26.5.1 THE CONCEPT OF CHANGE OF ALLAH’S CREATION
The Qur’an mentions stability of creation (30:30) and stability of Allah’s laws (35:43).
The unchanging creation mentioned is constancy of the laws that govern the universe, sunan, as expounded in the Qur’an
(35:43). Change is allowed if it follows the Laws. Any changes that do not follow these laws are repudiated. Desire to undertake
reconstructive or cosmetic surgery arises out of dissatisfaction with defects and the associated embarrassing appearance.
The defects are due to injuries that according to the principle of injury must be removed. Thus technology to remove or correct
defects is not opposing or denying Allah’s creation. A serious issue of ‘aqidat would arise if a human were to
be dissatisfied with Allah’s primary creation because it is optimal and perfect. Humans cannot conceptualize a better
creation that they then prefer. Deliberate effort to change Allah’s primary creation without valid reasons is due to
shaitan. There is risk in tampering with fitra without following the sunan.
Allah made humans in a perfect image. He however also allowed
them to enhance their physical appearance by wearing clothes, using perfumes. These measures improve appearance do not change
fitra. Humans in disobedience undertake other forms of beautification that change basic fitra or do not follow the sunan.
Prohibited procedures are tattooing, shortening teeth, widening gaps between teeth, and plucking eyebrows. Circumcision is
an allowed procedure although it involves change of fitra. Male circumcision is mustahabb
and is recommended on hygienic grounds. Opinions differ about female circumcision.
Fraudulent procedures that are prohibited are wearing wigs, dyeing hair to hide age, and hymenal reconstruction. There are
other forms of beautification. Increasing body weight and changing body shape by dieting is common and was practiced by women
at the time of the prophet without objection.
26.5.3 RECONSTRUCTIVE/RESTORATIVE SURGERY
Reconstructive/restorative surgery is carried out to correct natural deformities, deformities due to
disease, and deformities due to complications of disease treatment. Malformations may be congenital or acquired. The distinction
is not important because many of the congenital malformations are due to environmental factors operating in utero. The purposes
of surgery on congenital malformations are: restoration of the normal appearance to relieve psychological pressure & embarrassment
and restore function. These purposes do not involve change of fitra but restoration of fitra to its state before the injury.
Similarly restorative surgery for deformities due to disease or treatment do not involve change of fitra since they are returning
to the normal. Surgery for hiding identity of a witness is allowed. A surgical operation to reveal the true gender of an apparent
hermaphrodite is not change of fitra but an attempt to restore fitra altered by hormonal or chromosomal damage. Such operations
have another objective of trying to preserve or restore the reproductive function.
26.5.4 COSMETIC SURGERY
Cosmetic surgery has a sole purpose of enhancing beauty with no medical or surgical indication. It
can fulfill the purpose of preserving progeny, hifdh al nasl, if carried
out for beautification in order to find a marriage partner. Expensive cosmetic surgery violates the purpose of preserving
wealth, hifdh al maal. It violated the principle of preservation of religion,
hifdh al ddiin if carried out with the belief that Allah’s creation was ugly.
Under the principle of motive, qasd, we look at each individual case
of cosmetic surgery and judge it based on the intention. As mentioned above a simple cosmetic surgery operation may lead to
the noble purpose of marriage. We however must consider the benefits of cosmetic surgery against its harm under the principle
of injury. The Law gives priority to prevention of injury over accruing a benefit. The principle of hardship cannot be applied
to cosmetic surgery because there is no life-threatening situation necessity to justify putting aside normal prohibitions.
Pursuit of beauty in not necessary for life and good health. Beauty is in any case a nebulous intangible entity that is very