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Is Weight Loss Surgery Allowed in Islam?

19 November, 2021
Q As-salamu `alaykum. I'm over weight. I want to go for weight loss. Is it permissible in Islam to do that surgery?

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

It is permissible to have weight loss surgery as long as a trustworthy doctor recommend it. So, you should consult such a doctor who is the best one to decide what to do in your case.


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Responding to your question, Dr. Hatem Al-Hajj, Dean of the College of Islamic Studies at Mishkah University and a member of the Permanent Fatwa Committee for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), states:

Bariatric surgeries are permissible if they are medically indicated. The trustworthy physician is the one who judges whether a particular surgery is medically indicated or not.

In principle, it would be permissible if the benefit of the surgery outweighs the possible harm.

The other principle is that non-invasive treatment should always take precedence over invasive ones and given enough time to work.

The scholars understood the deferment of surgery/invasive procedures as a last resort from the following hadith:

Jabir said, “I heard the Prophet saying, “If there is anything good in your medicine it is in the instrument of the cupper or drinking honey or cauterizing with fire that suits the ailment, but I would not like to be cauterized.’” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Keep in mind, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was talking about means of treatment most common and available to the Companions at their time.

📚 Read Also: What’s Islam’s Stance on Plastic Surgery?

The deferment of surgery until the failure of medical treatment is also an acceptable principle in modern medicine.

May Allah bring you the relief you are looking for.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.