is it haram

Is It Haram to Draw Animals? Exploring the Islamic Perspective


In Islam, there are guidelines and principles that govern various aspects of life, including art. When it comes to drawing or depicting animals, there can be differing views within the Islamic community. Some argue that it is haram, or forbidden, while others believe it is permissible under certain conditions. In this article, we will explore the Islamic perspective on drawing animals and delve into the reasons behind these viewpoints.

is it haram
is it haram why

Understanding the Islamic Perspective

The interpretation of whether drawing animals is haram or not stems from the belief that creating physical representations of living creatures may lead to idolatry or the worship of those creations. Islam strongly emphasizes the belief in the oneness of Allah and the prohibition of idol worship.

Islamic scholars who believe that drawing animals is haram often refer to a few specific hadiths (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad) to support their argument. One of the most commonly cited hadiths is the following: “The most severely punished among the people on the Day of Resurrection would be the painters of pictures.” This hadith is seen by some scholars as a prohibition against all forms of image-making, including the depiction of animals.

Interpretations and Exceptions

It is important to note that not all Islamic scholars agree on the prohibition of drawing animals. Some scholars interpret the hadiths differently and argue that the prohibition only applies to images that are worshipped or used for idolatrous purposes. They believe that realistic depictions of humans or animals are not inherently sinful as long as they are not intended for worship.

There are also exceptions to the general ruling. In certain cases, drawing or painting animals may be permitted for educational or scientific purposes. For example, illustrations in textbooks or scientific journals may be allowed if they serve a genuine educational or informative purpose and are not intended for idolatry or excessive admiration.

is it haram
is it haram why

Balancing Individual Beliefs

As Muslims navigate their artistic pursuits, it is essential to respect differing opinions and exercise personal judgment in accordance with one’s understanding of Islamic teachings. Individuals may choose to abstain from drawing animals altogether to avoid any potential conflict with the interpretations that consider it haram. Others may opt to follow the interpretation that allows for drawing animals under certain circumstances.

Ultimately, the intention behind one’s artistic expression plays a significant role in determining whether it aligns with Islamic principles. If the artwork is created for edification, education, or appreciation of nature and its creations, it is less likely to be considered haram. However, if the intention strays towards idolatry or leads to a deviation from the core principles of Islam, it may be seen as problematic.


is it haram
is it haram why

The question of whether drawing animals is haram in Islam is a complex and nuanced one. While some scholars argue for a complete prohibition based on certain hadiths, others allow for exceptions or interpret the prohibition in a more limited scope. It is crucial for individuals to seek knowledge, consult knowledgeable scholars, and develop their understanding of Islamic teachings to navigate this issue effectively.

In the end, every Muslim should strive to uphold the values and principles of Islam while pursuing their artistic endeavors, considering the intention behind the artwork and its potential impact on their faith and worship.

Faqs about “is it haram to draw animals”

Is it haram to draw animals?

In Islamic teachings, there is a difference of opinion among scholars regarding drawing animate objects. Some scholars consider it haram (forbidden) to draw animals, while others permit it as long as it does not involve worship or idolization. It is recommended to follow the guidance of a knowledgeable and trusted Islamic scholar for a more detailed understanding based on your specific situation and cultural context.

Are there any exceptions to the prohibition of drawing animals?

There are certain exceptions to the prohibition of drawing animals. For example, drawing animals for educational or scientific purposes, such as in biology textbooks, is often considered permissible. Additionally, creating artwork that does not involve worshipping or idolizing the drawings, like sketching or painting animals without intending to imitate creations of Allah, may also be allowed according to some scholars.

What is the reasoning behind the prohibition of drawing animals?

The prohibition of drawing animals is based on the concern of imitating the act of creation, which is exclusive to Allah. It is believed that drawing animate objects may lead to idolatry, as the drawings can be treated as objects of worship. However, it is essential to note that this viewpoint is not unanimous and scholars hold different opinions regarding this matter.

Does the prohibition extend to other forms of art?

The prohibition of drawing animals should not be confused with a general prohibition on all forms of art. Islamic art has a rich tradition of non-representational geometric patterns, calligraphy, and other forms of artistic expression that are considered permissible. It is important to differentiate between art that may involve worship or idolization and art that is solely for aesthetic or educational purposes.

Can children draw animals?

The permissibility of children drawing animals is a subject of debate among scholars. Some scholars allow it for educational or developmental purposes, as long as it is not done with the intention of imitation or worship. It is advisable to seek guidance from an Islamic scholar or teacher who can provide a more specific answer based on the child’s age and understanding.

Is it permissible to own or display artwork featuring animals?

The permissibility of owning or displaying artwork featuring animals is a matter of differing opinions among scholars. Some scholars allow it as long as the intention is not to worship the artwork or imitate Allah’s creation. It is important to consider the context and purpose of owning or displaying the artwork and seek guidance from a knowledgeable scholar.

What if drawing animals is necessary for my profession, such as being an illustrator or a zoologist?

In cases where drawing animals is necessary for a profession or educational field, such as being an illustrator or zoologist, some scholars may consider it permissible. This is based on the principle of necessity and the objective of the profession or discipline. It is recommended to consult with Islamic scholars who specialize in such matters to get a more comprehensive understanding and guidance specific to your situation.

Are there any alternatives to drawing animals for artistic expression?

Yes, there are various alternatives to drawing animals for artistic expression in Islamic art. Calligraphy, geometric patterns, nature-inspired designs, and architectural motifs are just a few examples of art forms that are widely embraced in Islamic culture. These alternatives allow for creative expression while respecting the theological concerns associated with drawing living creatures.

Can I draw animals if I do not intend to worship them?

The intention behind drawing animals is an important aspect to consider. If the intention is purely artistic or educational, without any worshipful or idolatrous connotations, some scholars may permit it. However, it is necessary to remember that opinions differ on this matter, and seeking guidance from knowledgeable scholars will provide a more accurate understanding based on your individual circumstances.

Is the prohibition on drawing animals universally accepted among Muslims?

No, the prohibition on drawing animals is not universally accepted among Muslims. Different scholars, schools of thought, and cultural practices may hold varying opinions on this matter. It is important to respect these diverse viewpoints and seek guidance from a trusted scholar who aligns with your understanding and beliefs.


Surah Yaseen is a beautifully composed chapter in the Quran that holds immense spiritual importance for Muslims. It is often referred to as the "Heart of the Quran" due to its deep spiritual meanings and messages. The Surah starts with the Arabic letters "Ya Seen," and its verses are filled with divine wisdom and guidance for humanity.
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