For the tattoo lovers looking for a small tattoo that’s packed with meaning, using words or phrases is a great way to achieve that. If the Arabic language has significance to you, then going for an Arabic design allows you to achieve that personal meaning with more subtlety – after all, not everyone is going to be able to read your tattoo.
Arabic is a beautiful language with a gorgeous cursive flow of letters that really lends itself to artistic expression. After all, Arabic calligraphy has been a hugely popular art form in the Middle East for hundreds and thousands of years.
Let us show you some of the best Arabic tattoo designs to help you out with a little tattoo inspiration before you get inked.
Spiritual Words and Arabic Phrase Ideas for Your Next Tattoo
Love in Arabic
There is more than one way to say Love in Arabic. Many people chose the word “Hubb” for their Arabic tattoo, but we also love this beautiful Arabic tattoo design that says ‘ishq
If you want to go with Hubb, this version looks gorgeous. It almost looks like an infinity symbol the way the letters are shaped here – amazing!
So what is the difference between hubb and ‘ishq? ‘ishq is more passionate, infatuating, burning whereas hubb is a more calm type of love.
Both of these are single words that are very powerful and are popular as Arabic quotes for tattoos. So, choose the one that resonates more for your love tattoo.
Love yourself first in Arabic
In Arabic this phrase is pronounced like Aheb nafsaki awallan or if it’s on a male, the middle word will be pronounced nafsaka.
This phrase has a powerful message of self love and self acceptance.
This is the Arabic tattoo that Selena Gomez famously has on her back.
Hikma Wisdom in Arabic
Sabr Patience in Arabic
Sabr is a word with a very deep meaning, it is more than just patience. This one word Arabic tattoo quote is a beautiful choice.
Order a temporary tattoo of Arabic word sabr from Etsy. The pack includes three of these, if you want to have matching tattoos with your friends.
Shukr Gratitude in Arabic
Al-Huriya Freedom in Arabic
If you look at these examples, it’s obvious how much the text style, weight of the lines, boldness and design can change the look and feel of the tattoo even if you’re using the same word.
Once you’ve selected the word you want, you still need to narrow don the type of style you want to go for. This is a very personal choice.
Above and below are the same word, above is very traditional heavy script and below looks like Arabic handwriting
Free Your Mind in Arabic
This says harrir ‘aqlak حرر عقلك
This beautiful tattoo uses thin lines for the script, making it lightweight and feminine.
It Will Get Better in Arabic
This gorgeous thin line tattoo has haanat with the shape of the letters also forming the shape of a dancing woman. So subtle.
Moon in Arabic
Moon in Arabic is qamar, pronounced ‘amar without the q sound depending on the dialect. In Egypt, this word is also used to mean beautiful.
As well as using this single word, you can combine this into a meaningful phrase. Like the one below, to the moon and back
Sun in Arabic
Shams, or ash-shams means the sun in arabic.
Fa-Innee Qareeb I am Near in Arabic
This tattoo is very powerful. This line is from the Quran, Sarah baqarah verse 186 (2:186) which says “When my servants ask you about me, tell them I am near. I hear and answer the call of the caller whenever he calls me.”
The placement with this tattoo is also meaningful, if you place this near to your vein as there is another verse saying God is closer to a person than their jugular vein.
Religious tattoos are a super personal thing, and you will find people with strong opinions either way so prepare for that. Be aware of the significance and make your decision.
Arabic Word العزيمة
This word means strength or determination. This is a short word that packs a punch.
Life in Arabic Al Hayat
Buy the temporary tattoo design on Etsy
Dream Believe Dare Do in Arabic
You can buy this in temporary tattoo form on Etsy (affiliate link)
I follow my heart in Arabic
Buy this temporary tattoo design on Etsy, or take inspiration for your own permanent tattoo.
“Maktoob” Destiny in Arabic
The word “maktoob” literally means it has been written, and refers to destiny.
I Suffered, I Learned, I Changed
تألمت تعلمت تغيرت
ta’alamat, ta’alamat, taghayyarat
Feminist Arabic Tattoo – A woman’s voice is a revolution
“A Woman’s Voice is a Revolution” صوت المرأة ثورة this is a beautiful and powerful message for female empowerment.
