Sculpture, classical paintings, and abstract art

Q 4: What is the Islamic position on sculpture, classical paintings, and abstract art?


A: Making images of beings with a soul is Haram (prohibited), whether it is in the form of a sculpture or a painting on a wall, cloth, or paper, or embroidery. There is also no distinction whether a picture is created with a paintbrush, a pen, or any other drawing instrument. Likewise, it makes no difference whether it is an imitation of an original or imaginary figure, or it is smaller, bigger, more beautiful, or uglier than the original. It is even prohibited to draw the skeleton of a being with a soul. The determinant of the prohibition is whether it is of a being with a soul, even if the picture is done from the imagination, like those of the ancient Pharaohs, leaders and soldiers of the Crusades, and the pictures of `Isa (Jesus) and Maryam (Mary) that are found in churches and other places. This is according to the general meaning of the texts, because it is emulating Allah's Creation, and to block the means to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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