Cosmetic Surgery: Is it Permissible?
our dialogue By Adil Salahi
Q: I would like to know your comments on cosmetic surgery.
A: We cannot issue a rigid ruling that all cosmetic surgery is forbidden. When cosmetic surgery has a beneficial and legitimate purpose, then it may be considered permissible, encouraged, or even obligatory.
Take, for example, the case of a person who has suffered extensive burns. Doctors may recommend plastic surgery. Now if the doctors say that it will have a mild beneficial effect on him, but without it he will be also comfortable and will suffer no repercussions, then such surgery may be described as permissible. If the doctors say that the benefits expected to result from such surgery in such a case are substantial, then it is to be considered highly recommended. Now if we can imagine a situation where plastic surgery is necessary for such a person, either to save his life, or to get some part of his body to function properly, or to overcome some physical or mental agony, then undertaking it could be obligatory. On the other extreme, if plastic surgery is undertaken by a woman in order to be more attractive, so that she can use her attraction for purposes that are contrary to Islamic moral values, then it is certainly forbidden.
Circumcision is recommended, because the piece of skin that is cut off during circumcision is no longer of use to the person concerned. Before the child is born, it serves as a protection to the male organ. After birth, it could attract some dirt which could be harmful. Therefore, we are recommended to circumcise our children at an early age.