Question # 012
Assalam o Alaikum I am planning to work on T-shirt, hoodies and tanktops business online. My question is, if it is allowed in Islam considering:
1. T-shirts have designs including pictures of living things, caricatures, skeletons etc.
2. Females may also be wearing these t-shirts who can be both Muslims and non-muslims Please guide me about it in the light of Islam.
JAZAKALLAH. Rashid Umar Abbasi
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Wa alaikum ul salām wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.
We ask Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala to put blessings in your wealth and increase you in your sustenance.
As far as the pictures of living things are concerned, then it is impermissible to draw and have them on clothes due to the authentic narrations which prohibit this and make mention of a severe punishment for those who do so. Below are two hadith narrated by Al Imam al Bukhari in his book:
حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ، قَالَ كُنَّا مَعَ مَسْرُوقٍ فِي دَارِ يَسَارِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، فَرَأَى فِي صُفَّتِهِ تَمَاثِيلَ فَقَالَ سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ " إِنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَذَابًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ الْمُصَوِّرُونَ ".
(رواه البخاري في اللباس: باب عذاب المصورين يوم القيامة - ٥٩٥٠)
We were with Masruq at the house of Yasar bin Numair. Masruq saw pictures on his terrace and said, "I heard `Abdullah saying that he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, "The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be the picture makers.'" (7.167, Hadith number 5950, Tawq ul Najah edition)
حَدَّثَنَا حَجَّاجُ بْنُ مِنْهَالٍ، حَدَّثَنَا جُوَيْرِيَةُ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّهَا اشْتَرَتْ نُمْرُقَةً فِيهَا تَصَاوِيرُ، فَقَامَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالْبَابِ فَلَمْ يَدْخُلْ. فَقُلْتُ أَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مِمَّا أَذْنَبْتُ. قَالَ " مَا هَذِهِ النُّمْرُقَةُ ". قُلْتُ لِتَجْلِسَ عَلَيْهَا وَتَوَسَّدَهَا. قَالَ " إِنَّ أَصْحَابَ هَذِهِ الصُّوَرِ يُعَذَّبُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يُقَالُ لَهُمْ أَحْيُوا مَا خَلَقْتُمْ. وَإِنَّ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ لاَ تَدْخُلُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ الصُّورَةُ ".
(رواه البخاري في اللباس: باب مَنْ كَرِهَ الْقُعُودَ عَلَى الصُّورَةِ - ٥٩٥٧)
I purchased a cushion with pictures on it. The Prophet (came and) stood at the door but did not enter. I said (to him), "I repent to Allah for what I have done." He said, "What is this cushion?" I said, "It is for you to sit on and recline on." He said, "The makers of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, 'Make alive what you have created.' Moreover, the angels do not enter a house where there are pictures.'" (7.168, Hadith number 5957, Tawq ul Najah edition)
If these pictures however are so small that they are not clear to the one looking at them, or if such a limb has been removed then without it the animate object can't live (like if the head was removed), then this is permissible. This is because the prohibition is in regards to drawing figures that represent life, and once the head is removed, there is no more life. Al Imam al Haskafi mentions the following in Al Durr ul Mukhtar:
"[Or if it is small] such that it's limbs would not be clear for the one standing and looking at it whilst it is on the ground, as mentioned by Al Halabi, [or if it's head or face was to be cut off] or such a limb that it could not live without, [or if it were to be of such a thing which doesn't have a soul, then it would not be] disliked". (4.169 Radd ul Muhtar ala al Durr il Mukhtar, Baab ma Yufsidu ul Salat wa ma yakrahu Feehan, Darul Thiqafah wal Turas edition)
As for pictures of inanimate objects, then it is permissible to draw them and sell shirts with them.
Al Imam al Bukhari narrates the following:
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْوَهَّابِ، حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ زُرَيْعٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا عَوْفٌ، عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ، قَالَ كُنْتُ عِنْدَ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ إِذْ أَتَاهُ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ يَا أَبَا عَبَّاسٍ إِنِّي إِنْسَانٌ، إِنَّمَا مَعِيشَتِي مِنْ صَنْعَةِ يَدِي، وَإِنِّي أَصْنَعُ هَذِهِ التَّصَاوِيرَ. فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ لاَ أُحَدِّثُكَ إِلاَّ مَا سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ " مَنْ صَوَّرَ صُورَةً فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ مُعَذِّبُهُ، حَتَّى يَنْفُخَ فِيهَا الرُّوحَ، وَلَيْسَ بِنَافِخٍ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ". فَرَبَا الرَّجُلُ رَبْوَةً شَدِيدَةً وَاصْفَرَّ وَجْهُهُ. فَقَالَ وَيْحَكَ إِنْ أَبَيْتَ إِلاَّ أَنْ تَصْنَعَ، فَعَلَيْكَ بِهَذَا الشَّجَرِ، كُلِّ شَىْءٍ لَيْسَ فِيهِ رُوحٌ. قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ سَمِعَ سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي عَرُوبَةَ مِنَ النَّضْرِ بْنِ أَنَسٍ هَذَا الْوَاحِدَ.
(رواه البخاري في البيوع: باب بَيْعِ التَّصَاوِيرِ الَّتِي لَيْسَ فِيهَا رُوحٌ وَمَا يُكْرَهُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ - ٢٢٢٥)
Narrated Sa`id bin Abu Al-Hasan:
While I was with Ibn `Abbas a man came and said, "O father of `Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures." Ibn `Abbas said, "I will tell you only what I heard from Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) . I heard him saying, 'Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.' " Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn `Abbas said to him, "What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects." (3.82, Hadith number 2225, Tawq ul Najah edition)
Keep in mind that one is also not allowed to draw impersonations of a face on an inanimate object, as this gives the impression of life.
With regards to the second question, then the products you are making can be used in both permissible manners (if a woman was to wear these in front of her husband) and impermissible manners (if she was to wear these outside). As such, you are not liable for what your customers do with them, and it is permissible for you to sell these clothes. As for Non-muslims, then these clothes can be sold to them as they don't abide by the Shariah.
And Allah knows best. And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student - Jamiah Islamiyah Abu Bakr
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Kasim Ingar
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