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A brother said that he wants me to show him an exact statement from the Quran or Hadith that stated picture making is a sin, inshaa Allah. Until then, he said he will not believe that it is a sin.

Is picture making a sin? Is there an exact statement for it?

I know angels will not enter a house with pictures in it, however that still does not mean that such an act is sinful. Or how can we relate that to the judgement on picture making?

  • This word sin applies to one who worship a picture of living thing or a statue of living thing, this is because at the era of prophets people used to worship idols and as you are a Muslim, you don’t worship no one except God Almighty and the sin is I suppose no longer available upon you. – Alex A Oct 9 '17 at 16:28
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According to many hadiths in Sahih Muslim, it is clearly forbidden, so it is haram. You can see them here.

According to Quran, there is no mention about paint, painting or painters. You can search the word "paint" in the same link I gave with any English Translation. Here is the result, nothing. I also checked in the Turkish Translation of Quran, there is no mention about the word "paint".

Again according to Quran, there are 5 verses about "statue", while in some translations like Sahih International it is not translated as statue, but we can understand from meaning what they are.

As you can see, there is nothing about forbidding painting or making statues in Quran. Also we may deduce from 34/13 that, making statues itself is not haram.

We can logically conclude that making pictures or statues contradicting the principles of Islam such as nude(naked), making sexual intercourse, rendering a sin, with the purpose of worship etc is haram, because of obvious reasons.

As a principle, anything not mentioned in the Quran as haram, is halal. But forbidding painting and statues of living things (especially humans) is also logical when we look at the today's Christians. They mostly put Jesus(puh)'s paintings and statues in churches and asking help from him instead of Allah. They are behaving like him as God and any Muslim in future may fall into the same mistake. But there were people who worshipped to sun, we can't forbid to see sun, because it is illogical. Yet paintings and statues have a far more potential to be worshipped. I think, while there is such treat, it may be forbidden for a time, but not permanently.

  • Even the ahadith about pictures could be interpreted differently. The translations of the ahadith in sunnah.com are often biased and one faced, I have found many bad translations that often are translated in order to not contradict other interpretations.. – Kilise Jul 29 '17 at 14:43
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If you read the Quran, it has basically common sense stuff. It tells us that basically any act that is done for the betterment of society without ill-intent is good, and any act that in any way causes harm to the society is discouraged.

I am not aware of any direct reference to prohibition of drawing pictures in the Quran. If you draw a picture, for example, a man feeding a cat, and the man is properly dressed, there is nothing wrong with painting such a picture as it generally gives a positive feeling.

If, on the other hand, you draw a picture of man kicking the cat, that will not be liked by our Creator and will give an unpleasant and cruel message.

To take another example, if I am giving charity, with true intent of charity, then it's great. If I'm giving charity just so the people looking at me can be impressed (instead of God), then it's no use and actually gonna work against you ;) so it's not the charity that's bad, it's the intent and purpose of charity. Similarly, drawing pictures that promote a good message within the framework of the Quran are OK imho but if you are drawing pictures so you can worship them or drawing pictures that are going to hurt somebody's feelings, then it's sinful.

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Ibn 'Abbas and Aisha reported that:

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.

However not all picture making is sin. Ibn `Abbas said to a man whose profession was picture making that:

If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects.

  • What if he say "its not enough, because it did not explicitly state drawing picture is a sin!" lol, dont know what to do , subhanna Allah.... – Adam Mar 19 '14 at 3:33
  • @Adam please read carefully. Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it . Does that not mean sin ? – user2724 Mar 19 '14 at 4:52
  • But you CAN draw pictures of trees and other in-animate objects, eg sun, moon, clouds, landscape, starts etc – user2724 Mar 19 '14 at 4:53
  • Am I to assume that photography is also haram? – lemon Jun 25 '14 at 23:42
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    How legitimate is that hadith? Also what is the precise meaning of make pictures in this context? – Hakim Jul 25 '14 at 22:44
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You won't find any ayah that says painting and taking pictures is sin in Quran. And I personally don't see any logical reason why making pictures is sin. If you believe in hadiths you always have to keep in mind that hadiths are not the words of Allah. Surely, most hadiths can be reliable and true, but can somebody think that making pictures is sin although it is not mentioned in Quran? Please have a look at (16:116)

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    i can add, in fact the prophet solomon AS had statues erected for him: 'They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], "Work, O family of David, in gratitude." And few of My servants are grateful."' (34:13) let alone a mere 2d picture – johan.i.zahri Jan 22 '15 at 13:43
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To be honest, I do not agree with you completely as you said "Someone asked me to show him exact reference from the Qur'an and hadith that picture making is a sin"

Since as far as it is a famous saying between majority of Muslims, in the common condition it couldn't be counted as a haram practice. Besides as much as I searched, I didn't find any related issue concerning its Hormah (Hormah means being haram). Then I assume you cannot find any verse or even any authentic hadith regarding its Hormah.

Of course the issue could be pondered from another aspect. Actually your words(the Hormah of taking photo) could be true in some specific conditions. such as:

  • Taking photo from personal situation of persons.
  • Taking photo from non-mahram (which could create the field of sin...)
  • Taking photo from the places which it has written “No-Photo (not allowed...)”

So, separately the above-mentioned items could be considered according to Quran or hadiths.

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