The topic of tattoos in Islam is a much contested one. With a variety of beliefs held by members of this religion it is difficult to come to a conclusion, here we will discuss the various contested points of tattoos and the various view points.
By most tattoos in Islam are considered to be haram; this means that Allah looks down on the people that defile their body with tattoos, piercings or even tweezing their eyebrows. It is not stated in the Islamic culture why tattoos and piercing are considered one of the most unholy sins. The presumption that most people make is that it is to do with changing the creation of Allah. Taking his holy gift, the body, and changing it to look like something else is a grave sin that is punishable by the Prophet. Tattoos in Islam can also bring punishment to the person giving the tattoo, not only the person receiving one.
However, this does not mean there are no tattoos in Islam. When celebrating days of Jahalia, or ignorance, many teens and younger adults get tattoos even though it is looked down upon in Islam. It is said that Allah forgives people that make hasty decisions in their time of Jahalia as long as a person sincerely repents his misguided mistakes. Because of this forgiveness, many people still get tattoos in Islam culture because they know they will have an excuse to get out of being forever damned or cursed as long as they get their tattoos during this time of Jahalia. Henna body painting is not considered a tattoo in Islam because it is removable; therefore, it is not only not a sin but also considered artwork in the name of Allah as many henna designs have a spiritual nature.
There are occasions where tattoos in Islam are allowed, for example when someone wants to convert to the religion. It is said that Allah turns all of your past transgressions into good deeds once you commit to Islamic monotheism. This means that you will be forgiven for all the bad deeds that you have done before becoming Islamic. You will still be allowed to pray, do wudhu, and other Islamic duties even if you have tattoos.
Although modern medicine is not commonly used in Islam, it is acceptable to use laser surgery to remove tattoos for the purpose of returning your body back to its original state before Jahalia and getting tattoos done. Although tattoos in Islam are frowned upon by most, they can be forgiven unlike other cultures. Of course there are some believers who interpret the teachings and lessons of every religion differently, so opinions can vary.