69 million page views

Circumcision in the Qur'an?

Reader comment on item: Study the Koran?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Apr 26, 2017 at 08:01

Dr Pipes

Recently two Dawoodi Bohra Indian doctors and the wife of the second doctor were arrested because of performing Female Circumcision (see later) or Genital Cutting or Female Genital Mutilation in Detroit


The Dawoodi Bohra are Shia Muslims and most of them live in India But we have a growing community here in the US

In Arabic circumcision (be it male or female) is called ختان or Khitan or circumcision It is also called طهارة or Tehara or purification Female circumcision is also called less commonly الخفاض or al-Khifad

What comes as a surprise to most Muslims and non Muslims is that the Qur'an is silent about both male and female circumcision Why? we really don't know But as usual al-Mufasereen and al-Ulama filled the Quranic gaps circumcision included And if you examine literary sources external to the Qur'an about circumcision the answer would be: Yes, No May be and Only Allahu A'lam

And for readers interested is reading what we have in these literary sources about both male and female circumcision check this


However (and this would come as a surprise to some readers) there has always been doubts about both male and female circumcision and in the case of the male variety is it really Islamic or it is part of the disliked and vilified Islamic layer called al-Isra'eeliyat الاسراءليات and the source of this layer are Jewish literary sources

And indeed a Libyan judge wrote a book in the early 1990's his name is Mustafa Kamal al-Madhawi who argued that male circumcision is not Islamic and it belongs to الاسراءليات and the female variety is also non Islamic Well he was threatened with a Saudi Fatwa and that was the end of it at least for now

I happen to believe that there is hope that Muslims will distance themselves from this barbarity: Female genital mutilation But the tragedy of Islam what to do with the literary sources that justify such barbarity

For readers interested in further reading about Female Genital Mutilation I suggest:

1. "Prisoners of Ritual" by Hanny Lightfoot-Klein

2. Circumcision by David Gollaher a must read book


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2023 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)