image created by ink placed in human skin, permanently or semi-permanently

A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.

A Māori Chief with tattoos (moko) seen by Cook and his crew.

Quotes edit

  • Scarifying and tattooing are going out of fashion. Many of the young men once so proud of their “ichi” marks, would gladly be relieved of [their marks]. What is a matter of pride, when among his own clansmen, becomes a reproach, because of the ridicule and contempt which is meted out to him in other parts of the country.
    • G.T. Basden (2013). Among the Ibos of Nigeria: 1912. p. 333
  • Tattoos are social signifiers and they signify three important things: 1: Short time preferences. 2:Poor judgment. 3:Susceptibility to social influences.
  • Muhammad forbade the custom of the idolaters of Arabia to prick the hands of their women and to rub the punctures over with wood, indigo, and other colours.
    • Hughes, T. P. (1986). Dictionary of Islam: : being a cyclopaedia of the doctrines, rites, ceremonies, and customs together with the technical and theological terms, of the Muhammadan religion. Entry TATTOOING. (Mishkat, book xii. ch. i. Pt. 1.)
  • Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.
  • “Allah has cursed those women who practise tattooing and those women who have themselves tattooed, and those women who get their hair removed from their eyebrows and faces (except the beard and the mustache), and those who make artificial spaces between their teeth for beauty, whereby they change Allah’s creation.”
    • Riyad-us-Saliheen, book 17, ch. 36, no. 1646.
  • “Allah has cursed those women who tattooed and who have themselves been tattooed, those who pluck hair from their faces and those who make spaces between their teeth for beautification changing what God has created” (5301).
    • Sahih Muslim. Quoted from Ram Swarup, Understanding Islam through Hadis, 1983. [1]
  • Narrated Abu Huraira : A woman who used to practise tattooing was brought to 'Umar. 'Umar got up and said, "I beseech you by Allah, which of you heard the Prophet saying something about tattooing?" l got up and said, "0 chief of the Believers! l heard something." He said, "What did you hear?" I said, "I heard the Prophet (addressing the ladies), saying, 'Do not practise tattooing and do not get yourselves tattooed.'"
    • Sahih Bukhari 7:72:830
  • Narrated Ibn 'Umar : I heard the Prophet saying, (or the Prophet said), "Allah has cursed the lady who practices tattooing and that who gets it done for herself, and also the lady who lengthens hair artificially and that who gets her hair lengthened artificially." The Prophet has cursed such ladies.
    • Sahih Bukhari 7:72:825
  • Narrated 'Aun bin Abu Juhaifa: My father bought a slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the slave's instruments of cupping). I asked my father why he had done so. He replied, "The Prophet forbade the acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting tattooed and receiving or giving Riba, (usury), and cursed the picture-makers."
    • Sahih Bukhari 3:34:299
  • Narrated Abu Juhaifa: The Prophet forbade the use of the price of blood and the price of a dog, the one who takes (eats) usury the one who gives usury, the woman who practises tattooing and the woman who gets herself tattooed.
    • Sahih Bukhari 7:72:829
  • Narrated Aun bin Abu Juhaifa: I saw my father buying a slave whose profession was cupping, and ordered that his instruments (of cupping) be broken. I asked him the reason for doing so. He replied, "Allah's Apostle prohibited taking money for blood, the price of a dog, and the earnings of a slave-girl by prostitution; he cursed her who tattoos and her who gets tattooed, the eater of Riba (usury), and the maker of pictures."
    • Sahih Bukhari 3:34:440
  • Narrated Abu Huraira : Allah's Apostle said, "The evil eye is a fact," and he forbade tattooing.
    • Sahih Bukhari 7:72:827
  • Narrated Ibn 'Umar : The Prophet has cursed the lady who lengthens hair artificially and that who gets her hair lengthened in such away, and the lady who practises tattooing and that who gets it done for herself.
    • Sahih Bukhari 7:72:831
  • It was narrated that 'Abdulleh said: "The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who does tattoos and the one who has them done, and those who pluck their eyebrows and file their teeth for the purpose of beautification, and those who change the creation of Allah." News of that reached a woman of Banu Asad who was called Umm Ya'qub. She came to him and said: "I have heard that you said such and such." He said: 'Why should I not curse those whom the Messenger of Allah cursed ? And it is in the Book of Allah." She said: "I read what is between its two covers 'and I have not found that." He said: "If you read it properly you would have found it. Have you not read the words: 'And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).'?" She said: "Of course." He said: 'The Messenger of Allah forbade that." She said: 'I think that your wife does it.' He said: " Go and look." So she went and looked and she did not see what she wanted. She said: "I have not seen anything!’ 'Abdullah said: "If she was as you say, I would not have kept her with me. " (Sahih)
    • Sunan Ibn Majah 3:9:1989
  • I pretended to admire the tattoo in the shape of the Greek letter omega that covered her cheeks and forehead. It looked as if a dray horse had kicked her in the face.
    • Robert Charles Wilson, The Cartesian Theater (2006), reprinted in Rich Horton (ed.), Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2007, p. 87

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