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Does the Qur'an Order Circumcision?


The Qur'an does not order circumcision for males, females, infants, adults, for religious or hygiene reasons or for any other reason. There are several verses of the Qur'an which are against circumcision as an act of mutilation which serves to change the nature of God's creation. Perhaps the most important of these is verses 4:119-120, in which Satan makes a promise to mislead people into changing the creation of God by making modification to parts of the body. The example given in the passage is cutting off the 'ears of cattle', and it is clear how God condemns such modification and classes this as a Satanic act of changing the natural design of God's creation:

'I will lead them astray and will inspire them with misleading desires. I will influence them and they 
will cut off the cattle's ears; I will influence them to change the creation of God.' Anyone who takes Satan as
their protector instead of God has clearly lost everything. Satan influences them and inspires them with
misleading desires, but what he promises them is nothing but a deception. (4:119-120)

وَلأُضِلَّنَّهُمْ وَلأُمَنِّيَنَّهُمْ وَلآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ آذَانَ الأَنْعَامِ وَلآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ يَتَّخِذِ الشَّيْطَانَ وَلِيًّا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ خَسِرَ
خُسْرَانًا مُبِينًا يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلا غُرُورًا

The following verses make clear that, in general, God has created everything in a perfect and flawless manner and such creation is part of God's plan in nature:

You see the mountains and you think they are fixed, while they pass by like the clouds. Such is the work 
of God who has perfected all things. He is fully aware of all that you do. (27:88)

وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ
The One Who has perfected everything He has created and began the creation of human beings from clay. (32:7)

الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الإِنْسَانِ مِنْ طِينٍ

More specifically referring to the creation of human beings, the following verses explicitly state that the design and form of human beings have been created perfectly by God. Referring to humans directly, God states that he has 'perfected your design' , ie. God has created human beings in the perfect form and structure. Hence, it would be an insult to God to suggest that God's creation requires modification to set it aright:

God is the One who made the earth a habitat for you, and the sky a structure. He has designed you and He 
has perfected your design." (40:64)

اللَّهُ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الأَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ وَرَزَقَكُمْ مِنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ
الْعَالَمِينَ
God has created the heavens and the earth for a true purpose. He has designed you and He has perfected 
your design. You will all return to Him." (64:3)

خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحَقِّ وَصَوَّرَكُمْ فَأَحْسَنَ صُوَرَكُمْ وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ

In the most explicit wording of expression, the following verse states that God created human beings in the 'best of forms':

We have indeed created human beings in the best of forms. (95:4)

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

The verse below describes the process by which God develops and creates human beings and states that God is the 'best of creators'. If God is the best of all creators, then surely He would not create human beings with a useless and imperfect piece of flesh which requires modification and removal:

Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a lump; then we made out 
of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it a new creature. So blessed be 
God, the best of creators. (23:14)

ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَامًا فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَامَ لَحْمًا ثُمَّ أَنْشَأْنَاهُ خَلْقًا آخَرَ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ
أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

In the verse below, we are informed that there is no fault or flaw in the creation of God, including the creation of human beings. Yet, circumcision violates this fact by implying that human beings' bodies have been designed imperfectly and require mutilation and modification. Notice how God asks the reader to reflect carefully on the design in creation and realise that God's design is perfect in nature:

It is He who has created the seven heavens one above another. You will not find any flaw in the creation 
of the Most Merciful. Look again; do you find any flaw?

الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ طِبَاقًا مَا تَرَى فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ مِنْ تَفَاوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِنْ فُطُورٍ

The following verse mentions how God has 'ordained the proportions' of human form when designing and creating human beings:

Woe to the human being for their disbelief. From what has God created them? He created them from a droplet
and has ordained their proportions. (80:17-19)

تِلَ الإِنْسَانُ مَا أَكْفَرَهُ مِنْ أَيِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ خَلَقَهُ فَقَدَّرَهُ

Similarly, the following passage describes the process by which God designs human beings and mentions how God has proportioned this design in an 'excellent' manner. Since God has proportioned the design of human beings in this intended manner, it would be a highly disproportionate act against God to cut off a part of human beings' bodily form which God has created:

Did We not create you from a base fluid? We then placed it in a protected place for an appointed term and 
then proportioned it. How excellent are We at proportioning. Woe be unto the disbelievers on that Day. (77:20-24)

أَلَمْ نَخْلُقْكُمْ مِنْ مَاءٍ مَهِينٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ فِي قَرَارٍ مَكِينٍ إِلَى قَدَرٍ مَعْلُومٍ فَقَدَرْنَا فَنِعْمَ الْقَادِرُونَ وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْمُكَذِّبِينَ

In many societies, a child gets circumcised in their infancy administered by their parents, often when they are only a few days old. Research has shown that circumcision is an extremely painful procedure for infants and some studies have concluded that the nervous system is even more sensitive in babies than in adults. Hence, it is an unforgivable assault to inflict circumcision on a baby before it has even developed its ability to express such pain. Furthermore, if circumcision is a religious duty, then the burden of duty should be on the individual himself or herself to get circumcised or not; parents have no right to decide acts of religious commitment on behalf of babies or children. Committing this not only inflicts unlawful grievous bodily injury to children amounting to child abuse, it also violates their right to having control over their own body. The child has no decision or option to refuse the operation as it is forcefully inflicted on them without their knowledge, will or understanding of what is happening. This makes a brazen contradiction with God's system which is based on 'no compulsion' and no forceful coercion into any religious act or rituals. Verse 2:256 of the Qur'an states this principle thus:

There is no compulsion in religion. (2:256)

لا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

In conclusion, circumcision is not ordered by God and is contrary to the teachings of the Qur'an, regardless of the individual's gender or the age at which it is done. It violates God's perfect proportion, design and form in creation and falls under the promise of Satan to influence modification in the nature created by God. Medical research has shown that circumcision is unnecessary and has no significant benefits except in a few rare medical conditions. Even in these medical cases, alternative treatments are usually preferred instead of circumcision. Circumcision cannot be justified to replace routine practices of hygiene which keep parts of the body clean, because otherwise the same justification must be made for chopping off healthy parts of the body requiring routine cleaning - such as nose, ears and teeth. Hair and nail do not fall in this same category because they continually grow and degenerate throughout life, unlike the foreskin which is a permanent piece of flesh with nerve-receptors and full blood-flow. Research has also shown that circumcision has adverse effects on sexual function, sensitivity and comfort. There are also well-documented risks of circumcision, including infections, excessive bleeding and organ damage, which sometimes lead to death. Circumcision must be condemned in due measure. Infliction of this mutilation on babies and children must stop today.



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