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Kitaab At-Tawheed, Chapter: 58

What Has Been Said About Those Who Make
Pictures (of Living Things)

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra ) it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said:

"Allah (swt ), Most High said: "And who is more unjust than those who try to create the likeness of My creation? Let them create an atom, or let them create a wheat grain, or let them create a barley grain." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah (swt ), Most High, informs us in this Hadith Qudsi, through the mouth of His Prophet, Muhammad (saas ), that there is none more unjust than those people who make pictures of living things, wishing to resemble Allah (swt ) in His act of Creation. Then He (swt ), Almighty, All-powerful, challenges such people to create even the smallest and most insignificant of His visible, living creations, which is an atom, or to create the simplest of plant materials, such as a grain of wheat or a grain of barley; this He (swt ), Most High, does, in order to expose their weakness and inability.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of making drawings, paintings or carvings of any living things.

2. The lack of proper regard and respect for Allah (swt ) of those who depict living things.

3. The Power of Allah (swt ) and His Ability to create what He Wills.

4. The weakness and incapacity of those other than Him to create even the simplest of things from nothing.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves that depicting living things is forbidden.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That the Hadith forbids making pictures of living things because this is an attempt to imitate Allah (swt ) in His act of Creation, which is Shirk in Rabbship.

..ooOOoo..

On the authority of `A`ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) it is reported that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) said:

"The most severely punished of people on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to make the like of Allah's creation." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (saas ) informs us in this Hadith that those who depict living creatures in their drawings, paintings and carvings, attempting to imitate Allah (swt ) in His act of Creation, will face the most severe chastisement on the Day of Judgement for they are the worst of people in respect to Allah (swt ) and the most wicked in committing evil - this is why they are most deserving of Allah's Wrath and His punishment.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The strictness of the forbiddance of making pictures of living creatures.

2. Evidence of the reason for the prohibition of depicting living things.

3. That punishment on the Day of Resurrection is in proportion to one's sins.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves the forbiddance of making pictures of living things.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it forbids the depiction of living creatures because this is an attempt to imitate Allah (swt ) in His act of Creation and this is Shirk in Rabbship.

Important Note

He who makes pictures of living creatures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Judgement if he did so in order to have that image worshipped because in so doing, he is guilty of kufr, while if he intends by it to imitate Allah (swt ), he is also guilty of disbelief.

..ooOOoo..

On the authority of Ibn `Abbas (ra ) it is reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saas ) say:

"Every picture maker is in the Fire. A soul will be placed in every picture made by him and it will punish him in the Hell-fire." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

Because the picture makers are the wickedest of people in respect to Allah (swt ), and the worst of them in performing deeds which Allah (swt ) forbidden, the Prophet (saas ) informed us in this Hadith that whoever made a picture of a living creature in this life, Allah (swt ) will breathe life into it on the Day of Resurrection after which that image will punish him in the Fire and this is the recompense for his evil deeds. Therefore, it behoves every picture maker to fear Allah (swt ), the Almighty, the All-powerful and to abandon his evil employment; and if he does that, Allah (swt ) will reward him, for whoever abandoned something for Allah's sake will be rewarded with something better by Him, Most High.

Benefits Derived From This Hadith

1. The forbiddance of making pictures of living creatures.

2. The permissibility of making pictures of things which do not possess a soul.

3. That reward is in accordance with one's deeds.

4. That the remuneration which the picture maker receives for his work is forbidden because when an action is prohibited, so too is profiting from it.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That the Hadith proves that it is forbidden to make pictures of living creatures.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it prohibits making pictures of living things, because doing so constitutes an attempt to imitate Allah (swt ) in His action of Creation and this is Shirk in Rabbship.

..ooOOoo..

It is reported in a marfoo' form, on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (ra ): "Whoever made pictures in this life, will be charged with breathing life into it and he will not be able to do so." (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (saas ) informs us in this Hadith that whoever made pictures of creatures possessing a soul in this life, will be charged on the Day of Judgement with breathing life into them; and Allah (swt ) knows that he will not be able to do so, but He will charge him thus in order to make clear to him his own powerlessness and weakness and to reproach him for his sin.

1. The forbiddance of depicting living creatures.

2. The permissibility of making pictures of things without a soul.

3. That reward is in accordance with one's deeds.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves that it is forbidden to make pictures of living creatures.

Relevance of This Hadith to the Subject of Tawheed

That it prohibits making pictures of living things because doing so is an attempt to imitate Allah (swt ) in His action of Creation and this is Shirk in Rabbship.

..ooOOoo..

On the authority of Abul Hayaaj Al-Asadi, it is reported that `Ali (ra ) said to him: "Shall I not send you on a mission on which I was sent by Allah's Messenger (saas )?

"Do not leave any image without erasing it, nor any elevated grave without leveling it to the ground." (Narrated by Muslim)

Because Islam is careful to block all roads to Shirk, whether apparent or hidden, `Ali Ibn Abi Talib (ra ) informs us that the Messenger of Allah (saas ) charged him with the task of effacing all of the pictures of living things which he might find and with leveling all of those graves which had edifices or grave stones over them. This he did in order to protect the Muslims' beliefs from the evils of worship of graven images and adoration of graves, because making pictures of living creatures and building over graves leads to their glorification and reverence and attributing to them that, which they do not deserve - that which is for Allah (swt ), Alone; and anyone who has travelled throughout the Muslim world will have found such things in profusion - things which make one with correct beliefs shudder and sadden his heart: Circumambulation of graves in the manner in which the pilgrims circumambulate the Ka'abah, in Makkah; animals sacrificed to the graves' inhabitants instead of their being slaughtered in Allah's Name, supplication of the graves' inhabitants and many other acts of Shirk and innovation unknown to the Messenger of Allah (saas ), his Companions or the pious generations who came after them.

Benefits Derived From This Narration

1. The obligation to reject that which is detestable.

2. That making images of living creatures is forbidden.

3. That building over graves is forbidden.

Relevance of This Narration to the Subject of the Chapter

That it proves that making pictures of living things is prohibited.

Relevance of This Narration to the Subject of Tawheed

That it prohibits the making of images of living creatures because doing so amounts to attempting to imitate Allah (swt ) in His action of Creation and this is Shirk in Rabbship.

Important Note

This forbiddance of making pictures includes all living creatures which possess a soul. It is pure fancy to imagine that by putting a line across the neck of the image, or obliterating its features, it becomes permissible.

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