The ruling on Taswir of an inanimate objects

Question:

If Taswir (painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography) of inanimate objects is lawful from the Shar`y perspective, is it permissible to continue doing so?

Answer:

Yes, this is permissible according to the Fatwa issued by the interpreter of the Qur’an and the knowledgeable scholar of the Ummah (nation), Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father). This is further maintained by the Hadith related by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that we have mentioned in the answer concerning the ruling on Taswir. In this Hadith, Jibril (Gabriel) ordered the Prophet (peace be upon him) to cut off the statue’s head so that it could take the shape of a tree. This signifies that it is permissible to practice Taswir of trees and suchlike. Praise be to Allah that scholars have unanimously agreed to this. Yet, if one can find another job that is fully good and permissible, then this is better than this job which may lead a person to make Taswir of animate objects. Shari’ah requires that one should keep away from the means leading to evil. May Allah protect us and you from the means incurring Allah’s Wrath.

  • Date: Rabi' Al-Awwal 11, 1442 AH
  • Source: This was published in the Magazine of the Islamic University in Madinah
  • Mufti: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz