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By Debangana Chatterjee. The reasons why female genital cutting FGC continues are multifarious and overlapping. Complex and interconnected sets of reasons for FGC are woven into the faiths of the communities.
Thus, faith becomes the genesis of these reasons, making FGC considered to be beneficial by the communities. These reasons can be broadly grouped as traditional, socio-cultural, sexual and hygienic, but are also closely connected with each other:.
This womanhood is often believed to add to the marriageability of the circumcised women. The practice is carried forward by the women belonging to these communities for generations. Though there is no direct mention of the practice in the Quran, hadiths became a traditional source of its justification. At this juncture of faith, tradition paves the way for the socio-cultural reasons behind the practice. Some communities are also believed to have adopted FGC due to contiguous cultural influences.
Considerable communal pressure for performing FGC involves the threat of social ostracism. Local structures of authoritative forces ensure the continuation of the practice by implementing these measures on the basis of their social norms. As the practice remains one of the sole sources of income for traditional cutters, economic reasons as a corollary to the socio-cultural ones also drive the practice. Due to the extreme pain that intercourse typically causes in infibulated women, women do not get sexual pleasure.
In this regard, cleanliness in the hygienic sense results in physical purity, which is ultimately believed to pave the way for spiritual purity. This understanding of purity becomes closely entangled with the cultural beliefs of femininity and modesty. Despite creating this broad rubric of prominent reasons, the reasons noticeably overlap and are distinct in manifestation when it comes to the customs of specific communities.
In certain cases, there are multiple driving factors, whereas in other cases the manifestations of these reasons are even more particularistic. Among the Bambuti and Thonga community, during the procedure girls are shown no mercy and are treated with ruthlessness as a sign of their gallantry and bravery.
Magesa underlines a few reasons for FGC specific to diverse African communities. Primarily, it is conceived as a mark of valour and of enduring physical pain within the community. This pain is thought to teach girls about sacrifice for the community as well as a sense of belonging.
Finally, many believe that the practice strengthens the community bond among generations and knits the community together. Among many communities, girls are prepared for the practice through an initiation ceremony.
But among the Zaramo people of Tanzania, the girl is secluded for a substantial period after circumcision.
During this particular period, girls are trained and informed about obedience in general, conformity to social norms, fertility, and childbirth. According to Kouba and Muasher, the Dogon and Bambara people of Mali believe that a child, born with both male and female souls, is also possessed by wanzo.
Wanzo is believed to be evil residing in both the male and female genitalia and thus, cutting as a process helps in getting rid of wanzo. The community mostly puts forward religious reasons based on their faiths in support of the practice. There are multiple narratives justifying the practice among the Bohra community members. In this regard, it is often put forward in the same breath as the genital altercation procedures of clitoral un-hooding. Similar narratives espouse that the practice induces purity among women.
For them, if it is well within the rights of Muslim men to be spiritually pure by performing circumcision, it is unjustifiable to prevent women from attaining equivalent purity. Although these reasons for the continuation of the practice may not seem justifiable to some in the present context, the incomprehensibility of these reasons may not be countered with outright rejections. In fact, forcefully drawing the private matters of women into a public spectrum may be a source of those women feeling alienated.
Rather, holistic approaches and educational campaigns may be useful tools to win the trust of the communities. The chasm between the opposing sides those who believe FGC to be harmful and those who claim it is a religious right can only be bridged by generating mutual respectability and building conversational engagement.
Akin to Dawoodi Bohras, the twin communities follow the same religious tenets and practices. Shaheeda: Tell us some more about the Suleimanis — their customs, education and trade, their way of life? Shabnam: The Suleimanis are an enterprising and well-educated community that has produced some incredibly talented individuals who have offered much to Indian society, in their own unique ways.
However, there are many notable leaders who have excelled in other professions like law, medicine and education. But they have their community mosques in which the women pray on a separate floor. It must be noted that the women, however, are treated as equals and not restricted from getting an education or practicing a profession, though they are encouraged to marry within the community. Can you elaborate on the prevalence of the practice amongst the Suleimanis?
Shabnam: I have written about my personal experience on your blog, and I am aware that it continues to be practiced by some. It is typically performed by a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community in a hospital; ten years ago, the cost for the procedure was Rs 15, I strongly believe that research must be conducted to ascertain the extent of the practice today.
Shabnam: To prevent promiscuity by suppressing sexual desire is what most women believe to be the reason for carrying out the practice. The leadership denies that as a reason, though. Religion and tradition are other reasons given for the practice. What do your religious texts say on the subject?
But it is also considered a religious requirement by some members of the community. From my research, this is what I have gathered and I believe the book used to justify it is the same as the one used by the Dawoodi Bohras for validating the practice.
Shaheeda: Do the men in your community know about this practice? Does it still find much favour amongst the younger generation? Koen: From my conversations, some men did not know about it… or claimed not to know. As for the opinion amongst the younger generation, I discussed it with young parents and got pledges not to do it to their daughters. I am uncertain about the attitudes of the younger generation, but I want to try and get more information and find a way to protect young girls. Shaheeda: If it is not performed then is there a fear of social boycott or other repercussions?
Shabnam: Probably. There would be fear, especially when it comes to the right to use to community burial grounds.
That fear appears to be real for many, even though the religious leadership has clarified that there would be no compulsion to perform it. Women accept it as a religious requirement, often without being able to give a reason for it. Shaheeda: What is the commentary from the religious order in the Suleimani community regarding the practice? Shabnam: From our conversations, we have learnt that it is not considered an obligation and that parents are free to decide.
Shaheeda: What is your hope for the future of the practice amongst your community? How do you see it coming to an end? Shabnam: I would very much like for the practice to be stopped and the hope is that better sense prevails. Skip to content. Shaheeda: Please share with us the history of the Suleimanis and where they come from? Shabnam Muqbil and Koen Van den Brande Shaheeda: Tell us some more about the Suleimanis — their customs, education and trade, their way of life?
Shaheeda: What are the reasons that are given for the practice? Koen: Some feel it is the choice of the parents. Shaheeda: What is the general community view on the subject? Post to Cancel.
Da'a'im al-Islam (book)
The book was written by Al-Qadi al-Nu'man. Subsequent Fatimid imams and caliphs and Ismaili dai's have relied on Da'a'im-ul-Islam'. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on Hadith Hadith studies. Terminology Types categories Biographical evaluation Musannaf Isra'iliyyat. Sunni 1. Man La Yahduruhu Al-Faqih.
It is the most important book written by Qadi Nu'man regarding jurisprudence, which was written at the request of the Fatimid caliph , al-Mu'izz li Din Allah. The book contains all standard sections of jurisprudence. Moreover, it opens with a section called "kitab al-wilaya", in which the author deals with most important Isma'ili beliefs, such as iman faith and its difference from Islam , wilaya of Ahl al-Bayt a , and the significance of learning Islamic disciplines. The book is very significant for Isma'iliyya. Some Twelver scholars have also appealed to the book in their ijtihad. The author of the book is Qadi Nu'man b.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Daaim al-Islam. Other editions. Error rating book.