Are Faces on Book Covers in a Room Considered Displaying Images?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra

Question

I have some books in my room with faces on their covers, is this treated like having pictures in the room? Do I need to put them inside the drawer, what is the ruling for this situation?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

No, merely having images of faces on the cover of some books in your room would not be considered the same as displaying pictures. This is because the pictures are likely small, and from a distance, the details would not be distinct, and would therefore be excused. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Also, they are not being purposely displayed or honored, but only incidentally visible by a book being face-up on top of a desk perhaps, or having its spine visible in a bookshelf, etc. This is not the same as displaying images in the room. Therefore, they do not need to be kept away in drawers necessarily.

Related:
Is It Permissible to Buy and Sell Children’s Books With Illustrations?
Is it Permissible to Have a Shower Curtain With Pictures on It?

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdullah Anik Misra
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdullah Anik Misra was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. His family hails from India, and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen, for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan, where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta’). He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance The Global Islamic Seminary. Currently, He resides in the Greater Toronto Area with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian history, comparative religion, English singing, and poetry.