The way this one is designed, it would look stunning as a spine tattoo.
Understand the Arabic Language and How to Design Your Arabic Script Tattoo without Mistakes
If you do not understand the Arabic language or can’t read the Arabic alphabet, and neither can your tattoo artist then please make sure to get your potential arabic tattoos designs checked by someone who speaks Arabic. The last thing you want is an embarrassing mistake permanently marked on your upper arm, your shoulder blade or anywhere else for that matter.
The Arabic language is written from right to left.
Arabic letters are supposed to be connected, like joined up handwriting. Unlike English letters, it’s not an option to leave them disconnected. If you have a design that shows a bunch of letters all separate, then please throw that one in the bin it is not a cool look.
This can happen when you paste Arabic words into a word processor or software that doesn’t support Arabic, so please be aware of that. Quite often you see Arabic signs like this that have been printed incorrectly, with all the letters disconnected and even reversed. So we can’t emphasise enough – check that Arabic writing tattoo, take a closer look and then double check again.
Also, do not rely 100% on Google translate, for obvious reasons.
You do not want an Arabic tattoo like this…. for more examples of Arabic tattoo fails check this link. Hilarious yet tragic.
It is supposed to say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. With a tattoo like this, you’re going to need all the strength to make it through.
This is how that phrase is supposed to look – ما لا يقتلك يجعلك أقوى
It is pronounced maa laa yaqtuluka yaja’alaka aqwaa
Celebrities with Arabic Tattoos
Zayn Malik has multiple Arabic tattoos. He has the name Walter in Arabic on the chest to honor one of his family members – his grandfather.
Fans also spotted the name Khai on his wrist in Arabic, for his new baby daughter with Gigi Hadid
He also has Arabic words for “be true to who you are” on his upper chest.
Rihanna – Rihanna has an Arabic tattoo on her ribcage (left side) reading Al hurriyah fi al Maseeh which means freedom in God (Jesus)
Leona Lewis has an Arabic tattoo on her left wrist which reads
“أنا لحبيبي و حبيبي لي”
Meaning, I belong to my beloved and my beloved belongs to me.
Actress Angelina Jolie has the word al-azima “determination” or “will power” inked on her arm.
Singer Selena Gomez has “love yourself first” tattooed in Arabic.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has his own last name tattooed on his arm in Arabic.
Zoe Saldana has an Arabic tattoo on her foot. The meaning is not clear, maybe it is something very personal to her. It reads “ureed – asa’aluhaa – y – w” meaning I want, ask her and some letters.
Colin Farrel has al-huriyya – freedom on his left wrist.
Zoe Kravitz (Lenny Kravitz daughter) has an Arabic tattoo, on her upper back, although it is incorrect, saying let the love rule.
If you’re not ready to commit to a permanent inking, you could test the water with a henna tattoo. These temporary tattoos are traditional and popular in the Arab world, particularly on hands and feet but there is no reason why you can’t use this red ink elsewhere on your body to try out your arabic tattoo designs before you commit.
Check out our guide to henna tattoo after care if you want to know how to get the best color and how to maintain your henna for longer after applying.
We also found these Arabic temporary tattoos on Amazon (affiliate) This one says Hub (love)
More Tattoo Inspiration
Need more inspiration for your next tattoo? Check out our other tattoo posts
- 40 Most Symbolic and Beautiful Tattoo Designs with Meanings
- Bear Paw Tattoo Meaning and Inspiration
- Cheetah Print Tattoo Meaning Symbolism and Inspiration
Please go ahead and share this blog post with friends or share via social media. Share inspiration, pass ideas back and forth and get your perfect tattoo design concept ready in your mind before visiting the tattoo shop.
Anna is a Wales-based writer and graduate from SOAS University of London.
As the voice behind On Your Journey, she empowers women to embrace holistic well-being and spiritual growth through her expert insights into wellness and symbolism.
When she isn't writing thought-provoking articles, you'll find her busy crafting and raising her 4 children.