Angels not entering a house that has images of animate beings

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, but 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.

A:

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 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.

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 the Quran is being recited.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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