The Islamic Hadiths on Female Circumcision and the Symbolism of Solomon’s Temple
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The Islamic Hadiths on Female Circumcision and the Symbolism of Solomon’s Temple

Authors: Richard L. Worthington


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.

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