Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tattoos and sins being erased


I love tattoos as a form of art and self-expression. I would love to have a tattoo. But I will not.

I try to stay fully honest with myself, as I've posted about a couple times, in order to avoid "kidding myself" into things; basically to keep myself as close to possible to this pure state, knowing what is culture and what is nature.

Tattoos is one of those things I want but would not get because, being honest with myself, I know that I would just be kidding myself into thinking it's OK in Islam (and in general, I guess). I know I'm not Muslim, and it's always said that all your sins disappear after converting, but I don't see converting as one moment that will erase everything. I don't really agree with this view in full.

I feel like even if I have not converted, I am responsable for my own actions. I think that a moment of realization that a person might have could be counted as many "good deeds" that counter the "bad deeds" a person has accumulated. And I think that anyway, a conversion is a process... It can take a while, and when you're in it, knowing that certain things are wrong and others are necessary while being unclear about others... You will be judged based on what you do know and a simple statement like the shahada will not erase that. You were responsable for that part because you were fully aware. Basically, you were "converted" about this subject. If that makes an sense! Does it?

13 Comentários:

Lisa said...

Hi Candice, I found you though Struggling and I'm so glad I did! You are very creative and come up with the most interesting topics. I am interested to hear more after reading your recent comments about Struggling's pregnancy.

I left Islam completely due to a bad husband, which will be on me. I'm slowly finding my way back. I even went towards Christianity again, but realized I missed Islam. The point is that when I started up with Islam, I jumped in and wore niqaab and gave up everything American. And regretted it.

I'm glad you are taking it a little slower, and think it will help you a lot. Candice, you will be beautiful without tattoos. There is nothing like the beauty of our own skin. Lots of love and prayers for an easy journey.

Candice said...

My husband made it easy for me to take it slow in Islam. Your story (I've read your blog before and a bit of your story) makes me glad to have this type of husband. I can feel sometimes like he doesn't care to help me, but at least I don't feel rushed into anything. I'm starting to see this as a blessing.

I didn't know you were gravitating back to Islam though. I feel happy for you! I haven't converted, but I really am feeling closer and closer to Islam and I feel happy to hear these types of things.

Thank you for visiting my blog, Lisa!

Amber said...

Nothing to do with the permisability or lack thereof for tattoo's in Islam, since this isn't a problem for me, but I too love the art of tattoos. I've even considered getting some, except I'm afraid of needles. :)

Candice said...

Is it permissible in Christianity? I know the opinions vary for most of Christianity but are generally against it?

If you really want one and find the right design, you should go for it! It's gonna last a lifetime for those 30 minutes of pain!

Amber said...

My *understanding*, and it does vary, depending on the denomination, I believe, is that it is not encouraged, but for the most part, not forbidden.

Provided that the subject of the tattoo is not un-Christian in nature. Demons and gates of hell and naked people would be out, for example, or pagan symbols.

Candice said...

That makes sense to me! I kind of feel the same in a lot of ways, but the fact that it is permanant makes me feel the need to stay away.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I wonder why people think tattoos are not allowed in Islam? I'd be interested in knowing the reasons. A friend of mine suggested that when you do wuduu it wouldn't reach the skin; but what if the tattoo was on your back or something; and anyway if water won't reach your skin neither will dirt. Another friend suggested that it constitutes as changing yourself (i.e. what God created) but then what about piercings, hair straightening, plastic surgery etc.

Maybe tattoos are seen as forbidden because they don't really fit into Arab/Islamic culture which is pretty conservative right now. I'd definitely be interested in hearing the religious reasons behind tattoos not being allowed.

Candice said...

I don't see wudu as an issue... I think that since the ink is in the skin, it still lets the water reach the skin fully. About getting a tattoo on your back to avoid the wudu problem in the case that you do believe it affects the water from reaching the skin, it would make you be unable to do ghusl. So that's not a very good argument.

I think that tattoos are different than straighening your hair or getting body piercings since they are permanent. It is not different than plastic surgery that is done to enhance beauty, and I think it's not considered permissible to do it. I think it's considered permissible in situations where you are correcting something (like after breaking your nose or getting badly burned). I also feel plastic surgery is OK to correct something you were born with, but that is just not normal. Like ears that are very far out from the face, this kind of thing. The line is hard to be drawn, but for tattoos, none of them have a good reason to be had, and they are permanent.

I still really want one though! lol

Amber said...

I never did understand why the distinction was made between piercing's and tattoos. Some piercings do wind up being permanent. I had my ears pierced as a kid, and the holes have never closed up. And I haven't worn earrings for years. Every so often I'll put a pair in, and they slide in just fine.

Fidza said...

Hi there,

I'm so glad to cross over your blog. I was born as a muslim girl and I believe in my religion even though there are some stuff from the Quran I could not explain why we can't do and etc. My bf is a pantheist. He loves tattoos and I still do not have VERY GOOD reasons to tell him why Tattoos are not allowed in Islam. He eat pork and drink alcohol once in a while. He willing to quit those but in tattooing because he loves tattoo. I understand that it takes time for him to fall in love with Islam. I don't want him to convert to Islam just because of me, but also the unique and the beautiful of Islam. Right now, I'm not sure whether he is willing to be a Muslim at any of this time because of A LOT OF un-answered questions about Islam. But really hopes Allah will give him the "Hidayah"...

