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Is Hanging Pictures for a Good Purpose Permissible?

08 April, 2021
Q We in the Islamic center sometimes take photos of our activities, such as youths playing basketball or volleyball. We hang some of these photos on a board at the entrance of the mosque and outside the place of prayer to show visitors the activities of the masjid.

A brother objected and said this is haram because Angels do not enter a place where there are pictures. As stated in a hadith, the Prophet cut the curtain of Lady Aishah because there was a picture on it.

So, what is the ruling on this issue? Is it allowed for us to hang pictures while there is no glorification of the people photographed and knowing that this is for a good purpose?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

There is nothing that prohibits hanging pictures of people on a board at the entrance of a mosque outside the place of Prayer as long as the content of the pictures themselves does not glorify a person or expose any awrahs or indecency.


As for your question on hanging pictures of players on a board, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Muslim scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, states:

There is nothing that prohibits hanging pictures of people on a board at the entrance of a mosque outside the place of Prayer as long as the content of the pictures themselves does not glorify a person or expose any awrahs or indecency.

It is not considered haram to hang photos of basketball or volleyball players on a board as long as they are not hanged on the wall directly facing the worshippers in Prayer, which is the case with you. If hanged in the direction of Prayer, the photos will distract worshippers.

Furthermore, it may inadvertently give the false impression that we worship pictures.

It is important for us Muslims to make our religious practices distinct from those who associate partners with Allah in their worship.

May Allah accept your and our good deeds!

 Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.