Ruling on Image-Making
Fatwa No: 414214

Question

Does image making put one outside the pale of Islam? I was told that we cannot pray for a muslim who has died if they are known to have made sculptures in this life. I was told that image making is the same as shirk even without worshiping the statue. the hadith used as evidence was “Whoever makes an image, Allaah will punish him until he breathes life into it, and he will never be able to do that.” Please clarify if image making is shirk and the rights of such muslims in this life and their fate in the next. Jaz?k All?hu Khayran

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.

Some forms of image-making are lawful, while others are prohibited. The prohibited forms of image-making do not take the doer out of the fold of Islam. Rather, it is a grave sin, and forgiving its doer is subject to the Will of Allah, The Exalted; if He wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him. If he will be punished, he will not abide in Hellfire eternally. This is evidenced by the Sharee‘ah texts indicating that whoever dies upon Tawheed will be admitted to Paradise, even if he would be punished before entering it. Refraining from performing the funeral prayer over a sinner does not necessarily mean that he is judged to be a disbeliever. Muslims of virtue and high rank may refrain from performing the funeral prayer over such a sinner to deter and alienate people from the sin he used to commit in his life. In this case, the virtuous and knowledgeable Muslims would refrain from performing the funeral prayer over him, but other Muslims would perform it. This is similar to the situations when the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) abstained from performing the funeral prayer over some sinners but commanded the Companions to perform it, saying: “Perform the funeral prayer over your companion.” [Abu Daawood]

For more benefit on image-making, please refer to Fataawa 90027, 396187, 380557 and 4138.

Allah Knows best.

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