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Circumcision


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Circumcision commonly known as 'Mussalmani' is the procedure of removal of skin (prepuce) covering the glans penis. It was in practice since the time of ancient Egyptians. Started from the period of Prophet Abraham (pbu) and recommended by the prophet Muhammad (pbu), in the religion of Islam it is a 'Sunnah' for its followers. Jews and Christians practice it as a ritual and considering the benefits it is in practice particularly in USA by other males also. In modern medicine, circumcision is the procedure of choice to treat phimosis and paraphimosis diseases of the penis. About 30% males around the world are circumcised and 68% of them are Muslims.

Glans penis remained covered by the prepuce and in adults its inner mucous layer secretory glands produce pungent, cheese like 'smegma' which accumulates underneath. Circumcision eliminates such a dirty condition. In addition it is well known that cancer of the penis is almost absent and sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS are in low incidence in circumcised persons.

The male children are usually circumcised on eighth day of birth by the Jews, in the western world before the child leaves the hospital and in the Middle East countries by about 3-6 months of age. In Bangladesh it is usually performed at the age of 4-10 years customarily in parental homes by quacks called Hajams or Kalifa who learn the technique as a profession in descending generation. However, in the last few decades particularly in urban areas the peoples started to prefer hospital's aseptic environment by surgeons with anaesthesia. Usually distribution of sweets and sometimes a feast is arranged by the families to observe the ceremony. For convenience during these few days of wound healing wearing a native dress called Lungi is observed even by the urban children who are usually not accustomed with it.

Female circumcision in which removal of clitoris with or without joining of labia majora by ligation introduced by Pharaohs of Egypt is practiced in Africa, Latin America and few other countries of the world. It is not in practice in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh from the religious and social aspect of view it is almost unimaginable to find a Muslim male without circumcision. Similarly, in Bangladesh the fact of female circumcision not only unknown, it is unbelievable also to the public in general. [MKI Quayyum Choudhury]