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N.B. Rulings are given in accordance with the Hanafi school of thought

Are Muslims permitted to have tattoos or practice this trade?

Q: The practice of tattoos on the body has become very common. Are Muslims permitted to have tattoos or practice this trade?

A: Disfiguring and mutilation of one's body is prohibited in Islam. The body, organs and limbs of a human being are the sole property of Allah Ta’ala and must be utilised in accordance with His divine command and pleasure. The noble Quran makes mention of mutilation in the words of shaytan when he said: ‘I will mislead them and I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) natural creation of Allah.’ (4: 119)

To deface and distort the nature created by Allah Ta’ala is something that shaytaan strives for and advocates.
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mas'ud (RA) narrates the following : "Allah's curse is on those women who practise tattooing and imprint (their bodies with) tattoos, those who clip facial hair (eyebrows), and those who make space between their teeth artificially to beautify themselves. They are such that they distort the natural features created by Allah. Allah's Messenger also cursed such women." (Recorded by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim in their respective Sahih collections)

In view of the above, the jurists have declared mutilation of one's body to be unlawful (haram) unless when shariah permits to do so, such as circumcision, trimming the hair of the body, cutting the nails, necessary surgery etc.That which is regarded an adornment for the body, such as piercing the ears or the nose, etc." (Extract of Fatwa by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam Al-Kawthari with slight amendments)”

Accordingly tattoos in all forms of practice are not permissible in Islam.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Was Salaam

Shafiq Jakhura (Mufti) and M.D. Mangera (Mufti)
Darul Ihsan Fatwa Dept.

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