Islamic Ruling on Male and Female Circumcision
The Right Path to Health, Health Education through Religion No 8
EMRO Nonserial Publication
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
ISBN-13    9789290212171 ISBN-10    9290212179
Order Number    14608014   
Price    CHF    10.00 / US$    12.00 Developing countries:    CHF    7.00
English     1996        42   pages
Table of contents
Related Publications
Translation(s) available
A collection of three brief scholarly treatises on male and female circumcision as viewed in the body of Islamic law. Noting the lack of doubt that male circumcision is a legitimate practice, the papers largely address common misunderstandings about the Islamic ruling in the case of daughters. In publishing these treatises, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean aims to issue an authoritative and conclusive statement about the practice of female circumcision in Islamic countries.
The first treatise proves with sufficient documented evidence that sayings or actions concerning female circumcision ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad have no authenticity. Noting the many risks involved in female circumcision, the scholar concludes that the practice "cannot be legitimate under Islamic law", and further concludes that "female circumcision is neither required nor is it an obligation nor a sunna." The second treatise, on "Pharaonic circumcision", or infibulation, reviews the harmful effects of this practice and concludes that it is "an odious crime". The final treatise confirms these views, concluding that "since female circumcision is not something required and no evidence from religious sources proves that it is either an obligation or a sunna, what remains is that it is an absolute damage that has no benefit."