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Ruling on keeping and using small images


I have a painting in my room and this painting has fishes on it. Those fishes are so small and eyes of fishes are not visible from far. Is keeping it halal for me?


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.

The scholarly view that we adopt in Islamweb is that there is nothing wrong with an image that is unclear to the extent that a beholder cannot distinguish its features. Some scholars have permitted the use of a small image with clear features and did not consider it forbidden. This means that an image with unclear features is permissible for a greater reason.

Al-Mawsoo‘ah Al-Fiqhiyyah reads:

The Hanafi scholars held that the small images are not included in the prohibition of keeping and using images, based on the fact that the worshippers of images (statues) do not customarily use such small images. They mentioned different parameters of small images.

Some of them said that a small image should not be clear for a beholder except with great effort. Others held that it should not be seen from afar. The author of Ad-Durr said: “A small image is the one that a beholder is unable to distinguish its features when he is standing and the image is placed on the floor. It was also said that a small image is the one that is smaller than a bird. They made this distinction to underline that it is not disliked for the worshipper to pray while wearing clothes featuring such small images. However, Ibn ‘Abdeen said: ‘The apparent indication of our scholars’ statements is that if it is not disliked to pray while wearing clothes featuring these images, it is not disliked to keep such clothes. Ibn Hajar stated in Fat'h Al-Bari and other books that it is not disliked to keep small images in the house. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him wore a ring featuring two files.

Allah knows best.

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