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Saudi Fatwa: A practice that leads to women losing their sexual desire is bad

6.3.2015. On the Saudi Arabian TV show “Yastaftunak” (asking you for a Fatwa) Abdulrahim called Dr. Al Sheikh Abdul Aziz Fawzan for a Fatwa on FGM. Fawzan is a Saudi Professor of Islamic Law at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University and a member of the Teacher’s Board at al-Imam University.

The Sheikhs fatwa*, starting minute 45.30:

“Many Muslim scholars have disagreed about FGM, some see it as a “wajib” for men and women, some others see it as “Sunnah” for men and women, other see it as “wajib” for men and “Sunnah” for women, and some see it as “wajib” for men and allowed for women.

FGM in Saudi Arabia is almost unknown, and the Muslim scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia do not ask for its practice, nor do they forbid people from doing it. It’s good to know that it is a pre Islamic practice and Islam has incorporated it within its practices. Yet, the Hadiths regarding circumcision for both men and women are weak, yet we can’t claim that Islam have prohibited it, in fact we know for sure that this practice in Islam is acceptable by principle.

In the Sahihayn Book, there is a hadith of the prophet that includes circumcision as one of the 5 Instinctive Sunnah, also another Hadith mentions that the prophet used the term “ if the two circumcised meet”, which means if the two sexual organs of men and women meet. So it does exist.

Yet, even though the prophet allowed it, it is not strongly favored, or else it would be mentioned more clearly and specifically. The issue of FGM is widespread in many African countries, and the practice has harmed many women. I read somewhere that 14% of women who undergo FGM die. Some Muslim Scholars prohibit FGM due to such practice because it is wrong, but to be correct it is allowed in Islam. We know perfectly well from the prophet that he told the woman who circumcised women to be smooth and not to cut a lot but a very small piece of the clitoris and he gave her a reason why. Yet, when women are circumcised in a way that they risk their heath and die, that kind of risk should make the practice forbidden.

It seems to me when the prophet allowed this woman to circumcise (in the hadith) he was not so comfortable with the idea, and therefore he specifically said a small piece. The practice that leads to women losing their sexual desire is bad for the women and for their husbands. Circumcision should be made following the conditions set by the prophet, and where it creates no impact on the women’s physical and sexual health. If these conditions can’t be existed, then I see it’s best to let it go and abandon the practice.”

*slightly edited

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