Drawing, Painting, and Portraits Attributed to the Infallible Imams (a.s.): The Fatwas of Grand Ayatullah Sistani

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SHAFAQNA – The Grand Ayatullah Seyyed Ali Sistani has answered some questions about drawing and painting. It is best for believers to refer to their own religious reference to receive the legal decision on their affairs.

 

Question: In some Western countries, painters sit in public squares and draw pictures of people who want to have their pictures painted in exchange for money, whereby the painter sits in front of them and ponders their faces to draw them. Is it permissible for a veiled woman to ask a painter to draw her picture?

Answer: It is not proper for her.

 

Question: Is it permissible to draw nude women by imagining them, in a non-sculptured way, and without showing the picture to anyone?

Answer: It is not permissible if the drawing would be viewed by others, and also, the obligatory precaution entails that it is not permissible if drawing the picture stimulates sexual desire.

 

Question: Given that paintbrush is used in drawing and painting, and that good and high-grade types of them are often imported from non-Muslim countries, which are often made of pig hair, what is the religious ruling on the use of this kind of paintbrushes? What is the ruling on writing Qur’an verses and Hadiths using them?

Answer: It is permissible to use them with regarding them as unclean, yet, if writing Quran or holy names with them involves desecration, it is not permissible.

 

Question: The schools ask their students to draw a picture of a person or an animal, which makes it difficult for the student to avoid the demand. Is it permissible for the student to draw what is demanded? And how would it be if a sculpture was required of him, not a drawing?

Answer: It is utterly permissible to draw non-sculptured paintings, and with regard to sculptured works, obligatory precaution entails avoiding it if it represents a spirited (lively) entity. School duties do not justify violating a ruling which requires obligatory precaution, unless it leads to a constraint, as if avoiding the demand would lead to expulsion from school, and it would make the circumstances unbearable for the student.

 

Question: Is it permissible to draw the picture of a human or an animal without making it sculptured?

Answer: It is permissible.

 

Question: Nowadays there are pictures of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the Imams (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them). Is it permissible to hang them in the house? Is it correct to believe that they are identical to their actual portraits?

Answer: It is permissible to hang them, but the belief that they are compatible with their faces is undoubtedly an invalid belief.

 

Question: If a painter wants to draw a Quranic verse or a meaningful part of it on the wall or a similar place, then is it forbidden for him to touch the painted words of the verse without having wudou‘?

Answer: Touching Quran without wudou‘ is forbidden, whether it involves a complete verse, or a word of it, or even a letter of a word of it.

 

Source: Sistani.org

Translation: SHAFAQNA

 

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