The Islamic Hadiths on Female Circumcision and the Symbolism of Solomon’s Temple
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32919
The Islamic Hadiths on Female Circumcision and the Symbolism of Solomon’s Temple

Authors: Richard L. Worthington

Abstract:

Female ‘circumcision’ (FGC/FGM) in Islam is based primarily upon the ‘hadiths,’ which are the sayings of Muhammad. While it is usual to attack such hadiths in order to stop female ‘circumcision,’ yet those practicing female ‘circumcision’ merely react against such an attack. However, there is a new approach, called ‘Temple Theology,’ which reads religious stories in the light of how the rituals and politics of Solomon’s temple were encoded in those stories. For example, one hadith tells us not to cut severely in circumcising a woman. However, the Menorah lampstand was symbolized as a woman, and so ‘circumcising’ a woman could be re-interpreted as merely referring to trimming the wicks of the lamps. Similarly, another hadith mentions that when a man is within the four parts of a woman (her arms and legs) that the couple should bathe because their circumcised parts have met (implying that the woman was circumcised). However, the bronze ‘Sea’ basin of Solomon’s temple, used for immersion (‘bathing’), had four sides, implying that the circumcised parts relate to temple symbolism. The hadiths relating to the fitra – Islamic practices which include circumcision – and to Hagar being circumcised by Sarah are likewise interpreted. This approach implies that the hadiths can be respected without giving them a literal interpretation. In this way, it is hoped that those devout Muslims who defend female ‘circumcision’ can re-evaluate their position in a positive way from within their own tradition, as opposed to being seemingly hounded by non-Muslims.

Keywords: Female circumcision, Fitra, Hadith, Temple theology.

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 394

References:


