Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Canadian and Toronto-based Muslim scholar, was born as a Christian in Jamaica in 1947 and grew up in Canada, where he accepted Islam in 1972.
He completed a diploma in Arabic and a B.A. from the College of Islamic Disciplines (Usool ad-Deen) at the Islamic University of Madeenah in 1979. At the University of Riyadh, College of Education, he completed a M.A. in Islamic Theology in 1985, and in the department of Islamic Studies at the University of Wales, he completed a Ph.D. in Islamic Theology in 1994. Bilal Philips is regularity invited to mosques in Canada and abroad to speak about the teachings of Islam.
The following is the transcript of Bilal Philp’s video on female circumcision and female genital mutilation:
Peace be upon you (السلام عليكم). My brothers and sisters, friends, another message from Hargeisa [Capital of] Somaliland.
Two days ago, in Gambia a baby girl bled to death from what was supposed to have been a circumcision, but which turned out to be a female genital mutilation.
Praise be to Allah (الحمد لله), the parents of the baby were charged. They committed a crime, because female genital mutilation in Gambia is outlawed. It has become a crime. And this practice persists in many, I shouldn’t say many, but in a few Muslim countries, for which Muslims all over the world are blamed and the practice needs to be eradicated.
Yes, Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessing be upon him (صلى الله عليه وسلم) (PBUH) did approve, he did approve of female circumcision in [the City of] Madeenah when it was presented to him, but he limited it to only a nick. A nick that would not affect the woman’s ability to enjoy the blessing of sexual relations and marriage anymore that it would affect a male when he is circumcised. This is what Islam has permitted.
Prophet Mohammad PBUH did not recommend it. The narrations which claim that it is obligatory for males and it is a honour for females it is not authentic. It is not authentic.
Prophet Mohammad PBUH didn’t practice it himself. His wife ‘Ā’ishah wasn’t circumcised, nor his daughter Fatima, nor his wife Khadijah. So, let us set this right. It’s time. May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you (السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته).
In the Facebook discussion over his video, Bilal Philips wrote:
A nick means a very small cut, something like a scratch. It is recommended for males and permitted in the slightest form for females. Circumcision of females which involves cutting out body parts (genitalia) is haraam [prohibited] in Islam. He [Mohammad] permitted it [circumcision] when asked by the Muslims of [the City of] Madeenah, but he did not recommend it. Instead he instructed that it should be very slight.
In previous video, Bilal Philips said:
Does Islam support or allow female circumcision? Yes, but in a very limited or at a very limited scale…taking only a small portion from the end of the clitoris, this is all that is really permissible from Islamic perspective.