Marital Inspiration in Silhouette Images

Shaykh Abdurrahmaan Khan clarifies the use of images for inspiration in marriage.

Would it be permissible to explore different sexual positions by looking at the silhouette of a man and women (only the body shape) in different positions?

Thank you for your question.

The ruling of gazing at any object with desire (shahwah) is haram or impermissible. Viewing sex positions from silhouette images could be done with one of two intentions. 1. With the objective of deriving pleasure from viewing the image and 2. Using the image as a medium towards enhancing sexual relations. Subsequently, sexual relations could be 2.1. conjugal or between spouses or 2.2. fornication or adultery.

Categories 1 and and 2.2 are undoubtedly impermissible. As for category 2.1, the current author feels that it would be permissible based on the maxim that “mediums receive the ruling of the objectives.” The objective here being the enhancement of conjugal relations.

I would further advise that these images only be viewed in the presence of one’ s wife so as to avoid falling into category 1.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Photos of the Prophet, Peace Be upon Him

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers questions on images of the Prophet found online.

I am confused. The photos that are on Google and YouTube of the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him, are they real or are they just uploaded by others to misguide Muslims?

I pray you are well.

Depicting the Prophets and Companions

Is is not permissible to depict the Messenger of Allah – or any other prophet, Allah bless them all and give them peace, in picture or video format. This is a matter of consensus and the verdict issued by al-Azhar University in 1968, the Islamic Research Council in 1972, the Egyptian Fatwa Ministry in 1980, and others more recently.

There are many reasons for this. One of them is that it opens the doors of derision directed to the prophets, Allah bless them and give them peace; whereas Allah has honored them to the highest degree. We live in a time where anyone and everyone can comment on matters online. Sadly, there are those whose vile comments are leveled against the greatest of people – due to ignorance, animosity, or sheer malice.

Therefore, the aversion of this is given precedence over any and all other potential benefits. Looking at such images, therefore, would have the same rulings.

Any pictures you do find, if they are there to depict his beauty, they cannot do it justice. And if they are there for any other vile purpose – it is best not to sully your sight with them.

The ruling has also been extended to depicting the Companions. Many of the sources used to produce such material are not sound, therefore there is the element of falsely ascribing events and quotes to people in this. There are other matters which further support this ruling.

Seeing the Messenger, Blessings and Peace Be upon Him

I recommend that you study the beautiful life and qualities of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. Those who throw themselves into this and those who send many blessings upon him, are often blessed with seeing him in their dreams.

In a narration found in Sahih al-Bukhari, he said, “Whoever sees me in a dream will see me in a waking state; Shaytan cannot take my form.” Some of the ulema, such as Imam al-Suyuti, have commented on this hadith saying that some of the righteous – such as Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili and others – see him in a waking state during their lives. For the generality of believers, this usually happens at the point of death, and through this great blessing they attain a good death. (Jassus, Qasim; Sharh Shamaʾil al-Tirmidhi)

May Allah honor us with the vision of His beloved, Allah bless him and give him peace, in this life before the next. Amin. 


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Decorative, Ornamental Animal Drawings

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about the permissibility of using decorative and ornamental images of animals within one’s home.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Is it permissible to use wallpaper with bird drawings/design on it?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Usually, it would be best to avoid wallpaper which has depictions of animate life on it unless the wall will be covered by something else, such as bookshelves and the like, whereby the wallpaper won’t be visible. Such pictures are something that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, strongly interdicted.

However, if the pictures are very small, such that their details cannot be clearly seen, or they are silhouettes or mere outlines, the ruling would be otherwise as they don’t fit the definition of an interdicted picture. Nevertheless, it is still generally superior to avoid them as much as possible.

Please also see: Can I Have Pictures in my House? Can I Pray in a Room having Pictures in it? and The Maliki View on Pictures of Humans and Animals.

And Allah Most High knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is it Permissible to Have a Shower Curtain With Pictures on It?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: I bought a shower curtain and found that it has drawings of bees and butterflies on it. Is this acceptable?

Answer: Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

This would not be considered unlawful to acquire or keep, as it is not considered a respected use of an image (unlike hanging it, for example) [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].

It is mentioned in Imam `Ala al-Din al-Haskafi’s al-Durr al-Mukhtar that, among the types of pictures that are not prohibited to have are those that are: (small) such that the details of their limbs are not apparent to someone who looks down at them standing while they are on the ground, as Halabi mentioned, (or with their head or face cut off) or with an organ effaced out that the body cannot live without, (or of an inanimate object).

Therefore if the drawings are small, for example, it would not be prohibited to have them, although following the way of the righteous would entail leaving such products for other more dignified ones, as such images remain impermissible (and sinful) to make, and it is from scrupulousness to avoid acquiring them.

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked  & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is masturbation permitted? How does one stop himself from falling into it?

Answer: Masturbation is prohibitively disliked and so it is sinful to engage in. It has many personal and societal ill-effects that are known and recognized in sane traditional societies and by balanced people. The early Muslims used to say, “The one who weds his hand is accursed.” [Ibn Humam, Fath al-Qadir]

A person needs to take all the means that scholars mention about controlling one’s desire, including:

– Guarding one’s gaze;
– Asking Allah continually to free him from this problem;
– Involving oneself with acts of worship, remebrance of Allah, etc, because the one who longs for the Infinite Beauty of the One turns to none else;
– Fasting;
– Removing the impermissible and doubtful from his life, especially in terms of food, money, and household “family sins”, such as television, free mixing, etc
– Whenever feeling overwhelmed with one’s physical temptation to fulfill a lawful lust (food, etc.) to calm down his nafs.

Whenever a bad thought occurs to you:

a. Seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy
b. Seek protection from the devil by saying “a`udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajeem.”
c. Remove the things that result in that bad though immediately. So, if you see an image on a computer that arouses a desire, turn it off.
d, Thank Allah, wholeheartedly, for giving you the ability to overcome your desires by saying “Alhamdulilah”, as this makes Shaytan despair, and strengthens one s resolve.

If you keep erring, keep repeating these quick and simple steps. Make supplications with your prayers that Allah protect you. If you keep turning to Allah sincerely, He will accept your entreating, and free you of these problems.

Faraz Rabbani