KABUL (Pajhwok): Tattooing has recently turned into a common culture among youths in Kabul, a practice forbidden in Islam and risky according to health experts.
What is tattoo and how it is done?
A tattoo is a permanent mark or design made on a person’s skin with pigments inserted through pricks into the skin’s top layer.
The tattoo artist uses a needle for inserting ink into a person skin until the skin start a little bleeding.
Today’s artists use a hand-held machine that acts much like a sewing machine, with one or more needles piercing the skin repeatedly. With every puncture, the needles insert tiny ink droplets.
The process — which is done without anesthetics — causes a small amount of bleeding and slight to potentially significant pain.
People say designs on skin of singers, artists encourage them to do so
FarhadSarfaraz, a resident of Afshar area of Kabul who tattooed his arms, talking to Pajhwok Afghan News said, “I was interested in tattoos since my childhood, I loved tattoos when I was seeing them on the bodies of singers and artists and I was always thinking I should also have them on my arms, today my hope fulfilled.”
He said he faced negative reactions from people after tattooing his arms and they were insulting him. But he said that people’s reaction was meaningless for him because it was his dream to have tattoo on his body.
Sarfaraz said that his family members also told him about risks of tattoos, but he ignored it and performed one for 2,000 afghanis on his body.
HareerMalahat, a resident of Makroryan area of Kabul who was in a tattoo shop in Shar-i-Naw area, said, “I was encouraged to have a tattoo on my hand after I saw a tattoo of scorpion on the hand of Singer AryanaSayeed.”
“Tattoo has become a style and all youths want to have it on their skin so it would attract their fans on social media networks,” he said.
When asked about the culture of tattoo in Afghanistan and its risks, he said, “Tattoo was common in Afghanistan from long before, my grandmother has tattooed four spots on her cheek and on her forehead, so it means that it was our culture, if it is bad for health then why they did not fall sick.”
Shekib, a resident of Khairkahan area of Kabul who also wants to have tattoo on his hands, said that he was tired of war and hoped for peace and that was the reason he would tattoo a Kalashnikov on his arm.
While feeling pain during the process of tattooing, he said, “I lost many of my friends by this Kalashnikov I designed on my arm, I tattoo this weapon on my hand to tell people to say no to war because all of us are tired of war and we want peace.”
SuhrabSarwari, a resident of KhairKhana area of Kabul who wants to become a model in tattoo said, “The only reason I performed tattoos is to become a model. “All youths across the world use tattoos, Afghanistan is undoubtedly a traditional society, but we should cross borders for our dreams, we youths should struggle to promote modeling and fashion in our country.”
When asked about the health risks of tattoo and Islamic teachings on the regard, he said, “I have not researched about the risks and benefits of tattoos or if religion has forbidden it, but I tattooed my body on my own desire.”
Artists say tattooing among Afghan youths is on the rise
MurtazaFrotan, a tattoo artist in Shahr-i-Naw area of Kabul in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said that tattooing among youths started in Afghanistan since the last one decade.
He said that the interest in tattooing has increased among men and women particularly since the last three years and many people visited his shop for designs on their skins on a daily basis.
“Common orders from our customers are simple designs, names, different shapes, designs of birds and other animals, these designs are performed for both permanent and one-year period…,” he said.
Frotan said that the price of tattoos depended on their types and they were between 500 to 5,000 Afghanis.
Sonita, owner of a makeup shop in Baharistan area of Kabul, said that besides performing women’s makeup, she also performed tattoos on their skins.
She said that the interest for tattooing among youths and girls had recently increased which also improved her income.
Mohammad Sakhi, a tattoo artists in Lycee Maryam area of Kabul, said, “I am busy in this activity since the last 10 years, when I was a soldier, one of my colleagues was killed, I tattooed his name on my arm, later it became my business and I opened a shop, now I have good income.”
He said that tattooing was also a good technique for hiding skin marks.
Tattooing is unpermitted in Islam: Scholars
Shams RahmanFrotan, an Islamic scholar in Kabul said, “Tattooing means bringing changes in your body with designing, tattoo is forbidden based in Quran and Hadith.”
In the verse 119 of SuratNisa in holy Quran, Satan states that he would order good servants of God to change the creation of the Almighty, he said.
“The change in creation of God includes permanent altering of a human’s body for beauty. For example, tearing one’s outer ear, plump up lips or creating gaps between teeth… are the demand of Satan which is forbidden in Islam,” he said.
Frotan expressed concern over increased tattoo culture among youths and said, “These youths who are influenced by the culture of foreigners, their belief would be also definitely influenced by the beliefs of foreigners…”
He said that tattoo culture should be stopped by promoting Islamic cultures in the society.
Communicable diseases easily transferrable by tattooing: Health experts
Dr. MaiwandHabib, a skin health professional in AyenaSehat Hospital in Kabul said that the needles used for tattooing could transfer microbes from an infected person to a healthy one. He said that tattooing also sometimes led to serious sensitivity.
“We advise youths to think before performing tattoos, because many youths have regretted after tattooing their body. There are people who come to me and they ask me to remove their tattoos,” he said.
Habib said that public awareness programs should be implemented for eradication of the tattoo culture.
On the other hand, GhulamDastagirNazari, spokesman of the Ministry of Public Health, said that the ministry was working on a plan for control and prevention of communicable diseases.