Fri 18 Jm2 1435 - 18 April 2014
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Is there any saheeh hadeeth about the circumcision of females?

Is there any evidence, such as a sahih hadeeth, that states that the prophet of Allah (Blessings and peace be upon him) had or allowed his wives and/or daughters to be circumcised in any shape or form?.

Praise be to Allaah.

We do not know of any hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that his wives or daughters be circumcised, but it is narrated that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised a woman who did circumcision in Madeenah as to the proper way of circumcision. It was narrated by Abu Dawood (5271), al-Tabaraani in al-Awsat, and al-Bayhaqi in al-Shu’ab from Umm ‘Atiyyah al-Ansaariyyah that a woman used to do circumcision in Madeenah, 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.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood

According to another report: “Take only a little and do not go to extremes.” 

It is also indicated by the general meaning of the evidence that has been narrated concerning circumcision, such as the hadeeth in al-Bukhaari (5891) and Muslim (527) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him): I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The fitrah is five things – or five things are part of the fitrah – circumcision, shaving the pubes, trimming the moustache, cutting the nails and plucking the armpit hairs.”  

In Saheeh Muslim (349) it is narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a man sits between the four parts (arms and legs of his wife) and the two circumcised parts meet, then ghusl is obligatory.”  

According to a report narrated by al-Tirmidhi (109) and elsewhere: “When the two circumcised parts meet…”  

Al-Bukhaari used this phrase as a chapter heading. 

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: What is meant by this metaphor is the circumcised parts of the man and the woman. 

Female circumcision is done by cutting a small part of the skin that looks like a rooster’s comb, above the exit of the urethra. The Sunnah is not to cut all of it, but rather a part of it. Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (19/28). 

The Shaafa’is, the Hanbalis according to the well-known view of their madhhab, and others are of the view that circumcising women is obligatory. Many scholars are of the view that it is not obligatory in the case of women; rather it is Sunnah and is an honour for them. 

But we would like to point out here that it has medical benefits to which attention should be paid, regardless of the difference of opinion among the scholars as to whether it is obligatory or mustahabb. This has been discussed in the answer to question no. 45528

And Allaah knows best.

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