How do we reconcile circumcision with God informing us that He created man in the best design?
To understand this question we need to understand that the form of a human being has been around long before Adam; for hundreds of thousands of years. What set Adam apart was not just his form, but specifically his soul. That is why the human form is not entirely distinct from all other animals, but instead falls into the category of mammals, and even more specifically primates.
One of the commonalities of all mammals is that they are endowed with foreskin. The main purpose of the foreskin is twofold (1) as a protective layer against the environment (2) to expedite time to ejaculation for increased probability of conception. While both these cases are highly advantageous for all other mammals and their survival, this is not the case for modern humans.
1. Humans wear clothes animals do not
No surprise, but animals do not wear clothes, therefore it makes sense that their vulnerable parts have an additional layer of protection rather than being out in the open. But human beings do wear clothes for protection and additionally, unlike animals humans feel shame in nudity, which again originated with Adam & Eve’s soul being assigned to human bodies.
[20:121] They ate from it, whereupon their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Adam thus disobeyed his Lord, and fell.
[7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD’s signs, that they may take heed.
Since animals do not wear clothes, their genitals have more exposure to air, reducing bacterial growth under the foreskin. This is not the case for humans. Humans wear clothes and do not require the extra protection that the foreskin serves, and due to the fact that humans wear clothes, this actually has a negative impact for uncircumcised men in regards to hygiene. Also, humans sweat more than any other mammal, while this is great for disseminating of heat, it does not function well for the genitals covered in clothes with excessive foreskin. It is a proven fact that infants, teenagers, and men that uncircumcised are at much higher risk of Urinary Tract Infections and sexually transmitted diseases both for themselves and even for their partners, compared to ones who are circumcised.
Additionally, it is interesting that God encourages cleanliness throughout the Quran, but specifically in the context of sexual relations:
[2:222] They ask you about menstruation: say, “It is harmful; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by GOD. GOD loves the repenters, and He loves those who are clean.”
2. Humans have sex for pleasure more than they do for procreation, animals do not
Most animals have sex strictly for the sake of procreation, therefore an animal that can ejaculate faster than its peers has a better chance to pass their genes for future generations. This is not the case for humans.
Humans are one of the only mammals who have sex for pleasure. A simple example of this is that on average a couple will have sex 1,000 times before a birth of a child, while other primates, like gorillas, have sex only about twelve times before a birth. Also, humans’ duration of copulation is one of the longest for any mammals. Actually, human sexuality can be argued serves primarily as a bonding device between monogamous couples and secondly for procreation. Again this goes counter to the function of the foreskin. Foreskin speeds up ejaculation because in the animal kingdom the purpose of sex is for procreation, so the faster that one can complete the task the more likely they are to pass their genes to the next generation.
It is a fact that men who are circumcised have a much longer “Intravaginal ejaculation latency time” (IELT). This means that they can perform intercourse for longer. The advantage of this is (1) they can enjoy this blessing for a longer duration of time (2) their partners, who physiologically take longer to climax, will also be able to enjoy intercourse for longer (3) therefore the probability of their partner reaching climax during intercourse is higher. While these points may be obvious, the fourth reason is very profound (4) the amount of oxytocin release is higher during prolonged intercourse and especially after climax. Oxytocin is known as the love hormone. It is a major factor in what keeps couples monogamous and even more awesome is that it is linked to couples’ drive to stick together through relationship hard patches.
Now consider this, you are a about to have a son and as a parent you have the opportunity to bestow a gift for them that will leave them with better hygiene, less prone to infection, a better sex life with their spouse when they get married, and also the ability to have a stronger bond with their spouse to increase their chances of staying together through relationship difficulties – would you want to provide such a blessing for them?
2 thoughts on “Man: The Best Design & Circumcision”
Peace upon you brother and sister, I would like to know in sura 95 verse 4, God says, “Insan” then how come we translate it to man instead of human.
Peace – the word man and human being in English can be used interchangeably, based on context. In the Rashad Khalifa translation he typically translated “الْإِنْسَانَ” as human being, but not always (12:5, 17:53, 95:4). So by looking at the Arabic we know that 95:4 is not meant exclusively for man as in sex, but man as in a human being.