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Are Tattooes Permissible?

Are Tattooes Permissible?


heii, salam. can u shared about tattoo? i mean is that haram? and why? can u also put the surah or any kind of hadist about tattoo in islam?

Wa alykum as-salaam,

You cannot tattoo your body within Islam, and this is predicated on the belief that your body is a gift from God, the vessel for your soul, and to deface or to alter your body permanently is against Islamic teachings.

I’d like to underline and emphasize, the issue with tattooing is not the fact that you put a design on your body, because we groom ourselves constantly, whether it’s cutting our hair, trimming beards, brushing our teeth, etc, we are changing our bodies. The issue is whether or not something is permanent. It is that fact that makes tattoos different to other things we do to our bodies, whether that is henna or ear piercings, the fact that your body can return to its original shape is central towards the reasoning of the permissibility of henna and ear piercing and not tattoos.

Yes, today you can remove the tattoos, but, both procedures, getting the tattoo and removing it, are painful and time-consuming procedures, and not worth your time.

Much of the justification by scholars hinges within The Qur’an, specifically in Surah An-Nisa:

“…rebellious Satan (118) whom God has reject for having said, ‘Verily, of Thy servants I shall most certainly take my due share, (119) and shall lead them astray, and fill them with vain desires; and I shall command them – and they will cut off the ears of cattle [in idolatrous sacrifice]; and I shall command them – and they will corrupt God’s creation!” [4:117-119] Muhammad Asad

Now, you see the last part, “they will corrupt God’s creation,” it is there that scholars have pointed to the sanctity of one’s body. The word in The Qur’an is literally change, but Muhammad Asad, and I think quite rightly, translated it as “corrupt” because the meaning is far wider in the above context. Satan is not just trying to make human beings get tattoos as the ultimate proof of one’s sin, he wants to change human nature into that of evil.

However, I do think that there is validity to the idea that a human being’s body should not be altered excessively, and that while I agree with Muhammad Asad’s idea that this verse is much wider, I believe that it can also apply to the more mundane issue of our bodies, which is critical for our health and well-being.

There is also a Hadith, which says:

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) cursed the tattooer and the one who is tattooed, the shortener of teeth and the one whose teeth are shortened.”

This Hadith is reported by Muslim, and seems to be sound.

Let us remember that The Prophet is not talking about people who had tattoos before they became Muslim, which I want to be abundantly clear. The part about teeth, that is from a practice that was done during The Prophet’s time, which was quite dangerous (as was tattooing, there wasn’t exactly sterile tools being used in these procedures) so, The Prophet clearly said that to engage in these risky practices, which would permanently change your body, is wrong because it does not serve a medical purpose and you are engaging in unnecessary medical risk for something that does not really help you.

I would like to underline that The Prophet’s mention of “teeth shorteners” cannot be used to prevent dental procedures, like dentures, fillings, or other forms of dentistry. The point was that these people were putting gaps in their teeth, and shortening them (by filing them down) which is stupid, painful, and a little odd. Please do not think that these two issues (dentistry and what The Prophet is referring to) are similar at all.

Also, whatever tattoo you want to get today, when you are young, might sound awesome. It might even look cool. But just remember, there is going to be a day when you will be old, and that tribal tattoo will turn into a straight line.

I mean, there will be a day when DJ Pauly D is going to be old. What do you think his tattoos are going to look like? Terrible, that’s how.

All jokes aside, an aspect of the impermissibility of the tattoo process that we do not discuss is that we use tattoos to mark something, to express something about ourselves, and the reason why the tattoo is impermissible is because The Qur’an challenges the human to not rely upon any physical signs, not race, not gender, not tattoos, no “cues” to evaluate someone, except in one way, which is not physical: what their actions are.

It is your actions that not only define you to other people, but determine whether you go to heaven or not, (insha Allah, you all will go to heaven). So please maintain yourself and maintain the quality of your actions, because that is more important than any other thing you can remove, add, or wear.

Insha Allah, I hope I answered your question, and if you, or anyone else has a question on this, or any other topic, please do not hesitate to ask.


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