Assalamu Alaikum there my dear Jessica,
I’m Ummaryam and I believe I may be one of the oldest persons who participates in the forums of this site.
You say that you are Moroccan by heritage, yet cut off from that side of your family? I am sorry to hear that. I am American, but Muslim by faith and my husband is from Casablanca.
It is a customary practice (although, I hope, it is dying out) in the countrysides of many an Arabic speaking nation to have tatoos affixed to the faces of young women. I have a friend who grew up in the states who, in her extreme youth, had an anklet tatood on one of her ankles. She is now a wife, mother and a teacher. Some day she will have to explain why she, even though it is forbidden and she was brought up Muslim and she practices her religion to the extent that she wears a scarf, has that tatoo. What will she say to her daughter when she wants to have her own body marked in some way?
I would like, as an older woman with a longer perspective on things, to advise you (in no uncertain terms) NOT to get a tatoo. Period. For one thing, despite the widespread nature of the practice among Muslims, it is definitively prohibited by the religion of Islam. I am fairly certain that, if not actually forbidden, it is likewise disdainfully looked down upon by Judaism and Christianity as a whole. …but, let’s say you aren’t concerned with those prohibitions, for whatever reason. It is a permanent mark which is left on your body when you allow a tatoo to be applied. There will come a day, in the cases of most of those who engage in this practice, when they rue the fact that they ever undertook to place permanent markers upon their one and only bodies. The woman I know who has her ankle tatood is now a teacher. She no doubt is upset by the fact that everyone can see, indisputably, that she made a ‘bad’ choice in her youth. Her students see it and wonder how she could have made such a decision. Tatoos are, by and large, one of those items which fall into the broad category of permanent solutions to temporary problems. If you are fascinated with your Moroccan heritage, pursue knowledge of the country and language. Try to establish bonds with relatives, if any are known to you. Perhaps SM could help you find a pen pal who wants to improve his/her English. You could learn a lot that way…I am coming from the perspective of someone who is most definitely older and even conceivably wiser; I have seen too much regret over tatoos and shame falling in their wake to feel comfortable sitting back and telling myself, “Aw, well; young folks. What are you gonna do?”
I hope that you do not misinterpret my sincere advice for preachy-ness and a general lack of knowledge concerning what is ‘cool’. Most people who go the route you are contemplating do, sooner or later, regret it.
Best wishes. Ummaryam