Balancing Beauty and Faith: The Islamic Perspective on Plastic Surgeons

Syed Bukhari

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Is It Haram To Be A Plastic Surgeon?

Plastic surgery is a medical specialty focused on the correction or restoration of form and function. There is nothing inherently wrong with pursuing this field of medicine. However, as with any profession, there are ethical guidelines a Muslim plastic surgeon must follow.

The practice of plastic surgery itself is permissible in Islam. Muslims may study and specialize in this field to serve the needs of patients. However, the surgeon must utilize their skills responsibly.

Procedures aimed at enhancing beauty alone, without any medical purpose, are considered haram (impermissible). Operations to improve function, alleviate suffering, or correct deformities and injuries have a valid purpose and are allowed.

Ruling on Performing Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery procedures can be categorized into two main types – reconstructive and cosmetic.

Reconstructive surgery involves the treatment of congenital defects, post-injury disfigurement, or correcting features that cause physical dysfunction or psychological distress.

Examples include cleft lip repair, hand surgery after burns, skin grafts, etc. This type of plastic surgery is permitted in Islam as it alleviates genuine medical issues.

Cosmetic surgery aims to alter physical appearance and enhance beauty for aesthetic reasons alone. Procedures like facelifts, nose reshaping, liposuction etc. fall under this category. Most scholars consider this impermissible as it tampers with Allah’s creation without cause.

However, certain cosmetic treatments may be allowed if the feature causes intense distress or negatively impacts the person’s life. Nonetheless, the aim should be to restore normal function, not achieve unrealistic beauty standards.

Is It Haram To Be A Plastic Surgeon?

Photo Courtesy: Docteur Spitalier Philippe

Types of Faults That Necessitate Plastic Surgery

There are two main categories of conditions that may warrant corrective plastic surgery:

1. Congenital Physical Defects

Birth anomalies like cleft lips, cleft palate, protruding ears, syndactyly (webbed fingers), etc. can cause functional impediments and social stigma. It is permissible to surgically fix such defects to improve quality of life.

2. Acquired Defects

Disfigurement or scarring resulting from accidents, burns, diseases, trauma etc. can be psychologically devastating. Reconstructive surgery to repair such damage is allowed in Islam.

The common principle is that plastic surgery must aim to treat a deformity, injury or illness. Enhancing beauty should not be the sole objective. It should not lead to altering Allah’s creation in a drastic, unnatural way.

Plastic Surgery – What is Permitted and Prohibited

  • Surgeries to restore form after an injury or correct deformities are permitted. For example, repairing cleft lips, reconstructing breasts after cancer, skin grafts on burn victims etc.
  • It is haram to undergo procedures solely to beautify oneself and seek cosmetic enhancement. Examples include liposuction, nose jobs, facelifts, botox injections, etc. done for vanity.
  • Operations to create drastic permanent changes in appearance by altering essential features like the nose, eyes, lips etc. are prohibited unless absolutely medically warranted.
  • Temporary enhancements like makeup, hair styling, teeth whitening etc. are permitted as long as they do not involve anything unlawful.
  • It is haram for a plastic surgeon to advise or assist patients in obtaining impermissible cosmetic enhancements purely for beauty.
  • Surgeries to prevent ageing and create an unnaturally youthful appearance are considered vain and impermissible. However, minor procedures may be allowed if aging causes severe distress.

In essence, plastic surgery is permitted when aimed at alleviating genuine suffering and improving normal function. Beautification cannot be the sole objective. As Allah says in the Quran: “Verily, We created man in the best design.” (95:4)

How To Improve Appearance Without Surgery?

There are many permissible ways to improve one’s appearance without resorting to plastic surgery:

  • Maintain bodily and oral hygiene. Keep hair, skin, nails, and teeth clean and healthy.
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and stay well hydrated. This improves skin, hair, and overall health.
  • Exercise regularly to stay fit and active. An active lifestyle enhances one’s natural beauty.
  • Get sufficient good quality sleep, as lack of sleep can affect appearance.
  • Wear clean, modest clothing in a style that flatters your body shape. Dress elegantly.
  • Have a cheerful disposition and graceful manners. A beautiful character manifests outwardly.
  • Be content with Allah’s creation and focus on noble inner qualities. Confidence and humility beautify a person.
  • Make effort to maintain a youthful appearance by natural means without exaggeration or excessive vanity.

Ultimately, true beauty lies in righteousness. By striving to please Allah and focussing less on superficial looks, our inner and outer beauty shine through InshaAllah.

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Q: Is dimple surgery haram?

A: Yes, dimple surgery is haram, as it is a form of plastic surgery done purely to enhance appearance. Dimple surgery is not something that is necessary, and it does not have any health benefits. Therefore, it is considered to be a vain and wasteful act.

Q: Will Allah forgive me for getting plastic surgery?

A: If you have already undergone plastic surgery, you should seek Allah’s forgiveness. Allah is the Most Merciful, and He will forgive you if you repent and turn to Him sincerely. However, cosmetic procedures solely for beautification are best avoided altogether, as they are considered vain and impermissible.

Q: Is plastic surgery haram?

A: Plastic surgery is permitted if it is done for medical reasons like correcting a deformity, injury or illness. However, cosmetic procedures solely to enhance beauty are considered haram in Islam, as that tampers with Allah’s creation without just cause.

Q: Is nose job haram?

A: Yes, a nose job or rhinoplasty done purely for cosmetic reasons to alter one’s appearance is haram in Islam. Reshaping the nose for medical reasons like correcting a breathing problem may be permitted. But procedures just for vanity are impermissible.

Q: Is being a plastic surgeon haram?

A: No, being a plastic surgeon is not haram. However, they should use their skills responsibly and avoid performing impermissible cosmetic enhancements solely for beautification. Reconstructive surgeries to improve function and health are permitted.

Q: Will Allah forgive me for getting plastic surgery?

A: Allah is Most Forgiving, so if you repent after undergoing impermissible plastic surgery, Allah can forgive you if the repentance is sincere. However, one must recognize their mistake, seek forgiveness wholeheartedly, and not repeat it.

Q: Is being a cosmetic surgeon haram?

A: Simply being a cosmetic surgeon is not prohibited in itself. However, performing cosmetic enhancements purely for vanity without a medical purpose goes against Islamic principles. Cosmetic surgeons should limit themselves to permitted procedures.

Q: Is becoming a plastic surgeon haram?

A: Studying plastic surgery itself is permissible, as long as one intends to use this knowledge for lawful medical treatments allowed in Islam. However, solely performing haram cosmetic enhancements for vanity would be impermissible.

Q: Is Rhinoplasty haram?

A: Rhinoplasty or nose surgery is allowed if done to improve breathing problems or correct deformities. Reshaping the nose purely for cosmetic reasons to alter appearance is prohibited in Islam.

Q: Is it a sin to have plastic surgery?

A: If the plastic surgery is for medical reasons and health benefits, it is not a sin. However, having cosmetic procedures solely for vanity or beautification, without a genuine need, is generally considered a sin in Islam.