Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I’m a guy who suffers from gynecomastia – enlargement of the chest in men. This causes me a lot of stress and I feel very insecure because of this. It’s not visible from my clothes so people don’t know that I have this problem.
Lately, a few relatives and my mum have mentioned marriage to me. I don’t want to get married because I don’t think any woman will like me because of this problem and might regret marrying me. Is my fear justified? If I do decide to get married; do I have to tell the girl beforehand that I have this problem?
Lastly, I might consider getting a surgery done to remove this though it’s a very expensive process. Will this be allowed by the Islamic rulings?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Dear questioner, I pray that Allah blesses you with a loving wife who will help you draw closer to Allah. Please know that marriage is still very possible for you. Every single person on this planet has some sort of imperfection. People with physical, mental and emotional challenges have gotten married, and will continue to do so.
Every woman is different. Some have dealbreakers such as not wanting to marry
someone with an anger problem. Others do not want to marry a person with large financial debt. The list goes on.
Please do not give up on marriage all because of your health condition. You most likely have other very positive qualities which can make you a wonderful husband. Focus on nurturing your strengths, while working on your weaknesses.
Please perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to send you a wife you will love and accept you for all of your imperfections. Study marriage through Getting Married with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and reading Before You Tie The Knot.
I advise you to disclose your condition to your future wife with the promise that she will not repeat it to anyone else. This will take great courage. It may seem easier to hide the truth from her, but when she finds out after you are married, you will break her trust.
Before you disclose this to your prospective wife, I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance about the woman you are interested in. If your isitkhara is positive, then I encourage you to tell her about your health issue.
Of course, choose your timing carefully. This is not something that you disclose early on in your courtship. Only do so when you are certain that this is the woman you want to marry. Leave the rest to Allah, and trust that He will bring about the best outcome for you.
Please take comfort in knowing that surgery in your situation would be permissible.
Please refer to this excellent response – Is Cosmetic Surgery Permitted In The Shafi’i School.
For your own peace of mind, I would encourage you to speak to a scholar and a doctor before deciding to embark on surgery.
Whether or not you decide to embark on surgery, please consider speaking to a holistic healer such as Aafiyah Healing.
Please know that for every fear you may have about being rejected, your prospective wife may also have similar fears about her own imperfections. You know first-hand the importance of showing compassion in the face of vulnerability, which can make you a very kind and supportive husband.
I pray that Allah grants you the gift of a loving wife who will be your helpmate to Jannah.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.