Tattoos in Islam

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  • Publish date:12/10/2017
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
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Question:

Why are tattoos banned in Islam? No they don't affect health, nothing will happen to you if you get a little tattoo. Also, if it affects Tahaarah, that is not true. Does God Almighty care about a little centimeter of dotted skin? 

Fatwa:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

You have to know that Allah is All-Wise in His Legislation and Decree; His Words are The Truth, and His Rulings are Just. Allah Says (what means): {And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice.} [Quran 6:115]. All that Allah has Legislated is of Complete Wisdom. Allah has made some things lawful because they are very beneficial, and has forbidden other things because they are very harmful.

However, a human being might not know the reason behind all this. The evidence about the ignorance of a human being is that he constantly explores and invents things that he was unaware of in the past. Therefore, it is an obligation on the Muslim to submit himself to Allah's Decree as Allah Says (what means): {It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision…} [Quran 33:36].

The first thing that can be said about the wisdom of forbidding tattoos is that it is confirmed that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) forbade it and it is a revelation from Allah as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) does not speak of his own desires. There is no harm if after believing and acknowledging the truth and acting upon Allah's Order and upon the narrations of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) to seek the wisdom behind such prohibition. Imam Al-Bukhari  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him reported that Abu Juhayfah  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said: "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) cursed those ladies who practice tattooing and those who get themselves tattooed."

Among the wisdoms that the scholars  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them   have mentioned is that having tattoos is considered as changing the creation of Allah, and in some narrations the following addition has been mentioned "…whereby they change Allah's creation." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] In addition to this, having a tattoo subjects the body to pain without a preponderant need or benefit and this is forbidden.

Finally, tattoos do not affect the purity of a person as they are under the skin and do not prevent water from reaching the skin.   

Allah Knows best.  

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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