Philobiblon: A voice of humanity: an 18th-century voice against FGM

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A voice of humanity: an 18th-century voice against FGM

I'm sometimes accused of naivety, but I tend to think that human nature, given the chance, tends towards the humane, the caring and the sensible. And sometimes those voices gain power. It is thus lovely to read about the 18th-century West African Islamic scholar, Sheikh Uthman dan Fodio.

Female circumcision was another major social issue the Sheikh delved into. This practice was in the Sudan, Somalia and was going across to his country and he stopped people from doing it. He brought the hadith of the Prophet showing that only a little bit was allowed to be removed from the tip of the clitoris, but was by no means necessary as it wasn't really part of Islam. His argument against it, once again went into graphic details of how if men allowed this to happen then a woman would not be able to achieve her climax in a physical relationship, which would then cause their relationship to deteriorate. To have a more fulfilling relationship, they should allow her to retain what Allah gave her. This obviously was a heavy argument for the Sheikh to be making, especially in the 18th century!


Blogger spotted elephant said...

We need men like him today!

2/27/2006 11:22:00 pm  
Blogger belledame222 said...

Damn. So what happened?

oh well, knew the wheel of progress didn't always turn forward, but still...sigh.

3/01/2006 01:51:00 am  

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