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Allah has cursed those women who ... create a space between their teeth artificially to look beautiful

From the above quote, it seems that cosmetic orthodontic work for women is not halal. I found this page which talks about plastic surgery in general, but I'd like a more clear explanation.

Does the above generalize to both men and women? What are the major differences, if any, between sects?

I'm also interested in non-cosmetic surgery, but that's not the intent of the question.

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Salam and Welcome to Islam.SE, we suggest you read the FAQ. We look forward you being an active participant here. –  Mujahid مجاهد Nov 27 '12 at 19:39
    
@AlUmmat - Thank you. I am interested in Islam, but I don't know a lot about it. Is this question too open ended for this site? –  tjameson Nov 27 '12 at 19:45
    
I think the question could be reworked a bit to bring focus to the "real" question (i.e. the general one in the title), rather than the three supplementary sub-questions at the end of the post proper (each of which can also be asked separately if it doesn't get answered by the general case). But otherwise it is a great fit for the site. –  goldPseudo Nov 27 '12 at 20:12
    
I refined the question a little to hopefully get a more specific response. –  tjameson Nov 27 '12 at 20:28

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For the most part, the general guidelines when it comes to plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery, or orthodontic procedures are the same for men and women. When there is an explicit text that specifies something for men and women, then that is a point of difference.

The general rule is that plastic surgery is permitted if it is to correct a deformity or there is something unusual about the body part in question. Notions of what is considered unusual are loosely defined and are determined by the general prevalence of these conditions in the population in that region.

What is not permitted however is to perform those procedures even when there is nothing "wrong," but just to improve one's looks or appear more attractive or other such motivations. This would come under the category of "changing Allah's creation" and is forbidden.

Reference: http://en.islamtoday.net/node/1327

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Good link, that's exactly what I was looking for. –  tjameson Nov 27 '12 at 20:50

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