FEMALE CIRCUMCISION: THE UNKINDEST CUT OF ALL
What is the reason underlying the circumcision of Muslim girls? The first reason is the statement of Muhammad: "Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honor for women." The second reason lies in the supposition that circumcision makes a woman more enjoyable, provided that it is practiced moderately. Umm `Atiyya the Ansarite narrated that a woman used to circumcise in Medina, and the Prophet said to her, "Do not overdo it, because this makes woman more favorable and it is more agreeable for the husband." As to the third reason why a female should be circumcised, it is to "diminish her lust", and to "tone down the sexual desire of the woman."
Al-Mawardi tells us how female circumcision is performed: "It is performed by cutting a piece of flesh over the vulva topping the entrance of the penis [that is the vagina]. It is homologous to a kernel or the crest of a rooster. One should cut the upper part of it, and not completely remove it." Al-Shafi`i and most of his followers hold that circumcision is obligatory, as well as `Ata´, one of the old scholars. Ahmad and some of the Malikites hold that it is obligatory, while Abu Hanifa says that it is obligatory, yet it is not a ritual obligation. One Hadith says that it is sin to discard it. Female circumcision, by removing the clitoris helps only to reduce the libido of the woman but does not do away with it, which is for the common good of society, and for her own good as well. It can also preserve the woman's dignity and honor.
As mentioned previously, the main reason for the circumcision of girls, according to the jurists, is to restrain lust or the sex drive. For the girl nowadays is exposed to all kinds of temptations, they argue, which lead to depravity and corruption in society. Lastly, we learn from Shaltut that women accept circumcision willingly to honor their husbands, as they also hate to look at that part of the flesh that would increase the enjoyment of man when removed.