Circumcising and Bowing in Respect
I have two questions on which I would like to get clarified. The first one is “Why do Muslims circumcise their male children?” And the second is about “Bowing” before my in-laws, because my wife’s family is a Hindu family only my wife has converted. Is it not allowed to bow to them just for respect sake? By bowing I don’t mean touching their feet; it’s just bowing one’s head. I have seen Muslims kissing their elders’ hands and feet as respecting them.
Muslims circumcise because it is a religious practice being consistently followed by religious people from Ibrahim, alaihissalam, onwards. It is therefore a religious (Sunnah) of the prophets. It helps them in remaining pure after urinating. If you are not a circumcised man, it is likely that after urinating some drops would remain stuck in the flesh which would make you unclean. God wants His servants to be clean from not just inside but from outside as well.
There is no problem in bowing slightly as a mark of respect to elders. The kind of bowing that is disallowed is the one which you are doing for worshipping. We also stand before God in our prayers. Nobody says that standing in front of parents in respect is wrong. Likewise is the case for bowing.