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Circumcision and Religion Explained

Ather Rasool
Lenovo Many GEOs

The debate over circumcision has been a hot topic for centuries. Opponents argue about whether the benefits to their health outweigh the potential psychological side effects. Although the issue of circumcision may not be as controversial in medical ethics, it is still a topic of great concern to many people today. This is due to one reason: religion. While Jews and Muslims are well-known for their religious obligation to circumcise infant boys at birth, this subject is often referred to as humor and satire.

Medically, circumcision removes the skin and mucosal layer that usually covers the penis glans, also known as the foreskin. The Latin circumcision (meaning ‘around’) and caedere (meaning ‘to cut’) are two of the oldest known surgical procedures.

Circumcision is an expert subject matter and it is highly recommended to choose a professional and experienced physician for it. If you are planning to get circumcised then is a recommended one.

Religious Practice of Circumcision

The Covenant of Circumcision, also known as the Brit Milah in Judaism, is one of the most widely observed commandments. The commandment to circumcise is a covenant made by Abraham. It can be found in Genesis 17:10-14.

God spoke to Abraham and said:… This is my covenant which you shall keep between myself and you and your seed after you — each male child among you will be circumcised.

The Bible explains this commandment as a physical sign that God and the Jewish people have made an eternal covenant. Uncircumcised people are subject to spiritual excision (or kareit) punishment regardless of their observance of Judaism’s laws.

Jewish circumcision can only be done during daylight hours and is performed every eight days. You can postpone it for medical reasons. Jewish law says that circumcisions must be completed seven days after the child has been deemed healthy enough to undergo them. The Brit Milah cannot be postponed for other reasons than the child’s health. It can also be performed on the Jewish holy days Yom Kippur and Shabbat.

A Mohel is a Jew who is pious and observant, educated in Jewish law and tradition, and must perform circumcision. If a rabbi presides over the circumcision, any other person cannot complete it. Because foreskin removal is a religious ritual, it must be performed only by religiously qualified.


The religion of Islam includes circumcision as one of the rules for cleanliness. Islam is a religion that covers all aspects of life. Circumcision is considered to be part of the ‘Fitrah. Fitrah, an Arabic term that refers to the natural disposition and nature of human beings, is a term that can be used to describe innate disposition and inborn instinct. According to reports, Prophet Muhammad said:

“It is the basis of inbred nature, a symbol of Islam, an indication of the law of the Lord, and the attainment of the true society.”

Many Muslim scholars believe that circumcision is an essential practice. Others disagree and say that it is highly recommended.

Islamic Law (Shariah), which defines male circumcision, says that it removes “the round portion of the rim, over the conical blood body of the penis”. According to Islam, circumcision should be performed at an early age. The ideal time for circumcision is seven days after birth. 

However, it can also be performed up to 40-days after birth or afterwards until seven years, depending on the child’s health. The Qur’an, a holy book, outlines the wisdom of circumcision for Muslims.

“It is the foundation of inbred nature. A symbol of Islam.

According to Muslim beliefs, Abraham was the first to circumcise. It has been a highly recommended practice by the messengers ever since. ‘ Abraham circumcised himself at eighty-one using a hatchet’. God said, ” then, we inspired you: Follow our creed of Abraham.” The practice of circumcision is something Muslims have adapted to over the years.

 The circumcision is not a part of a religious ceremony and can therefore be performed by any qualified personnel. Also the process of circumcision can be painful for adults but you can manage it easily.

The Coptic Christians in Egypt

Both the Coptic Christians of Egypt and the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians of Christianity are two of the oldest forms of Christianity that survive. They retain many features of early Christianity, including male circumcision. Other forms of Christianity do not require circumcision. 

In the New Testament, he wrote that “in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision count for anything” (Galatians 5, 6). A Papal Bull in 1442 issued by the Roman Catholic Church stated, “

Therefore, it strictly orders all those who glory in Christ not to practice circumcision either prior or after baptism because whether or not it is their hope in it. It cannot possibly be observed without losing eternal salvation.” Discussions in focus groups on male circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa failed to reach a consensus about whether it is compatible with Christian beliefs. 

Many churches of Christianity in South Africa view the practice as a pagan ritual. Others, such as the Nomiya Church in Kenya, require that circumcision be performed before joining. Participants in focus groups in Zambia and Malawi shared similar beliefs, stating that Christians should practice circumcision because Jesus was circumcised, and the Bible supports the practice.

Bottom Line

Majority of followers in above mentioned religions respect the covenant and go for the circumcision of their child. 

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