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©Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is also known as female genital cutting (FGC). It is the partial or full removal of external female genitalia or "intentional injury to the female genitals for non-medical reasons". This practice is common in many parts of Africa, Middle East and some parts of Asia. 

Mutilation of a woman's private part in the name of female genital circumcision (FGC) has been identified as one of the reasons why her libido may become very low in a way that could affect her marriage. It is one of the reasons some women find it very difficult to get wet for penetration. 

I have had the opportunity to communicate with many couples having one sexual issue or the other. One of my findings is that a crop of women in our society complain a lot of not having sexual urge even when their husband engage them in adequate foreplay. They do not have a taste of the sweetness of sex. Some of them see sex as a form of discomfort, and this can affect their relationship. In some cases, it leads to divorce if care is not taken.

Some women are comfortable without sex for many months. One of the medically adduced reasons for loss of interest in sex in women is the bad cutting of the outer part of a woman's clitoris. The clitoris is the most sensitive part of the vagina, and it plays a major role in a woman's sexual enjoyment and satisfaction. When it is tampered with without caution, it affects the sexual life of a woman.

It is important to note that female genital circumcision is a well known Sunnah of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. However, it is prescribed that those who are in charge must be experts - those who know how to reduce the clitoris in a way that would not put the sex life of a woman into jeopardy in the future.  The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم kicked against all forms of harm, including mutilation of a woman's private part when he said,

"Do not cause harm or return harm.” (Ibn Mājah 2340)

It is well known that no matter the status of an aspect of the Sunnah in Islamic jurisprudence, it should never be condemned or discouraged in anyway. According to some scholars, the trimming of the clitoris (female genital circumcision) is meant to reduce sexual tension and to prevent promiscuity in women. It also has several other health benefits, says the scholars.

However, the main point of contention on this practice is when it is carried out in a way that makes a woman lose interest in sex completely or hinders her uptimum  enjoyment of it. Some women hate sex because of the way their clitoris has been mutilated by quacks. Yet, they need to get married in order to procreate and also please their husbands with good sex. 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is highly condemnable. If one is not sure about the expertise of those who are to carry out the female circumcision as enshrined in the sharī'ah, it may be better to refrain from doing it in order to avoid the negative consequences that comes with it in the future. Islām preaches female genital circumcision and not female genital mutilation. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم condemned female genital mutilation when he said to a “circumciser”,

“Do not make the operation too invasive; do not harm the woman or do anything that would not allow her to feel pleasure” (Sunan Abū Dāwūd)

Apart from the negative effect of female genital mutilation on the libido of a woman, medical experts have opined that it could also lead to difficulty in child delivery via the vagina. Many of such complications have been reported in recent time, especially in Northern Nigerian where the practice is very common. So, we need to be very careful. Perhaps, this is why there is a serious campaign against FGM in many parts of the world. Issues surrounding FGM are one the most discussed when it comes to right of women in the modern world. In fact, female genital circumcision has been criminalised in virtually all the states of Nigeria. Are you aware?

Nevertheless, as Muslims, we are pleased with the fact that female genital circumcision is from the Sunnah, but detest female genital mutilation with passion. Perhaps, we need a well-organized Islamic institution for this exercise for proper and effective monitoring.

Read more in Halāl Sex and Intimacy by contacting +2348158301855 (WhatsApp only). Your comment and advice for brothers and sisters will be appreciated.

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