In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

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The Beneficial Response Concerning the Islamic Ruling of Pictures/Images
by:  Shaykh Abdul-Azeez Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baaz (May Allah Have Mercy Upon Him).
Original language:  Arabic.
Rendered into english by:  Abu Muhammad Abdur-Ra'uf Shakir.
Publishing house:  Presidency of Nationalistic of Islamic research & Afta, Tel:(+966-1)4595555, Fax:(+966-1)4596943.
Publishing date:  1418H, 1997G. Six Edition.
ISBN:  9660-11-064-8.
Printed via:  Al-Homaidhi press, Tel:(+966-1)4581000, Fax:(+966-1)4592217.


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List of some of the authentic ahaadith about the images (suwar)

            Here I will mention for you some of the authentic ahaadith which have been narrated concerning this subject. I will also mention the sayings of some of the scholars concerning these ahaadith. I will also make clear the correct position in this issue, Allah Willing!

  1. In the two Saheehs (al-Bukhaaree and Muslim), on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)said:� Allah, the Most High, said: Who is more a wrongdoer than one who tries to create creation like My creation. Let him create a small ant (dharrah) or a grain of wheat or that of barley� This wording is from Muslim[5].

  2. Also in the two "Saheehs", on the authority of Ibn Mas'ood (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:� The most severely punished people on the Day of Resurrection would be the image-makers (al-musawwiroon)�[6].

  3. In the two "Saheehs", on the authority of Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both), who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:� Those who make these images (suwar) will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them, Make alive what you have created�This wording is from al-Bukhaaree[7].

  4. Al-Bukhaaree has reported, on the authority of Abu Juhaifah (may Allah be pleased with him), that:� the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prohibited taking money from the sale of blood and dogs, as well as the earnings of a prostitute. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also pronounced the CURSE of Allah upon the one who takes ribaa (interest), the one who gives it, the one who tattoos others, the one who gets tattooed and the IMAGE-MAKER (al-musawwir)�[8].

  5. On the authority of Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying::� Whoever makes an image (soorah) in this world would be compelled to breathe a soul (rooh) in it on the Day of Resurrection, but he would not be able to do so� Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim[9].

  6. Muslim has reported, on the authority of Sa'eed ibn Abu'l-Hasan, who said: A man came to Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both) and said: I am a person who makes these images (suwar); give me a religious verdict (fatwa) about them. He (Ibn Abbaas) said to him: come near me. The man then came near to him. Then he (Ibn Abbaas) said again: come near me. So, he came nearer to him, until he placed his hand on the man's head and said: I am going to inform you of what I heard from Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). I heard him (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)say:� Every image-maker (musawwir) will be in the Fire of Hell. A soul will be made for him for every image which he has made, and it will punish him in the Hell-Fire�. Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both) said:� If you must do it (i.e. make these images), then make (images of) trees and lifeless things�[10]. Al-Bukhaaree has reported his (Ibn Abbaas) saying: "If you must do it...", at the end of the Hadeeth which is before this one, with what is similar to what Muslim has mentioned[11].

  7. At-Tirmidhee has reported in his book al-Jaami [the Sunan of at-Tirmidhee], on the authority of Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said:� The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prohibited the POSSESSION of images (soorah) in the house; he also prohibited the MAKING of them�[12].

  8. On the authority of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) entered (my room) and I had placed a curtain (qiraam) of mine having images (tamaatheel) in it, over (the door of) a chamber of mine,� When he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw it, he tore it apart and his face changed colors, and he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: O 'Aa'isha, the people who will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to make the like of Allah's creation. She said: So, we turned it (the curtain) into one or two cushions (pillows)�Reported by Muslim[13].

  9. On the authority of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) returned from a journey when I had placed a curtain (qiraam) of mine having images (tamaatheel) over (the door of) a chamber of mine,� When Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw it, he tore it apart and said: The people who will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to make the like of Allah's creation. She said: So, we made it (the curtain) into one or two cushions (pillows)�Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim; Muslim's narration has the additional words, after the saying - � he tore it apart� - � his face changed colors�[14].

