Sunday, February 13, 2011

Q&A: Regarding hand and electronically generated drawings

Question: I work in the field of photography and during the course of my work, I face the following:

· Editing/modifying photographs i.e. removing wrinkles, changing the color of eyes or altering certain other facial features etc.

· Crafting sketches on peoples and animals which look realistic…


· Using ready and available photographs and sketches for printing.

· Using ready and available photographs, sketches or logos for designing new ones instead preparing this myself.

· Drawing signage of people or animals, for instance road signs like ‘Pedestrians Crossing’ or ‘Reach door in case of fire’ or ‘Dog-walking prohibited’.

· Drawing sketches of human or animal body parts, for example depicting hand-shake, pointing a finger, or horse head as signs.

· Drawing sketches of people and animals that do not look realistic, like caricatures.

· Drawing of fairy tale sketches which do exist in practice.


Please explain the Hukm Shara’ii with regard to these works, may Allah reward you.


Answer: Before answering these questions, we emphasize two points:

First: The following answers are the Shara’ii hukm concerning sketch drawing, i.e. drawing by hand, which is what is indicated in the ahadeeth and not the photographs captured using ‘cameras’. Camera photography is permitted and is not covered by the ahadeeth.

Second: The following answers all pertain to plain photography with no embossing. As for such embossed drawings i.e. statues or sculptures, they are prohibited by the Shari’ah evidences under all situations except for children games for which permitting evidences are given at the end of these answers.

Now we answer your questions on drawing and photographs:

With Respect to these Two Questions:


· Editing/modifying photographs i.e. removing wrinkles, changing the color of eyes or altering certain other facial features etc.

· Crafting sketches on peoples and animals which look realistic…


These questions are related to drawing of pictures of living beings or altering their features by hand like removing wrinkles and other facial features… These are covered under the prohibition mentioned in the evidences irrespective of whether such alterations were made by hand using a pen or by using the ‘mouse’ on a computer. As long as the resulting photograph/sketch of a living being is a result of ‘human effort’, it is covered under the prohibition. Bukhari has reported a hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) that the Prophet (saw) said:

«مَنْ صَوَّرَ صُورَةً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مُعَذِّبُهُ حَتَّى يَنْفُخَ فِيهَا الرُّوحَ وَلَيْسَ بِنَافِخٍ فِيهَا أَبَدًا»

“Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.”

Also in another narration on the authority of Ibn ‘Omar (r.a) that the Prophet (saw) said:

« إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَصْنَعُونَ هَذِهِ الصُّوَرَ يُعَذَّبُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُقَالُ لَهُمْ أَحْيُوا مَا خَلَقْتُمْ»

"The painters of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection. It will be said to them, 'Put life in what you have created.”

With Respect to these Two Questions:


· Using ready and available photographs and sketches for printing.

· Using ready and available photographs, sketches or logos for designing new ones instead preparing this myself.


i.e. copying the same from others with the questioner himself drawing the same. This is acquiring a picture and this has three aspects:

A: If your copying of pictures is for the purpose of using these in places of worship, like prayer carpet, mosque curtains, brochures for mosques etc., then such action is prohibited and not permissible. Evidences for this are as follows:

Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) narrated that the Prophet (saw) refrained from entering the Ka’bah until the pictures present there were removed. Thus the Prophet’s (saw) refusal to enter the Ka’bah until after the pictures were removed is an absolute indication (Qareenah) to refrain from putting pictures in places of worship and it an evidence on the prohibition of pictures being present in the mosques:

Imam Ahmad has reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) that:

«أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَمَّا رَأَى الصُّوَرَ فِي الْبَيْتِ يَعْنِي الْكَعْبَةَ لَمْ يَدْخُلْ وَأَمَرَ بِهَا فَمُحِيَتْ»

When the Prophet (saw) saw pictures in the house, i.e. the Ka’bah, he (saw) did not enter, rather he ordered removal of the pictures which were removed.

B: If the pictures were copied by the questioner from others for the purpose of using them in places other than places of worship, then the evidences indicate the permissibility:

With dislike: If the pictures were copied for use to enhance the decoration of a place, like curtains for houses, or for highlighting cultural places or on the shirts or dresses…or in schools and libraries, in advertising brochures that are not connected with worship, or as a centre-piece of a room, or beautify a dress etc. all this is disliked.

With permissibility: If the copying of pictures was for the purpose other than places of worship and in places that are not accorded veneration and respect like floor carpet which are walked upon, or other mattresses or cushion on which one sleeps or reclines against, or on the floor which is trampled upon etc., then these are permitted.

Evidences for these include:

The hadith reported by Talha (r.a) who says that he heard the Prophet (saw) say:

«لا تدخل الملائكة بيتاً فيه كلب ولا صورة»

Angels (Malaaikah) do not enter a house wherein lives a dog and there are pictures.

