On this contemporary issue, we would like to quote the resolution of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy on this issue which states:
The International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), affiliated to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held its 18th session in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from Jumada Al-Akhirah 24 – 29, 1428 A.H., corresponding to July 9 – 14, 2007 A.C.
After examining the studies sent to the IIFA concerning ‘plastic surgery and its rules’, and after listening to extensive discussions concerning this issue, the following decision was reached:
First: Definition of plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is any surgical procedure performed for the sake of beautification (modifying a person’s appearance) of one or more parts of the external human body or restoring its function, if significant impairment has occurred.
Second: General regulations and conditions for undergoing plastic surgery
1. Surgery should achieve a recognized benefit in sharia, such as restoring function, correcting a defect or returning the form to a normal state.
2. Surgery should not result in harm exceeding the anticipated benefit, and this matter should be decided by trustworthy specialists.
3. A qualified, specialized physician should perform the surgery; and if not, the consequences will be his/her responsibility (as in the resolution of the IIFA no. 142 – 8/15).
4. The surgical operation should be performed with the permission of the patient (who has requested the surgery).
5. The specialized plastic surgeon should make the patient (who will undergo the operation) fully aware of the risks and complications, both expected and potential, of undergoing the operation.
6. There is no other form of treatment that will be less harmful and invasive for the body than surgery.
7. There should be no violation of textual evidence in sharia, such as the Prophet’s saying (peace and blessings be upon him) in the hadith that was narrated by `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, “Allah has cursed women who tattoo or have themselves tattooed, who pluck eyebrows or have them plucked, and women who separate their front teeth for beauty, altering what Allah has created.” (Al-Bukhari) And, the hadith that was narrated by Ibn `Abbas, “The woman who supplies false hair and the one who asks for it, the woman who pluck eyebrows or have them plucked, the woman who tattoos and the one who has it done where there is no disease to justify it have been cursed.” (Abu Dawud) In addition there are the hadiths in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade women from imitating men, and men from imitating women as well as the texts, which prohibit the imitation of other non-Muslim peoples or those known for immoral and sinful behavior.
8. The rules for seeking medical treatment should be maintained, i.e. the rules of avoiding seclusion of a man and a woman (khalwah), the rules concerned with exposing the parts of the body that are not meant to be exposed to others (`awrah), except in cases of exigency or real, compelling need.
Third: Legal (sharia) rules
1. It is permissible in Islamic law to undergo emergency or necessary plastic surgery for the following purposes:
a) Restoring the form of a part of the body to its original condition, in which human beings are created. This is due to the saying of Almighty Allah, ( Verily, We created man of the best stature. ) (At-Tin 95: 4)
b) Restoring the normal function to a part of the body.
c) Correcting a congenital defect, such as cleft palate, severely deviated septum, birthmarks, extra fingers and teeth, and conjoined fingers, if their presence will lead to significant material or moral harm.
d) Correcting acquired defects from the effects of burns, accidents, and illness, such as skin transplants and grafts, full reconstructive breast surgery following mastectomy, or partial, if either large or small breast size leads to a serious medical problem, and hair transplants in case of hair loss, especially for women.
e) Removing a severely misshapen feature that is causing the person psychological or physical harm.
2. It is impermissible to undergo cosmetic surgery (aesthetic plastic surgery), which does not fall into the category of medical treatment, the aim of which is to change a person’s natural appearance, following whims and the desire to imitate others. For example, operations that change the appearance of the face in order to look a particular way or for the purpose of deception and obstructing justice, changing the shape of the nose, enlarging or decreasing the size of the lips, changing the shape of the eyes and filling out the cheeks.
3. It is permissible to promote weight loss through reliable scientific methods, including liposuction, if excess weight is considered a medical condition and there is no other solution besides surgery, on the condition that it will be [reasonably] risk-free.
4. It is impermissible to remove wrinkles through surgery or injection as long as this is not a medical condition, but even in such a case [treatment] would have to be [reasonably] risk-free.
5. It is permissible to repair a hymen, which has been broken due to accident, rape or compulsion. However, it is impermissible to repair a hymen broken as a result of immoral acts, in order to block the means to immorality and deception. It is preferable for that procedure to be handled by female doctors.
6. The specialized physician should abide by the rules of sharia concerning medical procedures and advise those seeking cosmetic surgery; as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Religion is advice.” (Muslim)
The following is recommended:
1. Hospitals, private clinics and doctors should fear Almighty Allah and not perform any form of prohibited operations.
2. Doctors and surgeons must further their knowledge of the rules concerning medical practice, especially that which is related to plastic surgery. Moreover, they should not be drawn into these surgeries merely for the sake of financial gain without investigating the Islamic ruling on the matter. Moreover, they should not resort to any kind of marketing campaigns that violate known [Islamic] facts.