Through its participation in the ac...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Through its participation in the activities of the "National Day Against FGM" in Cairo: Dar al-Ifta

Through its participation in the activities of the "National Day Against FGM" in Cairo: Dar al-Ifta

Dar al-Ifa' al-Missriyyah participated in the activities of the "National Day Against FGM" that was held at the headquarters of the National Council for Population with the participation of the Ministry of Health, the International Islamic Center of Population Studies and Research at Al-Azhar University, the Egyptian Coalition of children's rights, UNICEF, and others including health and human rights organizations as well as national and international mass media. This gathering was held under the motto, "We all are responsible.. No for FGM". Dr. Mohammed Wessam Khidr, head of the written fatwa and minority issues department and research supervisor, attended the events on behalf of the Grand Mufti, Dr. Shawqi 'Allam.

In the word he delivered, Dr. Mohammed Wessam confirmed that the scholars of al-Azhar handled the issue of Female circumcision through the rulings and principles of Jurisprudence and objectives of shari'ah (Islamic law) since the mid of the last century. Scholars in this respect asserted that it is an obligation to prohibit every practice if it is proved through medical research that it incurs harm to man's health. This is based on the legal maxim which state, "Do not harm or reciprocate harm".

Dr. Wessam added that Dar al-Ifta' al-Missiriyyah has promptly responded to the medical scientific researches issued by the authorized medical institutions and world neutral health organizations which proved the lethal harms and negative consequences of Female circumcision. Based on this, in 2006, Dar al-Ifta issued a statement which confirmed that female circumcision is considered a custom and not rite. Anyone who explores its reality, will agree on nothing but its prohibition. Moreover, Dar al-Ifa' contributed in the preparation and participated in the International Conference for Muslims scholars on banning the physical abuses of women's bodies. This conference was held at the noble Azhar and the premises of Dar al-Ifta al-Missiriyyah in 2006 and its recommendations included prohibiting female circumcision and called upon legislating laws and regulations to criminalize it. This resulted in the law issued in Egypt in 2008 to criminalize this practice and allocating a punishment for its doer.

Dr. Mohammed Wesam pointed out that scientific facts and medical research have decisively proved the benefit of male circumcision and the harm of female circumcision. He clarified that modern scientific and medical researches have proved that controlling sexual desire has nothing to do with female circumcision in anyway, and that chastity is attained through sound righteous upbringing and not cutting. The shari'ah suspends applying legal penalties in presence of doubts, even when they are definitive, so how can it be allowed to practice female circumcision which has been proved to incur harmful physical complications based on weak hadiths.

Dr. Mohammed Wesam in his word drew the attention to the fact that the issue of female circumcision is not principally religious; rather it is related to medical inheritance and customs. After extensive research, we found out that female circumcision is a cultural practice and not a religious rite which is practiced in a wrong harmful way which deems it legally prohibited, unlike male circumcision which is agreed to be an Islamic rite. It is noteworthy to mention that June, 14th is nominated as a national day for fighting female circumcision on yearly basis. On such a day, a little girl called Boudur died in 2007 after going under FGM, this coincided with the death of another girl named Soheir in the same month in this year due to the same reason.

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