Pictures in Everyday Life

By Mufti Shafiq Jakhura (Darul Ihsan Centre)
Posted: 19 Rajab 1430, 12 July 2009


With reference to the answer of an existing question "Praying in a Room with Pictures Hanging on the Wall", I would like to have some more guidance and clarification on same matter.

Now a days, it is extremely hard to have pictures completely out of our homes as there are many kind and forms of pictures available, and as per the answer to above referred question, "It is makrooh to perform salah in a room that has a picture of an animate object. (Tahtawi pg.294)" and in another response ""Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or an animate picture. (Sahih Bukhari Hadith no. 2986)". In order to avoid this, I need your guidance in following cases; please guide us that whether its OK or not, and if not, what should we do to avoid and improve the situation.

1. How about pictures which are in our wallets, e.g. ID Cards, Currency notes etc.

2. How about small pictures / cartoons on baby cloths and baby toys, as most of the baby cloths and toys come with some kind of pictures and animate objects.

3. How about pictures which come on different utility items like Shampoo bottle, soap covers, ice cream boxes, and other similar merchandises which we put in washrooms and kitchen normally.

4. Is it OK to keep toys (with pictures, cartoon or animate shapes) outside of the home like in the balcony and/or backyard of home?

5. How about pictures in a digital frame (electronic picture frame having family pictures in a bitmap format thru a USB, flash memory or similar technology).

6. How about pictures in books and copies, specially books and drawing books for kids, as we can't avoid those?

7. How about pictures in newspapers? Should we completely avoid bringing newspapers in our home?

8. How about keeping one room (specially for prayers) free from every kind of pictures but other rooms may have pictures / toys? Will our prayers be not-makrooh in that case and will angels enter in our house?

9. If I have a picture of doll (barbie) and I put a flower sticker on its face to hid its face but the body of doll's picture is still visible, will it fulfill the requirement of not having picture?

10. What if our computer is on with a picture of an animate object on the computer screen?

11. I have to wear/carry a picture identity badge on my job, and this is mandatory by my employer, will it be counted as sin? (however, I keep it inside pocket while performing salah).


1) Pictures on currency notes and ID cards that are concealed in one's wallet do not render the Salah makruh. Further, taking a picture for a visa or ID document is acceptable on the grounds of necessity.

2) Care should be taken not to purchase toys or clothes with pictures. If one does purchase them the pictures should either be removed or a patch could be stitched over the pictures thereby concealing them.

3) The pictures should be removed  if they are on stickers. Alternatively one may use a marker and write over the pictures thereby concealing them. I am aware of many a household where this is done.

4) One must avoid keeping toys with pictures of animate beings on them even in the balcony or in the yard.

5) There is a difference of opinion amongst the Ulama with regards to whether digital pictures of animate objects fall under the prohibited category of pictures or not. Some Ulama consider these digital pictures the same as pictures that are painted or printed on a page or other such objects and hence declare these pictures prohibited.

On the other hand the research of other Ulama, such as the Respected Mufti Taqi Usmani Sb (DB) concludes that a digital image is closer to an image (such as a mirror image) rather than a picture and hence does not fall under the prohibited category. Our view is also the same.

Notwithstanding the above, one should bear in mind that whatever is prohibited to view in reality (e.g. strange women etc.), it is prohibited to view on a screen as well.

Keeping in mind the above difference of opinion, it is best that one limits one's use of digital images to situations of necessity.

6) Pictures that are in books would not render one's Salaah makruh as long as they are not exposed. With regards to pictures in colouring books, children should be taught of the objectionable nature of pictures and the head of the picture should be removed by painting or colouring over them using a marker. As for pictures in some Islamic Books, some Scholars do not deem pictures taken by a camera to be impermissible. Although the view is respected, the more precaitious view is that these pictures should be avoided as well. Hence, one must ensure that the pictures in such books are not left exposed. 

7) The majority of newspapers today contain indecent and other impermissible pictures. Hence, it is best that one avoids bringing such newspapers into ones home. If one has to read the newspaper then one could read the relevant portion and then discard of the paper or keep it away in a manner that the pictures are not exposed.

8) One should endeavour to have a seperate place for Salaah. However, this would of course not mean that pictures could be exposed in other areas of the house.

9) If the whole head is concealed it will suffice the Shariah requirement.

10) As mentioned above, computer images are digital and there is a difference of opinion among the Ulama regarding there permissibility. However, as a matter of precaution one should turn ones screen off or change the window that is open to one that does not have any image of animate being thereon.

11) You would not be sinful for wearing the badge as it would fall under the category of need or necessity. Putting it in ones pocket during Salaah is the right thing to do.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best