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Why are Muslims not allowed to hang photos of their family on the walls of their houses? Is this even true?

If it is true, can you hang pictures of landscapes or abstract art on the wall?

  • Sure you can hang any picture on the wall, that is not a picture of a animals (humans included), calligraphy, abstract art, modern art and pictures of landscapes, skyscapes, seascapes and other stuff is all allowed. You may have observed that in mosques that are old, generally built from the start of 800 till are all decorated with mosaics, calligraphy of Quran and even abstract architectural designs. – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 11:54
  • Also I would suggest the answer at Islam SE - []islam.stackexchange.com/questions/2928/… – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 18:20
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*“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from a journey and I had hung a patterned curtain on which there were images over (the door of) a room of mine. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it, he tore it and said, ‘The most severely punished of the people on the Day of Resurrection will be those who tried to imitate the creation of Allaah.’” She said: “So I made it into one or two cushions.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 5610; Muslim, no. 2107.

Sure you can hang any picture on the wall, given that it is not a picture of any animals (humans included). calligraphy, abstract art, modern art and pictures of landscapes, skyscapes, seascapes and other stuff is all allowed. You may have observed that in mosques that are old, generally built from the start of 800 CE till are all decorated with mosaics, calligraphy of Quran and even abstract architectural designs. Also plants and such things.

  • I've marked your answer as useful as it quotes a reference, however I'm confused as I thought Allah created landscapes, skyscapes and seascapes so I'm unable to accept this answer as the answer to my question. – Matthew Bonner Mar 13 '16 at 14:29
  • @Bonner, I get your confusion. The thing to note here is that you are not creating something which is motile and has soul,in the obvious sense, the essential reason behind prohibiting pictures of motile living things is as mentioned in the other answer, to avoid any sort of deviation from Islam because there were countless gods based on countless animals and at the time of Prophet it was too ingrained in the society that the people who had come to Islam may have thoughts of the idols they used to have earlier. – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 17:50
  • Now we may mention, mountain worship makes pictures of mountains a sin, not quite. The reason being it is not that common and the other being it's too much and I mean too much abstract in it's philosophy and I can bet the thought of a mountain god would have never entered your mind while seeing a picture of a mountain (assuming you didn't know it) because as per Islamic logic it is another geographical feature that Allah created. – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 17:54
  • It's just animals, because for past quite some millenia people always went towards idol worship with the very thought that they had souls. if they had done so to plants, maybe pictures of plants might have been banned as well. – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 17:57
  • There are many interpretations of the above hadith, but they don't as much relate to your question. Although among those interpretations, you can find that pictures allowed are those that have abstractness, like a doll for children(not the figure of gods) thousand or two thousand years back had abstract figure(head, body, limbs, maybe even clothes- but nothing to say it's human like eyes, mouth and such), while as today they are as real as they get(which is not abstraction, so it's a sin) – user9301 Mar 13 '16 at 18:02
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As Muslims, we look to fiqh scholars to make rulings on questions that arise. We do not just make our own rulings as this can lead to hellfire for many types of sin. what if ur wrong and you have lead others to sin? you must be well educated in Hadith and principles of Fiqh to make rulings.

When I read the Quran and learn the tortures for various sins, it helps me to avoid that and sure I want to please Allah swt. And you probably want angels in your home, so take down pictures.

Your memories of good times will always be with. Keeping them for others to see can cause jealousy and can become show-off. Allah swt knows best and it's for all time not just before our modern inventions.

From Islam Q&A 10325: Ruling on keeping pictures and children's toys

We know from Hadith that the Angels do not enter into a house where pictures/photographs of living things (humans or animals )are displayed.  What is the ruling for keeping the photographs of family relatives and pictures appearing in magazines/newspapers etc. and toys like dolls and sculptures of animals.  Your kind reply based on the teaching of Quran and Hadith is most kindly requested. May Allah bless you for this act of kindness.

Published Date: 2008-07-02

Praise be to Allaah.  

Firstly: 

Image-making is of two types: one by hand and the other by means of machines. 

Image-making by hand is haraam, and is, in fact, a major sin, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who does it. He did not differentiate between images that have a shadow (i.e., three-dimensional) or those that are simply drawn (two-dimensional), according to the more correct scholarly opinion, because of the general meaning of the hadeeth.  

With regard to image-making by means of machines, i.e. cameras, there is a difference of opinion among the later scholars on this matter. Some of them forbid it and some of them allow it. 

In order to be on the safe side, it is better to avoid that, because it is one of the doubtful areas. And whoever is careful with regard to doubtful matters will protect his religious commitment and his honour. But if he needs to do that for a specific purpose such as proving his identity, there is nothing wrong with that because if there is a need, the matter is no longer doubtful.

