IS IT PERMISSIBLE FOR WOMEN AND MEN TO HAVE PIERCING DONE? DOES IT HAVE ANY DRAWBACKS RELIGIOUSLY AND CULTURALLY?

Details of the Question
What does Islam says about nose rings? I live here in the States and our Muslim females have them, Thanks...
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is not appropriate for the nature of human beings to have tongue, lip or other piercings, regardless of gender. However, it is permissible for girls to pierce their ears and wear earrings. However, it is not right to pierce the nose, tongue, lip and etc and wear studs. Moreover, it is not appropriate for a woman to show her jewelry to men who are legally permitted to marry her. In this sense, as a woman’s piercing would be visible to those men, it should not be put onworn.

Women cannot quit jewelry because of their nature. They can put on jewelry which they can afford. Necklaces, bracelets and rings can be put on without any application on the body. However, earring is not like that. Though some earrings can be put on directly on ears, most of them can be put on after piercing ear.

Is it permissible to pierce ears to put on such earrings?

According to the books of Islamic jurisprudence such as Raddu’l-Mukhtar and al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya from Hanafi sect, and Ianatu’t-Talibin from Shafi’i sect; it is unobjectionable for women and little girls to pierce their ears and put on earrings (Raddu'l-Mukhtar, 5: 270; al- Fatawa’l -Hindiyya, 5: 358). That kind of an application was also made in the time of Prophet (pbuh) and it was not prohibited. (Ianatu’t-Talibin, 4: 175)
However, some Shafi’i scholars do not consider it permissible to pierce little girls’ ears because it will give pain for nothing. Today, these kinds of considerations do not exist, because ears can be pierced with a painless method. (Mehmet Paksu, Kadın, Aile, Hayat, Nesil Yayınları).
Piercing ears to put on earrings is considered permissible for women in Islamic law, however, it is not considered permissible for men. Some Islamic jurisprudents claim that little boys’ ears can also be pierced and examples of this was seen in the time of our prophet too, and it was not prohibited. In all cases, according to the majority of Islamic jurisprudents, it is haram for men (from puberty on) to pierce their ears or to wear earrings and according to some it is makruh i.e. abominable. It is not permissible for women to show their jewelry to men out of their family. For this reason, if a woman gets a piercing, she should avoid showing it to men. According to the majority of Islamic jurisprudents, it is haram, and according to others it is makrooh for men to put on earrings or studs.

Influence of Culture

An important issue which should be paid attention is the fact that culture, religion and ideology coexist in the same body. It is impossible to separate them.
If someone tries to separate culture and religion from each other and succeeds in it—though it is difficult—he/she also starts to change religion. The religion which loses its body slowly passes away (from the lives of people) and the religion or infidelity of the new culture comes.
As there is such relation between culture and religion, the change of culture closely affects religion. One of the five essential aims of Islam is to protect religion (Islam in people’s lives). An act, a cultural change or a cultural imitation affecting the protection of religion in an unfavorable way is haram and sometimes it also leads to infidelity.
Our dearest Prophet (pbuh) found out that two festivals were celebrated in Madinah for a long time when he migrated to Makkah. As festivals are important cultural elements which can influence religion, he changed them and replaced them with Ramadan (eid al-fitr) and Sacrifice (aid al-adha) festivals. In many other hadiths, he prohibited many traditions and applications which were related to other religions or had a symbolic value/function for other religions.

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