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International Day of Zero Tolerance For FGM: [A Brief Rebuttal Against Haphazard and Confused Heba Yosry at Alarabiya News]

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.


In an article dated February 10th 2021, Heba Yosry stated that UN Women declared February 6th the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice criminalized in several Muslim countries, with Egypt one of them. It recently increased the period of imprisonment for anyone guilty of doing this from 5-7 years, to 5-20 years. Dar al-Ifta the highest Islamic legislative body in Egypt, proclaims that FGM is forbidden under Islamic law because of the physical and mental damage that it causes. The punitive measures in place do little to deter some parents from subjecting their young daughters to this atrocious procedure. Too often we hear about girls who die due to a botched circumcision or from excessive bleeding. Many FGM victims who survive the attack on their genitalia, then endure the physical and emotional scars that can cripple their future mental, reproductive and sexual wellbeing. The detrimental physical and psychological effects of FGM are well documented and well communicated, but the question remains: Why is FGM still practiced? The answer is the female body. FGM is a crude and abhorrent version of a chastity belt, applied with the misguided and malicious intent to keep a girl’s pureness. It guarantees the young woman will not lose her mind in moments of passion and act on her lust, and on this very basis the people who believe this are preposterous. The recent case of a grown married woman coerced by her husband to undergo a FGM procedure because he suffered from sexual dysfunction, and his unfounded suspicion of her infidelity shows his weakness; not hers. This is hardly an isolated incident. Husbands have ordered several wives to endure the humiliating and painful procedure. Iran jailed an academic partly because of his research on FGM. The female body doesn’t just scare people; it terrorizes governments too. Politicizing the female body is hardly new. Yet the underlying assumption is rarely questioned. Instead, the intention is explained away as conforming to an ancient practice. FGM rests within the perception that women are either inferior beings who are unable to control their libido or that they are gullible creatures who need guarded against the faceless seducer who will sully her honor. Both assumptions are founded upon the primordial conception that a girl’s body is an object belonging to another, whether a father or a husband. Girls, naturally, lack the ability to make their own decisions. Eradication of lust from the female body is essential because saving a girl or a woman from her innate desires is a man’s mission. Men are doing the right thing because as soon as a girl starts to show any signs of womanhood pruning her body protects the family honor. Utter nonsense. FGM isn’t merely an ugly practice that some Muslims aim to continuously repudiate in front of the Western world. FGM is a statement articulated on the feminine body, a stigma that she must carry her whole life to attest for her inaptitude as a human being, of her inferior status, of the pain she must endure simply because she was born a girl. FGM is a painful manifestation of gender inequality. As countries take steps to end the practice of FGM, through legislative measures that punish its perpetrators, they must address the foundational preconditions that allow this practice to thrive. Imagine this: A father takes a 12-year-old girl to a makeshift clinic, and assures her on their way that she will be alright, that the procedure won’t hurt as much as she thinks, and that this pain is necessary, and compensated with the congratulatory gifts that she will receive. She will be an adult. The girl continues to walk beside her father aided with the pride that she will now be a grown up, and the faith that her father will never do anything to hurt her. She enters the clinic, lies on the cold steel examining table, the nurse pulls up her dress and ties her legs so that she doesn’t kick to protect herself. Her father holds her arms to prevent her from moving. A man emerges holding a blade. He approaches the girl, spreads her legs. She screams. Let her screams be heard, and end the abomination that is, FGM. [End of quote]

Before presenting the knowledge-based research on this subject matter by Shaikh Abu Iyaad [may Allaah preserve him], we remind Heba Yosry that her above statement is a mixture of truth and falsehood, ignorance, ambiguity and emotion – devoid of detail and distinction. It would have been better for her to refrain from speaking about a subject matter whose complete truth and falsehood is not manifest to her, because indeed as the saying goes, ”Silence beautifies the scholar and conceals the ignorance of the ignorant one”. Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah be pleased with him] said: ”It is obligated on you to give detail and make a distinction, because unrestricted and general (statements) without clarification has indeed corrupted this existence (i.e. the world), misguided the intellects and views in every era”. Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said, ”There has to be detail explanation. The one who is not proficient in giving detail should keep quiet, because benefit is not acquired from his speech. And every time error occurs, its cause is due to an absence of detail explanation regarding truth and falsehood. There has to be detail explanation and distinction and not to mix up [affairs]. Indeed, it may be that there is something of truth and falsehood in an opponent’s statement, so all of it is neither deemed to be false nor truth; rather there has to be a distinction between its truth and falsehood. All of it is neither rejected nor accepted; rather a distinction is made regarding the truth and what is correct and the falsehood and error in it. And if you are not proficient in giving detail, then you should not enter into this field”. [Ref 1]

We remind Heba Yosry to refrain from conjecture as Allaah [The Exalted] said: [إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَمَا تَهۡوَى ٱلۡأَنفُسُ‌ۖ – They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire].

There is a tremendous benefit derived from this above statement, because the one deprived of sound Eemaan and the sound creed sent down as revelation by Allaah- The Lord of the Aalameen, then his affair is one of two: Corruption in Knowledge or Corruption in his Intent– corruption in knowledge occurs as a result of following conjecture and corruption in one’s intent occurs as a result of following desires, or the person may combine both of them.  Another benefit derived from this is that the rectification or well-being of a person cannot be attained except by way of two affairs: Upright (or sound) Knowledge and Upright (or sound) Intent. This is why Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy upon him) said in Miftaah Daarus Sa’aadah that a person is in need of two things: ‘(Sound) Knowledge by way of which he is (rightly) guided and lofty aspiration by way of which he is urged towards that (sound aspiration)’, because it maybe that a person has beneficial knowledge but not (sound) intent and aspiration. Therefore, one cannot be upright except by way of upright knowledge and intent. Sound knowledge is corrupted through following conjecture and sound intent is corrupted through following the desires of one’s soul.
Allaah [The Exalted] stated about the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]: [مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمۡ وَمَا غَوَىٰ-Your companion (Muhammad) has neither gone astray nor has erred]. That is because the Daal (misguided person) is one whose knowledge is corrupted and the Ghaawiy (astray one) is the one whose intent is corrupted. Also, the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] described his four khulafaa [Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali (may Allaah be pleased with them)] with the words ‘Raashideen and Mahdiyyeen’, because the Raashid [i.e. The one who is steadfast upon the right path and is firmly established upon it] is the opposite of the Ghaawiy [The one who strays from the right path or conduct], and the Mahdee [The one guided to the path of truth and yeilds obediently to it] is the opposite of the Daalun [the misguided one, especially in knowledge and creed]. [Ref 2]

Finally, here is a detail discussion on this subject matter – free from falsehood, emotions and exaggeration.  FGM

May Allaah guide this woman to utter truth, rather than uttering a mixture of truth and falsehood due to ignorance and desiring to please the militant secularists Aameen.

[Ref 1: An Excerpt from At-Ta-leeqaat Al-Mukhtasar Alaa Al-Qaseedah an-Nooniyyah: Vol: 1 page: 216. By Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah). Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed. Lesson 4. By Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr. Slightly paraphrased]

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