Drawing Portraits of Men
Fatwa No: 380129

Question

Assalamu'alaykum. It is said by some scholars that women may look at men without desire. I personally enjoy arts as I have said in my previous question. Is admiration the same as desire? When I look at people (men or women) that has good looks, it makes me want to draw portraits of them (abiding with islamic rulings). I wasn't thinking about anything sexual about them. I simply admire their appearance. I have heard that there is a distinction between the two. So am I sinful for these actions? Thank you for answering my questions. May Allaah bless 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.

There is a difference in opinion amongst the scholars regarding the issue of a woman looking at a man if she does not have any forbidden desire while looking at him. The predominant opinion we adopt here in Islamweb is that it permissible, especially if there is a need for that. However, if there is no need, then it is recommended for her to refrain from looking at him.

Admiration does not entail desire, but it could lead to it. Therefore, by looking at men and admiring them, you are subjecting yourself temptations, so you need to be careful. Busy yourself with something that benefits you in your faith and in your worldly matters.

Drawing animate objects is impermissible, because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Those who will receive the harshest punishment on the day of Resurrection are people who draw (animate pictures).” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim] the version in Al-Bukhaari reads: “Those who make (draw) these pictures will be punished on the day of Resurrection.

However, it is permissible to draw pictures of inanimate objects, like trees, the sun, the moon and other natural objects or scenes. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said to a draftsman: “If you must draw, then draw trees and anything that has no soul.

Allah knows best.

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