What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: What is the ruling on entering the masjid when wearing a shirt with small pictures of living objects printed on it? What is the ruling in case of a half (body) picture or one of just the face?

Questioner: Aasiyah from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

If the picture of the living object printed on the shirt is so small that the details of its bodily parts are not clearly visible when kept on the floor and seen whilst standing, or if it is a large image with the face and head rubbed or cut off, or if the picture is hidden, e.g. printed inside the pocket, or if it is under a cloth or a coat, or if it is a picture of a non-living object, then in all these cases, it is permissible to enter the masjid when wearing such a shirt. It is also permissible to pray in such a shirt without any karahah (dislike), if there is no other legal obstacle.

It is stated in Durr al-mukhtar:

(أَوْ فِي يَدِهِ) عِبَارَةُ الشُّمُنِّيِّ بَدَنِهِ لِأَنَّهَا مَسْتُورَةٌ بِثِيَابِهِ (أَوْ عَلَى خَاتَمِهِ) بِنَقْشٍ غَيْرِ مُسْتَبِينٍ. قَالَ فِي الْبَحْرِ وَمُفَادُهُ كَرَاهَةُ الْمُسْتَبِينِ لَا الْمُسْتَتِرِ بِكِيسٍ أَوْ صُرَّةٍ أَوْ ثَوْبٍ آخَرَ، وَأَقَرَّهُ الْمُصَنِّفُ (أَوْ كَانَتْ صَغِيرَةً) لَا تَتَبَيَّنُ تَفَاصِيلُ أَعْضَائِهَا لِلنَّاظِرِ قَائِمًا وَهِيَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ، ذَكَرَهُ الْحَلَبِيُّ (أَوْ مَقْطُوعَةَ الرَّأْسِ أَوْ الْوَجْهِ)أَوْ مَمْحُوَّةَ عُضْوٍ لَا تَعِيشُ بِدُونِهِ (أَوْ لِغَيْرِ ذِي رُوحٍ لَا) يُكْرَهُ لِأَنَّهَا لَا تُعْبَدُ

Translation: “{Or if the picture is on his hand} The text of Shamunni states that even if the picture is on his body, it is not makruh (disliked) as it is hidden under his clothes. {Or if the picture is on his finger ring} i.e., carved yet not clear. It is stated in al-Bahr that the picture which is clearly visible is makruh, not the one that is hidden in the pocket, bag or any other cloth. The author has maintained this opinion. {Or if the picture is small,} such that its body parts are not visible when seen while standing whilst it is lying on the ground. This is mentioned by al-Halabi. {Or if the head or face is cut off,} {Or if the image is of a non-living object}. In all these cases, salah is not makruh as such images are not worshipped.” [Durr al-mukhtar, vol. 1, pg. 649]

If a clearly visible large picture on the shirt is of half of the body or just the face, as it usually is, then salah offered in such a shirt is makruh tanzihi (disliked but neither prohibited nor recommended).

Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (may Allah have mercy upon him) states in Jadd al-Mumtar:

و اما فاقد عضوآخرلاحیاۃ بدونہ کماتعارفوا فی فوطو گرافیا من تصویر النصف الاعلی او الی الصدر فالتشبہ منتف لانھم لا یعبدون مقطوعا فتنتفی کراہۃ التحریم من الصلوۃ ۔۔۔فتعلیق امثال صور النصف او وضعھا فی القرازات وتزیین البیت بھا کما ھو متعارف عندالکفرۃ و الفسقۃکل ذالک مکروہ تحریما و مانع عن دخول الملائکۃ وان لم تکرہ الصلاوۃ ثم تحریماً بل تنزیھاً

Translation: “If there is absence of a body part in the picture, due to which life is impossible, as in the present day photography where only the upper half of the body or the torso is photographed, then there is no resemblance (to living objects) in this case. The polytheists do not worship idols whose bodily parts have been cut off. There is negation of prohibitive dislike in salah in such a case. Hanging of half-body pictures, keeping them in treasures, decorating the house with them, etc., like it is popular among the disbelievers and sinners, are all makruh tahrimi and are acts that stop the angels from entering the home. However, the salah offered will not be makruh tahrimi but will be makruh tanzihi.” [Jadd al-Mumtar, vol. 2, pg. 366]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath Team

Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0449] Can I enter the Masjid and pray wearing a t-shirt that has images on it?

Also see:

[Q-ID0412] Can I buy dolls, plastic babies & cartoons for my children? Can I pray around them?

[Q-ID0390] I prayed in a room that had pictures on the wall, do I need to repeat the prayer?

What does Makruh Tanzihi and Makruh Tahrimi mean? – read here

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