It would really help if someone could answer this question who is very familiar with Maliki.

I’m very confused regarding the permissibility of drawing animated objects, and Maliki’s perceptions regarding the hadith that speak against it, especially with some of the hadith that I've looked at:

Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) visited me after returning from a journey, and I had a shelf with a thin cloth curtain hanging over it and on which there were portraits. When he saw it, the colour of his face changed (because of anger) and he said, "O Aishah! the most grievous torment from Allah on the Day of Resurrection will be for those who imitate (Allah) in the act of His creation.'' `Aishah said: We tore it into pieces and made a cushion or two cushions out of that. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Some muslims who condone drawing sentient beings try and use the rationalisation that it was forbidden during the time of the Prophet PBUH, because people back then were more suspectable to idolizing the 2D images. They also claim that the word “image” is used in context of 3D sculptures (yet, they dismiss how the hadith strictly specifies 2D portraits on a cloth).

They also claim that this hadith is related to the one bellow, in the sense that it’s exclusive to the people who INTEND to challenge Allah with their work.

Some say that if the prophet REALLY cursed the image maker (the one who imitates Allah’s work) in the context that I am using, then he’s also cursing those who draw rocks, or plants. And so this adds to the rhetoric they use regarding its exclusivity to challenging Allah.

“Allah says: ‘Who does a greater wrong than one who aspires to creates as I create – a grain of corn, a seed, or a barleycorn?” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (7559) and Sahîh Muslim (2111) – The wording accords with al-Bukhârî]

However, in the hadith provided prior to this, the Prophet PBUH didn’t know the intention behind the maker of the portraits. There is no specification going on here. He simply saw the pictures, and instantly disapproved.

Even a muslim who made images of sentient beings for the sake of a living was told not to:

While I was with Ibn 'Abbas a man came and said, "O father of 'Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures." Ibn 'Abbas said, "I will tell you only what I heard from Allah's Apostle . I heard him saying, '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.' " Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn 'Abbas said to him, "What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects."

Does the arabic word in these hadiths that are translated into “image maker” have a specific roots to animated beings? Or does it literally stand for a maker of ANY image, regardless of whether it’s animate/inanimate?

Also, the main thing I wish to understand here is why or how Maliki came to have the opinion that it’s ok to draw people/animals if these hadiths are so clear. I’m curios as to why these serious and very clear cut hadiths have been so dissected.

  • 1
    Salam and welcome to Islam SE the Q&A site about Islam. I strongly recommend you to take our tour and check our help center to learn more about our site and model. I'd also recommend you to add a quote of your claim, as nowhere in your post I can see what the Maliki school exactly says nor any reference or quote of a Maliki source on that issue. On the whole I assume that they are following the consensus of almost all scholars in the issue of drawing etc. and if they differ they could base their argumentation on osol like qiyas (analogy to the 2D fatwas) or other osol.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:24
  • @Medi1Saif I see what your saying. However, my question is based off hearsay. That's actually why I asked it. I wish to understand Maliki's reasoning in detail, and from his own words. All I've ever seen were people speaking on his behalf saying that he's ok with it for (insert reason here).
    – Reem
    Jan 24, 2017 at 0:19
  • @Medi1Saif Ws Wr Wb
    – Reem
    Jan 24, 2017 at 0:25
  • I've never encountered such a statement, therefore it would be hard to analyse, discuss or answer your question without any source for this statement. Note that as Imam Malik never encountered this issue, the opinion or fatwa isn't his own, but based on the the osol of the madhab as defined by his students and scholars whom followed or adopted his teachings and opinions.
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 24, 2017 at 15:18
  • 1
    I'd qualify this question as unclear: as you by no means gave us a source for the claim you posted. This means it could be hearsay we have no ground to start from.
    – Jamila
    Mar 19, 2018 at 13:26


Browse other questions tagged .