Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
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Why do Muslims circumcise their male children?

Question:
I have been asked a very interesting question that I could not appropriately answer. The question was why is it necessary to circumcise male children? Is it purely religious or is there a scientific reasoning behind it that we are aware of.

Also, can the decision not be left for the child to decide for himself when he is older? I would appreciate if you could shed some light on the subject.

Response:
The religion of Islam deals with questions of morality, more precisely, of cleanliness, whether it pertains to food, personal hygiene, or morality. God has created a beautiful world called al-Jannah (the paradise) citizenship of which is going to be allowed only to those who would come out clean through performing well in the worldly trial. Scientific virtues in Islamic injunctions can be a bonus addition to its merits but not the immediate objective of Islamic teachings.

An uncircumcised person cannot, at times, keep himself clean after urinating. The portion of the flesh which is removed in circumcision has the tendency to contract and thus sometimes cause some of the urine drops not to flush out fully in the process of urinating. We have to keep ourselves mentally and physically clean five times a day to formally remember God in our prayers. We can’t afford to have that disadvantage to remain a part of our person all the time. That’s why we circumcise ourselves.

When my child is young and not in a position to take decisions for his benefit, I decide for him. When he grows old and becomes mentally mature, he takes over the decision-making role for himself. I didn’t consult him on the question whether he wanted to go to school or not. I knew that going to school was beneficial for him. Likewise was my decision to get him circumcised.

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