Cosmetic surgery may be divided into two categories:
1 – Essential surgery:
These are operations that are done to remove faults, such as those that result from sickness, traffic accidents, burns, etc. or to remove congenital defects with which a person was born, such as to remove an extra digit or separate fused digits, etc.
This kind of operation is permissible. There is evidence in the Sunnah to indicate that they are permissible and that the one who does them does not intend to change the creation of Allaah.
(i) It was narrated from ‘Arfajah ibn As’ad that he lost his nose in the battle of al-Kulaab during the Jaahiliyyah, so he wore a nose made of silver but it became putrid, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him to wear a nose made of gold. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1770; Abu Dawood, 4232; al-Nasaa’i, 5161. This hadeeth was classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 824.
(ii) It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursing those women who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification and change the creation of Allaah. Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to the phrase “those who file their teeth”, this refers to those who did that for the purpose of beautification and looking younger. This indicates that what is haraam is that which is done for the purpose of beautification; but if it is needed for medical treatment or to correct a fault in the teeth and so on, there is nothing wrong with it. And Allaah knows best.
2 – The second type of cosmetic surgery is that which is done for the purpose of beautification.
These are operations that are done to improve the appearance in the eye of the beholder, such as making the nose look more beautiful by making it smaller, or making the breasts look more beautiful by making them smaller or larger, or facelifts, and so on.
This kind of surgery is not for any necessary reason, rather the purpose is to change the creation of Allaah and tinker with it according to people’s whims and desires. So this is haraam and it is not permissible to do it, because it is changing the creation of Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“They (all those who worship others than Allaah) invoke nothing but female deities besides Him (Allaah), and they invoke nothing but Shaytaan (Satan), a persistent rebel!
118. Allaah cursed him. And he [Shaytaan (Satan)] said: ‘I will take an appointed portion of your slaves.
119. ‘Verily, I will mislead them, and surely, I will arouse in them false desires; and certainly, I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allaah’”
The Shaytaan is the one who tells people to change the creation of Allaah.
See: Ahkaam al-Jaraahah al-Tibbiyyah by Shaykh Muhammad al-Mukhtaar al-Shanqeeti.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
What is the ruling on cosmetic surgery? What is the ruling on learning the science of beautification?
Cosmetic procedures are of two types:
1 – Those which are done to remove a fault resulting from an accident etc. There is nothing wrong with that because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave permission to a man whose nose had been cut off in battle to wear a nose made of gold.
2 – Those which are unnecessary and are not done to remove a fault but rather to increase beauty. This is haraam and is not permissible, because the Messenger of Allaah (S) cursed women who pluck eyebrows, those who have their eyebrows plucked, those who fix hair extensions, those who have hair extensions done, those who do tattoos and those who have tattoos done, because that is done as an enhancement and is not done to remove faults.
With regard to the medical student who learns about cosmetic surgery during the course of his studies, there is nothing wrong with him learning that, but he should not do that in haraam cases, rather he should advise those who ask for that to avoid it because it is haraam. Perhaps if this advice comes from the lips of a doctor it will have more effect on a person.
Fataawa Islamiyyah, 4/412.
See also the answer to question no. 1006.
If there is some defect in the nose and the purpose of the cosmetic surgery is to remove that defect, then there is nothing wrong with that.
But if the purpose is simply to make it more beautiful then it is not permissible to do this surgery.
And Allaah knows best.