Ruling on drawing human body parts
Fatwa No: 4138

Question

What is the Sharee'ah ruling on drawing a human face?

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, is His slave and Messenger.

Drawing animate objects in general is strictly prohibited under Sharee’ah. It is basically included in the prohibition and threat reported in Sharee’ah texts regarding image-making and image-makers.

Some scholars allow image making for animate objects in an incomplete form. To explain, it is permissible to produce an image of a living being if a part without which a living being cannot live is omitted from the image, such as the head, or half of the body, etc. To support their view, they quoted the incident when the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ordered ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her to tear the garment with images which she had. She tore it into two parts and made two floor-cushions and the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to sit upon them. [Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others]

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said:

"Jibreel (Gabriel) came to me and said, "I came to you yesterday, and nothing prevented me from entering the house except that there was a statue by your door, and there was a curtain in your house with images on it, and there was a dog in the house. So tell someone to cut the head off the statue by your house door, so it will look like a tree; tell someone to cut up the curtain and make it into floor-cushions that will be stepped on; and tell someone to take the dog outside." [Ahmad, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasa’i: authentic]

Based on this argument, making images of complete and incomplete animate objects is not the same. Our advice to you, however, is that you should refrain from doing this in order to avoid the difference in opinions among the scholars and keep away from matters that involve doubt.

Allah knows best.

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