As a twenty-one year old female, I feel extremely blessed to be able to have the freedom to express myself in almost any way that I want-one way being able to get a tattoo. Today, I have two: one on my ribs and one on my foot; and I always find myself itching to get another one. Let’s be honest though, experiencing what I can only describe what feels like an electric pumpkin carver jabbing into one’s skin is not exactly the best feeling in the world-however, I still don’t regret the choices of my youth and I hope to feel the same way when I am older. Despite my parent’s disagreement of my tattoos, there is no other force that holds me back from expressing myself in this painful and permanent way.
This photo shows the process of what it is like to get a tattoo and how far the needle is inserted into the skin.
“Can Muslims have tattoos?”
There are other forces besides a parent’s disagreement, however, when it comes to Muslims being able to get “tatted up”. Many questions arise when it comes to tattoos and if they are haram, or forbidden, for Muslims. Muslims follow the religion of Islam, in which ‘Abd-Allaah idn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “May Allah curse the women who do tattoos and those for whom tattoos are done, those who pluck their eyebrows and those who file their teeth for the purpose of beautification and alter the creation of Allah.” Now cursed seems harsh right? In fact, tattooing one’s body in Muslim is mainly frowned upon and those are not literally cursed. To Muslims, tattooing is a major sin, however, since tattooing is altering the original creation of one’s self by Allah. This “curse” is also not permanent, since like Christianity, Islam believe one can repent their sins for this mistake.
“Can one convert to Muslim with tattoos already existing on their body?”
Many people converting to Muslim who already have tattoos that exist are concerned that they will not be able to convert; this simply should be no concern. When converting to Islam, it is believed that whatever came before the conversion should be wiped out and all sins are erased in order to have a fresh start with the religion. Besides, there is always tattoo removal as an option in case anyone is extremely concerned with this issue.
This photo shows tattoo removal.
“What about ‘temporary tattoos’ or ‘henna’? Are these cursed or forbidden for Muslims?”
Temporary tattoos and henna are all the rage for those who want to decorate their body without having to deal with the pain or permanence of an actual tattoo. So since this is technically a temporary altercation of one’s body, are Muslims allowed to have them? The answer is yes. Technically, since these bodily decoration techniques are not permanent, they are not forbidden and are allowed in Islam.
Example of a very detailed henna tattoo.
“What about tattoos symbolizing the Islam religion?”
In America, it is extremely popular for people to decorate their bodies with tattoos of phrases from the Bible and religious figures. But what about tattoos that are based on the religion of Islam? For Islam, it can be considered offensive to have images of Allah and Mohammed as tattoos. It is not offensive, on the other hand, for Muslims to tattoo a verse from the Quran on their body in Arabic, or the crescent and star.
The crescent and star, an example of a non-offensive Islamic tattoo.
Tattoos are a great way to express one’s self. Some religions are more lenient than others. I agree with the Islamic religion on tattooing religious figures as being offensive, since those religious figures to begin with believed it was sinful to alter one’s body. No matter what, a tattoo should be thought out carefully and not be a rushed decision. You are living with this mark on you for the rest of your life and it says something about you, so be cautious in your decisions and give this permanent altercation much thought before purposely changing your body.