Or as in another narration reported in Muslim:

«إلا رقماً في ثوب»

"Except the prints on the cloth"

This indicates that pictures drawn on a dress are exempted, and this means that angels do visit homes where there are dresses with pictures drawn on them.

This means that plain pictures ‘drawn on dresses’ are permitted because the angels do visit the house in which there are dresses with plain pictures drawn on them. But there are ahadith that explain this permissibility:

Bukhari has reported on the authority of Aishah (r.a), she says:


«دَخَلَ عَلَيَّ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَفِي الْبَيْتِ قِرَامٌ فِيهِ صُوَرٌ فَتَلَوَّنَ وَجْهُهُ ثُمَّ تَنَاوَلَ السِّتْرَ فَهَتَكَهُ»

The Prophet entered upon me while there was a curtain having pictures (of animals) in the house. His face got red with anger, and then he got hold of the curtain and tore it into pieces. The Prophet said, "Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection ."

Qiram is a type of cloth which was hung on the door of the house as a curtain. The Prophet’s (saw) face became red and he (saw) pulled out the curtain, which amounts to asking for removing of such curtains on the doors which have pictures drawn on them. When this is seen in the context of the possibility of angels entering such houses where there are pictures ‘drawn on dresses’, then it implies that ‘asking for removal’ of such curtains is not absolute i.e. such curtains etc. are disliked (Makrooh). Further, since such curtains were placed on the door of the house, which is a place of honor, therefore placing of pictures on a place of honour is disliked.

The hadith of Abu Hurairah (r.a) reported in Musnad Ahmad, which are the words of Jibreel (a.s) to the Prophet (saw): “Order them to cut the curtain and make two cushions to sit on from it.” Thus Jibreel (a.s) asked the Prophet (saw) to remove the curtain from a place of respect (door) and make from it two cushions to sit upon. This indicates that using pictures drawn by others in places which are not places of respect, is permitted.

With Respect to these Two Questions:

· Drawing signage of people or animals, for instance road signs like ‘Pedestrians Crossing’ or ‘Reach door in case of fire’ or ‘Dog-walking prohibited’.

· Drawing sketches of human or animal body parts, for example depicting hand-shake, pointing a finger, or horse head as signs.


Answers to these two questions are as follows:

If the drawn pictures indicate that such pictures are of living things, then it is forbidden. This is because the ahadith described pictures of living things as forbidden, and this prohibition applies to complete picture or a partial one or that of a head besides other body parts like hands etc. which indicate a body.

But if the picture does not indicate a living being, like the picture of a hand alone or that of a finger pointing towards something or that of two hands in a handshake etc., then this prohibition will not be applicable to these.

As for the picture of a head alone without it being joined to other clear body parts, then there is a difference of opinion on its jurisprudence, and the preferred opinion is that of non prohibition of head alone without being joined with any part of a body. This is because the ahadith permit cutting up of the head of statues to render them like a tree, for instance the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (r.a) wherein Jibreel (a.s) says to the Prophet (saw) that a statue does not remain haraam when it’s head is severed:

«فمر برأس التمثال الذي في باب البيت فليقطع ليصير كهيئة الشجرة»

Order the cutting up of the head of which is on the door of the house so that it becomes like a tree.

Or the hadith reported in Musnad Ahmad:

«... فَمُرْ بِرَأْسِ التِّمْثَالِ يُقْطَعْ فَيُصَيَّرَ كَهَيْئَةِ الشَّجَرَةِ...»

…Order the head to be cut so that it resembles a tree…

This hadith implies that the picture is cut so that the head alone remains or the rest of the figure remains, and both of these will not be haraam. It cannot be argued that the non-prohibition will only apply to the rest of the body whose head has been cut while the head itself will remain haraam. This is because Jibreel (a.s) asked the Prophet (saw) to cut off the head of the statue, meaning the cutting is permitted, hence the result of such cutting will also be permissible.

It must be known that Hanbali and Malikis permit pictures of head alone, but the Shafa’iis have difference of opinion on this issue… most of their Fuqaha prohibit pictures of the head, but some of them do permit it.

With Respect to these Two Questions:

· Drawing sketches of people and animals that do not look realistic, like caricatures.

· Drawing of fairy tale sketches which do exist in practice.


Answer to these questions is that if such pictures depict living beings, even if they are not realistic, then they are prohibited because the hadith of prohibition is applicable to them. In an hadith reported by Muslim, the Prophet (saw) commanded ‘Aisha (r.a) to pull down the curtain which was hung on the door because it had a picture of horses with wings. Although in reality there are no horses with wings.

Muslim reported on the authority of ‘Aisha (r.a), she says:

«قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ سَفَرٍ وَقَدْ سَتَّرْتُ عَلَى بَابِي دُرْنُوكًا فِيهِ الْخَيْلُ ذَوَاتُ الْأَجْنِحَةِ فَأَمَرَنِي فَنَزَعْتُه»

A'isha (r.a) reported: Allah's Messenger (saw) came back from the journey and I had screened my door with a curtain having portraits of winged horses upon it. He commanded me and I pulled it away.

