Nasihah (Advice): Keeping physically fit
Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, but both are good. Keenly pursue what benefits you, seek help only from Allah, and do not give up.” (Bukhari)
Question and Answer:
- I have had a weight issue all my life and after having 2 kids find it even more difficult to lose the weight. I eat healthy and exercise when I can but still can’t seem to lose the belly fat and have a slimmer tummy. It seems to bother my husband as he is always referring to how fat I am and if I happen to eat a chocolate on the odd day or drink coke he mentions how much more fatter I will be and I shouldnt be doing that.
My question is: is it permissable for me to have help in losing the weight and getting a flatter tummy. Can I go for liposuction or laser lipo as I have read alot about it but unsure if it is permissable in islam.
I want to please my husband and look good for him but I also need to make sure what I do pleases my maker.
(Question published as received)
- There are two aspects of consideration in answering your query. One being our perception of belly fat and the other the permissibility of liposuction.
The first thing of note is that a level of belly fat is the normal position of the human body. The pictures that the media bombards us with every day of lean and sculpted bodies is not the norm. People with these types of bodies have generally made it their life’s goal to achieve this look and spend hours a day working out and a lot of money in supplements to maintain that look. Over and above that, most models are photoshopped as their naturally fit bodies are not “good” enough. The effect of not lowering the gaze and looking at what Islam has prohibited us from seeing is the dissatisfaction that we feel over our own bodies and our spouse’s bodies. Thus, we think that something is wrong with us because we have not achieved the false standard of the human physique that the media portrays. It is this mindset that needs to change before anything else.
Secondly, Islam does not condone obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle and being physically fit are highly encouraged in Islam. These should be part of every Muslim’s lifestyle but done in a way that conforms to Islamic principles.
Thirdly, we find many husbands who complain about the state of their spouses’ bodies but their own bodies leave much to be desired. Even if a husband is physically in good shape, he has not been through what his wife’s body goes through especially during pregnancy. Instead of passing negative comments, husbands should rather be supportive and encouraging of their wives becoming fitter.
However, more important than that is the need to undo the brainwashing of what a normal female’s body looks like. If we chase the media’s standard of beauty we will be chasing our entire lives and we still not be good enough. We should rather change our view from within regarding the meaning of beauty and shield our eyes from looking at the bodies of other women. If we do not do this, then no matter how much we may change we will still not be good enough as there will always be someone more beautiful and more attractive than us. We should, therefore, address this perception first before considering liposuction and other similar treatments.
With regards to the permissibility of liposuction and similar treatments, any invasive/surgical treatment performed for cosmetic reasons that requires an incision of the body is prohibited. Procedures that are non-invasive/non-surgical and do not require an incision are permitted on condition that they are considered safe to perform.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Moosa Salie
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh.)
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