Do Angels Enter a House with Images?

18 August, 2020
Q I recently heard that Angels do not enter a house that has images of animate beings. I started by removing such images from my room and replaced them with paintings of abstract things and inanimate objects. So far, my room is free of such images of animals and human beings. Since I live with the rest of my family, I have no control over the rest of my house. So, the rest of my house has paintings of people and animals. My family members believe that it is permissible to hang such paintings around the house and will not interfere with whether the angels enter or not. So, will angels enter my room despite the rest of the house being full of paintings of animate beings? I do not want to miss out on the blessings of the angels surrounding my room.

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:

1- The issue of angels entering or not entering houses belong to the unseen realities.

2- The Prophet warned against images and pictures because people associated them with idol worship.

3- Images or statues without polytheistic associations cannot be wholly forbidden.

4- Bring the angels in by regularly practicing dhikr and reading the Quran.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Angels entering or not entering houses

The question of angels entering or not entering houses belong to the unseen realities. The hadiths that speak of images and pictures should be understood in their specific context.

It was a milieu steeped in polytheism and idol worship. So, the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned against images and pictures as they were associated with such beliefs and practices which Islam came to eradicate. Islam sought to restore pure tawhid or monotheism.

In this spirit, the Prophet initially prohibited visiting grave grates. However, he later allowed it after the belief in tawhid became rooted, and the people moved away from polytheism.

Images or statues without such polytheistic associations cannot be deemed as wholly forbidden. Otherwise, how would Allah allow his Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) to employ workers to make statues?

For this reason, some scholars view that there is no harm in paintings even if they have images on them as long as they do not induce reverence for them, leading to shirk or polytheism.

📚 Read Also: Is Drawing Living Creatures Permissible?

Hanging family pictures or pictures of one’s friends cannot have any such associations. So there is nothing haram about them. However, one should not hang them in the direction of qiblah while offering prayers.

Therefore, I would advise you what you are doing is enough: if you have doubts about them, remove them from your bedroom.

Bring the angels in by regularly practicing dhikr and reading the Quran, for angels will descend upon us when we practice dhikr as well as when we read the Quran.

Almighty Allah knows best.