Ear piercing, Nose Piercing & All Other Body Piercing
It is common custom to pierce body parts of a child, particularly the female child. Typically, this is either the ear or the nose, or both. It is done to children without any critical thought to the moral or Quranic aspect behind it. Although it may appear as a safe and harmless procedure, there are ethical and Quranic concerns with regards to body piercing of all ages, including adults, and especially children.
All human beings who are born under normal circumstances, are born with a full and complete body. Allah always emphasises on the complete perfection encompassing the human body, for example:
"The One Who has perfected everything He has created, and began the creation of human beings from clay." (Qur'an 32:7)
Therefore, when a baby is born, he or she is born with a complete, and perfect body. In the Qur'an, Allah has deemed this intact body as holy and to be respected for it's completeness by keeping it whole and intact. He has shown disapproval for making alterations to His complete and perfect creation:
"Let there be no change in Allah's creation." (Qur'an 30:30)
Allah further enlightens the believers on a peculiar desire of the Satan:
"(Satan said), 'I will lead them (mankind) astray and fill them with false hopes. I will command them and they will cut off cattle's ears. I will command them and they will change Allah's creation.' Anyone who takes Satan as his protector in place of Allah has clearly lost everything. He makes promises to them and fills them with false hopes. But what Satan promises them is nothing but delusion." (Qur'an 4:119-120)
This raises serious concerns from the Qur'an on just how correct is puncturing holes on bodies of people, whether it be for beautification or not. Society may have conditioned you to find an ear pierce a very normal thing and acceptable. But this is simply a prejudice and not based on rational thought. Essentially, an ear pierce, is the same as a nose pierce. A nose pierce is the same as a belly-button pierce. Your personal like or dislike of these parts of the body being pierced is based on your social and cultural upbringing / acceptance of cultural norms. Ultimately, one may pierce any part of the body and it is essentially the same. Then why should a girl's ears be pierced by her parents, and under what influence?
The motivation behind the choice in piercing a baby girl's ears, is simply a socio-cultural force.
Where does it stop? Where do we draw the line in piercing holes in order to hang jewellery on a child? Is your excuse to pierce your daughter's ear justified?
One's excuse behind piercing a girl's ears is just as justified as the someone else's excuse behind piercing the girl's nose, or even her tongue or belly button. This is because they are all based on and motivated by one thing only - cultural norms, which can differ between people to people.
Since the Qur'an teaches us that we must respect the perfect nature of the human body by keeping it whole and intact, and altering it is a Satan's desire, we conclude that a girl's ear's, nose and the whole body should be kept intact.
This Quranic rule of keeping the body whole applies to all adults as well. However, it should be born in mind that children have the right to bodily integrity and protection from unnecessary body alterations. In adult life, they can make the informed decision to pierce any part of the body they like, and they will be responsible for their actions. This is very different to parents deciding on piercing their child's body, inflicting their own cultural ideas through permanent body alterations on children.
To conclude, the Qur'an guides us to body integrity. Quranically, we can see that piercing parts of the body are acts against Allah's ways. One's bias towards piercing the ear is simply due to him subscribing to a particular social norm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we cut hair and fingernails?
The key-phrase to understand is 'design intentions'. We must look at the purposes and intentions of the various parts of the body. Fingernails and hair are different to the rest of the body. They are not living flesh with full blood circulation and receptive sensors. Hair and fingernails were intentionally designed and intended by Allah to continuously grow and to be cut regularly and consist of dead cells. This is not the case with the normal body parts which are sustained through blood circulation. Bodily integrity verses apply to these parts of the body, which are intended and expected to be whole and intact.
Why do we circumcise?
Circumcision is a mutilative procedure that destroys the male sexual system and harms both men and women. This amputative procedure is also against the Qur'an. See Circumcision - Does the Qur'an Approve it? for more information.
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