Islamic Law schools and FGM

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A summary about the position of the four Islamic Law schools on FGM:

1. In the Hanafî school of law, female circumcision is permissible within itself but not considered to be a Sunnah. (i.e. no religious virtue). (Shami Fatawaa Rahimiyyah, Page 261, Vol. 6)

2. It is considered a preferred act (Mandub) for women in the Maliki school of law. They rely upon the Hadith of Umm `Atiyyah for this ruling. ( Bulghah al-Salik li-Aqrab al-Masâlik and Ashal al-Madarik Sharh Irshad al-Salik)

3. In the Shaf’i school of law, circumcision is considered an obligation for both men and women. This is the official ruling of that school of thought. Some Shaf`i scholars express the view that circumcision is obligatory for men and merely Sunnah for women. ( al-Majmu`)

4. In the Hanbali school of law, circumcision is obligatory for men and merely an honorable thing for women. It is not obligatory for them. The Hanbali jurist Ibn Qudamah observes: “This is the view of many people of knowledge. Imam Ahmad said that it is more emphatic for men.” (al-Mughni (1/115))

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