Making art paintings and playing the lute and other instruments

Q: I am a young man. In the past my hobby was producing calligraphy, decoration, and plastic arts such as painting, etching, drawing pictures and portraits etc. Praise be to Allah, Allah guided me to the right path and I am now committed to the orders of Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). I found out that it is not permissible to draw portraits of humans, because - according to the Prophet's Hadith - the people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah on Doomsday will be the picture makers. My question is, what should I do with the paintings which are more than a hundred paintings? Should I burn them or give them as gifts to other people, or should I sell them especially since I have invested much money in them and I am in dire need for money? Or should I distort them for the Sake of Allah with hope that Allah will compensate me for doing so? What should I do with the camera with which I used to take photos in the past? What is the ruling on the Atari, a video game device, for passing time? I also have a lute. Should I sell it and make use of its value especially since I bought it with my money or what should I do? I appreciate your advice!

A: First: You have to distort all the pictures of creatures that have souls and it is sufficient to distort their heads. After that you may benefit from the paintings by selling them or giving them as gifts to others or benefit from them in any other permissible way.Second: There is no harm in selling the camera; because it can be used in good and evil purposes just like knives, swords and the like. Whoever uses them in evil purposes commits a sin. (Part No. 26; Page No. 295) With regard to the lute and such musical instruments, you should destroy them, for they are used in unlawful purposes only. Praise be to Allah Who blessed you with repentance. We ask Allah to help us all stick to the Truth and grant us useful knowledge and make us act upon it.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.