Arguments for circumcision
Most people circumcise for religious reasons. Muslims, Jews and many Christians believe that circumcision has been ordained by in their religion. According to most muslims circumcision is a sunnah though some consider it obligatory.
Circumcision has clear health benefits.
- It avoids smegma from accumulating under the foreskin (prepuce).
- It allows easy cleaning of the glans.
- It prevents harbouring of germs under the foreskin.
- Circumcised adults are less likely to develop HIV, provided other recommended preventative measures are also observed.
- Circumcised men are less likely to harbour and transmit Human Papilloma Virus which can cause cervical cancer in women.
- Balanitis (inflammation of the glans) can be prevented and urinary tract infection reduced by circumcision.
WHO recommends circumcision
HIV infections in men in Africa
Arguments against circumcision
There are some who object against circumcision - they object on grounds such as removing the foreskin in unnatural, the child does not have the ability to state its preference and circumcision is risky. These arguments are rejected by those who support circumcision - they argue that circumcision is not a medical practise, it is a religious act, humans carry out other practices like cutting the umbilical cord, vaccination, cutting nails, trimming hairs etc. (which animals don't and the child has no say in) and complications of circumcision are extremely rare.
Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that he heard the Prophet (SW) saying. "Five practices are characteristics of the fitrah (human nature): circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the moustaches short, clipping the nails, and removing the hair of the armpits." ( Bukhari, Book #72, Hadith #779)