What is the Islamic ruling on doing operations to correct physical deformities that people may have, whether they are the result of disease or injuries sustained in an accident, or they are present from birth? These operations may include: removing an extra finger and repairing the site to look normal; removing extra teeth and straightening the remaining teeth to make the mouth look normal; closing a cleft palate or “harelip” and making it look normal; removing scars and deformities caused by burns; straightening a large and crooked nose that is making it difficult to breathe; repairing an incomplete ear to make it look whole; correcting drooping eyelids which are interfering with a person's vision; doing facelifts to make the face look normal; performing breast reduction on a woman whose spine is being adversely affected by the unbalanced heavy weight of her breasts; tightening sagging abdominal skin or muscles (“tummy tuck”); correcting the urethra in men in cases where incontinence is causing soiling of clothing; removing deforming spots from the face; melting body fat (liposuction) which may cause many diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Please note that when these operations are done, the deformity will not recur, in sha Allaah.
Praise be to Allaah.
There is nothing wrong with treating the diseases mentioned with treatments that are prescribed in sharee’ah or that are permissible, administered by specialized doctors who is certain that the operation is most likely to be successful. This is because of the general meaning of the shar’i evidence (daleel) which indicates that it is permissible to treat the sick with medicines that are prescribed in sharee’ah or are permissible. With regard to haraam medicines, such as alcohol and so on, it is not permissible to use them for treatment. Among the shar’i evidence concerning that are the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“Allaah has not sent down any disease but He has also sent down the cure.”
For every disease there is a medicine, and if the medicine hits the disease, it will be cured, in sha Allaah.”
“Whoever among you can benefit his brother, then let him do so.”
“O slaves of Allaah, seek treatment but do not seek treatment with that which is haraam.”
“Allaah does not make your healing in that which He has forbidden for you.”
And there are many similar ahaadeeth. We ask Allaah to benefit you and to help us and you and all the Muslim doctors to do all that pleases Him and benefits His slaves, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind. Wa’l-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu.
Kitaab Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 9, p. 419