Category: Misc. Fiqh
Fatwa#: 17450
Asked Country: South Africa

Answered Date: Feb 05,2009

Title: is it permissible to have a plastic surgery or breast surgery?

Question

Me and some friends had a discussion on the issue of; is it permissible to have a plastic surgery or breast surgery?

So few friends maintain the opinion that it’s permissible and also wish to have an extreme makeover, my scrutiny is that is against the teaching of Islam. Please can you help me to elucidate my view?  When can that kind of surgery be done and what about the husband being discontented with ones breast?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

First of all, we'd like to voice our appreciation for the great confidence you repose in us. Our utmost wish is to have our efforts come up to your expectation. May Allah help us all keep firm on the Straight Path, Ameen!

(1)   Islam denounces excess in beautifying oneself to the extent of altering one's physical features as Allah created them. The Qur'an considers such alterations as inspired by Satan, who “...will command them (his devotees) to change what Allah has created...” (An-Nisaa’: 119)

“Surgeries for beautification are in vogue today as the result of the materialistic pattern of Western civilization, whose main focus is the body and its desires. Men and women spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to reshape their noses or breasts, or whatever they consider defective. This behavior most certainly belongs to the category of excessive beautification, unnecessarily changing what Allah Ta’ala has created, and it makes one subject to the curse of Allah and His Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Likewise, it involves torture, pain, and waste of money merely for the sake of one's appearance, in addition to its being an expression of an individual's preoccupation with form rather than substance, with body rather than soul.

It may happen that a person has an unusual physical defect, which attracts inflict on him/her physical and psychological pain, so in this case, he/she may treat the defect and thus alleviate the embarrassment that makes his/her life miserable.  This statement may be supported by the Hadith (saying of the Messenger Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wassallam) in Bukhari shareef concerning widening the gap between the teeth for the sake of beautification, for what is disapproved here is doing this merely for the sake of artificial beauty.

(2)   Having surgery done on one’s breasts purely for the purpose of beautification is not allowed, for it involves mutilating one’s body (muthla) and changing the nature created by Allah Most High (Taghyeer-e- khalqillah).

However, if the breasts have become extremely abnormal, in that they are considered to be ugly, unsightly and hideous to the point that it leads to a great deal of hardship, then there would be a dispensation of permissibility.

Thus, if you are able to use some sort of medical treatment in order to normalize your breasts, then you should do that. However, if you have no option but to have surgery done, then that would be allowed in such exceptional cases, provided two conditions are met:

1) The operation is safe from potential harms.

2) It is carried out by a female specialist, if possible.

It is important to be aware, too, of the harm of many types of breast surgery, and to be wary to fall into modern myths of what is beauty. If one’s husband finds it difficult to accept one’s refusal, it may be wise to read relevant literature or even seek counseling together to deal with the situation in a wholesome and meaningful manner.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Wassalamu Alaykum

Mufti Ebrahim Desai (M1)
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah

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