[1] M. Munir, “Dissecting the claims of legitimization for the ritual of female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM),” International Review of Law, vol. 6, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.5339/irl.2014, p. 10.
[2] S. A. A. Abu-Sahlieh, “Male and Female Circumcision: The Myth of the Difference,” in Female Circumcision: Multicultural Perspectives, R. M. Abusharaf, Ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013, p 58.
[3] “Circumcision of girls and some doctors’ criticism thereof,” Islam Question & Answer, Aug. 23 2005, https://islamqa.info/en/answers/60314/circumcision-of-girls-and-some-doctors-criticism-thereof (accessed June 19, 2021).
[4] “Is It All Right for Christians to Use Contraceptives?,” Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Website, n/d, https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/contraceptives-bible-view/ (accessed June 19, 2021).
[5] M. Barker, Revelation of Jesus Christ: Which God Gave to Him to Show to His Servants What Must Soon Take Place (Revelation 1.1). Bloomsbury Academic, 2000, p. 3.
[6] M. Barker, Christmas, The Original Story. SPCK Publishing, 2008, p. 76-77.
[7] “Al-Qur'an Translation by Yusuf-Ali,” Read Holy Quran Verses Online | Islamic References & Recitation | Read.Alim, n/d, https://www.alim.org/quran/translation/yusuf-ali/surah/19 (accessed June 19, 2021).
[8] “Temple, Administration and Service of – Local Divisions and Water-Supply,” 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14303-temple-administration-and-service-of (accessed June 20, 2021).
[9] Sunan Abi Dawud, ‘General Behavior (Kitab Al-Adab),’ #5271/499/5251, https://sunnah.com/abudawud:5271 (accessed June 20, 2021).
[10] M.L. Al-Sabbagh, Islamic Ruling on Male and Female Circumcision: The Right Path to Health (Health Education Through Religion). World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, 1996. http://applications.emro.who.int/dsaf/dsa54.pdf (accessed June 20, 2021), p. 18.
[11] M. B. al-Majlisi, Hayatul Qulub - Vol. 2 A Detailed Biography of Prophet Muhammad (s), translated by S. A. Rizvi, Ansariyan Publications Qum, Iran, 2012, https://shiapdfresources.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/hayatul-qulub-vol-2-biography-prophet.pdf (accessed June 20, 2021), p. 1154.
[12] A. Hussein, Sarandib: an ethnological study of the Muslims of Sri Lanka. 1st edition, Dehiwala, 2007, p. 139.
[13] D. Sullivan, “Everything You Should Know About Your Clitoral Hood,” Healthline, July 12, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/clitoral-hood (accessed June 21, 2021).
[14] Sirach 26, Bible Gateway, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Sirach+26&version=NRSV (accessed June 26, 2021).
[15] Rashi on Exodus 27:20, The Complete Tanach with Rashi. (R. A. Rosenberg, Trans.), Judaica Press, https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9888/showrashi/true#lt=primary (accessed June 21, 2021).
[16] Sunan Ibn Majah, ‘The Book of Purification and its Sunnah,’ #608/342, https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:608 (accessed June 21, 2021); declared Sahih (‘authentic’) by Darussalam.
[17] Sahih Muslim, ‘The Book of Menstruation,’ #349/107/684, https://sunnah.com/muslim:349 (accessed June 21, 2021); narrated by Abu Musa.
[18] J. Kutscher, “Towards a solution concerning female genital mutilation? An approach from within according to Islamic legal opinions,” in Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, vol. 23, 2011, pp. 216-236, p. 223.
[19] Tafsir al-Jalalayn, on 49:13, ALTAFSIR.COM, https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=49&tAyahNo=13&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 (accessed June 21, 2021).
[20] The root shīn ʿayn bā (ش ع ب) in “The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Quran Dictionary,” Language Research Group, University of Leeds, http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=%24Eb (accessed June 21, 2021).
[21] E. W. Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon, 1863, entry شُعْبَةٌ, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2002.02.0027%3Aroot%3D%24Eb%3Aentry%3D%24uEobapN (accessed June 21, 2021).
[22] Strong’s Concordance, H7579, Blue Letter Bible, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h7579/kjv/wlc/0-1/ (accessed June 21, 2021).
[23] Rashi on 2 Chronicles 4:6. The Complete Tanach with Rashi. (R. A. Rosenberg, Trans.), Judaica Press, https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16553/showrashi/true#lt=primary (accessed June 21, 2021).
[24] Pulpit Commentary 1889, on 1 Kings 7:26, Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/1_kings/7-26.htm (accessed June 21, 2021).
[25] ‘On the Origin of the World’ in Meyer, M.W., and J.M. Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, HarperCollins, 2009, p. 210.
[26] E. A. Early, Baladi Women of Cairo: Playing with an Egg and a Stone, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1993, p. 103.
[27] Sahih Bukhari, ‘Dress,’ #5891/108/779, https://sunnah.com/bukhari:5891 (accessed June 21, 2021).
[28] S. A. A. Abu-Sahlieh, “Male and Female Circumcision: Religious, medical, social and legal debate,” Centre of Arab and Islamic Law, 2012, https://www.academia.edu/43734824/Sami_A_Aldeeb_Abu_Sahlieh_Male_and_female_circumcision_Religious_medical_social_and_legal_debate (accessed June 21, 2021), p. 152.
[29] B. Ware, “What Is Hirsutism? - Definition, Causes & Treatment,” Study.com | Take Online Courses. Earn College Credit. Research Schools, Degrees & Careers, http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-hirsutism-definition-causes-treatment.html (accessed June 21, 2021).
