What is the Islamic ruling on plucking, threading, tattoos and artificial diastema etc.?


In response to a question about ladies plucking or threading their facial hair and having tattoos, Hazrat Khalifatul Masihaa, in a letter dated 2 February 2019, wrote:

“There are various reasons why believing women have been forbidden in ahadith from getting tattoos, plucking facial hair, creating artificial gaps between the front teeth to look more beautiful and youthful, wearing artificial hair and altering Allah’s creation etc. 

“If these things cause such an artificial change to the natural physical appearance of someone that the distinction between man and woman, which God has placed in human beings, disappears or if there is a danger of inclining towards shirk [association of any partner with Allah] – which is the gravest sin – due to such things, then it is forbidden to do so. 

“Moreover, in the ahadith, where these things have been forbidden, the Holy Prophetsa also warned that the Children of Israel perished when their women started doing such things. So, it could be argued that since adultery had spread and brothels had been established among the Jews, women who were involved in such business may have employed such tactics [as outlined in the beginning] to seduce men. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa may have forbidden the believing women from doing such things by highlighting their nefarious aspect. 

“Moreover, it is also possible that this instruction of the Holy Prophetsa was temporary, given the circumstances of that time, just as the Holy Prophetsa prohibited the converts to Islam in a region from the general use of utensils that were also used to produce alcohol. However, once the Islamic teaching was well established among those people, the Holy Prophetsa allowed them to use those utensils. 

“Islam declares that actions depend on motives. Therefore, even in this age, if, as a result of these actions, there arises a tendency towards evil or they lead one to disobedience to any clear command of Islam, then they would fall under the actions against which the Holy Prophetsa has warned. An example of this would be women not taking full care of their purdah or exposing their private parts in front of other women while having their waxing or other treatments etc. done. That is indecency, which is not allowed and perhaps the actions of such women would fall under the same actions against which we have been warned. 

“However, there is nothing wrong with a woman taking advantage of these things while observing the Islamic commandment of purdah.” 

[Please also read this related article: What is the Islamic ruling on tattoos and face painting?]

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