Feminine Genital Mutilation (FGM) is definitively prime of the listing for being the worst sort of evil exercised towards girls to this point. In the midst of my analysis concerning this problem, the circumstances that I’ve come throughout have left me surprised and sick to the abdomen. No different type of degradation fairly in comparison with FGM. What I additionally discover troubling is how the observe is related / attributed with Islam / Islamic observe, and significantly so by the likes of Christopher Hitchens and Ayaan Ali Hersi.
How might it’s that God might order (or by way of Islamic instructing encourage) such an unjust act? Firstly, you will need to be aware that the simplistic label of FGM fails to distinguish between the several types of slicing. Not all types of this observe are equal in process and don’t lead to such horrific penalties, which might then be labelled as mutilation. A extra correct time period due to this fact would maybe be feminine circumcision. Take for instance Labiaplasty which has turn out to be extremely popular within the West. This process is only one of an infinite listing of physique enchancment choices obtainable to girls. That’s, together with breast enlargement, buttock augmentation and toe surgery (sure, even toes haven’t been spared from the rigorous procedures required to acquire ‘perfection’). What’s Labiaplasty? Beauty Labiaplasty (labia minora discount surgery) includes surgically lowering and/or reshaping the feminine exterior genital constructions (genital lips). There are numerous explanation why an rising variety of girls are requesting this process. For a lot of girls they merely need to improve or enhance look of “butterfly” or asymmetrical labia. ‘Feeling good about the way you look typically builds self-confidence and shallowness’ says one plastic surgery web site.
It is very important be aware that feminine circumcision shouldn’t be a phenomena restricted to Muslim communities, neither is it restricted, extra usually, to any ethnic, spiritual or socioeconomic lessons in society. Feminine circumcision has been practiced for hundreds of years inside numerous historic cultures. For instance Egyptian mummies had been discovered to have been circumcised way back to 200 BC. Apparently, and fewer well-known, a type of feminine circumcision was promoted amongst teenage ladies in Britain and the US in the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was seen as a remedy for lesbian practices or suspected masturbation, hysteria, epilepsy, and nervousness. At the moment, the observe is most prevalent in African international locations reminiscent of Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, Ghana and in addition in elements of the Center East. With respect to spiritual adherence, the observe is carried out not solely by Muslims however, followers of various religions reminiscent of Christians (Catholics, Protestants and Copts) and Animists.
“The Quran makes no references to any type of FGM or lesser procedures.”
There are three essential sorts of FGM. Firstly, the removing of the tip of the clitoris. Secondly, complete removing of the clitoris and surrounding labia. Thirdly, essentially the most extreme kind, the place all exterior genitalia are eliminated and the vaginal opening is stitched practically closed: solely a small opening is left for urine and menstrual blood.
Is that this an Islamic observe? The reply is a definitive no. It’s extra so a cultural observe. It’s merely the case that actions which are carried out for purely cultural causes, over time, purchase an Islamic justification: FGM is not any completely different. In Islam an act will solely be thought-about Islamic if it has a foundation within the Quran, the divine phrases of Allah-SWT) and the Sunnah, comprised of hadith that are the deeds, phrases, or statements of approval of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Like another problem requiring a transparent Islamic verdict, it’s essential to refer to those elementary sources to determine whether or not there may be any proof substantiating approval for the observe of FGM. The traditions (sunnah) of the Prophet (PBUH), that are properly documented ought to point out whether or not or not there are any genuine or related traditions that can be utilized to help the observe.
The Quran makes no references to any type of FGM or lesser procedures. There are additionally no implicit orders kind the Sunnah to help such a observe. There are, nonetheless, narrations mentioning feminine circumcision. These narrations are thought-about weak (associated to the weak nature of their transmission rendering it missing in juristic worth). Those that argue FGM/C has an Islamic foundation typically accomplish that on the idea that that the next hadith establishes it as a part of the Sunnah or Custom of the Prophet:
‘Um Atiyyat al-Ansariyyah: A lady used to carry out circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (pbuh) mentioned to her: “O Umm `Atiyyah! Trim, however don’t reduce into it, for that is brighter for the face (of the woman) and extra favorable with the husband.”
On first impressions it could appear as if this observe was ordered/inspired by the Prophet. Nevertheless the Prophet Muhammad encountered a lady who was going to proceed with the circumcision anyway, all he did was counsel that she take away a smaller quantity of genitalia than she had initially supposed, and in doing so keep away from extreme measures. There is no such thing as a order right here to conduct any type of feminine circumcision- that’s, in contrast to male circumcision, the place a direct request to take action is express in different narrations/Quranic texts.
In a Hadith narrated by Abu Hureira (RA), the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) mentioned, “at any time when a person turns into a Muslim he should be circumcised.”
Even when one had been to argue that trimming is of Islamic worth since it’s talked about within the hadith, it doesn’t essentially observe that Islam permits what is taken into account to be FGM. Making the bounce from this to the abhorrent observe of FGM is just too giant a leap. Probably the most one can presumably infer from this hadith is trimming, which is usually known as Labiaplasty within the West (and never slicing into it which is concerned in FGM).
“One commonality persists; they’re grounded primarily in ignorance and superstition.”
So if Islam would not reputable this observe what are the explanations behind it being carried out? A research in Nigeria by the World Well being Organisation discovered that girls inside the Igbos tribe imagine that FGM makes them extra female and thus extra enticing to males. The organisation’s social research in different African communities established that the observe is believed to lift the social standing of households and generates revenue when the daughters get married and the dowry is paid. Behind the phantasm of ‘Islamic observe’ we clearly see the overwhelming issue for its justification is cultural affect and traditions, social acceptance inside the group, guaranteeing chastity and constancy by attenuating sexual want. Causes could differ from tradition to tradition however one commonality persists; they’re grounded primarily in ignorance and superstition.
Proponents of the observe argue that if a lady’s genitalia shouldn’t be reduce she can be sexually uncontrollable and sexually overactive, so slicing ensures that girls stay chaste. In some cultures, the observe is believed to reinforce love as ladies are taught the right way to fulfill a person sexually (improves a lady’s sexuality) and different matrimonial rituals that ‘cement’ a wedding. It’s also a means a lady can obtain recognition and financial safety by way of marriage and little one bearing. FGM can be typically a prerequisite for qualifying for wifehood. The observe due to this fact accords a lady financial and social safety. As well as, FGM can be believed to enhance a lady’s sexuality because it brings about “dry intercourse,” which supplies extra pleasurable intercourse to males. This dryness is achieved by utilizing sure herbs and substances that scale back vaginal fluids and enhance friction throughout intercourse, which is attained by utilizing the fourth sort (unclassified) of FGM. Males are understood to like dry intercourse and if a lady is moist, they assume it isn’t regular.
If a observe shouldn’t be Islamic and easily permissible (mubah) it could or will not be carried out- stays the selection of the person. Whether it is forbidden i.e. Haram, which we will substantiate by way of the Quran and the Sunnah, then we will conclude inductively that FGM is prohibited. FGM could trigger quite a few bodily issues, together with hemorrhage and extreme ache, which might trigger shock and even dying. Lengthy-term issues ensuing from interference with the drainage of urine and menstrual blood may end up together with infertility, persistent urinary tract infections or kidney injury. Kidney injury is attributable to recurrent urinary tract an infection, which causes bladder and ureters infections. Infections can unfold to the pelvic girdle, inflicting persistent uterus, fallopian tube and ovary infections. FGM will increase issues related to childbirth. Extreme types of mutilation trigger partial or complete occlusion of the vaginal opening, labour could also be extended or obstructed this may trigger result in stillbirth and maternal dying.
The Quran states in surah 2 verse 195 “…don’t contribute to your destruction with your personal palms…” This verse is known usually to outlaw suicide and different types of self hurt. Some jurists use this verse to argue that smoking is prohibited because it harms the physique. FGM is way compared.
Additionally, Prophet Moahmmed(pbuh) mentioned: “There shall be no inflicting of hurt on oneself’.
Moreover, It may be argued that this observe is prohibited since mutilated genitalia reduces/eliminates a lady’s pleasure throughout intercourse. It’s well-known within the Islamic custom that males usually are not allowed to complete having intercourse till a girls is glad. So how can an act which interferes with this course of be allowed if it eliminates a girls’s sexual pleasure?
In gentle of the above it appears a gross error to attach FGM with Islam/Islamic observe. There are in reality good causes to argue feminine circumcision (Labiaplasty) shouldn’t be valued in Islam. FGM, in my opinion, quantities to a mirrored image of deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an excessive type of discrimination towards girls. It’s a observe that violates a lady’s rights to well being, safety and bodily integrity. Such an act is akin to the merciless and evil pre-Islamic observe towards girls of burying their daughter alive. Prophet Mohammed vehemently opposed and attacked this observe. Simply as burying the daughter alive was axiomatic to the pre -Islamic society and the Prophet attacked this so ought to the evil cultural observe of FGM be condemned and fought towards at this time.