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Cultural and Religious Beliefs of the Hamsa Tattoo

Cultural and Religious Beliefs of the Hamsa Tattoo

The Hamsa tattoo is beautifully rich in design and includes cultural and traditional values. The style of the tattoo depicts a hand with a symbol on the palm, which is often an eye, and can represent confidence, bravery, or protection. The Hamsa design has religious meaning in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Even though it is accepted for different reasons, the tattoo design is chosen for its ability to provide protection and safety across the different religions. The design of the Hamsa can be inked with all fingers together which means good luck, while the design with fingers apart is more directed at providing a symbol to provide protection from evil.

Hamsa symbol for different religions


In Islam the five-finger design is intended to signify the Five Pillars of Islam, which includes: Hajj (visit Mecca at least once by anyone financially and physically able to complete the journey), Salat (pray 5 times daily), Sawm (self-control throughout Ramadan), Shahadah (accepting Muhammad as God’s prophet) and Zakat (give to the needy). Also, the Hamsa is known by the name Hand of Fatima, which is intended to honor Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra.


For those with Jewish heritage, this hand tattoo is intended to symbolize the presence of God in all things that exist in the world. The five-finger symbol helps to remind the person to focus on the five senses when praying to God. This symbol has a further meaning for many with the belief that the depicted image of the hand relates to the five books of the Torah. For those with this belief the image is known as the Hand of Miriam.


The hand symbol in Christian religion has a meaning that relates to the Virgin Mary. It is believed the hand is able to symbolize strength, power, and femininity. The design of the tattoo can vary and include the Jesus fish symbol. This element is incorporated in the design because the fish (Ichthys) is regarded as a Christian symbol. Plus, in certain cultures, the addition of the fish gives protection against the evil eye.

Irrespective of the chosen religion, the actual wearer of the Hamsa tattoo is certain to believe it provides a beneficial level of protection for family members against ill-wishers and evil in general. Many people also choose this style of body art because it is said to be a sign of good luck or fortune while also giving the power of protection.