Tattoos are done by piercing the skin with a very small needle and injecting special colored dyes inside. They are added to the dermis layer of the skin and stay there after it has healed, therefore becoming permanent. The ink for tattoos is specially developed to ensure it is inert and does not cause an adverse reaction with the human body. The topic of tattoos in Islam is an often discussed one, as they have become a trending topic amongst the youth.
Why Tattoo is Haram in Islam
There is a documented hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Juhayfah (RA), where he quotes the Holy Prophet (SAW): “The Holy Prophet (SAW) cursed the one who does tattoos, the one who has a tattoo, the one who consumes interest and the one who pays it, and he forbade the price of a dog and the earnings of a prostitute, and he cursed the image-makers” (Bukhari, 5032).
This hadith clearly defines the status of tattoos to be haram. While this hadith is accepted amongst most people of Islam, there is still conflict regarding its interpretation. However, the fact becomes evident once we start exploring the nature of tattoos and why they can be considered haram in Islam.
Waste of Money
Tattoos are a waste of money since there is no return value gained from investing in them. Their concept of beauty is directly related to baring and showing off one’s naked body, which is against the principles of Islam. Their beauty is appreciated within a small circle of people and though they may be widely mainstream, their true acceptance remains small.
Unnecessary Risk to Health
Tattoos pose an unnecessary risk to health because they are often related to skin infections. The ink compounds are designed to be inert but there are cases of allergies and complications during the procedure which cause medical issues. These include infections, skin allergies, and scarring. All of these are completely avoidable and their only cause is tattoos. Tattoos in Islam are considered haram since it poses health risks for Muslims.
Linked to Branding Slaves
Tattoos were an ancient form of marking slaves that were widely used in Arab before the advent of Islam. The Holy Prophet (SAW) forbade Muslims from participating in inking to ensure they differentiated from slavery. Islam strictly forbade slavery and the Holy Prophet (SAW) himself freed many slaves. The place of tattoos in Islam is the same as participating in the culture of having slaves or identifying as one. Hence, this practice was also considered haram due to this reason. This factor cannot be ignored though it was related to the times of the advent of the Holy Prophet (SAW).
There are numerous cases of people contracting diseases from having tattoos. The act of piercing the skin with a needle leaves it prone to the entry of bacteria and viruses. There are even cases of people getting diseases from well-reputed tattoo parlors. Tattoos in Islam have been considered haram to ensure the Muslims remain in good health and do not take unwanted risks to their wellbeing.
Tattoos in Islam
Inking is pointless in nature and only satisfies one’s personal desire. They have no real value and pose unnecessary health risks. Moreover, there are documented Sunnah which show the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) scorn regarding them. As such, tattoos in Islam are considered haram and Muslims are advised to refrain from getting inked.