Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation


Is there a connection between circumcision as practised in the days of the Messenger of Allah and female sexual satisfaction?


This publication commences with Islam, ventures into cultural perceptions of a woman’s sexuality and, at the conclusion, returns to Islam.

Female circumcision as practised in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah and during the leadership of the Four Rightly-Guided Khaliphs is a far cry from current cultures.

This author is yet to be aware of any authentic record of any woman, during those jewel years, who experienced pain or physical discomfort during nuptial sexual relations.

To commence our exploration of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, we present the woman who sought divorce on the grounds of her husband’s sexual incompetence:

“He proved to be impotent and did not approach me” [1]

Why would a woman publically question the sexual capability of her spouse if she is not supposed to enjoy sexual intercourse?

If according to the average Muslim a woman is merely the object of her spouse’s sexual fulfilment, why did the Messenger of Allah ask Jabir this question:

Why did you not marry a young girl so that you might play with her and she with you? ~> The Messenger of Allah [2]

Note the she with you part.

Going by current Muslim abnorms, a woman, and a virgin for that matter, would be the last person to want to take pleasure in any intimate and pleasurable liaison with her husband.

Yet, the Messenger of Allah explicitly stated a woman despite her shyness and lack of experience in sexual freedoms will be eager to delight in close interactions with her spouse – sexual pleasure is a woman’s right.

On the previous theme of divorce on grounds of sexual impotence, we present another connected variation – women who sought divorce because of a lack of attraction to their spouse.

In fact, the very first case of a woman demanding a divorce through khul’a was due to the NO ATTRACTION. Here is her story [3]:

The wife of Thabit bin Qais came to the Prophet and said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! I do not blame Thabit for defects in his character or his Religion, but I, being a Muslim, dislike to behave in un-Islamic manner (if I remain with him).” On that the Messenger of Allah said to her, “Will you give back the garden which your husband has given you (as Mahr)?” She said, “Yes” Then the Prophet said to Thabit, “Oh Thabit! Accept your garden, and divorce her once.

In another narration of her story [4], we find:

“I cannot endure to live with him”

Why does a woman need to be attracted to her spouse if she is nothing but his sex object?

A slave-woman, Barirah, [5] on gaining her freedom was given the option of remaining with her spouse. She walked out on him! Her spouse trailed her along the street weeping and pleading for her return, which prompted these words of the Messenger of Allah:

Are you not astonished at the love of Mughith for Barirah and the hatred of Barirah for Mughith?

Again, why should a woman have a say in her life and in particular who sleeps with her if she is just to be used for sex?

We conclude a look at the pristine era of early Islam with a question asked by Umm Salamah [6] regarding sexual satisfaction:

Does a woman get a discharge?

The response of the Messenger of Allah was classic and an insight into genetics:

Of course. Why does the child resemble his mother?

Contemporary Muslims will want to enlighten the rest of us on how a woman can have a vaginal discharge during sexual intercourse without experiencing sexual satisfaction, climax or orgasm.

The grand finale that is certain to sink a significant number of Muslims is:

If the woman experiences a discharge first, the child will resemble her. ~> The Messenger of Allah [7]

Sexual ecstasy is a woman’s right and she can race her spouse to the finish line and win the prize!!!!!!!

Now, we arrive at the present situation.

In preparation for this writing, inputs were sought from Muslim women who had experience of the correlation between circumcision and sexual inhibition. None was received.

This author had to send messages to sincere men in the search for direct or indirect real-life information on the matter. There was no such experience.

The response clearly demonstrated that either circumcision was not practised within the specific community or Muslim women are mute over it.

The women known to this author who have been open about their circumcision experience and its hindrance of sexual pleasure are non-Muslims.

Muslim women are much more likely to discuss a man’s urges and satisfaction of a man’s libido than their own sexual urges and satisfaction during intimacy.

Sex is a taboo, they maintain. Who made it a taboo?

The taboo affects the sexuality of only women.

Opponents of a woman’s sexual pleasure lack a textual foundation for their stance.

To sustain the perception of a Muslim woman as her husband’s sex object, these Muslims rely on culture.

The man of the household being the leader of the revolting gender ensures everyone in the family praises him for being disgusting.

The woman of the household ensures the flame of sexual taboo scorches her daughters.

Her mother scolded her on issues of sexuality and horrified her with stories of the dirty and immodest nature of a woman’s sexual fulfilment.

