Female Khitan (Genital Mutilation) or Circumcision in Islam

There is a disagreement among Islamic scholars on the issue of khitan (clitoris mutilation) for girls. Amongst the scholars that regards it as being recommended were Syafi’I, Malik, Ibn Thaimiyyah, and Ibn Qudamah. Apparently, amongst the hadith that was used to argue their position are:

  1. “Narrated by Abu Dawud from Ummu ‘Athiyyah, she said that a woman mutilate her clitoris in Madinah, then the prophet said to her: don’t make yourself sad, because what you’ve done is better for a woman and would make her beloved more by her husband” Note: this hadith is not valid because in its isnad (one who narated the hadith) there is Muhammad bin Hassan. Abu Dawud say that he is not known (majhul) and then Abu Dawud weakenned the hadith
  2. Such a hadith also narrated by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi from Ummu Athiyyah, but in its isnad there is Za’idah bin Abi ar-Raqqad, his hadith was told being munkar (rejected) by Ibn Hajjar in his book Taqrib at-Tahdzib
  3. “Narrated by Ahmad from the direction of Al-Hassan, when he was asked about not attending the circumcision festivity of a girl, he said that in the era of the prophet, we were not attending circumcision festivity.” According to supporter of girls’ circumcision, this shows that the prophet agree with such circumcision. However, the hadith can not consider to be valid cause in its isnad there is Muhammad bin Ishaq and al-Hasan, both of them are mudallis (those who tell fals hadith).

The writer of ‘Aun al-Ma’bud comment to this context : ” there are many hadith on this issue narated from many different channel but all of them are dhaif (not valid) and contain defects. One should not make argument with that.

While Syaikh Musthafa al-‘Adawi, the writer of Jami’ Ahkam an-Nisa (Juz I, p:17-23)’, said that there are no valid hadith in this issue that oblige a woman/girl to be circumcisied. That is why to  anyone who is doing it, become her right, if she does not, shariahly can not be blamed, or not a problem.

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