Today is: 
31 May 2020 

Circumcision more than just a ritual


Issue 4 Ė Feb 2013
The history of ritual circumcision goes back to the time of the Prophet Abraham when God ordered circumcision for him, his sons and all his male family members. In this way the Prophet Abraham showed his complete submission to Godís will. God also ordered the Prophet Muhammad (s) to follow the religion of Abraham. Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) from the male organ. In a typical procedure, the foreskin is opened and then separated from the glans after inspection. Although circumcision is prescribed by other religions too, Muslims are the largest religious community to practise this religious ritual. Unlike the Jewish belief that circumcision is a symbol of Godís covenant with the human being, Islam views male circumcision as an important ritual aimed at improving cleanliness and that is why in Arabic the term is known as tahara, meaning purification or cleanliness. The long term benefits of circumcision outweigh the small risks or dangers of the surgical procedure. Better hygiene and reduced risk of urinary tract infection are the most important benefits of circumcision. There is good evidence that circumcision reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections by a factor of 3 to 10 times. The male fore - skin traps some urine drops during urination which provides a warm moist environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. Circumcision also decreases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). HPV infection may cause penile cancer in a later stage. WHO, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, state that cir - cumcision decreases the rate of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS up to 10 times. The superficial skin layers of the male organ contain the types of cells that are targets for HIV, and removing the foreskin reduces the number of these cells.. A 2011 research on circumcision showed a surprising decrease in the risk of penile and prostate cancer. Circum - cision decreases the risk of developing penile cancer by up to four times; it can decrease the chances of developing prostate cancer by up to 15% by reducing the rate of infection which is the main cause of cancer in these organs. Research carried out in the US shows that circumcision peaked in the 1970ís. However a study by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that the rate of circumcision among infants has since dropped and is likely to keep dropping because insurance companies have stopped covering the procedure. The researchers believe this will cost the US health care system billions of dollars. It has been suggested that if the rate of circumcision in the USA drops to 10% - the level seen in European countries where insurers donít cover circumcision - then it will result in 211% more urinary tract infections in baby boys, 12% more HIV cases in men, 29% more human papillomavirus (HPV) cases in men and 18% more high risk HPV infections in women. Obviously like any other surgical pro - cedure, circumcision also has to be performed by experienced physicians. If performed by an inexperienced operator, or in unsterile conditions, the procedure may lead to infections and more complications. It is highly recommended to perform circumcision during childhood, preferably before the child is four years old. ē ... read more