The Supreme Council for Fatwa in the Maldives issued a fatwa prohibiting tattoos of any shape on any part of the body. This ruling aligns with the council’s research based on Quranic teachings, the Prophet’s sunnah, scholarly writings, and reasoned analysis. The fatwa emphasises the Islamic view of tattoos as altering Allah’s creation and being inherently unclean.
This move by the Maldives resonates with similar regulations in several Muslim-majority countries. Turkey’s top religious body, Diyanet, in 2015, deemed all forms of body art, including tattoos, contrary to Islamic teachings. The Turkish government has since imposed restrictions on tattoos and other forms of body art, reflecting a broader trend of aligning state policies with religious teachings.
In Iran, tattooing was recently outlawed, cited as a health risk and inconsistent with Quranic teachings. The Iranian government’s approach involves strict enforcement, with those displaying tattoos subject to arrest and public shaming. Tattoos can also be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) maintains a ban on tattooing, considering it a form of self-injury. While the policy is more lenient towards foreigners, offensive tattoos can result in a lifetime ban under federal law.
Other countries like Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan also enforce bans on specific types of tattoos, particularly those containing Quranic quotes, the names of Allah, or the Prophet Muhammad. These regulations are predominantly based on interpretations of Islamic Sharia.
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