She, in turn, terrifies her own daughters in equal measure.

As the culture [8] of female circumcision is to disable the woman’s sexual pleasure, one understands female circumcision as practised in Muslim communities achieves the objective.

In these very communities, a woman is merely an object for male sexual prowess.

With much of the vagina in stitches, lawful and enjoyable sexual activities become a nightmare. – Objective attained.

There are, however, women who were circumcised and who even sought to be circumcised and are all for it.

Whether they experience sexual pleasure is entirely another issue.

In a number of Fataawa on related matters such as azl (coitus interruptus), which among other matters present a limitation of the sexual pleasure of the woman, the Ulema has this to say:

a) It is permissible with the permission of the wife. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Majmoo al-Fataawa 32/110. culled from Islamic Question and Answer)

b) So long as it does not cause her any harm. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (Risaalat al-Dimaa al-Tabee’iyyah li-n-Nisa. culled from Islamic Question and Answer)

It is well-known the Ulema supports a woman’s right to sexual satisfaction.

The above demonstrate any action that could deprive the woman of her sexual fulfilment can be carried out only with her consent.

Was I circumcised?

I asked myself that question more than a decade ago after researching into Islam’s position on female circumcision.

I do not feel any pain, I told myself. I do not feel I am missing any part of me.

I did make a point to restudy diagrams of a woman’s anatomy just to be certain there was no missing tissue.

A woman’s sexuality and sexual satisfaction are endorsed in the Sharee’ah.

Remind me again that a woman is not supposed to experience sexual pleasure, or that her sexual ecstasy needs to be regulated.

[1] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 7, Bk 63, Num 190

[2] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 7, Bk 62, Num 17

[3] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 7, Bk 63, Num 197

[4] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 7, Bk 63, Num 198

[5] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 7, Bk 63, Num 206

[6] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 1 : Bk 3 : Hadeeth 132 and Vol 4, Bk 55, Num 545

[7] Saheeh al-Bukhari. Vol 4, Bk 55, Num 546

[8] Note the use of culture and not Islam.

What should be removed during circumcision?

As there was no specification from the Messenger of Allah on what to remove and strengthened with the non-obligatory nature of female circumcision, I resolved a long time ago not to conduct circumcision on my daughters should I have children.

I have consistently used the term female circumcision not female genital mutilation or any of its derivatives for several reasons:

A) I do not usually adopt the trends spread by the west.

B) Female circumcision remains permissible in Islam.

Its practice, though mitigated by the dearth of precisely what should be removed is not validity for its connection to female genital mutilation, a very haram practice.

~ * ~ * ~

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  1. Umm Sulaim
    September 15, 2013

    I have just had a conversation with a long-time friend who affirmed female circumcision rarely occurs among the Yoruba in Nigeria these days.

    In fact, he has not heard of female circumcision at all.

    He further stated it was more likely to have taken place in the days of the ancestors.

    The one and only,

    Umm Sulaim

  2. ashantininja
    September 16, 2013

    Assalamu alaykum. I know that this is practiced widely in Malaysia and Indonesia and Burma. These sisters are very open to talk about sexual satisfaction and it seeme less of a taboo.subject with them. They are.women who enjoy sex even though they have been circumcised. I still.don’t know what gets removed but it’s definitely not fgm and they are.not in pain. Jazakallah khair for this post you really hit the nail on the head.

    • Umm Sulaim
      September 16, 2013

      Wa alaykis-Salam waRahmatuLlah waBarakatuH.

      I say Welcome to my world, though that is several months belated.

      As an avid member of my akada (readers), I say to you: You are in my thoughts.

      I appreciate your insight on circumcised women who experience sexual satisfaction.

      Would you please connect some of the women to me?

      The one and only,

      Umm Sulaim

      • ashantininja
        September 16, 2013

        Yes inshaAllah I will ask some of them and get back to you inshaAllah

        • Umm Sulaim
          September 16, 2013

          My dear, JazakiLlah khayra.

          The one and only,

          Umm Sulaim

  3. Umm Sulaim
    June 8, 2014

    I have just clarified that female circumcision is no longer practised among the Hausa-Fulani or in the North of Nigeria.

  4. Pingback: FEMALE SEXUALITY | How A Muslim Woman Entices A Man In Bed | Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

  5. Pingback: ATTITUDE | Female Circumcision Among Ndi Igbo In Nigeria – Today And Yesterday | Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

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