Dealing with bodily disfigurement

Nov 24, 2023 | Miscellaneous


Aslamu alaykum

I hope you are well.

This problem has been with me all of my life and has affected every aspect of my life. I was born with an illness and a noticeable ear disfigurement. This has affected me all of my life due to people staring and making comments. I always wear a hat around other people so they don’t see it and I have done this for many years. I have only worked for short periods of time in jobs where I can wear a hat, such as warehouse jobs. I now haven’t worked for about three years, I don’t ever see myself getting married or living a normal life. I feel stuck and there isn’t much I can do about it. I feel helpless. I don’t know how to do deal with it.

I know in the Quran Allah says, He does not burden a soul with more than it can bear. I accept everything in the Quran and authentic Hadith. I accept Allah has created me with this illness and disfigurement. But I still find it difficult to deal with. My life is on hold. I’m almost 30 years old. I have shut myself off from the rest of the community and family and friends. I don’t speak about this problem with anybody and not even my family know how much it affects. And we aren’t the type of family to discuss these personal matters.

I just want to know how can I deal with this better? I fear the reactions of people because of everything I went through as a child because of it.


General Advice

I would advise seeking help from a therapist for this issues as it will insha’Allah help you to deal with it better. Shutting yourself off from everyone, especially family and friends, can have a negative impact on your mental health. Ear deformities can be treated, you may consult specialists in otoplasty surgery regarding its details, and this would be permitted in Islam as it is considered correction of an abnormality.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance” (Ibn Majah).  It is important to keep in mind even if we looked perfect, people will always have something to complain about and pick faults out from others. Give no regard to the futile talk of others. Pleasing people is impossible and the only pleasure we should seek is Allah’s.

Of course, not everyone is the type to make comments about another person’s appearance, most people are more mature than that. Keep the company of upright god-fearing people, those who love Allah and are striving to grow spiritually, and the people of sacred knowledge. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “This world is cursed and what is in it is cursed, except the remembrance of Allah and what is conducive to that, or one who has knowledge or who acquires knowledge” (Tirmidhi).


Some ways to deal with it psychologically: Firstly, understand that it is all in the mind. We make things into problems bigger than they really are. Your mental state will have an effect on your self-confidence. If you can change how you think, you will be less affected by the chatter of others. Think about the following points to change your mindset.

– Our appearance does not ultimately matter, we will all enter the grave regardless of how we look and stand before Allah on the Day of Judgment with our deeds.

– The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily Allah does not look at your form and your wealth, but He looks at your heart and your deeds” (Muslim). If Allah Most High has told us our heart is more important than our bodies, then whatever others think does not matter. We should only care what Allah thinks of us. Reverse the issue and see that they are wrong for merely looking at the physical, and worse yet when it is regarding something beyond your control, and remember that virtue is really in our character and actions. Keeping this outlook should hopefully increase confidence.

– Making effort to expose yourself can desensitise you from the issue and make you become used to it if you go through it for long enough. Facing your fears in this manner will gradually make you care less about what others think.

– A practical way to deal with a fear is to think about what the worst that can happen is, and confront it head on. After it happens, you normally realise it was not as bad you made it out to be, and that it no longer affects you. These are some advices to overcome your fears, hopefully they help.


The first course of action is to call upon Allah, as He is the only one that can change your affairs, and then have full trust and reliance in Him. I would also recommend reading the morning and evening du’as with their meanings. Many of the sunnah invocations deal with worry, fear, and anxiety. The du’as can be found in collections such as Al-Hizb al-A’zamAl-Wird al-LatifHizb al-Bahr, and other such litanies.

سنن ابن ماجه (2/ 1338 ت عبد الباقي): 4032 – حدثنا علي بن ميمون الرقي قال: حدثنا عبد الواحد بن صالح قال: حدثنا إسحاق بن يوسف، عن الأعمش، عن يحيى بن وثاب، عن ابن عمر، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: المؤمن الذي يخالط الناس، ‌ويصبر ‌على ‌أذاهم، ‌أعظم أجرا من المؤمن الذي لا يخالط الناس، ولا يصبر على أذاهم

سنن الترمذي (4/ 561 ت شاكر): 2322 – حدثنا محمد بن حاتم المؤدب قال: حدثنا علي بن ثابت قال: حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن ثابت بن ثوبان، قال: سمعت عطاء بن قرة، قال: سمعت عبد الله بن ضمرة، قال: سمعت أبا هريرة، يقول: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: «‌ألا ‌إن ‌الدنيا ‌ملعونة ‌ملعون ما فيها إلا ذكر الله وما والاه وعالم أو متعلم»: هذا حديث حسن غريب

صحيح مسلم (4/ 1987 ت عبد الباقي): 34 – (2564) حدثنا عمرو الناقد، حدثنا كثير بن هشام، حدثنا جعفر بن برقان، عن يزيد بن الأصم، عن أبي هريرة، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «إن الله لا ينظر إلى صوركم وأموالكم، ولكن ينظر إلى قلوبكم وأعمالكم»

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel