Q: What is the ruling on portraying animate beings? Undoubtedly, the answer will be that it is Haram (forbidden) and is impermissible for Muslims, but I have failed to convince my teacher (art teacher) of this. I told him that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
The most severely tormented people on the Day of Resurrection will be the image makers.
I also told him that Allah (Exalted and Praised be He) mentioned regarding the image maker : Blow the life into it (the image). I also advised him that if he likes to paint, he should paint trees, houses, or books ...Etc. Provided that these drawings do not depict animate beings. However, he, may Allah guide him, was not convinced and asked me to provide him with evidence from the Noble Qur'an. I told him that the Noble Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah both complement each other, and that Sunnah is what our Prophet (peace be upon him) has come with. I also told him that the Scholars are the heirs of the Prophets... Etc, I hope that you will answer these questions so that I can reply to him in this regard, as he told me that he only accepts evidence from the Noble Qur'an. May Allah guide us all to that pleases Him. Amen, O Allah, Lord of the Sublime Throne.
Praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and companions. To commence: Islamic juristic rulings are taken from both the Qur'an (Part No. 5; Page No. 11) and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for Allah (Exalted be He) states:
Say: "Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger
and He states:
...But if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allâh’s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)."
as well as:
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you
and He states:
But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) judge in all disputes between them
Also Allah states:
He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), has indeed obeyed Allâh
And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination!
In addition to:
Nor does he speak of (his own) desire.
It is only a Revelation revealed.
And He states:
And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم) the Dhikr [reminder and the advice (i.e. the Qur’ân)], that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them
And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).
And there are other Ayahs indicating the obligation of acting according to the authentic Hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him). There are a lot of authentic Hadiths that prohibit portraying animate beings and warn image makers of the most grievous torment on the Day of Resurrection. Among these Hadiths, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated:
the most grievously tormented people on the Day of Resurrection would be the painters of pictures.
Agreed upon Hadith. It is narrated
Al-Bukhari on the authority of
Abu Juhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him)
that the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed the one who accepts Riba (Usury) and the one who gives it.
Moreover, he cursed painters of pictures. Actually, there are many reported Hadiths implying this meaning. We ask Allah to guide your teacher to the right path and wisdom.May Allah grant us success. Peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!