Tattoos and Fashion in Pakistan, the Raging Taboo

Tattoos and Fashion in Pakistan the Raging Taboo

Tattooing is a form of art that is perceived as much more than a fashion statement and condemned in many societies and cultures including in Pakistan. The concept of getting one’s body inked with illustrations and diverse designs permanently has always been a contentious topic in our conservative society. People get tattoos for many different reasons, while some do it ‘just for fun’; others often get tattoos for more personal and meaningful reasons. The people who get these tattoos inscribed onto their skins have to then convince people around them that it is LEGITIMATE. Tattoos have a wide variety of designs as it is far beyond just drawing, it’s a lifelong thing and it incorporates certain connotations behind it-think of for example the Maori tribes in New Zealand or the Yakuza gangs in Japan. Regardless of this, the fundamental fact remains that our societal values, cultural ethics and religious restrictions do not allow us to have these and indeed consider tattoos as taboo. Despite these apparent hurdles, many Pakistanis are accepting this modern trend.

According to a tattoo artist, Zohaib, who had to closed down his studio stated; “I realized that while pursuing my passion, I spent more time talking about deen (religion) and doling out sermons, trying to make them see that it was not haraam (forbidden). I spent more time doing this than working and that was definitely not what I intended to do when I started out!”

Affirming the fact that indeed we live in a society where it is forbidden and not considered “decent’’. Besides being judged by the people around, there are many fashion freaks and tattoo fanatics who are not in the least bothered by these thoughts. They tend to proclaim it as a personal affair and relish having them on their skin. It is more commonly observed among upper and upper middle class within the age range of teens to 30s.

The roots of their tattooing tradition portray a meaningful background. Emphasized by the fact that that tradition has been around for almost 5000 years with evidence that in Ancient Egypt, a sect used to make these tattoos on their skin for religious significance or their cultural manifestations. If you are in favor of getting one, you should do pre-tattoo research as it is, despite the costly option to have tattoos removed- a rather permanent fixture on your skin.

As we live in an Islamic country and abide by Islamic principles, it is mandatory to know if it’s allowed in Islam or not. There are numerous paradoxes related to the matter with a raging debate of whether it is categorically haram (forbidden)-as many scholars believe that it is sinful as tattoos tend to alter God’s created body or as a minority of scholars believe-whether it is simply makroo (disliked) in Islam.

As we are well-aware of the fact that Tattoo culture has now been widely accepted in Pakistani society as well. Tattoos-once considered to be taboo- are now slowly permeating our society and are gradually coming to being accepting as a new normal.

There are many top-notch celebrities we follow world wide who flaunt their tattoos, influencing fashion choices and invariably inspiring, rightly or wrongly, many youngsters to attain the same look eventually.

Yasir Hussain:

Yasir Hussain

Yasir Hussain has always managed to be in the headlines owing to his quirky jokes and sarcasms. He boldly tattooed his back and posted the picture on his Instagram. Fans criticized him in the comment section for these tattoos on his body. Lately, besides being in hot water due to this reason, the actor got another tattoo on his arm.

Meesha Shafi:

Meesha Shafi

Meesha has two significant tattoos on her arm – the first is Mandarin for luck, and the second is an ‘M’ for her husband’s first name Mehmood Rehman. Many fans and Youtubers also went as far as accusing her to be illuminati because of these tattoos predominantly.



Mathira is known for her bold looks and exquisite style statements. She has three tattoos, one on her chest, second one on her fingers whole the third one is on her spine.

Saba Qamar:

Saba Qamar

Saba Qamar posted a picture of her tattoo and everyone wanted to know what the tattoo meant since it looked like it was something special and it has meaning attached to it.  Saba Qamar instantly replied and said that it was her own name Saba in Thai language.

Hina Altaf:

Hina Altaf

Hina Altaf had been criticized brutally on social media as she got a bold tattoo on her shoulder. She again got herself tattooed and dedicated it to the person she adores on Mother’s Day. The name was ‘Alam’ and she revealed the details on ‘Rewind With Samina Peerzada’ show. It was a homage to a doctor who helped her when she was suffering from depression, and how he saved her.

Apart from the fact that it is forbidden in our religion, cultural values or what not, getting tattoo is a serious decision and should be taken after research as it would be there for lifetime. Let us know in the comments section what you think?


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