Assalamualaikum Mufti Sahib,
My question is regarding illustrations of those things which are part of the Ghayb, in order to explain surahs to children. There have been a few books published in recent times of this type. I will be sending some pictures for reference.
My question is whether it is permissible to take general pictures of fire to depict Jahannam, gardens/rivers to depict Jannah, a weighing scale to depict weighing of the deeds (when we don’t know if that is the reality of the actual Meezan), picture of devil to depict Shaytan, etc.
If one has multiple books of this, and if they are not recommended, then what should be done with them? Will it be permissible to sell them?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
In principle, it is not permissible to depict, or imitate any event or concept mentioned in the Qur’an if one does so out of contempt or mockery. Similarly, it is impermissible if one uses the verses as a comparison to imitate something in this world. However, if the purpose is not such, rather, it is so that it serves as a reminder, then it is permissible. To better understand, consider the following two examples mentioned by the jurists.
1) If a person gathers a group of people and thereafter recites:
Translation: We shall gather them together in one gathering.
intending thereby that he has also gathered a group of people, as Allah will, then doing such is tantamount to kufr, as one is comparing his gathering of people to that which Allah has mentioned. However, if the intention is to serve as a reminder, then there is no harm.
2) If a person serves a full glass of water and thereafter recites:
Translation: And a full cup.
intending thereby to mock the cups that will be presented in Jannah, then doing such is tantamount to kufr.
Accordingly, the purpose of the books mentioned is not to imitate Jannah and Jahannam such that it aims to show children what Jannah and Jahannam actually resembles. Rather, it merely serves as a convenient reminder regarding the comforts of paradise and the punishment of the hereafter and it explains these concepts to children in a format that is easy to understand. Hence, such depictions are permissible. Consequently, it will be permissible to sell such books.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Mirza-Zain Baig
Mufti Hammad Jogiat
Canadian Centre for Islamic Research and Iftā
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
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