  10. It has also been narrated from her ('Aa'isha) (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) returned from a journey, while I had hung up a thick curtain (durnook) having images (tamaatheel) on it.� He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded me (to remove it). So, I pulled it down�Reported by Al-Bukhaaree. Muslim has narrated it with the wording:...and I had screened my door with a thick curtain (durnook) having (images) of winged horses on it.� He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded me (to remove it). So, I pulled it down�[15].

  11. On the authority of al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad, from 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), that she said: I bought a cushion (numruqah) having images (tasaaweer) on it.� When Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw it, he stopped at the door and did not enter. I noticed the signs of strong disapproval on his face. She said: O Allah's Messenger! I turn to Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in repentance. What sin have I committed? He said: What is this cushion for? I said: I bought it for you to sit on and recline on. Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: The makers of these images (suwar) will be punished (severely) on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, Make alive what you have created. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) added:Angels do not enter a house in which there are images (suwar)�Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim[16].

    Muslim reported another narration from Ibn al-Maajishoonee, that she ('Aa'isha) (may Allah be pleased with her) said: So, I took it (the cushion) and made it into two arm-rests (mirfaqatain), and he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to lean on them in the house[17].

  12. On the authority of Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both), who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:� The angels do not enter a house which has in it a dog, (nor the house which has in it) an image (soorah)�Reported by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. This (particular) wording is from Muslim[18].

  13. Muslim has reported, on the authority of Zaid ibn Khaaled, from Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) - attributing it to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he said:� The angels do not enter a house which has in it a dog or images (tamaatheel)�[19].

  14. Al-Bukhaaree has narrated in his book "As-Saheeh", on the authority of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both), from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that Jibreel (Gabriel) (alayhi's-Salaam) said:� Verily, we (angels) do not enter a house which has in it a dog or an image (soorah)� Muslim has reported (a Hadeeth) similar to it, on the authority of 'Aa'isha and Maimoonah (may Allah be pleased with them both)[20].

  15. Muslim reported, on the authority of Abu'l-Hayyaaj al-Asadee, who said:� 'Alee ibn Abu Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) said to me: Shall I not send you on the same mission as Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sent me? Do not leave an image (timthaal) without obliterating/effacing it, nor a grave which is raised above the ground without leveling it to the ground�[21].

  16. Abu Daawood has reported, with a good (jayyid) chain of narrators, on the authority of Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him):� that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) in the time of the conquest of Makkah, while he was at "al-Bat-haa", to go to the Ka'bah and to remove (yamhoo) every image (soorah) found in it. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not enter (the Ka'bah) until every image (soorah) in it was removed�[22].

  17. Abu Daawood at-Tayaalisee reported in his 'Musnad', on the authority of 'Usaamah (may Allah be pleased with him), that he said: I entered upon the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) while he was in the Ka'bah and he had seen (in it) images (suwar).� He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) asked for a pale of water, so I brought it to him. Then he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) began removing (erasing) the images and saying: May the curse of Allah be upon a people who make images of that which they are not able to create�al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said: Its chain of narrators is good (jayyid)[23].

  18. He said: 'Umar ibn Shabbah [ibn Abu 'Ubaidah, who died in the year 262 Hijrah] has reported, by the chain of narrators: 'Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Mihraan, from 'Umair, the mawlaa of Ibn 'Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both), from 'Usaamah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) entered the Ka'bah, then commanded me (to bring water). I then brought to him some water in a bucket.� He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) began to wet a cloth (thawb) and beat the images (suwar) with it [to remove them], saying: May Allah curse a people who make images of that which they did not - nor can they - create�[24].