Secondly:

With regard to keeping pictures, this is also of two types: 

The first type is keeping images that are three-dimensional. Keeping them is haraam. Ibn al-'Arabi narrated that there is consensus on this point. See Fath al-Baari, p. 388, vol. 10). He said: This consensus has to do with things other than girls' dolls. 

It was narrated that 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: "I used to play with dolls in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and I had friends who would play with me. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered they would hide themselves and he would call them to come and play with me. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 5779; Muslim, no. 2440. 

The second type is images that are not three-dimensional. These are of different types: 

  1. Those that are hung up to be venerated and respected, as in the case of pictures of kings, presidents, ministers, scholars etc. This is haraam because it involves exaggeration about a created being.

  2. Those that are hung up for the sake of memory, such as hanging up pictures of one's friends. This is also haraam, because of the hadeeth narrated in Saheeh al-Bukhaari from Abu Talhah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: "I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: 'The angels do not enter any house in which there is a dog or an image.'" Narrated by Muslim, no. 2104).

  3. Those that are hung up for the purpose of adornment. These are also haraam because of the hadeeth of 'Aa'ishah who said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from a journey and I had hung a patterned curtain on which there were images over (the door of) a room of mine. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it, he tore it and said, 'The most severely punished of the people on the Day of Resurrection will be those who tried to imitate the creation of Allaah.'" She said: "So I made it into one or two cushions." Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 5610; Muslim, no. 2107.

  4. Those that are treated with disrespect, such as images in carpets and pillows. Al-Nawawi narrated from the majority of scholars among the Sahaabah and Taabi'een that these are permissible.

  5. Those that have unfortunately become widespread and are difficult to avoid, such as images engraved on coins etc which have become a problem for the Muslim ummah. It seems to me that there is no sin on the one who acquires these without wanting to acquire images. 

Thirdly: 

With regard to dolls that children play with: 

An exception is made in the case of children's toys, which are not regarded as haraam or makrooh. But what are the toys which are exempted? We know that the toys of the past did not have eyes and lips and noses as they do nowadays. I think it is better to avoid these toys and limit oneself to those the kind of toys that were known previously. 

See Fataawa al-'Aqeedah by Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen, p. 66, 663, 679 

And Allaah knows best.

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People hang pictures of their loved ones to remember them. Look to their past and cherish memories. That is the general idea. Unfortunately, it is a practice in some religions to idolize theses pictures. For example, children are asked to take blessings from their late grandparents. They go to their photos (hung on the wall) and start praying. Seeking blessings from the ones who passed away. This practice is common in adulthood also. Similarly people who hangs pictures of famous people (religious/political/spiritual) are also found to idolize them to the extent.

For Muslims, "shirk" is the biggest of all sins. Since hanging pictures can lead to idolatry and "shirk", it is completely avoided.

Landscapes are beautiful. There is no issue of hanging them. Having said that I must also say that Muslim Scholars are against the photography of living things and some completely avoid photography and videography.

When you say abstract art, I can't make any comment. It is discouraged because of the reasons mentioned above.

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Salam Alaykum

I have never heard of a Hadith or Verse against this, but you may be referring it to a form of shirk as the above person said.

I say that taking photos of family, people and such and hanging them on a wall for memory of a blissful time is allowed, as long as it doesn't exceed the limit and end with you praying to it like some cultures and religions do, as we should only pray to Allah(swt) alone.

Though sometimes people say 'May my family watch over me in the hereafter', If in this they mean 'May my family watch my journey through life' then I say that it is ok, as they aren't asking them for guidance or praying to them and only asking them to watch them, but if they mean 'may they guide me in life' and believe that their ancestors can help them, then I don't recommend.

I'm no scholar or imam so I can't label it makrooh, but i don't recommend it as only Allah can help us, not our ancestors

  • Adding some references would make your answer more appropriate and useful therefore i recommend you to read islam.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer – Medi1Saif Feb 12 '16 at 11:06
  • That is the problem, I have no knowledge of hadiths or verses as I have said of anything regarding this matter, and the closest thing I can take to what he is saying is of it constituting Shirk, which we all know of. – blocktrocks101 Feb 12 '16 at 11:27
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The original question is WHY? Why do we have to pray 5 times a day? Why not 4? Because that is what our Creator swt has prescribed. Allah swt is most wise. So if there are sound hadith against it then if we dont understand or it doesn't make sense that is when we use our faith in Him swt.

It's good you are looking for answers but just make sure you are following the appropriately educated scholars.

  • Welcome to Islam SE. Answers should be elaborate and focused on addressing the question. Claims should be supported by evidence. Please visit our tour in the help center, and refer to How to Answer. – III-AK-III Feb 4 '18 at 13:01
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Me personally I think its what they try to feed you I have my kids pictures on my way and i don't worship them at all. I don't believe that Allah gives us knowledge to make an have things that are that bad. They drew on walls in their time telling their stories so was that wrong?

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