Can I get cosmetic surgery like liposuction or a nose job? What about non-surgical procedures like botox injections? What about tattoos? What about getting braces to straighten my teeth or laser eye surgery?

Short Answer

Any surgery for beautification is not allowed since it is considered to change the nature that Allah created people with. It is viewed as a type of mutilation of the body, even if that is the latest beauty fashion. Therefore, the surgical removal of excess body fat or reshaping the nose is forbidden if done for beautification.

Wearing makeup, jewelry, perfume, henna, and other beauty products is allowed. Non-surgical beautification through injections is also allowed as long as the substance being injected does not contain any impurities such as pig collagen.

Permanent changes to the body like getting a tattoo is forbidden.

However, if there is a genuine need which cannot be accomplished another way, such as removing excess fat due to the harm it would cause to the person, then it is allowed. Likewise, if someone’s nose was damaged, it is allowed to surgically restore it to the way it was, since this is not changing the nature of a person but restoring it back. The same is the case when getting braces for your teeth: it is restoring the crooked or unaligned teeth to the way they should have been. Likewise is the case with laser eye surgery: it restores your eyesight to what it should have been. Some cases such as breast reconstruction surgery due to the breasts changing shape as a result of breastfeeding and hormonal changes is a gray area and depends on the extent of how abnormal and unsightly the change is.

What the Qur’an and Sunnah Say

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said: “Allah’s curse is on those women who make or get tattoos…and those who make space between their teeth artificially to beautify themselves. They are such that they change the nature and features created by Allah. Allah’s Messenger also cursed such women.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

The Companion `Arfajah had his nose cut off in a battle prior to Islam. He had a nose made of silver to replace it but later it began to smell bad. So the Prophet told him to replace it with a nose made of gold. (Tirmidhi #1770, Abu Dawud #4232)

What the Scholars Said

A group of scholars said, “It is permissible for a (severely) sick person to drink blood and urine, or consume the meat of a dead animal for the purpose of medication if an experienced Muslim medical expert stipulates that this is the only cure, and that one does not find an alternative.” (Al-Fatawa Al-Alamkiriyyah, 5:355)

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Shaykh Mustafa Umar