  19. Al-Bukhaaree has reported, in his book 'As-Saheeh', on the authority of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), that:� the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never left in his house anything which has crucifixes (tasaaleeb) in it, without removing or effacing it�. Al-Kashmeehinee reported it with the wording "images" (tasaaweer) [in place of crucifixes - tasaaleeb]. Al-Bukhaaree (rahimahu'llah) has entitled the heading for this Hadeeth: 'Chapter: Removal/Effacing of Images (suwar)'. Then he narrated this Hadeeth[25].

  20. In the two "Saheehs", al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, on the authority of Busr ibn Sa'eed, from Zaid ibn Khaalid, from Abu Talha (radiya-llahu anhum) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:� Angels do not enter a house where there are images (soorah)�. Busr [ibn Sa'eed, who narrated this Hadeeth from Zaid ibn Khaalid, who narrated it from Abu Talha] added: Then Zaid fell ill and we paid him a visit. Behold! There was hanging at his door, a curtain with an image (soorah) on it. I said to 'Ubaidullah al-Khawlaanee, the foster-son of Maimoonah (radiya-llahu anhaa), the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):� Didn't Zaid tell us about images (suwar) the day before yesterday? Ubaidullah said, Didn't you hear him saying: except a design/inscription in a cloth (illa raqman fi thawb)?�[26].

    In another narration from Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, whose chain of narration includes 'Amr ibn al-Haarith, from Bukair al-Ashajj, from Busr who said: I said to 'Ubaidullah al-Khawlaanee: Didn't he narrate to us [the Hadeeth] about images (tasaaweer)? He ('Ubaidullah) said:� Verily, he said: '...illa raqman fi thawb (except designs/inscriptions in a cloth)� Didn't you hear him? I [Busr] said: No. He ['Ubaidullah] said: Yes, in fact, he did mention that[27].

  21. In the Musnad [of Imam Ahmad] and the Sunan of an-Nasaa'ee, on the authority of 'Ubaidu'llah ibn 'Abdullah, [it is mentioned] that he entered upon Abu Talha al-'Ansaaree (may Allah be pleased with him) to visit him, and he found Sahl ibn Hunaif (may Allah be pleased with him) with him. Abu Talha (may Allah be pleased with him) ordered someone to remove a pillow which was under him.

    Sahl (may Allah be pleased with him) asked him: Why are you removing this? He said:� It is because it contains images (tasaaweer) and you already know what the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said about that. He (Sahl) said: Didn't he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: illa raqman fi thawb - except designs/inscriptions in a cloth? He (Abu Talha) answered: Yes, he did say so. But, (removing it) is more pleasing to my soul�.

    Its chain of narrators is good (jayyid). Also, at-Tirmidhee reported it with this wording, and said that it is a good and authentic Hadeeth (hasan saheeh)[28].

  22. Abu Daawood, at-Tirmidhee and an-Nasaa'ee have reported, with a good (jayyid) chain of narrators, on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said:� The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Jibreel (Gabriel) came to me and said: I came to you last night and was prevented from entering simply by the fact that there were images/statues[29] (tamaatheel) at the door, and there was in the house a curtain with images/pictures (tamaatheel)[30] on it; and there was a dog in the house. So, order that the head of the statue (timthaal) which is in the house be cut off so that it may become like the form of a tree; order that the curtain be cut up and made into two cushions spread out on which people walk; and order that the dog be put out. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then did so�.

    The dog belonged to al-Hasan or al-Husain (radiya-llahu anhuma) and was under their couch (nadad). So, he ordered it to be turned out, and it was done. The wording is from Abu Daawood. The wording of at-Tirmidhee is similar to it.

    The wording of an-Nasaa'ee is:� Jibreel asked permission from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) (to enter). He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Enter. Jibreel said: How can I enter while there is a curtain in your house which has in it images (tasaaweer)? You must either cut off the heads (of the images), or make it into a carpet which is walked upon. Verily, we - the assembly of angels - do not enter a house which has in it images (tasaaweer)�[31].

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[5] Al-Bukhaaree 7/541, no.837; Muslim 3/1162, no.5275.
[6] Al-Bukhaaree 7/540, no.834; Muslim 3/1161, no.5272, 5270.
[7] Al-Bukhaaree 7/541, no.835; Muslim 3/1160, no.5268.
[8] Al-Bukhaaree 7/546, no.845.
[9] Al-Bukhaaree 7/547, no.846; Muslim 3/1162, no.5273.
[10] Muslim 3/1161, no.5272.
[11] Al-Bukhaaree 3/235, no.428. It's wording is:� ...If you insist on making images, I advise you to make images of trees and any other inanimate objects�.
[12] Sunan at-Tirmidhee 4/202, no.1749 [Ahmad Shakir's Edition]; 2/149, no.1430 [Al-Albaanee's Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee].
[13] Muslim 3/1159, no. 5261.
[14] Al-Bukhaaree 7/542, no.838; Muslim 3/1159, no.5261.
[15] Al-Bukhaaree 7/542, no.839; Muslim 3/1158, no.5256.
[16] Al-Bukhaaree 7/545, no.844; Muslim 3/1159, no.5266.
[17] Muslim 3/1160, no.5267.
[18] Al-Bukhaaree 4/339, no.539 - [From Ibn Abbaas, from Abu Talha (radiyallahu anhum)]; Muslim 3/1157, no.5249-5251.
[19] Muslim 3/1158, no.5254.
[20] Al-Bukhaaree 7/545, no.843 [It's wording is: "...an image or a dog"]; Muslim 3/1157, no.5246 [From 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her)] and no.5248 [From Maimoonah (may Allah be pleased with her)].
[21] Muslim 2/459, no.2115.
[22] Abu Daawood 2/472, no.4156 [Arabic]; al-Albaanee's Saheeh Sunan Abu Daawood 2/783, no.4156/3502. A similar hadeeth is reported by al-Bukhaaree 4/366, no.571, on the authority of Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both).
[23] Musnad Abu Daawood at-Tayaalisee, page.87, no.623; as-Saheehah 2/731, no.996.
[24] Tareekh al-Madeenah, by Umar Ibn Shabbah.
[25] Al-Bukhaaree 7/541, no.836. See: Fath al-Baaree 10/398-399 for discussion of this hadeeth.
[26] Al-Bukhaaree 7/543; no.841.
[27] Muslim 3/1158; no.5253.
[28] Musnad Imaam Ahmad 3/486; an-Nasaa'ee, Kitaab az-Zinaa (48), Baab Tasweer (111) [al-Albaanee's Saheeh Sunan an-Nasaa'ee 3/1082 no.4942]; at-Tirmidhee 4/202, no.1750 [Arabic Edition of Kamaal Yoosuf al-Hoot]. Al-Albaanee said: It's chain of narrators is authentic according to the conditions of Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. See: Ghaayah al-Maraam page.83, no.134.
[29] See: as-Silsilah as-Saheehah 4/554, no.1921, where Shaykh al-Albaanee mentions the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) -- during his comments on Hadeeth no.1921 -- and says: "...in it are the words: 'So, order that the head of the 'timthaal' be cut off...'. This is a clear statement to the effect that the cutting of the head of the image (soorah) i.e. "AT-TIMTHAAL AL-MUJASSAMAH (the image which has a body - three dimensional), makes it to be as though it is not an image at all...". [End of quote from al-Albaanee].
[30] It is clear, in this sentence, that the meaning of "tamaatheel" here is not statues, since they were here images in a curtain.
[31] Abo Daawood 3/1549 no.4146; at-Tirmidhee [al-Albaanee's Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee 2/366, no.2970/2250]; an-Nasaa'ee [Arabic Edition with "Sharh" of as-Suyootee, and "Haashi'ah" of as-Sindee, First Printing 1411 A.H.] 8/607, no.5380.