Hossein Dabbagh
Institute for Cognitive Science Studies
This qualitative research is a philosophical review about analyzing how circumcision can (cannot) be morally justified. It is typically assumed among Muslims that circumcision is mandatory according to Islamic law (Sharia). However, in this paper, I will argue that this is not clear in Islamic texts. Because firstly there is no textual evidence in the Quran about this matter and secondly permissibility of circumcision is not an agreed topic among Muslim scholars. This entails that circumcision is not a necessary part of being a Muslim. Although this idea seems idiosyncratic according to the majority of Muslims, I’m inclined to emphasize that we should not marginalize this idea, rather we have to support it for educational prosperity in Muslim communities. But perhaps more importantly this paper helps to introduce new Muslim intellectuals’ argument that moral reasoning is independent from (and even superior to) Islamic law. Since we do not have ultimate and decisive secular reason (e.g., medical reason) against male circumcision in every occasion, therefore, morally speaking, I believe it is not reasonable to say that male circumcision is always wrong. Muslims who support male circumcision still can find some secular reasons to defend this from their cultural identity.
Keywords Male Circumcision  Islamic Law  Moral Reason
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