Is Jaw Surgery Permissible in Islam?

Syed Bukhari

Is Jaw Surgery Permissible in Islam?

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, can be a confusing topic for Muslims. As believers, we want to make sure everything we do aligns with Islamic teachings. So let’s explore what Islam says about this type of surgery.

The short answer is – it depends! Jaw surgery is allowed if done for legitimate medical reasons. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said “Allah has sent down both the disease and the cure.” (Bukhari) So Islam permits us to seek treatment.

However, surgery solely for vanity or beautification is discouraged. We should appreciate the way Allah created us. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily, Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty.” (Muslim)

Now let’s go deeper into the rulings and guidelines around this surgery.

Jaw Surgery for Medical Reasons is Permitted

If the jaw surgery is recommended by credible doctors to fix a medical issue like misalignment, improper bite, trouble chewing, sleep apnea etc, then it is permitted.

The surgery must be done to improve function or health, not just aesthetics. And there should be a reasonable chance it will successfully treat the problem.

Of course, as with any surgery, the benefits should outweigh the risks. There should also be no better, less invasive treatment available.

Jaw Surgery for Medical Reasons is Permitted

Jaw Surgery Purely for Cosmetic Reasons is Discouraged

Reshaping the jawline just to look better is generally not encouraged in Islam. This type of “plastic surgery” alters Allah’s creation without medical justification.

However, if the appearance bothers someone to the point of affecting their mental health, some scholars allow minor modifications. For example, if a girl’s protruding jaw makes her depressed and isolated. But purely cosmetic reasons like boosting self-confidence or getting rid of a small imperfection are discouraged.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed those who go to extremes to change how Allah created them by saying, “Allah cursed those women who tattooed and those women who sought to be tattooed, those women who plucked their eyebrows and those women who sought their eyebrows to be plucked…” (Bukhari)

This shows we should appreciate how Allah designed us. Now plucking eyebrows is not forbidden in itself, but going to extremes is problematic. Similarly, minor tweaks could be permissible, but completely reshaping one’s natural jawline just for beauty crosses a line for most scholars.

Guidelines from Scholars

  • It should treat an actual medical condition causing pain or difficulty in functioning. Beautification alone is not enough.
  • There should be no viable alternative treatment. One must exhaust conservative treatments first.
  • The expected benefit should outweigh any potential harm or complications.
  • It must be done by qualified surgeons limiting alteration to only what is necessary.
  • The changes should not conflict with Islamic manners of appearance and modesty.

Of course, there may be differences of opinion among scholars. So it’s best to speak to knowledgeable and ethical scholars when in doubt.

Braces and Other Dental Work

Minor dental work like braces to fix misaligned or crooked teeth is generally permitted. This is because it improves function and dental health. Also, braces are temporary and do not permanently alter bone structure.

More invasive treatments like veneers and crowns purely for beautification are disliked by some scholars. But many allow them since they typically don’t drastically change appearance.

Key Lessons

  • Appreciate the way Allah designed you. Confidence comes from character, not looks.
  • Make sure any medical procedure you undertake is truly needed and permitted. Ask knowledgeable scholars if unsure.
  • Prioritize health over beauty. Focus on inner manners and spirituality which matter most to Allah.

The human body is an amanah or trust from Allah. We will be questioned about how we cared for this gift. By understanding the Islamic perspective on procedures like jaw surgery, we can make wise choices pleasing to Allah.

You can also read is forehead reduction surgery haram, if you’re thinking to do so.


Q. Is getting jaw surgery haram?

Well, it depends! Jaw surgery done to fix a legitimate medical issue would be allowed in Islam. But getting it solely for cosmetic reasons to look prettier may not be permitted. The risks and benefits need to be weighed properly.

Q. What are the risks of jaw surgery?

There can be some serious risks like infection, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, etc. Recovery can be painful too. So while jaw surgery can be helpful for many, it’s a major procedure that shouldn’t be done lightly without thinking through the potential complications.

Q. Is jaw surgery worth having?

For those with medical needs like trouble chewing or breathing due to jaw alignment issues, the benefits of surgery often far outweigh the risks. It can drastically improve quality of life. But for purely cosmetic reasons, the risks may not make it worthwhile, especially since inner beauty and character matter far more than appearances.

Q. Are jaw surgeries safe?

Generally yes, when performed by an experienced specialist. But as with any operation, there are still risks to weigh. Precautions before and after surgery are needed to minimize chances of complications. Proper doctor selection and follow-up care are crucial.

Q. Is jaw surgery plastic surgery?

Technically it is plastic surgery as it reconstructs facial structures. But unlike aesthetic plastic surgery done just for beauty, jaw surgery aims to fix medical and functional issues. The goal is to improve health rather than just alter appearances.

Q. Is Jaw Surgery Painful?

The surgery itself is done under anesthesia so no pain is felt then. But post-surgery swelling, bruising and stiffness can be painful for some – especially when the anesthesia wears off. Medicine is given to manage pain but discomfort can persist for some time during the recovery process.

Q. What are the risks of jaw surgery?

While not super common, complications are possible like nerve injury, permanent numbness, jaw joint issues, infection, relapse of the condition, etc. Some pain and swelling is expected, but managing more severe risks is why selecting the right surgeon is so important.

Q. Is jaw surgery worth it?

For those with debilitating functional problems from jaw misalignment that impairs eating, speaking or breathing, surgery can absolutely be life-changing. The benefits tend to outweigh the risks in severe cases. But for minor issues or purely cosmetic reasons, the value becomes more questionable.

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