September 28, 2012
Circumcision in Islam



5 min read

Circumcision for Muslims signifies a keeping with the covenant of Abraham. Following the natural disposition to worship his Creator, and keeping with his commands, he circumcised himself as a covenant with God. Muslims believe every human to be born with this natural disposition. Circumcision is seen as a reiteration of this belief and Abrahamic practice.

Abraham is viewed as the spiritual father of all believers and the patriarch of the Muslim Faith. Many actions of both ritual and religious custom are associated with him. These acts were reiterated by Prophet Muhammad as venerable due to being part of “Abraham’s way”; a term used frequently in the Quran to denote dedication to God’s service and devotion to monotheism.

All (or nearly all) Muslim boys are circumcised. The vast majority of Muslims view this as a necessary religious practice. Scholarly opinions range from obligatory to highly recommended, but most agree that to leave off circumcision is or can be blameworthy.

Generally Muslim boys in the US are circumcised during a period ranging from immediately after birth until seven days later; a minority may do this later than seven days. This mostly takes place in hospital or clinic, as generally there are no stipulations on who performs it or where it is performed. Those who accept Islam later in life are recommended to have it done. It should not be stressed however if it will deter them from practicing their new found faith.

Most Muslims will hold a celebration of the child’s birth on the seventh day called the “Aqeeqah”. This can include the circumcision if it had not been previously performed yet is not exclusive to it. As a celebration, it also encompasses announcing the child’s name, shaving its head and giving its weight in silver as charity, as well as sacrificing a sheep or goat so as to share the meat with others in gifts, charity, and a communal meal. With the exception of circumcision, all of the previous is performed upon the birth of boys and girls alike.

All of these acts commemorate the parents gratitude to God for the blessing of their newborn and their endeavor to keep with the covenant of Abraham, and raise their child up in it accordingly.


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