Is tattooing allowed in Islam

Muslims and tattoosHow sacred is the body?

Tattoos are a hot topic in the Islamic world - especially on the internet. Heard here: Voices from Germany and other countries on the question of how Islam and tattoos go together. The negative votes predominate. Extremists in particular flood the Internet with radical views.

"To get a tattoo or to tattoo someone is haram and one of the great sins."

There is discussion on the net

But there are also young Muslims who openly acknowledge their tattoos. Like this young Muslim woman from the USA. She wears the Muslim headgear, but has got a tattoo.

"This is one of my most watched videos ever. My very own tattoo story."

This video alone has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. This enormous range shows that such questions concern young Muslims in everyday life. Mathias Rohe is an Islamic scholar and lawyer at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He knows these discussions on the internet.

"I came across a chat room where it was discussed whether a Muslim could get a tattoo? Where some say: 'No, there are very clear statements from the Prophet Mohammed that this is forbidden'. Others say: 'Well, yes For example, a Maori who has traditionally had tattoos now has to get tattoos - is that why he is going to hell now? Or is it not necessary. Perhaps it depends on the intention, why you do it? If someone even has such a beautiful religious one Tattooed motif. Isn't that actually a good thing? '"

The Islamic scholar Mathias Rohe welcomes the debate about the role of the body in Islam (imago stock & people / argum / Falk Heller)

"You mustn't change anything in your body!"

Esra wonders that too. She is 28 years old and lives in Cologne. She always wanted a tattoo if her religion wouldn't forbid it. At least that's what her family gave her.

"I don't really know much about it. Because I haven't really looked up anything about it or researched why I'm not allowed to do that. I just grew up with: 'You are not allowed to change anything in your body, it's forbidden!' That was okay for me, although I think that's nice and would like to have one too. "

16-year-old Aykut also comes from a religious Muslim family with traditional views. When asked about the tattoo, he reacts like this:

"The body is loaned to you by God for the life you live here on earth, and in heaven you will give it back. Therefore: I take care of my body."

"There is no clear statement about the tattoo in the Koran"

Mathias Rohe is familiar with the concept of the human body that is widespread in Islam:

"Well, there is the statement that man is not allowed to dispose of his body independently, in the sense of hurting it, having a detrimental effect on it, because it is a gift from God. And that is why man is also with regard to dealing with accountable to his own body to God. That is the basic idea. "

Enes Curuk is a young theology graduate. After studying in Turkey, he first worked as an imam in Germany. His position is moderate. He wants to rethink contemporary questions on the basis of the Koran for the present day. And even if people have been tattooed for a few thousand years:

"There is no clear statement about the tattoo in the Koran. The religious majority are advocates of a ban and refer to the prohibition of effects on the body with long-lasting changes in this case law. That means everything that changes the natural condition is forbidden . "

"You're not going to paradise anyway"

If tattoos serve a purely aesthetic purpose, however, they should be tolerable from a religious point of view, says Enes Curuk. But he is pretty much alone with this view:

"The self-proclaimed religious authorities of course oppose the whole thing. You have to assume that. But I think that you don't have to bow to the whole thing and that you can definitely stand above it."

The theologian Enes Curuk does not see a clear rejection of tattoos in the Koran (private)

As a young theologian he can only reach young Muslims with theological positions that fit into a plural society in the 21st century, says Enes Curuk.

The Islamic scholar Mathias Rohe also knows cases "where an auxiliary imam was invited to a correctional facility for pastoral care. And then he had nothing better to do than to say to a young prisoner who was heavily tattooed: 'You won't get into anyway Paradise as you are mutilated. ' Well, that's exactly what a young man like that in the correctional facility has to hear. Well, it's very important that as a religious person you approach something like this in a human way. "

"Islam can be a living faith"

Even the young Muslim Esra can no longer be influenced by strict views, she says. For other reasons, she said goodbye to her tattoo wish. Otherwise "I would already have a clear conscience and would not be afraid that I would go to hell because of it."

Even if the question of whether tattoos are Islamically permitted or not is by no means central, Mathias Rohe is happy about such internal Muslim debates, "because they show that Islam can be a living faith. So you don't necessarily have to accept the dead faith of the past always has to continue writing, but can form his own opinion. "