FGM an un-Islamic Practice

What is Female Genital Mutilation?

According to World Health Organization, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non -medical reasons.

Since the Egyptian Times the barbaric practice of FGM has been carried out in the Middle East and parts of Africa and unfortunately it continues to date.

No-FGM

FGM is not an Islamic practice

It has been alleged by some, that FGM is an Islamic practice. These allegations however are completely unfounded and false.
Whilst it is true that FGM is carried out in some countries where there is a large Muslim population, there are no instructions in in the Holy Qur’an or in the traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that supports or provides cover to such a practice.

By contrast however, male circumcision which originated from the time of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is a required practice in Islam.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has explained every matter regarding all situations plainly and candidly. Therefore, if female circumcision were to be an Islamic practice then surely he would have instructed Muslims to make it a part of their faith.

Therefore with no Qur’anic or Hadith reference instructing women to be circumcised, one can firmly conclude that FGM is NOT an Islamic practice.

Since there is no evidence or any instructions regarding female circumcision in Islamic references, therefore those who believe it to be an Islamic practice purely base their belief on unauthenticated traditions. The practice of FGM is not condoned by Islamic teaching in anyway.

Origin of FGM Practice

It is not exactly known when the practice of FGM began. However there are reference from 500 BC; the time of Herodotus, when the girls from superior families and upper class underwent FGM in Ethiopia and Egypt.

Age for FGM

The age of girls at which FGM is carried out varies with in ethnic groups and geographical are. Generally it is carried out on girls between infancy and adolescence and occasionally in adult females.

 

FGM

Why do people carry out this practice?

Mostly it is linked to social and cultural factors within families and communities. Families feel that they will be stigmatized and shunned away if they do not allow FGM on their daughters. Members within communities believe that the procedure will make their girls more suitable and desirable for marriage.

FGM is also associated with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty which believe that the girls become clean and feminine and thus beautiful after removal of unclean or male part of their genitals. With such notions within communities FGM becomes a normal part of raising girls to adulthood and preparing them for marriage. Therefore some parents who are unaware of consequences and possible complications of FGM allow their daughters to be mutilated as they genuinely believe that it is in the best interest of their daughters.

Are there any health benefits of FGM?

There are no health benefits of FGM to woman. Instead there can be many psychological and possible medical consequences FGM.
Bleeding as well as infection may occur. Girl can become anemic due to bleeding during or after the procedure. It may even prove fatal if the blood loss is significant.

In inexperienced hands, procedure may result in sepsis, gangrene and additionally many blood borne infection such as hepatitis B and HIV leading to infertility and repeated miscarriages and abortions.

The procdeure may also result in obstruction of birth canal which is a dangerous situation for baby and mother during delivery. Baby may die during the course of birth.

Many psychotic symptoms may occur in girls undergoing FGM such as depression, post traumatic stress disorder, chrnonic irritbility, horror of reliving the process of FGM, nervousness, neurosis, psychosis and nightmares. Women undergoing FGM have described having feelings of helplessness, incompleteness, infertiliirty and supression which affects them for rest of their life.

Conclusion:

The practice of FGM leaves millions of girls with pain and torture of unberable level and even death. Often the practice is done wrongfully in the name of religion of Islam for which there is no proof in the Holy Quran or in any of the narratives of the Holy Prophet (Peace & blesssings of Allh be on him)

Reference:
UTZ Billing and Kentenich(2008), Female genital mutilation- an injury and physical and mental harm:Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology.29 (4): 225.229

Additional Readings:

The Muslim Times collection on FGM:

  1. Death at the hands of culture not religion: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/11/religion/islam/fgm-death-at-the-hands-of-culture-not-religion
  2. Islamic State Fatwa on FGM: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/07/countries/uk/islamic-state-fatwa-ordering-fgm-likely-to-be-a-hoax
  3. FGM not in religions namehttp://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/05/religion/islam/fgm-not-in-religions-name
  4. Is female circumcision morally recommended? http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2013/01/uncategorized/is-female-circumcision-morally-recommended
  5. 80% of world Muslims do not practice FGM: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/03/asia/80-of-the-muslim-world-do-not-practice-fgm
  6. Five common myths about Islam propagated by media: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/11/religion/5-common-myths-about-islam-propagated-by-the-media
  7. Islam & FGM: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/05/asia/islam-and-female-genital-mutilation
  8. Clinic for child victims of FGM: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2014/09/countries/indonesia/uk-opens-first-clinic-for-child-victims-of-female-genital-mutilation
  9. Egypt on FGM in the name of Islam: http://www.themuslimtimes.org/2012/05/africa/egypt-to-revive-female-genital-mutilation-in-the-name-of-islam

11 replies

  1. There is no concept of FGM in real teaching of Islam nothing mentioned in our Holy book and hadith ( saying of Holy Prophet)

  2. Well done Amtul for providing the details.I am 100% agree with you.
    Actually, the people who relate FGM to religion or Islam,they do not have the true knowledge of Islam. This cruel practice can be cultural or social ,but it can not be religious .And the teaching of Islam(according to Holy Quran& Hadith ) and the history of Islam proves it clearly.

  3. That’s very right that FGM is not an islamic pratice,islam protects a woman’s right to sexual enjoyment rather than voilate it.Whilst it is true that FGM is carried out in some countries where there is a large muslim population, but with no quranic and hadith reference instructing women to be circumcised one can firmly conclude that FGM is not an islamic practice.

  4. Thank you for providing the details. Many years ago I was asked by a lady I knew from work if every Muslim woman has to undergo FGM. This was my first time hearing about FGM and I was totally shocked to hear that people believe this barbaric procedure is a practice of Islam. I assured her that there is no such practice in Islam but she tried to end the discussion saying maybe you don’t know. I replied to her that I am a Muslim woman if anybody should know it should be me. Now after so many years I have again heard FGM being falsely linked to Islam. FGM has nothing to do with Islam, it is a cruel cultural tradition and has no place in Islamic teachings.

  5. Very nice and informative article. If it was supportive by Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then this should’ve been practiced in all Muslim countries by all Muslims; just like male circumcision is practiced by all Muslims. It is obvious that some cultures practice it for evil reasons. Islam has nothing to do with this.

  6. This barbaric act indeed dates back even before the origin of any major religion; so in no way can religion be blamed for it.
    JazakAllah for providing us with such an informative article.

  7. Aoa.god bless u.thank u so much for sharing this information all lajna.u know knowledge is spreading very quickly this way. U told us we will definitely tell the other women who doesn’t know about this.in this way yr information spread al over the world.irequest all lajna member if they shared al information with her families living in the other countries .the message wil spread al over the world

  8. JazakAllah ahsanaljaza for this informative article. I agree with respected Tahira Chaudhry sahiba that this practise was started far before even the advent of any major religion hence cannot be related to any religion, not only Islam.
    I think we should look for the Real and Actual Agenda of forces who try to associate such things to ISLAM and Muslims deliberately, and why any other nation of the world except from Muslims , does not suffers from such allegations on the name of religion.
    JazakAllah
    Mubashra
    Peace village

  9. FGM is an African problem, not an Islamic problem. Eritrea has the highest rate of FGM and it is a Christian country. Cultural and social norms must not be convoluted with religious doctrines. This has a tendency to set dangerous consequences as is evident with the issue of FGM. Thank you for sharing and for putting together all the relevant information for easy access.

  10. JazakAllah for eradicating the misconception. I can’t even Imagine why people blame Islam for such a meaningless concept. Our Religion Islam provides ease for us rather than discomfort and trouble.
    “Allah desires to give you facility and He desires not hardship for you”
    (Holy Quran 2:186)

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