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Is it Permissible To Undergo a Tonsillectomy?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Is it okay to get a tonsillectomy even without a dire need to do so? I am just paranoid that they cause bad breath and would like to get them removed. I read a hadith that states “…do not torture your children by pressing their uvula to cure tonsillitis.” Does this include getting tonsillectomy?

Answer: assaalmu `alaykum

This prophetic tradition, which is narrated by Bukhari and others, does not prohibit undergoing a tonsillectomy.

The key instruction within this prophetic tradition is to avoid having one’s children experience undue pain particularly when better alternatives exist. The practice of women during the time of the Prophet (God bless him) would be to press and squeeze the uvula with their fingers in an attempt to remove/cure the pain their children were experiencing. This was interdicted by the Prophet (God bless him) and an alternative method was prescribed by him, namely applying costus or aloe to the effected region through the nose.

In so far as a tonsillectomy is a relatively safe procedure with potential benefits and the post-surgical pain can be treated fairly simply, it would not be subject to the interdiction mentioned in the above prophetic tradition. However, in contexts where it poses little benefit, it may be disliked to force one’s children to undergo it.

In other words, the ruling would return to the need for and benefits of the procedure for a given individual, which are to be determined by qualified medical professionals.

Salman

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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