The ruling of painting rocks and placing them in pathways


There is a trend of painting rocks with colors and words of encouragement and leaving them on walking trails. Is it permissible to paint rocks in this way using colors and words and even small pictures?

Assalamu alaykum

Thank you for writing to us.

The legal maxim reads, “The default is that every action is permissible until proof indicates to it being prohibited (or disliked).” [al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir]

Accordingly, the action of painting rocks, adding positive messages to them, and then placing them along pathways is permissible as long as it does not inflict harm or discomfort upon anyone. Also, the authorities should not have any issue with the practice. If they do take issue or become an obstacle for those passing by, it would be best to avoid it.

And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.