Islam Today


We are supposed to be pleased with what Allah has chosen for us, and this includes our physical appearance.

Some things are within our control, for example, exercising to reduce body weight, or following a good diet and cleansing regime for better skin. We are allowed to also correct any imperfections out of necessity, for example, if our teeth are wrongly aligned and it is causing medical problems such as gum infection or inability to chew food properly, or if we have an unsightly scar on our skin that can only be corrected with treatment.

Nowadays, there is an increasing trend among Muslim women to alter their appearance beyond what is permissible. Coloured contact lenses, changing hair colour, permanent and semi permanent make up, including tattoos, plucking and reshaping of the eyebrows, silicone fillers for the lips and bust, face lifts, nose jobs, double eyelids. The list goes on, and all of these are cosmetic, not necessities.

What is wrong fundamentally is that all these actions are a sign of your discontentment with how Allah created you, which goes to the heart of being a kufr or denier of Allah’s bounties for you, and Allah’s choices for you. This is you telling Allah that He did a poor job in creating you, astaghfirullah, and that you can do better than He. This is generally related to arrogance and ingratitude towards Allah, and often, the emphasis on rectifying the physical beauty is linked to low self esteem among the people.

What is more dangerous is that these actions are not only a major sin, but they can be cursed by Allah. Allah has clearly forbidden us to alter His creation, and has warned us that this is a tool of Shaitan.

The thing is, if you want to repent, part of repentance means stopping what you are doing, including reinstating the original condition of what you are repenting from.

Some of the above cosmetic enhancements, such as coloured contact lenses and eyebrow plucking, can be stopped immediately. Semi permanent make up will fade with time, and insha Allah you will live long enough that these disappear totally. You can stop dyeing your hair and let it grow back to its original colour. Even tattoos can be surgically removed.

However, how do you undo a nose job? How do you remove the silicone from your body? How do you revert to having single eyelids? In short, how can you repent from these actions when they continue to be part and parcel of your flesh and which you carry to the grave? In our experience, it is very rare for a Muslim who has gone through these permanent surgeries, to even feel inclined to repent, because once he or she has started dabbling in Allah’s creation, Allah will make that person spiritually blind and uninterested in repenting. In extreme cases, one plastic surgery will follow another until the person become physically grotesque – and unable to realise how hideous the result is! Such is Allah’s punishment, and the way back to the straight path is very difficult and can only happen with Allah’s mercy.

So if you are discontented with any part of your appearance, change it within reasonable and permitted means, but don’t make any permanent changes! It’s hard to make a U turn after that, and it will impact your dunia and akhirah. Instead, learn to be happy with what you have, and this is the true beauty of a woman.

PS – we do not give advice about halal and haram rules, as these can be different depending on the scenario. If you need clarification on your current condition, please consult with a person who is knowledgeable about Islam and who can personally assess your condition.

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