Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis. Early depictions of circumcision are found in cave paintings and Ancient Egyptian tombs, though some pictures are open to interpretation. Circumcision is often performed for religious reasons. In Judaism, it is considered a commandment from God; in Islam, it is widely practiced and often considered to be sunnah, even though it is not mentioned in the Qur'an. It is also customary in some Christian churches in Africa. Estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that 30 percent of males worldwide are circumcised. The prevalence of circumcision varies mostly with religious affiliation, and sometimes culture. The timing of circumcision similarly varies, though it is commonly practiced between birth and the early twenties. Circumcision is used therapeutically, as one of the treatment options for a number of penile conditions. In addition, non-therapeutic circumcisions are commonly performed for social, cultural, religious, or prophylactic reasons. Summaries of the views of professional associations of physicians state that none currently recommend routine (i.e. universal)
Contributions by Eloquence, Michael Glass, and Robert Brookes.