Animated Images or Sculptures Are Inevitably Everywhere
Fatwa No: 441034

Question

Asalamualakim! It seems today that animated images or sculptures are inevitably everywhere - on clothing, stickers, labels (cat food, cereal, etc.), blankets, etc. I have a collection of stuffed animals and a variety of other products with animated images and photographs of animals and people on them. I also draw human portraits sometimes. I am concerned that these things may be impermissible, can you please tell me what I should do? Do I need to get rid of these things and stop drawing people and animals with souls (do imaginary things, like Pokémon, count)? Can I keep animated drawings and products if I don't put them up (I don't have any animated drawings or photographs of people or animals hung up, although my stuffed animals are on my dresser and bed, and labels with animated images and photographs are on some things)? What if it is a Pokémon sticker? Jazakallah khairan!

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.

It is not obligatory to get rid of the things that contain forbidden images. Rather, the basic principle is that it is sufficient to obliterate the face.

A group of scholars are of the view that the forbidden acquisition of pictures is that which is hanged in a revered and respected way, such as those hanged on the walls or erected, but if they were acquired in an disrespectful way, such as those which are on a rug or placed under a bed, or in a closet of clothes and the like, then this is not considered forbidden acquisition.

Moreover, the large widespread of pictures in products and goods necessitates taking a lenient stand about them, so a person is not obliged to follow and chase the pictures, and obliterate them from every commodity he buys, because this causes great hardship and burden.

As for imaginary images that do not exist in reality, then they are forbidden according to the view of many scholars as long as they are represented in full body-form and are not like young children toys which the Sunnah gave concession about their permissibility.

The same thing applies to portraits; they are included in the general ruling of images of animate beings.

Regarding Pokémon, some contemporary scholars prohibited it from another point of view other than photography, which is due to the violations related to creed.

For more benefit on making images, please refer to Fataawa 88456, 4549, 63235, 89555, and 88306.

For more benefit on hanging pictures, please refer to Fataawa 82040, 83193 and 269941.

For more benefit on drawing images without the eyes, nose and mouth, please refer to Fatwa 380557.

Allah knows best.

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