Monday, May 24, 2010

Drawing Creatures that do Not Exisit

As most Muslims know, we cannot draw people or animals, unless it is for some educational purpose that we cannot avoid. This ruling is supported by the following hadiths:

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." Bukhari 3:428

Narrated by Aisha: I stuffed for the Prophet a pillow decorated with pictures (of animals) which looked like a Namruqa (i.e. a small cushion). He came and stood among the people with excitement apparent on his face. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is wrong?" He said, "What is this pillow?" I said, "I have prepared this pillow for you, so that you may recline on it." He said, "Don't you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked to give life to (what he has created)?" Bukhari 4:47

It appears very clear that we should not draw things that are or were living. But what about things that never really existed? Mythical creatures? Unicorns, dragons, even cartoon characters? I was interested in the answer to this question, so I searched for the answer and found the following:


Assalamoalaikum. i know that drawing or painting human faces or animals is wrong in the eyes of Almighty, and on the day of Judgment we will be asked to blow life into it. however, the thing i would like to ask is it alright to draw or sketch dragons? because they are mythical creatures and never existed, so is it okay if we draw them? please answer in detail. Thank you.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

It is not permissible to draw pictures of what is thought to be one of the living creatures even if it never existed in reality, for two reasons:

1- This is because it is imitating the creation, and it is only Allaah Who has the ability to create. It is known that the reason of the prohibition of drawing pictures of living creatures is because it is imitating the creation of Allaah, as mentioned in a Qudsi narration: "And who is more unjust than he who creates like my creation [who tries to imitate my creation]." [Al-Bukhaari]. What would be the case of the one who gives himself the attribute of being able to create what never existed before?

2- Drawing pictures of living creatures is forbidden in order to prevent any forbidden means which lead to something forbidden. This is indeed a great fundamental rule in religion; when Allaah forbids something in itself, He forbids any means which may lead to it.

Allaah Knows best.


Amna H. said...

Mashallah... It's very true. Despite the clear warning from the Hadiths many people don't pay much regard to it. I know another Hadith on this matter and would like to share it with you.

Asma (RA) narrates that she heard the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wassallam)saying, “All the people will be gathered together on the Day of Judgement and they will all hear the voice of the announcing angel. He will say, ‘where are those who glorified Allah in ease and adversity?” A group will rise up and enter Paradise without reckoning. It will then be announced, ‘where are those who forsook their beds and spend their nights in worship?’ Another group will rise up and enter Paradise without reckoning. The angel with again announce, ‘where those whom trade and business did not distract from remembrance of Allah?’ Yet another group will rise up and enter Paradise.

"When three groups will have entered Paradise without reckoning, a monster with a long neck, shinning eyes and most eloquent tongue will rise from Hell and say, ‘I have been deputed on all who are proud and ill-tempered.’ It will pick all such persons from the crowd, as a fowl picks up grain and then it will fling them into the Hell. It will rise up again saying, ‘this time I have been deputed on all who maligned Allah and His Apostle’ (Sallallaho alaihe wassallam).’ It will pick such persons and throw them into Hell; it will appear for the third time and will in the similar manner, take away all those who made images and pictures. The reckoning will then commence after these three groups have been eliminated. “

Found this in: Faza'il e A'maal; Virtue of Salat. Chapter 1b in the commentary of Hadith VII

Amna H. said...

Oh and there is this blogpost and I found it interesting. Do check it out:

AlabasterMuslim said...

Wow Subhanallah...I'm glad you posted this! I'm not sure if I have ever drawn something like a mystical creature, but I will definitely be refraining from doing just so!!

Nadia said...

Salam aleikum,
I just wanted to thank you for this post as it increased my knowledge about the prohibitions of drawing in islam.

Toush said...

thanks for this post. i thought it was acceptable. glad i found your post.

joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..

joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine to,and be a follower..thanks and God bless..

CATGIRL said...

Hey dear! I am Nosheen Islam- a female MBA from Karachi, Pakistan. Honestly just browsing through good blogs and finding literate & intelligent writers like you to talk to me on various issues. Love ur blog outlook and ur awesome thoughts. I write on issues related to society, religion as well as some funny stuff. Best of Luck for ur blogging. I hope u can be a follower- if u like my blog? And don’t forget to comment please !!