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Permissible for women to use henna tattoos?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftisays.com
is it permissible 4 women to use henna tattoos on their hands?
are u allowed to xmas cards & presents to non-muslim freinds?
are muslim women allowed to get massaeged by non-muslim women?




In the name of Allah the Most Beneficial

1. The temporary henna (Menhdi) tattoos are waterproof and are made from artificial dyes and chemicals. Majority of the Henna tattoos are just mere stickers which prevent the passing of water onto that area of skin to which it has bee applied to. They will hold the same ruling as that of other waterproof make-ups and cosmetics, which are permissible when done with the correct intention at heart, which is to please the husband and to follow the Sunnah. It can be concluded that it should not be applied before one has performed Wudhu / Ghusl as it will render the Wudhu /Ghusl incomplete. To remove henna tattoos one will have to apply “rubbing alcohol” (Isopropyl Alcohol, which is too poisonous to drink) or cold creams,which is a strong indication that it is waterproof.

It should be remembered that to use natural henna is Sunnah. In my own humble opinion it is far better to use natural henna as opposed to henna tattoos, because one is aware that the chemicals used in the production of the tattoo patterns is predominantly a chemical dye, called Phenylenediamine, referred to as PPD. This is a toxin which is very dangerous and harmful on skin cells and can cause a chemical burn. A Muslim male and female should refrain from using such products which are detrimental to the health.

One should also keep in mind that only those patterns are allowed which are not of or do not resemble any animals, people etc. Intricate, intrinsic, exotic or geometric looking patterns are best.

You will need to check which brands and makes of “henna tattoos” are waterproof and which are not; from my research I was unable to find a brand of henna tattoo which didn’t need alcohol or cold cream to remove and which brands are safe to use before using them. But natural is always better and is Sunnah.

Glitter mendhi tattoos are not permissible because they are not near to the Sunnah are cosmetic, and will have the same ruling as that of make-up and other cosmetics.

(Please refer to the previous answers regarding this topic also)

2. In terms of giving gifts and presents we learn from the works of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ail Taavi , who based his teaching on the Quran and Sunnah of Rasulullah , that one it allowed to give non-Muslim acquaintances and contacts presents/gifts (Hadya) providing that the following conditions are met:

a) When there is no prospect of harm to ones Deen and to Islam itself when giving the gift. The same will be true if one was to receive a gift from a Non-Muslim.

b) The intention behind the giving of the present should not be that one takes part in the celebrating of a non-Muslim festival, such as Christmas, Easter, thanksgiving etc, but the intention should be to show the good character of a Muslim towards the creations of Allah.

c) The gift should not be something that is symbolic or associated to the non-Muslim religious festivals, such as a Christmas cards, Holly, Christmas trees etc, Easter eggs etc

It could be said that it is permissible to give gifts (which are not from the category listed) if ones intention was not to venerate or partake in the non-Muslim festival, such as Christmas but to show respect to the receiver of the gift, However, in doing so there is a possibility that the onlooker may cast doubts on the action of the Muslim, it would be better to give the gift at a time when there is no such festival taking place.

Therefore, it will be permitted to give and accept gifts during the Winter Break with the intention of bringing a non-Muslim closer to Islam, provided that the above three conditions are met.

Note, that the above three points are also applicable to sending cards, in addition to this the following points must also be taken into consideration when giving cards.

It is not appropriate that a Muslim sends non-Muslim friends Christmas card or other similar items. Basis been that it is trait of the nations who are outside the fold of Islam. The Majority of Christmas cards have religious/ symbolic imagers or pictures which reflect the Christian dogma. This is also true to cards which are associated with other festivals of both Christianity and other world faiths. Thus, if someone is sending such cards to their non Muslim acquaintances to show respect for their religion then this is Haram (forbidden).

