Can I Paint Animate Objects Using Brushes Made from Animal Hair?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: 1. Is painting permissible if you are depicting living/animate objects?

2. Regarding the tools, is it allowed to use brushes made from animal hair, even if it is not a halal animal?

3. I have used synthetic brushes on the same surface as the ones made from non halal animal, are they still okay to use if I wash them/recite kalimah?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

1. It is permissible to depict inanimate objects without disagreement. As for painting animate objects, many scholars have stated that this is impermissible. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Ibn Qudama, Mughni]

Leading scholars of the Maliki school have permitted paintings of animate objects as they understood the prohibition of picture-making to be applicable to images that cast a shadow, namely statues. The prohibition would not apply to two dimensional images even though putting such images in places of respect and prominence would be disliked. [Dardir, Sharh al-Kabir]

2. Yes, this would be permitted. The hair of an unslaughtered animal remains ritually pure. The exception to this is the pig, which is essentially filthy. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

3. Yes, there is no harm in this.


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani