I have a sketchpad that I used to draw humans and other things in. I used pencil, charcoal, and pastel to practice. Some of the sketches are humans. I also have a medium sized canvas with a painting of a lady.

Should I use a black marker to go over and cover the human sketches and then tear them apart and throw them in the bin?

For the canvas painting, should I use white or black paint to paint over the lady and then paint on that if I want? (I cannot tear or break the canvas because of how thick it is).

Is this the correct way of getting rid of and covering the human drawings?

  • I'd like to inform you that there are sizably held views within Islamic scholarship, past and preset, that say drawing living beings isn't haram, it's makruh or mubah. So If you follow these views then there is no need to cover up these drawings/paintings.
    – YoMango
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


A haram image can be dealt with in any of the following ways:

  • By removing it from a place of respect to a place of disrespect. Such as by not hanging it but rather placing it flat on the floor where it will be trampled.

    ومر بالستر فليقطع فليجعل منه وسادتين منبوذتين توطآن

    order the curtain to be cut up and made into two cushions spread out on which people may tread

    Sunan Abu Dawud and Jami at-Tirmidhi

    ولا تمثالا إلا وضعته

    Do not leave any statue without knocking it down

    Musnad Ahmad

    And some scholars have also allowed for putting it in a drawer or cupboard etc. as in that way the image is not hung or displayed.

  • By changing it so that it is not possible for the image to be alive. Such as by cutting or erasing its head or chest or belly.

    فمر برأس التمثال الذي في البيت يقطع فيصير كهيئة الشجرة

    order the head of the image which is in the house to be cut off so that it resembles the form of a tree

    Sunan Abu Dawud and Jami at-Tirmidhi

  • By washing it away with water or a solvent. By painting over it. By scratching it away. Or any other method which achieves the same goal.

    لا تدع تمثالا إلا طمسته

    Do not leave an image without obliterating it


    أن أنحت كل يعني صورة

    To scratch every image

    Musnad Ahmad

    ولا صورة إلا لطخها

    any image but he will spoil it (smear or blacken it with something)

    Musnad Ahmad

    And doing this to the whole image is the most cautious opinion.

Ref: Fath al-Bari, Radd al-Muhtar, Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah

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