1) The impermissibility of Tasweer (picture making):
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ – رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا – قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – يَقُولُ: ” «كُلُّ مُصَوِّرٍ فِي النَّارِ، يُجْعَلُ لَهُ بِكُلِّ صُورَةٍ صَوَّرَهَا نَفْسًا، فَيُعَذِّبُهُ فِي جَهَنَّمَ» “. قَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ: فَإِنْ كُنْتَ لَا بُدَّ فَاعِلًا فَاصْنَعِ الشَّجَرَ وَمَا لَا رُوحَ فِيهِ. مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيْهِ.
Sayyiduna Ibnu Abbas Radhiyallahu ‘Anhu says that he heard Rasoolulaah ﷻ say, “Every picture maker will be in the fire. A soul will be appointed to every portrait that he made who will punish him in Jahannam.” Ibnu ‘Abbas then said, “If you have to, then make a tree or anything inanimate.” (Narrated by Bukhaari and Muslim)
Picture making is intended here with all its types, whether painting, drawing, sketching, moulding, sculpturing, sewing, capturing or any other manner in which a picture could be made. The Fuqaha have excluded from this warning those animate figures which have no head and have explicitly mentioned that a figure with merely no eyes yet still has a head will fall under the bracket of being impermissible.2) Reverence for the Rasm (Script) of the Quraan:
The scholars of the past have unanimously agreed to the importance of beautifying and revering the Script of the Quraan, being that the Script portrays the Message of Allah Ta’aala to humankind. In a Hadeeth, it is explained that the superiority of the word of Allah Ta’aala over all other words is like the superiority of Allah Ta’aala Himself over His entire creation. Therefore, reverence of the Script of the Quraan ought to be of a higher rank than that of other scripts. Bearing in mind the Adab and beauty of the Quraan, the scholars have laid down certain laws regarding the Script of the Quraan. The following phrases are found which mandate these laws:
– Beautification of the textالإيضاح والتبيين
– To write clearly, distinctly and lucidlyتحقيق الخط
– To make it apparent and naturalدون المشق والتعليق
– To abstain from cursive (“hanging ducts” in calligraphic terminology) and collage type scriptingالفخم والتفريج
– To magnify and separate the lettersلا تصغير
– Not to minimize the lettersلا تقرمط الحروف
– The letters should not be interlocked or crunched into one anotherThese laws apply to the Names of Allah as well, as the Names of Allah deserve equivalent reverence.In light of the above:1.
a) It will be impermissible to write out any Aayat, be it using the direct Arabic text, transliteration or translation in the form of an animate object. If the form is designed without the head totally, then it will still be disliked as it will be disrespect to the Quraan.b) Severe dislike if:• The above-mentioned mandates of the scholars regarding Rasm are not followed in the formation of an inanimate object.• The object is of a disparaging nature and not suitable to the lofty stature of the Qur’aan. This condition applies to transliteration and translation as well.2.
a) In the case of an animate object, the prohibition in the Hadeeth is quite explicit and needs no elucidation. Moreover, the history behind animate calligrams holds uneasy misgivings as it dates back to the folk art of deviant Sufis and Persian Shias of the sixteenth century Hijri. Inanimate objects generally do not accord the Qur’aan its befitting reverence and many a time do not confirm to the mandated laws of Rasm.b) For animate objects, the ruling of impermissibility applies across the board.Those Ahadeeth and Ad’iyyah in the form of inanimate objects which have the Names of Allah Ta’aala in them or contain/form part of any Aayah of Qur’aan, the same conditions of Rasm and reverence will apply to them. If it does not contain any of the Names of Allah Ta’aala or does not contain/form part of any Aayah of Qur’aan, then although the rules of Rasm will not apply, the figure must not be of a derogatory nature out of respect for the Hadeeth and ‘Ad’yah.c) Similarly, if the poetry or sayings of whatever nature contain the Names of Allah Ta’aala in it, then the laws of Rasm will apply to it, otherwise it can be in the form of any type of respectable inanimate object.