Fatwa: # 14899
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 15th February 2007


Circumcision for newly reverts


Referring to your Question about a revert getting a circumcision, you said

"t is desirable for you to circumcise. It can be done at any age, go to your medical suites in NA to have it done. It is cleaner and healthier as well to have that excess skin which holds filth and germs beneath it. It is a sign of a Mum'in."

I have received the following as a refutation to your fatwa. Please comment:

"....The above Q&A is from 'Mufti' Desai's al-Mahmood Fatwa collection.

As you see above, the question was whether or not the Revert should have his circumcission done, and the 'Mufti' confirms that it should. This is yet another inaccurate answer prvided and it shows great untrustworthiness of the said 'Mufti'.

Firstly, we should remember that circumcission is a Sunnah. So it is not compulsory upon the said revert to have it done.
With that said, it is always good and praiseworthy to endorse or encourage the sunnah, but one cannot expect reward from a sunnah act if one has to do something Haraam to practice that Sunnah.

In this case, it is Haraam for the revert to expose the area below his navel up to and including the knee to anyone other than his wife and if utterly necessary, his Mahrams. So unless he performs the circumcission himself, or his wife performs it, or perhaps his father or brothers performs the circumcission... Then and only then would it be sanctioned by Shariah. Bear in mind, that if anyone else performs the circumcission, the revert as well as the surgeons would be committing something Haraam in order to fulfill a Sunnah.

Perhaps the 'Mufti' didn't think through the question properly, try bringing it to his attention and see if he is sincere enough to apologise and retract his false fatwa...."


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Circumcision in Islam is emphasized. Consider the following:

•    Circumcision has been the practice of the Ambiyaa(Prophets of Allah) Alaihimus Salaatu Wassalam
•    Circumcision has been regarded as the sign of Islam; to the extent that if a dead body is found, one method of confirming that he was a Muslim is to see if he’s circumcised.
•    Amongst the four schools of thought, Imam Shafee (Rahimahulla) regards circumcision to be Waajib(Compulsory) and the rest regard it as Sunnat Muwakkadah(a sunnat that is close to Waajib and the person leaving it out will be regarded as sinful).
•    If not circumcised, it is difficult to purify one self totally because the excess skin holds some of the impurity beneath it. This could lead to Salaat and many other ibaadaat being void.

Therefore, it will be incorrect to regard Circumcision as ‘only a Sunnah’.

The ruling pertaining circumcision of a person who has reached maturity is:

•    Firstly, he should try to do the circumcision himself.
•    If this is not possible, then one’s wife should do it for him.
•    If this is also not possible, then one should consult a surgeon etc to get the circumcision done.

Here are some of the sources from where the above mentioned ruling was obtained:

1.    Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) is of the opinion circumcision is permissible for someone who has reached maturity and brings one whole chapter in Sahih Albukhari to prove this point. (vol:7 Pg104 Darul Fikr).
2.    Fala yutrakul waajib li fa’lis sunnah. Wa amma nadhru ilal aurathi fa laisa feehi tarkul waajib li fa’lis sunnah liana nadhra feehi maazoonun lidharoorah.Rad-ul-Muhtar vol:2 Pg:494 (H.M.Sa’eed Company)
3.    Wadhaahiru fil kabeeri annahu yukhtanu. Rad-ul-muhtar vol;6 Pg:383 (H.M.Sa’eed Company)
4.    Circumcision is Sunnah Muwakkadah and one of the signs of Islam. Even a person who has reached maturity is not excused from carrying it out without any valid reason. Fataawa Mahmoodiyah vol:12 Pg:395 (Kutub Khana Mazhari)
5.    Al fataawa Al Hindiyyah Vol:5 pg:436 (Darul Kutub Alilmiyyah)

To sum it up, the law of Islam permits one to expose the area below the navel for the purpose of circumcision. The exposing of the area below the navel will not be regarded as Haram.

Therefore, it would be incorrect to say that a Haram act is being commited to fulfil a Sunnah.

The Darul Iftaa maintains the policy of academic honesty and will not hesitate to retract any proven incorrect fatwa.

And Allah knows best


Ml. M. Jawed Iqbal,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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