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Title:Baby IBRAHIM’s circumcision (khatna)
Duration:07:25
Viewed:30,467
Published:31-05-2022
Source:Youtube

In Islam the performance of circumcision is one of the rules of cleanliness. Islam is a religion that encompasses all aspects of life and circumcision is an act pertaining to the ‘Fitrah’. Fitrah is an Arabic term used to represent the innate disposition and natural character and instinct of the human creation. Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: ‘Five are the acts quite akin to fitrah: Circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits and clipping (or shaving) the moustache.’10 As regards the juristic views on circumcision, many Muslim scholars maintain that circumcision is an obligatory necessity with others stating that it is not obligatory but a highly recommended practice. Male circumcision as defined by Islamic Law (Shariah) is the removal of ‘the round portion on the rim, above the conical vascular body of the penis’. The religion recommends performing circumcision at an early age. Ideally, the chosen time is the seventh day after birth, but it can be carried out up to 40 days after birth or thereafter until the age of 7 years, depending upon the health of the infant or child at the time. For Muslims, aside from the many highlighted medical benefits of circumcision, the wisdom of performing such an act is highlighted in the Qur'an (holy book) which states: ‘It is the basis of inbred nature, a symbol of Islam, an indication of the law of the Lord, and the attainment of the true society.’11 According to Muslim belief, the prophet Abraham was the first person to perform circumcision, and it has continued thereafter as a highly recommended practice of the messengers. ‘Abraham circumcised himself at the age of eighty, using a hatchet’. God says, ‘then we inspired you: Follow the creed of Abraham.’11 Circumcision, therefore, is a practice which Muslims, generation after generation, observe and are accustomed to. The circumcision does not constitute a part of a religious ceremony, and therefore unlike Judaism, can be carried out by any appropriately qualified personnel. For many centuries, circumcision has incited great fervour in opposing parties debating whether the medical benefits of the procedure outweigh any potential psychological side-effects resulting from it. Admittedly, in the world of medical ethics the question may not quite polarise opinion as widely as would a question on end-of-life decisions and terminal care, yet for one obvious reason alone it remains as pertinent an issue to a large proportion of the world's population today — religion; Jews and Muslims are renowned for the religious obligation to circumcise newborn boys at birth, yet still this issue is often denigrated to the realms of humour and satire, most commonly aided by phrases such as ‘the cruellest of cuts’ and ‘the snip’. Medically, circumcision is the removal of the sleeve of skin and mucosal tissue which normally covers the glans of the penis, known as the foreskin. The word circumcision derives from the Latin circum (meaning ‘around’) and caedere (meaning ‘to cut’). It is one of the oldest surgical operations known to have been performed, with the earliest available records dating this ancient procedure back to at least 6000 years BC, and anecdotal evidence suggesting it as a rite of puberty in aboriginal tribes before 10 000BC.1 There are many reasons why circumcisions are still carried out today. These vary from medical and health indications right through to the adherence of cultural and religious obligations. Traditionally, the US medical establishment promoted male circumcision as a preventative measure for an array of pathologies including reduced risks of penile cancer, urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and even cervical cancer in sexual partners.2,3 This consequently led to the advocating of routine neonatal circumcision. However, in recent times this notion has attracted great controversy, with opponents questioning the true extent of the documented benefits. In view of this ongoing debate, in its latest policy, the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) Taskforce on Circumcision affirms that although current scientific evidence demonstrates potential benefits of neonatal male circumcision, the data is not substantial enough to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.4 Notably, these recommendations were made prior to research carried out earlier this year which purported to show that circumcision could reduce sexual transmission of HIV from women to men by 60%.5 This consequently led the World Heath Organisation (WHO) to describe the efficacy of circumcision as ‘proven beyond reasonable doubt’, and they now recommend routine circumcision in countries most at risk from epidemics of AIDS. It is estimated that in the next 10 years male circumcision in Africa could avert a staggering 2 million new HIV infections and 300 000 deaths alone.6,7



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