Difference Between Female Genital Mutilation & Female Circumcision

Female Genital Mutilation Female Circumcision

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This story has been submitted by Anam Mahmood.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure, where female external genitals are deliberately cut, closed, or changed to curb their sexual desires. It preserves the girls from attaining sexual honors before marriage.

FGM mainly causes severe bleeding, urinary tract infections, and induces risks at the time of the childbirth procedure. This procedure mainly proceeds at the age of 15. Mostly in infancy, many girls bleed to death or die due to yeast and several fungal infections.

Female genital mutilation has no benefits

FGM is mostly performed by typical cutters, blades without any anesthesia done by an elder member of the house mostly (daadies and naanies).

Girls do not have any say in the procedure. FGM has no health benefits. Rather, it causes harmful effects such as constant pain, difficulty in sex, infertility, bleeding, certain infections, cysts, and so on.

According to UNICEF, 29 countries of Asia, Africa, Australia, North America practice FGM. In Egypt, almost 97% of girls suffer genital mutilation and 98% of girls suffer genital mutilation in Somalia. There are some social and cultural norms as well. It includes making girls ready for marriage and adulthood. It allows the community to accept them. Although no religious practice promotes this culture. Somehow this tradition kept moving on as a part of tradition and culture to make a girl pure. In Pakistan, some selected areas of Sindh of practice FGM.

Image: Amna Mahmood

Female genital mutilation & Islam

There are conflicts related to FGM that if Islam allows it! Firstly, the Quran makes no reference to FGM. There is no agreement on a clear-cut ruling and there is no analogy (in reference to FGM).

Quran clearly says, “Do not kill yourself” and “Do not cast yourself into perdition”.

While Islam composed of four schools of thought which followed on certain views such as Shafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Hanafi. Only the Shafi school of thought considers this practice obligatory; as it basically linked to Kurdistan, Syria, Yemen, and Jordan where this practice considers as “religious” thing to follow.

According to Dr. Bilal Philips in Gambia female genital mutilation is totally outlawed and is considered a crime. Also, there is no reference in the Quran to deliberately cut the external genitals of a girl. Other Islamic scholars also highlighted the fact there is a difference between FGM and female circumcision. Islam only allows the other one just to enhance the sexual pleasure of girls after marriage.

Female circumcision & Islam

As Allah says, “O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them, twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you)”.

A female is equal to a male in that she has feelings and desires. The ability to reason and conscience can guide her towards observing religious precepts; and respecting her body and chastity, thereby ensuring her righteousness. Female Genital Mutilation should not be mixed with female circumcision which is just to take a small piece from the clitoris. This process does not affect female sexual desires.

Source: Mirror

This hadith beautifully defines the worth and procedure of female circumcision: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina [Madîna]. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her, ‘Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’–Sunan Abu Dawûd, Book 41, #5251.

Haitham-al-Haddad said in England, female circumcision is illegal and that person should be arrested and deported from the country.

The Shafi and Hanbali schools consider circumcision to be obligatory for both males and females. Meanwhile, according to the Hanafi and Maliki schools, circumcision is sunnah (preferred) for both males and females.

I heard the Prophet saying, “Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the mustaches short, clipping the nails, and depilating the hair of the armpits”.— Sahih al-Bukhari

Some scholars claim Islam allows female circumcision. However, some scholars do not agree. Many scholars do not approve female genital mutilation and female circumcision and there are some untold truths about it. In Islam, female circumcision is proved by the medina incident. But Islam prohibits FGM.

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