The Story of The Circumcision of Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him.

Was the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) born circumcised or was he circumcised like other people?


Praise be to Allah.

Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) mentioned three opinions concerning the circumcision of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He said: 

There are different opinions on this matter: 

1 – That he was born circumcised 

2 – That Angel Gabriel=Jibril circumcised him when he split open his chest 

3 – That his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib circumcised him according to the Arab custom of circumcising their sons. 

Tuhfat al-Mawlood, p. 201. 

Regarding the first opinion, Ibn al-Qayyim narrated many ahadith in the book mentioned which indicate this, but he ruled all of them to be da’eef (weak). Then he mentioned that if a child is born circumcised, this is a defect, and it is a not a sign of virtue as some people thinks. 

And he said: 

It was said that Caesar the king of Rome whom Imru’ul-Qays (famous Pagan Arab poet lived before Islam) came to visit was born like that (i.e., uncircumcised) and Imru’ul-Qays entered upon him in the baths and saw him like that, and composed a line of verse mocking him for being uncircumcised: 

He scorned him because he was not circumcised, and he regarded his being born like that as a defect. This line of verse was one of the reasons that motivated Caesar to poison Imru’ul-Qays and he died. 

The Arabs used to think of the act of circumcision as being something virtuous, but not the feature itself.  

Ibn al-Qayyim said: Allah sent our Prophet from amongst the Arabs, and He gave him attributes of physical perfection and made him of fine lineage.

So how could it be possible that he was born circumcised?

It was said that circumcision was one of the words with which Allah tested His Close Friend Ibrahim, and he fulfilled this word, and the most severely tested of mankind are the Prophets, then the next best and the next best.

The Prophet listed circumcision as one of the features of the fitrah=Nature and being tested with this and carrying out this command with patience will multiply the reward. It is more befitting that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) should not miss out on this virtue and that Allah should honour him in the same way as He honoured Ibrahim, because he is more virtuous than any other Prophet. 

Tuhfat al-Mawlood, 205-206 

Regarding the second opinion, he said: 

The hadeeth about the angel splitting open his heart was narrated through many isnaads=narrations going back to the Prophet; it does not mention in any of them that Angel Gabriel=Jibril circumcised him, except in this hadeeth which is (shaadhdh ghareeb (odd and strange). 

Tuhfat al-Mawlood, p. 206 

Regarding the third opinion, he said: 

Ibn al-‘Adeem said: It says in some reports that his grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib circumcised him on the seventh day. He said, this seems to be the correct view and closest to reality.  

Tuhfat al-Mawlood, p. 206 

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/82): 

This issue arose between two righteous men. One of them wrote a book saying that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was born circumcised and compiled in it ahadith which are not sound at all. His name was Kamal al-Deen ibn Talha.

He was criticized by Kamal al-Deen ibn al-‘Adeem who explained that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was circumcised according to the custom of the Arabs. As this was the custom of all the Arabs, there is no need for a report (to prove that he was circumcised). 

Allah knows best.

Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.

Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan

Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.

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