Darnouk (درنوك) is type of cloth.

I repeat what I had said in the beginning that the prohibited pictures are those that are other than those for children. As for those pictures meant for children, such children’s caricatures or cartoons or those imaginary pictures for children or their recreation and leisure/diversion or for their teaching…All these are permitted and the evidences for this permission include:

Abu Dawood reported on the authority of ‘Aisha (r.a) who says:
«قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ غَزْوَةِ تَبُوكَ أَوْ خَيْبَرَ وَفِي سَهْوَتِهَا سِتْرٌ فَهَبَّتْ رِيحٌ فَكَشَفَتْ نَاحِيَةَ السِّتْرِ عَنْ بَنَاتٍ لِعَائِشَةَ لُعَبٍ فَقَالَ مَا هَذَا يَا عَائِشَةُ قَالَتْ بَنَاتِي...»
When the Apostle of Allah (saw) arrived after the expedition to Tabuk or Khaybar, the draught raised an end of a curtain which was hung in front of her store-room, revealing some dolls which belonged to her. He asked: What is this? She replied: My dolls.

And in the hadith narrated by ‘Aisha (r.a) and reported by Bukhari, she says:

«كُنْتُ أَلْعَبُ بِالْبَنَاتِ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ...»

I was playing with dolls while the Prophet (saw) was present.

i.e. she was playing with toys that were in the shape of dolls.

Also the hadith narrated by Rabee’a bint Mu’wadh al Ansariyyah (r.a) reported by Bukhari:

«...وَنَجْعَلُ – وفي رواية مسلم ونصنع – لَهُمْ اللُّعْبَةَ مِنْ الْعِهْنِ فَإِذَا بَكَى أَحَدُهُمْ عَلَى الطَّعَامِ أَعْطَيْنَاهُ ذَاكَ حَتَّى يَكُونَ عِنْدَ الْإِفْطَارِ»

We used to make toys of wool for the boys and if anyone of them cried for, he was given those toys till it was the time of the breaking of the fast."

All these ahadith permit toys for children even if they are in the shape of a living being or its statue. Thus it is more probable that plain pictures of any kind are also permitted.

12th Shawwal, 1431 A.H

21st September, 2010 C.E
 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good article correcting those who have been saying there is no Islamic state during the last few weeks:

http://www.iculture.org.uk/articles/siyassa/the-islamic-state-and-egypt-correcting-un-islamic-views

R Junior said...

What if I need to cut out a part of a photograph with Human or Animals and put it on a different background? Designers sometimes need to do this when making leaflets and posters etc. The photograph remains the same, only the background is changed. Is that considered as making a picture?

Islamic Revival said...

This is covered in the beginning of the answer where it says:

"The following answers are the Shara’ii hukm concerning sketch drawing, i.e. drawing by hand, which is what is indicated in the ahadeeth and not the photographs captured using ‘cameras’. Camera photography is permitted and is not covered by the ahadeeth."

Therefore if you take the photograph of an animal or human and do not alter it by hand but simply alter the background then this would be permitted.

R Junior said...

Jazakallah.

Anonymous said...

"The following answers all pertain to plain photography with no embossing. As for such embossed drawings i.e. statues or sculptures, they are prohibited by the Shari’ah evidences under all situations except for children games for which permitting evidences are given at the end of these answers."
Sorry i still have a question about this:
"Are embossed drawings/embossed photo's of non-living things prohibited?"
Jazakullah

Islamic Revival said...

Embossing, making pictures or sculptures of non-living things is permitted. The Q&A is talking about living things.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaykum

I was wondering if it is haram to have drawings or pictures of roses and plants hanging on the walls in ones flat? Considering the hadith: Angels (Malaaikah) do not enter a house wherein lives a dog and there are pictures.

Islamic Revival said...

The hadith only applies to things with a soul ie. Animals and humans not to plants so having them up is fine

Anonymous said...

Are photographs taken by a camera of living things permitted in a place where salat is read?

Anonymous said...

Salaam,

Is it permitted to draw and/or own pictures of calligraphy in the shape of animals and people where no features are drawn, just the shape or silhouette

Anonymous said...

What about silhouettes of living things on clothes, like certain brands (Ralph Lauren, Le Coq Sportif, Kappa etc).

Anonymous said...

As mentioned in this Q/A, toys are permitted for childrens use. Does this apply even if it is used for other reasons than islamic ones or for learnings?
Is it permitted for a child to have for example Lego just because he likes lego or is it only allowed if used for learning/islam?
Because when I read this QA and the other that resembles this it looks like it is only for learning/islamic use.
And if it is permitted, is it then permitted to allow the child to display the toys/dolls on for example a bookcase when he does not play with it?

Salam alejkum