Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tainted Ink?!

Tatu, or most commonly know as Tattoo or Ink, a marking made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons, is considered one of the most controversial forms of body modification/decoration or as i like to see it, ART!

you guessed it, im inked, 4 pieces of art to be exact,, 
My Hand of Fatima or Maryam

I've always been interrogated about my ink:

- where, when did you get?
- does it hurt?
- what does it mean?
- but ur name is Ali, isnt it haram (legally forbidden by Islamic Law, and other religions apply here)?
- do you regret them?
- why did you get one? two? three? four?
- is it addictive?
- can you remove it?

Well, to be honest i do not mind answering most of the questions, they are part of who i am, they each relate to a single or many pit stops in my life which i have chosen to keep forever to remind me of them and for other various personal reasons. 

The question which bothers me the most though is #4!! simply because religious beliefs are some of the most personal to a person, one's relationship with the deity he worships is to be only probed by himself, and himself alone. Don't you think i would've thought of whether it was or not, of whether i might be seen as a Kafer (Those who deliberately hide the truth; unbelievers, truth-concealers; one who is ungrateful), don't you think that this is my personal decision and none of your business? well i did my part and looked it up and came up with some interesting findings!! here goes....

To start off, tattooing is forbidden in Judaism, Christianity and Islam,, guess im screwed wherever i go ! now the juicy why(s):

- Fundamentalist Christians consider it to be an activity that was done by Pagans, so non-believers, thus haram.
- Catholics, well i guess this sums it up,  Leviticus 19:28, which reads "You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves..." 

- Jews take it a bit further by stating that "tattooing is simply something NOT done", et voila!! and the Germans worked on this quite well, if you ever wondered why Jews in concentration camps used to be tattooed with an identification number, yes, it was an act to separate observant Jews from their God.

- Islam, now here is where it gets tricky, since there is no apparent instruction in the Holy Qoran (as per my research), but rather a series of Hadeeths (narrations concerning the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hadith are regarded by traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Qur'an and in matters of jurisprudence) well,  the most specific one goes like this "cursed the one who does tattoos and the one for whom tattooing is done", moreover, other scholars/ important ppl in Islam have said that 
      - “Islam denounces excesses in beautifying oneself when it alters the physical features that Allah created him with. The Glorious Qur'an considers such alterations as inspired by Satan, who "...will command them (his devotees) to change what Allah has created...” (An-Nisa': 119)
      - “May Allaah 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 Allaah.”

Soooo, apparently its forbidden to pierce, tattoo, enhance, alter and bring any modification to your body, since it is a an act of Satan, to modify the appearance which God gave you, which in turn is apparently "perfect"

My Rocks
Well, the Islamic point of view, since i am most concerned by it, since the question i get start by "but your name is Ali,,,", so basically, i am a Kafer, an unbeliever (face palm!!) but hey, isn't my grandma also who is a devout believer since she dyes her hair , isn't my sister who has pierced ears, aren't most women who have "enhanced" body parts? isn't my dad who has teeth bridge? hmmm arent the poor animals we eat which are tattooed in order to keep count and identification? 

too many questions which surely i am not the right person to answer, 

a quickie though, funnily enough, if a person converts to Islam, all his previous sins are exempted hmmmm,, but this is for another time to explore :)

Finally, personally i see them as part of who i am, as snapshots of my personal history, as art on my body... i do not truly care what any1 thinks of them, they are on me, for me :) my relationship with the Divine is between me and him, and im sure ill sweet talk him into giving me a "free jail pass card"...

P.S: all ink done at the best studio in the middle east Skin Deep by the famed master Hady Beydoun 
check out his FB page

And there's my buttermint for the day :) 


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  1. Very interesting post! Thanks for this!
    No one can judge who's a kafr or not, or even what is actually a kafer! There's a guy that actually got tatooed 'Kafer' on his chest, i'll send you the pic/article.

  2. of course you would love it.
    You know who I am.

  3. I'm back for more comments! Sometimes you have bad perceptions about things like tattoos. But then, you meet people like Ali, totally passionate! And HAPPY about their choices. That's what matters. This is when your perception change, and though you won't have one done yourself, you start appreciating them on others. Thanks Ali!

  4. Amazing article ali, i loved it, interesting and refreshing!

  5. interesting post. Yea I always thought of religious beliefs to be a personal thing...not really a fan of ppl who go abt preaching.