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Tattoos and Wudhu

Q:

Salamun Alaykum, I understand that it is permissible to get a permanent tattoo, but are you able to do wudhu or ghusl with one (if it is an area where you do wudhu)? Also, while the tattoo is healing is it permissible to do tayammum rather than wudhu during that period of time or must you do wudhu? Thank you.

A:

Salamun Alaykum,

Please read the Islamic Rulings below, according to Ayatollah Syed al-Sistani:

396. If a verse of the holy Qur’an or Name of the Almighty Allah is written or tattooed on the body of a person then such a person while doing Wudhu or Ghusl, will be required to pour water on that part without touching the writing.

330. If there is a wound, or sore, or a fractured bone in the parts on which Wudhu is performed, and if it is not bandaged, then one should perform Wudhu in the usual manner, if the use of water is not harmful.

331. If there is an unbandaged wound, sore, or broken bone in one’s face or hands, and if the use of water is harmful for it, one should wash the parts adjoining the wound from above downwards, in the usual manner of Wudhu. And it is better to pass wet hand on it, if it is not harmful to do so. Therefore, he should place a Pak piece of cloth on it, and pass a wet hand over that cloth. But in the case of a fracture, tayammum must be performed.

332. If there is an unbandaged wound, or sore or fractured bone on the front part of the head, or on the feet, and he cannot wipe it, because the wound has covered the entire part of wiping, or if he cannot wipe even the healthy parts, then it is necessary for him to do tayammum. And as a recommended precaution, he should also perform Wudhu, keeping a piece of Pak cloth on the wound etc. and wipe that cloth with the moisture of Wudhu in his hands.

More rulings regarding Jabirah (bandaged wounds) can be found here: http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2160/

Please note that Tayammum can only be performed in certain situations, 7 of them to be specific, such as a genuine lack of water, or serious danger to oneself from using water. Tayammum would not be valid if it were not to fall under one of those 7 scenarios.

http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2193/ 

Irfan D