Coloured Contact Lenses

Question:

What is the ruling of wearing coloured contact lenses?

Answer: حامدا ومصليا ومسلما

The ruling of wearing coloured contact lenses for a woman differs based on the intention and purpose for which it is worn. The scholars agree on the ruling of most cases while they disagree on the ruling of one scenario.

The unanimous cases are as follows:

It will be unanimously permissible to wear coloured contact lenses in one case:

  • If they are worn for medical reasons and there are no alternatives.

It will be unanimously prohibited to wear coloured contact lenses in the following cases:

  1. To deceive a prospective husband or even other sisters.[i]
  2. To be attractive for non-mahram men or when leaving the home.[ii]
  3. As a means of show and ostentation in front other sisters.[iii]
  4. Wearing it out of ingratitude to one’s natural eye-colour.[iv]

The case they disagree on:

Wearing it in the confines of one’s home as a form of cosmetics for one’s husband is the case where the scholars disagree.

A group of scholars state that this wearing of coloured contact lenses for one’s husband is a permissible form of cosmetics once the following conditions are met:

  1. It is not harmful to the eyes.
  2. It is not extravagantly expensive.
  3. It does not cause ‘wahshah’ a frightening or strange appearance.
  4. It is not worn with the intention of any of the above prohibited reasons.

However, a second group of scholars are of the opinion that this comes under the prohibition of altering the natural creation of Allah.[v] Altering the natural creation of Allah Azza wa Jall is expressly prohibited in the Quran and Sunnah.

Allah Ta’ala mentions the plot of Shaitan in the Quran Majid when He said, “I will mislead them, […] and indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah.” Thereafter Allah Ta’ala warns, “And whoever takes Shaitan as a friend instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss.”[vi]

Abdullah Ibn Masood (رضي الله عنه) has narrated that the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah’s curse is on those women who practice tattooing and get themselves tattooed and those who remove hair from their faces and those who create spaces between their teeth artificially to look beautiful and those women who change their features created by Allah.”[vii]

Hence, in the light of the above we learn that any such unnatural distortion and disfiguration to the natural image and outlook bestowed upon man would certainly not be regarded as permissible and valid in Shariah. For example Allah Ta’ala has given someone brown eyes, now she wears green contact lenses by means of which she is trying to change the feature in which Allah Ta’ala created her.

They also add that in most cases, the desire to wear coloured contact lenses stem from dissatisfaction with the colour of eyes Allah Ta’ala granted them. It is also a form of overindulgence in the arena of cosmetics which Shariah has not prescribed.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has said, “Certainly that which is permissible is clear and what is Haraam (prohibited) is manifest. Between them are the doubtful matters about which many people are unaware and have no knowledge. So whoever avoids the doubtful matters will safeguard his Deen (religion) and dignity. And whoever indulges in doubtful matters falls into Haraam (that which is prohibited).”[viii]

Therefore, it would surely be best to refrain from using coloured contact lenses, even if worn only to please one’s husband.

N.B. Permeant eye-colour change will be a form of altering the natural creation of Allah by the consensus of the ulama. A man would only be allowed to wear coloured contact lenses if prescribed by an Optometrist/eye specialist for medical purposes for which there are no alternatives.

And Allah (Exalted be He) knows best.

Muhammad ibn Suleman Chothia

5th Rajab, 1437/12th April, 2016/ FID#2016108

Reviewed and Endorsed by Mufti Muhammad Mahdi


[i] The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who deceives us is not one of us.” [Muslim #101]

[ii] Allah Ta’ala states, “And not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands…” {Surah Nur:31} The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) has warned that women who dress in an enticing manner to cause men to be inclined towards them will enter the Fire. [See Muslim #2128]

[iii] The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “He who so acts to show off, Allah will disgrace him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Bukhari #6499]

[iv] Allah says, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you are ungrateful, indeed, My punishment is severe.” {Surah Ibrahim:7}

[v] See Kitabun Nawazil Vol.15 Pg.476, Zaib wa Zinat ke Shar’ee Ahkaam Pg.101, Standing Committee in Fatawa Lajnah Daaimah Vol.17 Pg.133-134

[vi] {Surah Nisaa:119}

[vii] Bukhari #5943

[viii] Muslim #1599,Bukhari #52

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