We hope that you can advise us on the issue of shalookh which means markings made with a razor on the face in order to distinguish each tribe from the others. Is this halaal or haraam?
Praise be to Allaah.
In Arabic this is called washm (lit. tattooing). This was forbidden by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he cursed those who did it. It was narrated in a saheeh report that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that he cursed the one who consumes riba (interest) and the one who pays it, and he cursed the one who does tattoos and the one who asks to be tattooed. There is no difference between tattoos on the face or on the hand or elsewhere. With regard to what has been done in the past as a result of ignorance, it is sufficient to repent for that, and praise be to Allaah. If it is possible to remove it without causing harm, then that must be done. With regard to the future, after coming to know the ruling of Allaah, the Muslim must beware of that which Allaah has forbidden. This applies to both men and women.