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Medical benefits of female circumcision

Question: 45528

Could you explain me what is the medical benefit of girl’s circumcision?.

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

Just as Allaah has created mankind, He has also guided them
that which is best suited to their interests in this world and in the
Hereafter, so He sent them Messengers and revealed Books to guide mankind to
what is good and urge them to follow it, and to teach them what is evil and
warn them against it. 

Islam may enjoin or forbid something and the people – or most
of them – may not be able to see the wisdom behind this command or
prohibition. In that case we are obliged to obey the command or heed the
prohibition and to have certain faith that the laws of Allaah are all good,
even if we cannot see the wisdom behind them. 

Circumcision is one of the Sunnahs of the fitrah, as is
indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him): “The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the
fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, plucking the armpit hairs, cutting
the nails, and trimming the moustache.” narrated by al-Bukhaari (5889) and
Muslim (257). 

Undoubtedly with regard to the Sunnahs of the fitrah, some of
the wisdom behind them is obvious, and that includes circumcision. There are
clear benefits to it which we should pay attention to and understand the
wisdom behind it. 

In the answer to question no.
9412 we have discussed
circumcision, how it is to be done and the ruling on it. In the answer to
question no. 7073 we have explained the health and shar’i benefits of
circumcision for males. 

Circumcision is prescribed for both males and females. The
correct view is that circumcision is obligatory for males and that it is one
of the symbols of Islam, and that circumcision of women is mustahabb but not

There are reports in the Sunnah which indicate that
circumcision for women is prescribed in Islam. In Madeenah there was a woman
who circumcised women and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said to her: “Do not go to the extreme in cutting; that is better
for the woman and more liked by the husband.”  Narrated by Abu Dawood
(5271), classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. 

Female circumcision has
not been prescribed for no reason, rather there is wisdom behind it and it
brings many benefits. 

Mentioning some of these benefits, Dr. Haamid al-Ghawaabi

The secretions of the labia minora accumulate in
uncircumcised women and turn rancid, so they develop an unpleasant odour
which may lead to infections of the vagina or urethra. I have seen many
cases of sickness caused by the lack of circumcision. 

Circumcision reduces excessive sensitivity of the clitoris
which may cause it to increase in size to 3 centimeters when aroused, which
is very annoying to the husband, especially at the time of intercourse. 

Another benefit of circumcision is that it prevents
stimulation of the clitoris which makes it grow large in such a manner that
it causes pain. 

Circumcision prevents spasms of the clitoris which are a kind
of inflammation.  

Circumcision reduces excessive sexual desire. 

Then Dr al-Ghawaabi refutes those who claim that female
circumcision leads to frigidity by noting: 

Frigidity has many causes, and this claim is not based on any
sound statistics comparing circumcised women with uncircumcised women,
except in the case of Pharaonic circumcision which is where the clitoris is
excised completely. This does in fact lead to frigidity but it is contrary
to the kind of circumcision enjoined by the Prophet of mercy (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he said: “Do not destroy” i.e., do not
uproot or excise. This alone is evidence that speaks for itself, because
medicine at that time knew very little about this sensitive organ (the
clitoris) and its nerves. 

From Liwa’ al-Islam magazine, issue 8 and 10; article
entitled Khitaan al-Banaat (circumcision of girls). 

The female gynaecologist Sitt al-Banaat Khaalid says in an
article entitled Khitaan al-Banaat Ru’yah Sihhiyyah (Female
circumcision from a health point of view): 

For us in the Muslim world female circumcision is, above all
else, obedience to Islam, which means acting in accordance with the fitrah
and following the Sunnah which encourages it. We all know the dimensions of
Islam, and that everything in it must be good in all aspects, including
health aspects. If the benefits are not apparent now, they will become known
in the future, as has happened with regard to male circumcision – the world
now knows its benefits and it has become widespread among all nations
despite the opposition of some groups. 

Then she mentioned some of the health benefits of female
circumcision and said: 

It takes away excessive libido from women

It prevents unpleasant odours which result from foul
secretions beneath the prepuce.

It reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections

It reduces the incidence of infections of the reproductive

In the book on Traditions that affect the health of women and
children, which was published by the World Health Organization in 1979 it

With regard to the type of female circumcision which involves
removal of the prepuce of the clitoris, which is similar to male
circumcision, no harmful health effects have been noted. 

And Allaah knows best.


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