Is It Permissible for Men To Undergo Hair Transplant Surgery?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Sheikh Muhammad Fayez Awad


Is it permissible for men to undergo hair transplant surgery?


Praise be to Allah Most High. Blessings and peace be upon the Most Noble of the Messengers, his family, his companions, and those who follow his call until the Day of Judgment.

Islam Recognizes the Human Being’s Potential for Beauty

Allah Most High created man in the best stature. He made him in the best form and most complete image, upright in stance and balanced in nature. Allah instilled an inclination towards beauty in humans and called to all that is beautiful through His messengers and prophets.

Allah Most High says: “O Children of Adam! Dress properly whenever you are at worship. Eat and drink, but do not waste. Surely He does not like the wasteful. Ask, ˹O Prophet,˺ ‘Who has forbidden the adornments and lawful provisions Allah has brought forth for His servants?’ Say, ‘They are for the enjoyment of the believers in this worldly life, but they will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Judgment. This is how We make Our revelations clear for people of knowledge.’” [Quran, 7:31-32]

Abdullah ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “Indeed, Allah is beautiful and loves beauty.” [Muslim; Ibn Hibban; Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi]

Hair Transplant vs. Hair Attachment

Some people resort to hair transplantation as a modern method of beautification. To clarify the issue, distinguishing between hair attachment and hair transplantation is necessary.

Hair attachment involves using human hair from one person’s head to that of another. It is done to correct hair loss, to beautify its appearance, and to increase its density.

The scholars have agreed on the prohibition of attaching hair, regardless of its type and method. [See: Hashiyat Ibn ‘Abidin; Qawanin al-Ahkam al-Shar‘iyya; Rawdat al-Talibin; Matalib Oulil-Nuha; Kashshaf al-Qina‘] They based this on hadiths in which the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) forbade attaching hair and cursed those who do it:

Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Allah has cursed the one who attaches hair and the one who asks for hair to be attached, and the one who tattoos and the one who asks for tattoos.” [Bukhari]

As for hair transplantation, it is using a person’s own hair follicles by transferring them to bald areas to restore hair growth there. The ruling is different from that of hair attachment.

It is permissible to surgically treat hair by performing a hair transplant surgery on the head so that it grows naturally, as there is no deceit therein. It is rather a treatment to return to the original form that man was created upon. [Dr. Muhammad Uthman Shabir, Dirasat Fiqhiyya fi Qadaya Fiqhiyya Mu‘asira: Ahkam Jirahat al-Tajmil]

Evidence for the Permissibility of Hair Transplant

This opinion is supported by the following evidence:

Abu Hurayra narrates that he heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying about three men in Bani Israel, a leper, a bald man, and a blind man, whom Allah wished to test. “He came to the bald man and asked, ‘What would you like most?’ He said, ‘Good hair, and to get rid of this condition that has made people despise me.’ So, he [the angel] wiped over him and he was given good hair.”

The hadith indicates that removing a defect by growing good hair is permissible. If it were prohibited, the angel would not have done it. Also, if such a thing were permissible in their law but not in ours, the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) would have clarified it and would not have approved it tacitly, as [the fiqhi maxim states], ”Omitting clarification at the time of need is not permissible.”

Hair transplantation is not considered changing Allah’s creation or seeking beauty beyond what Allah created, but rather restoring what Allah (Most High) created and correcting a defect. It is thus not prevented by the principles of Sacred Law.

Baldness and hair loss are considered defects in a person that cause psychological pain and draw disdain from people. In the story of the leper, the bald man, and the blind man, when the bald was asked: “What would you like most?” He said: “Good hair, and to get rid of this which has made people despise me.”

Hair transplantation is a way of treating this defect, and much evidence indicates the permissibility of treatment and medication for diseases and defects that occur in humans.

Imam Al-Nawawi said in his commentary on Sahih Muslim, explaining the hadith of Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) about the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) curse on those who tattoo and those who seek tattoos, “As for his saying ‘those who file their teeth for beauty,’ it means that they do so seeking beauty, and it indicates that what is prohibited is done seeking beautification. However, if it was needed for treatment or a defect in the tooth or the like, then there is no harm.”

This is what was affirmed by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy, emanating from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, held in its eighteenth session in Putrajaya (Malaysia) from 24 to 29 Jumada Al-Akhira 1428 AH, corresponding to 14-19 July 2007, Decision No. (173) 18/11, regarding cosmetic surgery and its rulings.

We ask Allah to show us the truth and grant us to follow it, for He is the Hearing, the Responsive.

[Shaykh] Dr. Muhammad Fayez Awad

Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fayez Awad, born in Damascus, Syria, in 1965, pursued his Islamic studies in the mosques and institutes of Damascus. A graduate of the Islamic University of Medina in 1985, he holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Bahauddin Zakariya University in Pakistan.

He has extensive experience developing curricula and enhancing the teaching of various academic courses, including conducting intensive courses. Shaykh Awad has taught Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Quranic sciences, the history of legislation, inheritance laws, and more at several institutes and universities such as Al-Furqan Institute for Islamic Sciences and Majma‘ al-Fath al-Islami in Damascus.

He is a lecturer at the Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih Waqf University in Istanbul, teaching various Arabic and Islamic subjects, and teaches at numerous Islamic institutes in Istanbul. Shaykh Awad is a member of the Association of Syrian Scholars, a founding member of the Zayd bin Thabit Foundation, a member of the Syrian Scholars Association, and a member of the Academic Council at the Iman Center for Teaching the Sunna and Quran.

Among his teachers from whom he received Ijazat are his father, Shaykh Muhammad Muhiyiddin Awad, Shaykh Muhiyiddin al-Kurdi, Shaykh Muhammad Karim Rajih, Shaykh Usama al-Rifai, Shaykh Ayman Suwaid, Shaykh Ahmad al-Qalash, Shaykh Muhammad Awwama, and Shaykh Mamduh Junayd.