Regarding this hadith:

Narrated `Aisha: I purchased a cushion with pictures on it. The Prophet (came and) stood at the door but did not enter. I said (to him), "I repent to Allah for what (the guilt) I have done." He said, "What is this cushion?" I said, "It is for you to sit on and recline on." He said, "The makers of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, 'Make alive what you have created.' Moreover, the angels do not enter a house where there are pictures.'"
Sahih al-Bukhari 5957

Question: What are the consequences of angels not entering one's house due to pictures?

Islam Q&A describes angels recording good and bad deeds:

The angel on the right records hasanat (good deeds) and the angel on the left records sayyiat (bad deeds).
Islam Q&A

It seems to logically follow that these angels will be inhibited from recording these deeds. Nevertheless, I don't believe this inhibits Allah in any way. Maybe under these conditions, good deeds don't count, but the bad deeds still count (I'm just speculating).

It's possible this is the only consequence: I'm not aware of any other interactions between angels an everyday Muslims.


2 Answers 2


In Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi 14/84 (Arabic only) by An-Nawawi, in his commentary on the hadith in Sahih Muslim 37/130, he said that the angels that do not enter the room are the angels that roam around supplicating for the virtuous with mercy, blessings, and forgiveness (Arabic: وأما هؤلاء الملائكة الذين لايدخلون بيتا فيه كلب أو صورة فهم ملائكة يطوفون بالرحمة والتبريك والاستغفار).

Based on this commentary, the consequences are not quantifiable but can be summarized by the loss of the angels' supplication for one regarding the matters specified (mercy, blessings, and forgiveness). As the loss is not quantifiable, its impact is also unknown (e.g., it may be that one of the supplications by an angel of mercy is the supplication that tips one's balance from hell to paradise).

As for the other angels, An-Nawawi addressed this point, too, in his commentary. He said that angels that keep records enter any place, regardless, as their command and mission is to document and count every action (Arabic: وأما الحفظة فيدخلون في كل بيت ولايفارقون بني آدم في كل حال لأنهم مأمورون باحصاء أعمالهم وكتابتها).


It would be only some angels not all for we know there are endless number of angels governing different processes in the world. There are angels for sun, rain, clouds, plants and humans, performing different functions, so if pictures had the effect of suddenly expelling all angels, then we would have to conclude that an art gallery of human portraits must immediately collapse and disintegrate with all life forms inside it (such as visitors) falling dead, and with sun, air, rain and any positive influence never reaching such a "God-damned" place! But this is obviously not true. So we are left with only one alternative. Pictures don't expel all angels but only some.

By the way holding picture is not the only expelling factor, as all forms of sins, vices, corruption (even bad odors and a rotting food) reduce positive angelic influence in an area. However such reduction in some cases is not even uniform and absolute, for we know the process of death and decay is carried out by certain angels so in an area where there is widespread degeneration there is by consequence a relative absence of creative angels but a high concentration of angels of death, imbuing the area with a net total of malefic quality, a spiritual red zone that must be avoided by good humans and trespassed if necessary only under proper physical and spiritual protection measures.

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