Candice said...

Fidza, I hope you're able to show him the beauty of Islam! I think it's best to stay away from the tattooing issue for a while when talking about Islam because it isn't the clearest thing in Islam, and not that important as part of Islam anyway. I'd just tell him I personally don't like tattoos much and keep the religious influence out of my reason if I were you!

Again, I wish the best for him... To learn about Islam and love it and appreciate it. It would be great for your relationship too. :)

Amanda said...

I actually just ran across this blog in a search. I am a Bible-believing Christian and am about to get a tattoo. I work with a lot of Muslims and before I get this done, I was trying to research what the Islamic belief is on tattoos. Either way, since I do not adhere to Islam, I will get the tattoo, I will just choose a more hidden place. I do not want my tattoo to become an issue when I am traveling in Muslim areas. Is there anything in the Quran that causes Muslims to not believe that tattoos are ok, or is it primarily the Islamic culture that is against it?

And as for Christianity and tattoos: regardless of denominations, Christians are to hold the Word of God, the Bible, as the utmost authority over their lives. There is nothing in Scripture that is against tattooing. Most Jews believe that tattooing is wrong because of some verses in the Leviticus and the Old Testament, but as a Messianic Christian, I believe the old has gone and the new has come. And therefore, I do not only follow the Old Testament as the Word of God, like Jews, but also the New Testament. And all Scripture from the Old Testament does have to be read through the lenses of the New Testament in order to fully understand the context of the Old Testament, and therefore draw out the meaning and application of the text.

There are many Christians who do not like tattoos, for example, my parents. But they cannot back up their preference using the Bible. It is just a preference. Just like drinking. There are many Christians who are against drinking alcohol. But again, that is a preference. Scripture does not tell us not to drink, it tells us not to get drunk. Tattoos are definitely something that has become a part of our modern culture. So in the same way that my parents don't like modern music, modern clothes, or moderately drinking alcohol, they don't like tattoos.

I hope this was helpful.

OrangeVanilla said...

hello and hi,
i just crossed over this blog and this entry, the topic is so interesting. well, lemme introduce myself. im Vanilla and i was born and brought up in islam family.i got a christian boyfriend and we have been together for almost 4 years. knowing him made me learnt more about my own religion and his religion too. i think we are in a good relationship along this 4 years coz we never have fought badly over religion issue. he can understand n respect me, so am i. about the tatoo issue, i might can explain a bit about it, but it still depends on you, how you accept these reasons.i hope im writing it in a good way n not sound offensive to anyone coz my intention is just to answer the questions.

in islam, having tatoo is considered as changing God's creation. God has created us perfectly, therefore when we wanna get something that will last or change our skin, body, etc. forever, we are considered as trying to change His creation.we are already beautiful the way we are, so we are encouraged to be grateful with it.the same goes to plastic surgery.we can only have plastic surgery if we have health problems. islam also advises us to avoid doing something that can harm ourselves. tattooing has some negatives effects. so as a human being, we have a responsibility to take a good care of ourselves. God has created us in a good health condition( maybe not everyone, but He did not make us born with disease etc.), so we should be grateful to him,and as a sign of appreciation, why dont we stay away from whatever that can put us at stake? about how the water cannot go into the skin because of tatoo, that also one of the reasons. if the tatoo is at our back,it is true that it doesnt involve the other parts for ablution (wudhuk). but, in Islam, most of times people will need to take a sort of ' cleaning bath'. i dont know what is the exact term for this kind of bath in English, but we will do it to clean ourselves after finished menstruation every month,or after having sexual intercourse. after the bath, then only we can take wudhuk and pray. without the bath, the wudhuk wont be accepted. and to get a perfect bath, water must be able to touch and run over the whole body, get into the skin. so if we have a tatoo at the back or other parts, we cant do the cleaning bath neither to take ablution and pray. islam is all about cleanliness and peacefulness. Islam is easy, tho it sounds like it has so many rules, it always give lotsa options to us to choose. we can choose to do it or not, to be an obedient follower or not. if we find it hard, then take a small step each day will be good enough. yes there are sins and rewards for us, but again, it is us to choose. islam only gives us (the followers) a guidance on how to live our life and the explanation why we must do it that way we told to do. it's all in Al-Quran and the more we try to find about it, we'll find it. for most of times, i find a serenity when i follow it correctly. but there also times when if i fell reluctant. so i wont do it ( like not putting my hijab on when i want to do some acitvities).i accept that im doing something that against my religion belief and therefore i'll bear my own sin.for me,it's nothing to be stressed up with islam or any other religions as long as we understand the reasons behind each religion's practices. no religion teaches us to be a bad person. and islam not a religion that forces people to follow it to be 'a right and perfect' human beings. to Candice, i wish u all the best and dont worry much, just take as much time as u like to know islam. i hope my explanations can help u guys. take care. :)

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