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CIRCUMCISION. The rite of passage of circumcision plays varied roles in Islamic society, depending on gender, ethnic orientation, and modern cultural attitudes. There are differences of opinion among the legal authorities over whether circumcision is fard (legally obligatory) or sunnah (the practice of the Prophet), nor is the motive for the operation always clear. Socially, it is obviously a rite of passage of considerable status significance for young boys when it is performed at ten to twelve ...more

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