ability to stand up , or sit down , or to remove any advantage's of the body , or to any of its members partially or completely …All these have capital punishments and are regarded as harmful crimes , and those who wrote on this matter or explained its components excluded circumcision from the lists of crimes …The fact of the criminal law is to summarize its explanation. (There is no crime nor punishment without an article)
Bearing in mind that the criminal laws and punishments for the year 1991, are not in contrast with the Islamic Sharia laws .Because the law with its sub-branches , is derived from the Islamic jurisprudence .Therefore , it is unacceptable to explain any law to contradict with the Islamic Sharia .And it is well known that circumcision is approved by the apostle's Sunna , so forming any law or article , should be in agreement with the spirit of the law.
From a theoretical point of view .The Sudanese stated laws here aren't firm enough so as to include female Sunna circumcisions as a crime into the Sudanese laws , nor is it firm enough so as to bring lawsuit , or capital punishment against whoever commits the act of female circumcision .
1- Circumcision is one of the elements of nature's dipositions. And it is an Islamic ritual , scholars have indeed agreed on its permissibility , but none the less disagreed on its judgement
(obligatory of Sunna , or foulness.) but none of the scholars said any thing about it being forbidden .
2- The evidence on the legitimacy of circumcision is general for males and females alike .
3- To animate the order of enjoining in all that is good and the prohibition of all that is wrong . And the public should know it , clear and distinctively , the differences between lawful circumcision and the unlawful type , so that they would stop from practicing the wrong deeds (pharaoh) and obey enjoining for there aren't any extravagancies nor negligence concerning female Sunna circumcision .
4- Lawful female circumcision is not a burial of female , but it's a strong attachment to the Apostle's Sunna .For there isn't evidence or advantage or any justifiable explanation for forbidden the practice unless to trespass on the Apostle's Sunna.
5- Referring to some weak Hadiths , isn't sufficient enough as to be hold as an evidence to forbid female's circumcision , and that's for the following reasons:-
A- The presented proper Hadiths were attributed with natural's dispositions .Which indicates circumcision rightfulness
B- The weak Hadiths , some of them were narrated differently by other versions and proved preperness and the rest were reported with strong evidence supporting them.
C- The origin of deeds is lawfulness , therefore , looking for evidence supporting prohibition of female circumcisions are much harder than looking for permissible ones. And there hasn't been any Islamic or legal texts saying to its formability or its prohibition.
6- To make sure of stopping the unlawful female circumcision practice . so as to eliminate damage by establishing lawful circumcision .And as the prophet's saying:
1- To stabilize medical science , and to prepare knowledgeable doctors .
2- To train doctors , midwifes and nurses on lawful female circumcision and to inter the subject into the medical curriculum .3- To set medical centers to practice lawful circumcision.
4- To avoid passing enactment , which proves to be against Islamic Sharia laws , and therefore proves public passiveness (for the victim's own acceptance alone is sufficient not to press criminal charges regarding circumcision)
5- To work in order to eliminate all traditional harmful practices , and to preserve religious and good customs.
6- To promote and elevate religious and health awareness particularly among mothers.
7- To release a religious legal opinion to forbid the pharaoh's circumcision and to legalize Islamic Sunna circumcision .
Conclusion …God , do not blame us if we have forgotten or sinned .
Fathiya Hassan.




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