[30] Sunan Abi Dawud, ‘Combing the Hair,’ #4200/42/4188; narrated by Anas bin Malik, https://sunnah.com/abudawud:4200 (accessed June 21, 2021); declared Sahih (‘authentic’) by Al-Albani.
[31] L. Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, Jewish Publication Society, 2003, http://www.scribd.com/doc/95563276/Legends-of-the-Jews-2-Edition (accessed June 21, 2021), p. 645.
[32] S. A. A. Abu-Sahlieh, “Muslims’ Genitalia in the Hands of the Clergy: Religious Arguments about Male and Female Circumcision,” in Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice, G.C. Denniston, F.M. Hodges and M.F. Milos, Ed., 1999, 131-172. Springer US, p. 152.
[33] Muwatta Malik, 49-‘The Description of the Prophet,’ #4/1677, https://sunnah.com/urn/516560 (accessed June 22, 2021); chain of narration, “Yahya related to me from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Said ibn al-Musayyub said.”
[34] Tafsir al-Jalalayn, on 51:24, ALTAFSIR.COM, https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=51&tAyahNo=24&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 (accessed June 23, 2021).
[35] M. B. al-Majlisi, Hayatul Qulub - Vol. 1, Stories of the Prophets, translated by S. A. Rizvi, Ansariyan Publications Qum, Iran, 2012, https://shiapdfresources.wordpress.com, https://shiapdfresources.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/hayatul-qulub-vol-1-stories-prophets.pdf (accessed June 23, 2021), p. 256.
[36] Jami` at-Tirmidhi, ‘The Book on Virtues of Jihad,’ #1635/17/1635, https://sunnah.com/tirmidhi:1635 (accessed June 23, 2021); narrated by Amr bin 'Abasah, declared Sahih (‘authentic’) by Darussalam.
[37] Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, ‘Circumcision,’ #1244, https://sunnah.com/adab/53/1 (accessed June 23, 2021); reported by Abu Hurayra, decalred Sahih (‘authentic’) by Al-Albani.
[38] Sunan an-Nasa'I, ‘The Book of Adornment,’ #5042/3/5045, https://sunnah.com/nasai:5042 (accessed June 24, 2021); declared Sahih (‘authentic’) by Darussalam.
[39] Sahih Muslim, ‘The Book of Purification,’ #261a/71/502, https://sunnah.com/muslim:261a (accessed June 24, 2021).
[40] M. M. Oppen, The Yom Kippur Avodah. C.I.S. Publishers, 1995, https://hebrewbooks.org/47040 (accessed June 24, 2021), p. 40
[41] A. Rippin, “The Muslim Samson: Medieval, Modern and Scholarly Interpretations,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Cambridge University Press), Vol. 71, no. 2, 2008, pp. 239-253, p. 242.
[42] “High Priest – His Costume,” 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7689-high-priest (accessed June 24, 2021); see also Exodus 28:33.
[43] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 3.7.2 and 3.7. 4, https://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-3.htm (accessed June 24, 2021).
[44] I. Ariel, C. Richman, Carta’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Edited by B.L. Ball. Translated by Y. Wertheimer. Temple Institute, 2005, p. 49.
[45] Sunan Abi Dawud, ‘Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah),’ #54/53, https://sunnah.com/abudawud:54 (accessed June 25, 2021).
[46] “Temple of Herod – The Gates,” 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, https://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14304-temple-of-herod (accessed June 25, 2021).
[47] W. M. Brinner, The History of Al-Tabari, Volume 2: Prophets and Patriarchs, State University of New York Press, 1987, p. 72.
[48] F. F. Arbuthnot, The Rauzat-us-safa: Or, Garden of Purity by Muhammad bin Khāvendshāh bin Mahmud, commonly called Mirkhond, translated by E. Rehatsek. Vol. 1. London: The Royal Asiatic Society, 1891, p. 157.
[49] J. McCrindle, Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography. The Hakluyt Society, 1897, 390-391, ‘Explanation of the plates’ for plates 12 and 19.
[50] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 3.6.4, https://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-3.htm (accessed June 26, 2021).
[51] “Donald Trump denies being a racist after reported crude remark,” BBC News, Jan. 15, 2018, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-42685356 (accessed June 28, 2021).
[52] J. Katz, “Responses to Osama Abdallah: Muhammad and the ‘90 feet tall’ Adam,” 18 May 2004, Answering Islam, https://answering-islam.net/Responses/Osama/90feet-adam.htm (accessed June 28, 2021).
[53] Sahih Muslim, ‘The Book of Paradise, its Description, its Bounties and its Inhabitants,’ #2841/32/6809, https://sunnah.com/muslim:2841 (accessed June 28, 2021).
[54] “Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible,” on Ezra 6:3, Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/commentaries/ezra/6-3.htm (accessed June 28, 2021).
[55] M. Barker, “Creation: The Biblical Version,” Church Times, September 4, 2008, https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2008/5-september/features/creation-time-creation-the-biblical-version (accessed June 28, 2021).
[56] S. Shamoun, “The Flat Earth Quran Revisited,” Answering Islam, https://answering-islam.net/authors/shamoun/flat_earth_revisited.html (accessed June 28, 2021).
[57] Tafsir al-Jalalayn on 88:20, Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=88&tAyahNo=20&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2 (accessed June 28, 2021).
[58] “Treasury of Scripture Knowledge” on Exodus 40:33, Study Light, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/exodus-40.html (accessed June 28, 2021).
[59] G. Nidhal, “PhD thesis: The earth is flat,” April 10, 2017, Gulf News, https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/phd-thesis-the-earth-is-flat-1.2009202 (accessed June 28, 2021).
[60] R. Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Historical James, Paul the Enemy, and Jesus' Brothers as Apostles. Vol. 1. Grave Distractions Publications, 2012, p. 121; referencing Josephus War 2.139–42 (2.8.7).