Circumcision for new convert – is it Sunnah or Obligation? – Permanent Committee

Q: On our visit to Uganda, we noticed that some Christians bring their children to embrace Islam in an orphanage for newly converted Muslims. When the parents were asked why they themselves do not embrace Islam, their answer was that they fear being circumcised. What is the opinion of Your Eminence concerning this?


It is not necessary to demand that they be circumcised, if they fear that, for this is Sunnah (action following the teachings of the Prophet) and not an obligatory action, according to the majority of scholars. Those who maintain that circumcision is obligatory restrict it to situations where there are no fears for the circumcised person’s safety.

If this fear of circumcision prevents those Christians from embracing Islam, they should not be asked to do it at the time of embracing Islam. When Islam becomes firm in their hearts, this matter can be reconsidered.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Member     Member     Member     Member     Deputy Chairman     Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd     `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh     Salih Al-Fawzan     `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan     `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify     `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

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