Netherlands: Muslim preacher says female genital mutilation is “recommended”

‘Female circumcision is not mandatory but recommended,’ says a preacher in the As Sunnah mosque. The Public Prosecutor is investigating whether there is a criminal offense. According to preacher Umair Bantvawala, there is no violation of the law. #TheNewMoon”

FGM is mandated in Islamic law: “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) (by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the bazr ‘clitoris’ [this is called khufaadh ‘female circumcision’]).” — Umdat al-Salik e4.3, translated by Mark Durie, The Third Choice, p. 64

Why is it obligatory? Because Muhammad is held to have said so: “Abu al- Malih ibn Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: ‘Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.’” — Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75

“Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. 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.’” — Abu Dawud 41:5251

That hadith is classified as weak, but this one is classified as sahih (reliable): “Aishah narrated: ‘When the circumcised meets the circumcised, then indeed Ghusl is required. Myself and Allah’s Messenger did that, so we performed Ghusl.’” — Jami` at-Tirmidhi 108

If Muhammad had the genitals of his favorite wife, Aisha, mutilated, that is a strong endorsement of the practice from the man who is an “excellent example” (Qur’an 33:21) for Muslims.

Among the Sunni schools of jurisprudence (madhahib), the Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali schools teach that female circumcision is makrama for women (an honor, but not obligatory; the Shafi’i school holds that it is indeed obligatory (wajib).

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