'In Islam, drawing attention [to oneself] and changing the properties and form given by birth is considered to be altering creation, and is therefore banned,' the Directorate General for Religious Affairs has said regarding tattoos. AFP photo
The Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has issued a fatwa stating that tattoos are not in accordance with Islam.
"The same way that they are harmful for health, they are prohibited by religion," the body's High Committee of Religious Affairs said on Nov. 2, in response to a question over whether tattoos were permissible.
"In Islam, drawing attention [to oneself] and changing the properties and form given by birth is considered to be altering creation, and is therefore banned," the Diyanet said, adding that the practice dated back to the pre-Islamic "age of ignorance."
The statement also mentioned that the Prophet Muhammad said that those who changed how they were created were distancing themselves from God's mercy and grace.
"Therefore, getting tattoos is not permissible," it concluded.Long hair in men acceptable, earrings not so much
The Diyanet also clarified that Islam disapproved of earrings and other such piece of jewelry in men.
"Muslim man should keep away from using jewelry that is proper for women, because our Prophet ordered: Men who try to resemble women and women who try to resemble men stand apart from God's mercy and grace," the statement said, adding that this would be considered "mekruh," in other words "almost illicit."
However, the statement said that long hair on men and styling hair in any kind of way is not considered illicit, so long as the hair is kept clean.