Is Otoplasty Permissible?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam alaykum

I have a pair of protruding ears. Some friends of mine have told me about that and it makes me lack the confidence to confront people. I am considering to do a surgery called “otoplasty’ in order to make my ears pinned back. Is it permissible?

Answer: Assalam alaykum.

Many scholars opine that plastic surgery is generally not permitted except in certain circumstances due to its involving (a) changing the creation of God and (b) mutilation.

The circumstances permitting plastic surgery include when a person has an abnormal or unusual physical defect that causes physical or psychological harm and/or pain. In this case, it would be permitted to correct the defect through surgery.

Based on what you have described, it would be permissible for you to undergo otoplasty in order to pin back the ears to a normal position. This is because this would not be considered needlessly changing the creation of God, and since the process itself only involves a minor incision, the degree of “mutilation” involved would not be so severe as to necessitate a ruling of impermissibility.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Photo: Klaus D. Peter, Gummersbach, Germany