Q: What is the ruling on tattoos? Can a person get tattoos? I have heard that it is permissible while some say it is not. Also I want to know what should a person do if he had tattoos before he was a Muslim or if he was a Muslim but ignorant of the fact? Is there any punishment and can they offer prayer with tattoos? Can a person with tattoo perform hajj or umrah? Also should a person get his tattoo removed or not because some of my friends told me that a person is not Muslim if he has tattoos he should remove it? But what if the person can’t afford to do so or if the method of removing tattoos is painful?
A: It is not permissible. It is an action that brings about divine curse.
Make taubah and to the best of his ability he should try to obliterate it. Allah Ta`ala will forgive him and insha-Allah his prayers will be accepted.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)