Pixel Art
Fatwa No: 378187

Question

Assalamoalaikum, I'm a computer programmer and as well a game developer. I was planning to create my own mobile game that I might as well publish and sell. This game however, needs some digital drawings. I'm aware that drawing living creatures is forbidden, however does this applies to pixel art where characters have almost no details or complete body features and they are only vaguely resemblant? Does mechs/robots count as living creatures as well? Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

What we can say in brief is that images of living beings that are free of features such as eyes, nose and ears, are not among the forbidden images. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"If the image is not clear, i.e., has no eyes, nose, mouth or fingers, then it is not a complete image and it is therefore, not competing with the creation of Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted." [End of quote]

He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also said:

"If the image is not clear, even if it has limbs or a head or neck, but there are no eyes or nose, then there is nothing wrong with it, because it is not competing with the creation of Allah." [End of quote from Majmoo‘ Fataawa]

It is not clear to us what you meant by asking: ‘Do robots count as living creatures?’

If you are asking about whether or not its manufacturing is included in competing with the creation of Allah, then the view that we adopt here in Islamweb is that if the robot is designed in the form of a human being or other living beings, then it takes the ruling of making images of living beings and embodying them, which is the forbidden. The one who makes it is included in the threat that is addressed to image makers; unless its design is incomplete, in a way that it cannot be said that it resembles a human being or animal, then this is not considered to be part of making images that is forbidden.

Therefore, the Muslim manufacturer should refrain from designing it in the form of living beings, as much as possible, so that he will not be included in the threat and sin.

Allah knows best.

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