Should I Avoid Praying in a Room Full of Pictures?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I’m a student. Dhur time falls close to my last class, which is before lunch, when I may go home or to lunch. My school’s library has statues, pictures, and the like that I heard one person compare it to a church.

What should I do? Hurry home after the last class?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

It is much better for you to avoid praying in this library if possible and you will be rewarded for taking the means to do so, inshallah. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

Praying in a Room with Pictures

We can read in a previous answer at SeekersGuidance that:

It is disliked (makruh) to pray in the presence of a picture of an animate creature. It is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahriman) if the picture is in front of the person praying, above him, to his left, or to his right. It is mildly disliked (makruh tanzihan) if it is behind him.

However, it is no longer disliked (makruh) in any of these cases if the picture is very small, meaning that if it were placed on the ground, a standing person wouldn’t be able to make out its details. It is also not disliked if it is covered if its head or face is severed, if it is missing a limb required for its life, or if the picture is of an inanimate object.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Please see:
Praying in a Room with Pictures

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani