I have a friend who did a tattoo of a scorpion and snake out of stupidity on his arm and hand when he was young. Now he is repenting on what he did. He wants to remove the tattoo but does not have the means or enough money. What should he do?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
There are two ways to look at the aforementioned question. Firstly, he or she has the money to remove the tattoo and the second situation is they do not. Starting with the former, the advice given by my respected teachers is that removing tattoos from the body is painful and expensive, thus, it will be preferable to donate the money to charity then use it for laser treatment to remove the tattoo. With regards to the second situation as you do not have the money to pay for the removal of the tattoo it is not obligatory for you to remove it.
In both situations you should cover the tattoo from other people as tattooing is considered a sin in Islam.
Saaiduna Abdullah Ibn Masud Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, “Allah (SWA) has cursed those women who do tattoos and those for whom tattoos are done and those who modify their eyebrows or ask others to do it for them…” (Sahih Bukhari p.879 v.2)
Furthermore, we as Muslims are told to hide our sins from other people. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said: “My entire nation is safe, except al-Mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the Mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: “O Fulan! Last night I did this and that.” He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret!” (Sahih Bukhari)
One final point is that as long as the tattoo is covered the salah will be accepted. Also the tattoo itself is not considered impure therefore, it will not make anything which comes in contact with the tattoo impure.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham