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What is the Islamic ruling on photography and drawing humans?

What is the Islamic ruling on photography and drawing humans?

Answer


Scholarly opinion on drawing humans

Drawing humans is permissible according to some scholars; Maliki scholars, some of the predecessors [Salaf] and the Hanbali scholar, Ibn Hamdan, have likewise maintained this opinion. They based their opinion on the fact that the prohibition is restricted to complete statues which imitate Allah's creation. In his Musanaf, Ibn Abu Shaybah reported this opinion from the venerated tabi'i [a person who was born after the Prophet's death and who accompanied some of his Companions] Al-Qasim Ibn Mohammed, may Allah have mercy on him, who was known as the best scholar of his time. The hadith reads: Ibn 'Awn said, "I entered upon Al-Qasim in his house which was located in the upper part of Mecca and saw a hajla [a net placed over a bed as a protection against flying insects] with the images of a phoenix and a beaver." In Fath Al-Bari, Ibn Hajar declared the chain of transmission of this hadith authentic.

In his commentary on Sahih Muslim [Sharh Muslim], Al-Nawawi said: "Some of the Salaf have maintained that complete statues [figures which cast a shadow] are prohibited; otherwise, they are unrestrictedly permissible — and he went further saying that the unrestricted permissibility of non casting shadows photos is an invalid opinion. Ibn Hajar, however, said in Fath Al-Bari that the invalidity of this opinion is disputable."

Ruling

Based on this, this matter is from among the controversial issues and there is no objection to following any of the opinions stated by scholars in this regard. This is because disagreement brings ease.

Therefore, there is no objection to drawing animates such as humans, animals and the like, whether from imagination, nature or photographs. There is no objection in Islamic law to pursuing this talent provided the drawings are void of anything prohibited and do not incite sexual desires. Likewise, it is impermissible to paint or photograph nudity or a 'awrah [part of the body that must be concealed] that religion, good morals, piety and man's sound natural disposition commands us to cover.
May Allah guide you to that which pleases Him.

 
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