It would appear that the last few months have sparked widespread internet discussions on FGM! While I’d love to take the credit, I’ve no idea what has suddenly generated so much debate on the subject, and while you can say that any debate is healthy debate, in this case, I really don’t think so (the Email I posted earlier being an excellent case and point!).
In order to get your head around FGM and other related controversies, you are required to reach out far beyond the comfort zone and start questioning with objectivity and non-bias in order to seek out true reality, and as wahabism spreads and pollutes, we see fewer and fewer Muslims being prepared to do that. I’ve also seen a strange trend emerging among our shia ullamaah (something for another post), but the new trend seems to be, to water down rulings, or at least to engineer the wordings/interpretations in order to make them more palatable to sunis: I don’t quite understand what they get out of doing this? While I know that the Indian sub-continent in particular has always been a hot bed for what they term ‘agency bunday, (i.e., those who are paid by the non-shia state to toe one particular line or other), but given that we are hated for the most part any way, and when all is said and done, truth is truth whether withheld or disclosed, so why bother!
Any way; I digress; since the FGM series began, I’ve been desperately trying to source some shia hadaith and references to back up the points I was making: in particular, I wanted a hadaith that explicitly forbid FGM, as I was certain that logically speaking, this would be and had to be, the only realistic shia answer to those evil individuals who support it. Finally, I was rewarded: and came across the following:
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (a.s.) has said: "I asked Abu Ja'far (a.s) about a bondwoman that was captured from the land of polytheism and there was no woman
to circumcise her. The Imam said: "The Sunna recommended the circumcision of men and not of women." It is also narrated that Imam Ja'far As-Sadiq (a.s.)
said: "circumcising a male slave is a part of the Sunna of the Prophet(p.), but circumcising a bondwoman is not."
I can’t express to you the relief I felt when I read this, I actually cried in shukr for around half an hour! While my heart always told me this would be the case, I needed that validation in an Islamic context: and not least because of the hate mail I received and continue to receive almost daily owing to my standpoint on this issue.
Since I began the series, I’ve also written to a number of our law makers in the shia world for their rulings on the subject, and have heard little back yet. While this is normal practise due to their constraints, I think it is safe to predict that some debate will surely go down as to how to “politically” answer this question “safely” as it were. If you don’t believe me or are getting ready to accuse me of cynicism, check out this ruling I found from Fadlullah on the issue:
“'Female circumcision is neither obligatory nor recommendable, as it is the case for men, but it is deemed prohibited if it causes her harm to women. "
While I am most certainly not a scholar, doesn’t the hadaith above state clearly that FGM is haram? And, as discussed on my previous post on the Islamic validity (or lack there of), it was universally agreed that any unnecessary form of physical abusing, either to one’s self or to others, is haram, and wouldn’t that equally apply to FGM? Allah (SWT) and his Ahlulbayt (A.S) know best! And have expressed the same in this regard! However, I’ll continue to post responses as and when I receive them.