According to most Islamic scholars, it is halal for women to get ear piercings and wear earrings. Scholars unanimously agree that it is not halal for men to pierce their ears
Is Ear Piercing Haram?
To determine whether ear piercing is halal in Islam, we considered two key factors:
- Whether the action of piercing your ear is itself halal
- The purpose of the piercing – i.e to wear jewelry – and the corresponding permissibility.
Regarding the purpose of ear-piercing, this action is done typically so that the user can wear an earring. Thus, we must examine what Islam says about wearing jewelry and ornaments.
Does Islam Permit Women To Wear Jewelry?
Culturally, it is more common for women to wear jewelry and ornaments than for men. The purpose of wearing jewelry is to beautify oneself. Women of all ages have worn ornaments and embellishments to beautify themselves throughout history.
In Islam, women are permitted to wear jewelry. To confirm this, we can refer to the Quranic verse in Surah Zukhruf:
“Do they attribute to Him˺ those who are brought up in fineries and are not commanding in disputes?”
Surah Al-Zukhruf 18:43 (source)
This verse confirms the permissibility of ornaments for women – it regards wearing jewelry as natural for the female gender. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) further elaborated on this understanding with the following hadith, narrated by Abu Musa Ashari:
“Wearing of silken clothes and ornaments of gold is unlawful for the men of my Ummah but lawful for the women.”
Narrated by Abu Musa Ashari (source)
This hadith clearly confirms the permissibility of gold ornaments for women. However, it further declares that it is unlawful for men to wear them.
Since both the Quran and the hadith confirm the permissibility for women to wear jewelry, we understand that earrings are halal in Islam for women.
Scholars agree unanimously that wearing jewelry is permissible for women in Islam. This includes all kinds of silver and gold pieces like amulets, necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Learn more about when gold is considered halal or haram.
The only condition is that the ornaments shouldn’t be particularly extravagant or something that imitates men. (source)
However, wearing earrings requires the person to have a piercing. As far as ear piercings are concerned, scholars are divided on the subject.
What Do Scholars Say About Piercings?
The Hanafi and Hanbali schools of thought regard ear piercing as permissible. Thus, women are allowed to get ear piercings according to these schools of thought. Ibn Qudama, a scholar of the Hanbali school of thought, says:
“It is permissible for women to wear all kinds of gold and silver adornments as well as jewelry according to what is common in their customs, such as bracelets, anklets, earrings, rings, and what they wear on their faces, necks, hands, legs, ears and the like. However, it is prohibited for women to wear what is not familiar to them to wear, such as the belt and the like of men’s adornment. This is likewise if a man wears female ornaments.”
Ibn Qudama (source)
On the other hand, Islamic scholars consider modifying one’s body to be haram. So, Islamic scholars that consider ear piercings as body modifications declare them to be impermissible.
Shaafi scholars are of this view. They argue that Islam doesn’t allow anyone to harm another. Moreover, Islam also forbids self-harm.
Therefore, shaafi scholars believe the act of piercing your ear to be harmful, and thus consider the act haram.
However, traditions from the Prophet Muhammad’s wife Ayesha imply the permissibility of ear piercings for women. She narrated an event where Umm Zar talked about her ears being loaded with ornaments from her husband, Abu Zar. The Prophet Muhammad then said to Ayesha:
“I am to you as Abu Zar was to Umm Zar.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari-4893 and Muslim 2448 (source)
Thus, it is evident that the Prophet Muhammad did not object to women wearing ear ornaments. In fact, he approved of Abu Zar gifting his wife jewelry for the ear until they became heavy. Furthermore, Safiya, the Prophet’s wife, and the wives of the Prophet’s companions had earrings as well.
As for the pain associated with getting an ear piercing, the pain is mild and fades quickly. Scholars suggest that girls should get ear piercings at a young age because the ear cartilage is soft at the time, and it heals quickly. This makes ear piercings less painful at younger ages. (source)
With that, there are a few things that women should be mindful of. First, women should not get piercings from non-mahram. Furthermore, they should not show their piercings to non-mahrams, as it is not permitted in Islam. (source)
Prohibition of changing Allah’s creation
At this point, it is evident that only women are permitted to wear jewelry. Furthermore, some types of jewelry, such as earrings and nose rings, require piercing the ear and nose.
It is our obligation as Muslims to understand well how we should treat our body. Islam clearly prohibits altering/ modifying one’s body permanently without necessity.
“And do not kill yourselves (or one another). Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” – [Qur’an 4:29](source)
“And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.” – [Qur’an 2”125](source)
In the case of piercings, Muslim scholars have divided opinions. (source)
Shafi’i scholars consider body piercings as a type of mutilation and tampering with one’s body, hence impermissible.
On the other hand, other scholars (including Hanafi and Hanbali scholars) have no objection to women piercing their body parts for adornment purpose (i.e., wearing earrings) that is part of their tradition and doesn’t pose any subsequent harm.
“The accomplished scholars maintained that Islamic law gave women’s love for adornment according to the degree of necessity.
Based on this, it is permitted for women to adorn themselves in this way [piercing] as long as it is in agreement with their customs and provided it does not pose harm.”Source: Dar Al-Ifta
In Islam, there are many aspects that are permissible for women but not for men. One of them is getting piercings. Women are permitted to pierce their bodies (particularly ear and nose) because Allah gives them a privilege to wear jewelry to beautify themselves, which doesn’t apply to men.
Furthermore, the permissibility of piercing is also subject to the following aspects. (source)
- Piercing is haram if the process involves uncovering the ‘awrah to non-mahram or stranger.
- It shouldn’t have any adverse health effects in the future.
- It shouldn’t be done following unislamic culture, and it shouldn’t be an imitation of non-Muslims or kuffar.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them” – narrated by Abu Dawood.
Is It Haram For A Man To Pierce His Ear?
Muslim scholars agree unanimously that it is haram for a man to pierce his ear. This is because the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) cursed men who imitate women in terms of their appearance. (source).
While some scholars consider ear piercings haram for women, others believe them to be halal. However, scholars unanimously agree that ear piercings are haram for men.
Ibn Abbas reported in a hadith that the Prophet Muhammad cursed men who make themselves look like women and women who make themselves look like men (source). Thus, Islamic scholars conclude from this hadith that it is impermissible for men to have ear piercings and wear earrings.
Islam allows some adornments for men. For example, men are allowed to wear silver rings. Ibn Umar reports that the Prophet Muhammad wore a silver ring. Furthermore, men wearing earrings can be seen as an imitation of non-Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that whoever imitates a people is one of them. (reported by Abu Dawood, Al-Sunan – source)
Thus, it is considered impermissible for men to pierce their ears or wear earrings.
Is It Haram To Get A Second Ear Piercing?
Islam does not explicitly forbid women from getting a second ear piercing. However, it is best to avoid getting multiple piercings, as they may be harmful to your body, according to Islamic experts.
Islamic scholars agree that ear piercings are permissible for women and haram for men. However, the matter of multiple ear piercings is less straightforward.
According to Sheikh Kifah Mustapha, the Imam for Dar ul Fatwa of Lebanon in the US, all things are permissible in Islam unless stated otherwise. He narrates the tradition mentioned above with Umm Zar and says that the Prophet related his wife, Ayesha, to Umm Zar, who had pierced her ears. (source)
The hadith mentioned that Umm Zar’s ears were heavy with gold, which suggests that multiple piercings are allowed. With that in mind, there is no explicit prohibition to multiple ear piercings by the Prophet Muhammad.
However, for wellness reasons, it’s best to avoid getting too many piercings, as wearing multiple earrings may cause harm.
Are Belly Piercings Haram?
Muslim scholars have different opinions regarding whether belly piercings are haram or not. Some scholars believe that women may pierce their bellies only if belly piercings are a custom in their region. Other Islamic scholars consider only nose and ear piercings to be halal.
According to Islamic teachings, harming oneself or another is forbidden. However, Islamic schools differ in their understanding of whether body piercings are harmful or not. While some believe them to be permissible, others do not.
The pain levels associated with ear piercings and belly piercings are different. Therefore, if the process is particularly painful for a woman, then belly piercings should be avoided.
Some scholars approach the subject of belly piercings from a different angle. They maintain that women are allowed adornments according to the customs in their countries. Thus, in regions where belly piercings for women are customary, some scholars consider them halal in those areas exclusively. (source)
On the other hand, some muslim scholars consider only nose and ear piercings to be halal. On the subject of belly piercings, Mufti Qamruzzaman said:
It is not permissible to pierce any part of the body other than the ears and the nose for women.
The scholars limited the permissibility of piercing the body to the ears and nose . [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Piercing is considered mutilation [muthla] of the body which is unlawful in Islam.
Hence, it would not be permissible to pierce the lip, belly button etc, since that is not considered the adornment for any decent women. [Radd al-Muhtar 5:270]
Mufti Qamruzzaman (source)
Is Helix Ear Piercing Haram?
Helix piercing is a popular type of ear piercings made on the upper cartilage of the ear.
Hanafi scholars agree that it is permissible for women to pierce various parts of their ear, including earlobes, rook, tragus, and helix. (source)
Is It Haram to Get a Nose Piercing?
Nose piercing is another popular beauty trend for both men and women. Historically, nose piercing was commonly done on women to wear nose rings, particularly in India and South Asian regions.
The permissibility of nose piercings for women is a debatable subject among Muslim experts. Some scholars consider nose piercing for women is haram, while some others allow it. As for men, nose piercing is clearly forbidden.
Some scholars rule nose piercing haram because it is considered a form of mutilation on the face. Moreover, nose piercing was not known during the Prophet’s era, and there is no clear proof for its permissibility.
In that case, according to sheikh Assim Al Hakim, it is advised to avoid it. (source)
Some other scholars consider nose piercing halal if doing so is regarded as a local custom for women adornment, like in some Muslim communities in India and Pakistan. Here is a statement from Imam Ibn Abidin, a renowned Hanafi scholar, regarding nose piercing.
‘I say, if it [i.e., piercing the nose to wear a nose ring] is considered an adornment for women like in some [Muslim] communities, then its ruling will be similar to the ruling of piercing the ear to wear an earring [i.e., permitted].‘ (Radd al-Muhtar ala ‘l-Durr al-Mukhtar, 6/420, kitab al-hazr wa ‘l-ibaha)(source)
Is Septum Piercing Haram?
Septum piercing is performed on the nasal septum – a thin wall between the nostrils – so one can wear a nose ring.
Are Tongue Piercings Haram?
In general, Muslim experts concluded that piercings are only permissible for ear and nose. Muslims are forbidden to pierce other body parts, including private parts, tongue, lips, cheek, or face in general, because these are not considered a way to beautify women anda can deform one’s appearance. (source)
Moreover, piercing the tongue can affect your oral health, from immediate infection, risk of choking, and some severe health problems. And it is clear that Islam forbids harming self-harm.
Most scholars believe that ear piercings are halal for women. However, where belly piercings are concerned, scholars differ in their understanding.
Scholars unanimously agree that piercings of any kind are forbidden for men. By their logic, men should avoid getting piercings altogether.