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-Nisa’: 119)
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states: “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 behaviour most certainly belongs to the category of excessive beautification, unnecessarily changing what Allah 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 the attention of others to the point of inflicting on him physical and psychological pain every time he meets peop
le. In this case, he may treat the defect and thus alleviate the embarrassment that makes his life miserable. Allah, the Most Merciful, has imposed no hardship on us in religion…. (Al-Bahi Al-Khuli, Al-Mar’ah bayna Al-Bayt wal-Mujtama`, 2nd edition, p. 105.)
This statement may be supported by the Hadith 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. However, if it is needed to eliminate pain or distress, there is nothing wrong in doing it.”
Dr. `Abdel-Fattah Idrees, Professor of Comparative Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar Univ., states: “There is nothing wrong with plastic surgery if it is used to treat a deformed organ where the operation will offer a better quality of life. However, such surgery is not permissible if it is used for the mere purpose of beautification and altering the creation of Allah.
The previous view does not in any way dissuade a person from showing interest in his outward appearance and beauty. Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to have an interest in his appearance and adornment. And he also urged his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) to follow suit.”
Shedding more light on this issue Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states the following:
“Beautification which is used to reshape a deformed part of the body is generally recommended in Islam, as long as it is used for a valid reason.
As far as plastic surgery in Islam is concerned, we can say that there are two main kinds of plastic surgery, and they are as follows:
The first kind of plastic surgery is used for medical treatment, mainly to alleviate the suffering of the person. For example, there is nothing wrong with the use of plastic surgery in skin grafting, suturing a hollow wound and bone-setting. This kind of beautification is permissible. It is a form of co-operation in what is good and preventing harm that a person may face due to a deformity in his physical and outward appearance.
The second kind is cosmetic surgery that is normally used to change the Creation of Allah in an attempt to look more beautiful such as breast enlargement or reduction, face-lifts, spacing between teeth (just for beautification), reducing the size of lips and nose. This kind of surgery is not permitted in Islam because they alter the Creation of Allah. Allah Almighty says: “And surely I will lead them astray, and surely I will arouse desires in them, and surely I will command them and they will cut the cattle’s ears, and surely I will command them and they will change Allah’s creation. Whoso chooseth Satan for a patron instead of Allah is verily a loser and his loss is manifest.” (An-Nisaa’: 119)
Plastic surgery has advanced at a rapid rate in an attempt to reduce people’s suffering. Unfortunately, some forms of surgery are used for luxurious purposes and not for a sound reason. Islam, however, welcomes the use of plastic surgery as long as it is done in people’s Favor. In certain cases, it is a necessity to remove an unwanted tooth or finger that might appear in a person’s body.”