Ruling on jaw surgery to eliminate defect
Fatwa No: 343735

Question

This is to clarify some confusion regarding a question I have asked previously. I asked about jaw surgery. My orthodontist told me that my lower jaw is underdeveloped, which makes my upper teeth protrude outwards. I was confused whether it would be permissible to get surgery done or not. I got a reply that it is permissible if it is obvious and causes embarrassment. I do look ugly, but it is not obvious that that is because of my small lower jaw. It is obvious, however, that I am ugly. Can I wear braces to at least fix my upper teeth that protrude outwards because of small lower jaw? I do not want to look ugly. Nevertheless, I can resist the temptation to get my jaws/teeth fixed. Allaah has favoured others over me in terms of beauty, but there will be greater degrees of differences in the Hereafter. So I can stay patient regarding getting braces/surgery done if that would displease Allaah. I am just confused because I want to get it done so much, but it might displease Allaah.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The ruling on undergoing surgeries is as detailed in previous fatwas; it is permissible in order to remove a deformity and forbidden if it is done for the purpose of enhancing beauty only. We have previously referred you to fatwas 87848 and 242377 in this regard.

You should bear in mind that beauty and ugliness are relative; you may perceive yourself as ugly while not being so. Rather, you are only trying to look more beautiful. In any case, if the deformity is visible to such an extent that people find it repulsive, then there is no harm in undergoing jaw surgery.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “If fixing the teeth (wearing braces) is done because of a defect, then there is no harm in that. Some people might have protrusion in their front teeth or other teeth in a way that people find repulsive. In this case, there is no harm to have them fixed; it is categorized as a means to eliminate a defect and not to enhance beauty.

Allah knows best.

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