To send cards which are not related to non-Muslim festival and are free from pictures and imagers will be permissible but Makruh (disliked), as it is more of a custom of non-Islamic nations and could express emotions which should only be reserved for Muslim. Historically cards developed from the age old custom of sending letters (the same way e-mail is an advancement of regular mail) and become popular in the U.S.A in the mid 19th century. Hence to send a card to express courtesy and good manners is permissible. As it would be the same as sending a letter for the purpose. (In my humble opinion it is better to write letters as one can learn to express ones self and this can sometimes help one to express emotions to Allah).

One should also take note of the kind of messages the cards contain as some express poetry of love which is inappropriate to send and could violate the laws of Hijaab and modesty (And Allah knows best). When taking all of the mentioned points into account, to send a card will be similar to sending a letter and will be permissible as long as the Shariah boundaries are not exceeded.

To send E-cards (to Muslim and non-Muslim) which contain music and other movies or similar clip arts which contain music is not permissible, as one is calling towards Haram. Otherwise it is permissible. Ordinary cards which omit music are also not permissible.

3. One will first need to take into account why the massage is needed and the reasons behind it, must first be considered:

a) If the massage of the hands, feet or body is for the purposes of physiotherapy, occupational therapy (both of which include a form of massage therapy as treatment), or other such medicinal reasons, and is carried out by a Muslim or non-Muslim female then this is permissible. It must be born in mind that to open the Awrah (Satr, parts of the body which must be conceale) without a valid reason is a Sin. If a valid reason presents it self E.g. to receive treatment to the spine then only this will be allowed to be shown to a female medical practitioner or female physiotherapist etc. (Please also see A Comprehensive Guide to a Woman’s Nakedness (awra), by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam)

b) If a massage is preformed by a Muslim or non-Muslim female for leisure, on a body part which is not considered Awrah, it is permissible but mukruh. However, this must take place within a place which is safe and secluded from men, to have a female person to come to the home and perform the massage is far better than to leave the confines of the home and go to a massage parlour, which is against the dignity of a Muslimah (Muslim female) and is inviting sin upon the doer.

Unfortunately, in the environment of contemporary society, crimes such as that of voyeurism are forever on the increase and on this basis the Muslim female is strongly advised to exercise extreme caution when wanting a massage for leisure. To reveal the Awrah for without valid reason is a sin.

c) If there is the slightest possibility of Fitnah (immorality, evil), then it is forbidden.

d) If the massage which is performed for leisure is done on the parts of the Muslimah’s body which is between the navel and the knees it is forbidden.(please also read the article “A Comprehensive Guide to a Woman’s Nakedness (awra)”, by Mufti Muhammad Ibn Adam)

e) It is better to first find a Muslim lady who can perform the massage, otherwise a non-Muslim female massager is permissible. It is forbidden and a grave sin to have a male massager.

In conclusion, henna tattoos which do not depict (animate objects) are permissible, to give gifts and presents to Non-Muslim acquaintances is permissible when the correct intention is applied and the regulations are taken heed of and a Muslimah may be massaged by a non-Muslim female, when the Shariah guidelines are practiced and adhered to.

And Allah the Greatest knows best

8th September 2005


1. Maariful Quran Vol 6

2. Fatawa Shami

3. Sahih Al-Bukhari

4. Sahih Al-Muslim

5. Fatawa Mahmodiyah, Vol 5, Pg 187-188, Vol 6, Pg 307, 373

6. Imdaadul Fatawa, Vol 2, Pg 481-482

7. Fatawa Ulamaaul-Balad-ul-Haram

Mufti Abubakr Karolia
Batley, U.K
Founder of the “Islamic Foundation for Theology and Research” (I.F.T.A.R)

Original Source Link

This answer was collected from MuftiSays.com, based in London (UK). It is one of the fruits of Darul Uloom London. Many ‘ulama are involved in answering the Q&A on the site, including: Shaikul Hadeeth Mufti Umar Farooq Sahib, Mufti Saifur Rahman Sahib, Mufti Abdullah Patel Sahib, Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahib, Mufti Abu Bakr Karolia Sahib.

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