The Maliki View on Pictures of Humans and Animals

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour



Assalaamu alaikum,

I hope this reaches everybody in a state of spiritual wellness.

I read some of the previous post on SeekersGuidance and noticed that children should be discouraged from drawing humans and animals. I have read in other sources that Imam Malik interpreted the commonly cited hadiths to be in relations to carving statues as they were still so close to the polytheistic culture and the worship of man-made idols.

Would you clarify this matter please?



According to the Maliki madhab, 3-dimensional complete figure of creatures possessing souls are prohibited. If the figure is not complete (like missing arms), or it is not 3-dimensional, then it would be disliked (makruh). Thus, drawings of animals and humans would not be prohibited.

The Maliki scholars mention that if the drawing is going to be in a place where it is degraded, then it goes from being disliked (makruh) to being permissible (mubah) but not the best thing to do (khilaf al awlaa). An example of when this would occur is if the drawing of an animal is on a plate that will be eaten from or a rug or pillow that will be used. [Dardir, Al-Sharh al-kabir]


Rami Nsour


[source :]

Fasting on Only the Day of Arafat if it Falls on a Friday


I’ve heard that it’s not permissible to fast on Friday by itself without adding either a day before or after to it. If this is the case what do we do this year if Arafat falls on a Friday and someone wants to only fast the day of Arafat?



It is true that one should avoid fasting on Friday by itself. There are hadith that indicate that the practice should be avoided. However, if one is accustomed to fasting on a certain day or a special day such as ‘Arafat or ‘Ashura were to fall on a Friday then one could fast that day by itself because they would be intending to fast on the special day and not Friday per say.

That being said, the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are the best days of the year and one should strive to do as many good deeds as possible during that time. This could include fasting as many of the first nine days as possible (the tenth is the Day of Eid wherein it is impermissible to fast). This especially includes the day of Arafat about which the Prophet (pbuh) said that fasting on it expiates the sins of the previous year and the coming year.


For more on the importance of the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah and what to do in them see here and here.

For more on fasting during the first days of Dhul Hijjah see here.

For more on the ruling of singling out Friday for fasting see here.

For more on observing a recommended fast on Friday see here.

Trimming Hair and Nails if Intending Eid Sacrifice

*This article was written by Imam Mustafa Umar and was originally published on his website,, here.


I begin in the name of Allah, the most kind and merciful:


Summarized Answer

Scholars, past and present, have differed over this issue, so it should not be turned into a matter of dispute. It appears to me that refraining from cutting/removing any hair or nails on the body is recommended for those who intend to sacrifice an animal, whether they will slaughter the animal themselves or are commissioning someone to do it for them. However, whoever decides to do so will not incur any sin. The person who will be slaughtering for another does not need to refrain from anything since they are not doing it for themselves.

The wisdom behind this could be that a person who is offering a sacrifice wants to resemble a person performing Hajj since it is about sacrifice, so they refrain from cutting the hair and nails to further the resemblance [since pilgrims to Makkah are also not allowed to cut].[1]



Reason for the Difference of Opinion


Pieces of Evidence

A: The prophetic report narrated by Umm Salamah states: “Whoever sights the crescent for the month of Dhul Ḥijjah and intends to sacrifice an animal should cut neither his hair nor his nails.”[2]

B: The prophetic report narrated by ʿĀ’ishah that: “…the Prophet sent a sacrificial animal to the Kaʿbah [while residing at Madīnah] but did not abstain from anything [that a person performing Ḥajj would abstain from]…”[3]


Scholars who said it is forbidden for a person who intends to slaughter: Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyib, Rabīʿah, Aḥmad ibn Ḥambal, Dāwūd, Ibn Ḥazm, Isḥāq, some Shāfiʿī scholars, and Ṭaḥāwī [of the Ḥanafī school].[4] Among the later scholars who upheld this opinion: Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Ibn Qudāmah, al-Shawkānī, Ibn Bāz, and Ibn al-Uthaymīn.


  • Report A is authentic.
  • Report B is confined to only those who send a sacrificial animal, not those who sacrifice within their own city.[5]
  • Report A must be taken literally because even if it was considered to be disliked and not prohibited, the Prophet would never do something which is disliked.[6]


Scholars who said it is disliked but not prohibited: al-Shāfiʿī and some of Aḥmad ibn Ḥambal’s students [such as Abū Yaʿlā].[7] Among the later scholars who upheld this opinion: al-Nawawī.


  • Both reports A and B are authentic and appear to be contradictory because they are speaking about the same issue.
  • It is best to reconcile both reports by saying that report A is not to be taken literally but rather as something disliked but not prohibited.


Scholars who said that there is nothing wrong with cutting the hair or nails: Abū Ḥanīfah and his students, Mālik and his students, and Sufyān al-Thawrī.[8]


  • Report A has some weakness in it so report B takes precedence over it.
  • Report A doesn’t make sense because it is contrary to analogy. If a person was supposed to refrain from cutting their nails and hair, they should have also been instructed to refrain from certain clothing, perfume, and intimacy because that is what people who are performing Hajj must also do.[9]


There is clearly a legitimate difference of opinion due to both the clarity and authenticity of the two reports in question.

[1] Sharḥ al-Nawawī ʿalā Muslim 13:138-139. Al-Nawawī mentioned another possible reason as well which I prefer not to mention here.

[2] Muslim 3:1565, Abū Dā’ūd 3:94, Tirmidhī 4:102, Nasā’ī 7:211.

[3] Bukhārī 7:102, Muslim 2:957.

[4] al-Tirmidhī 4:102, Tuḥfah al-Aḥwadhī 5:99-100, Sharḥ Mushkil al-Āthār 14:141-143.

[5] `Awn al-Maʿbūd wa Ḥāshiyah ibn al-Qayyim ʿalā Sunan Abī Dāwūd 7:346, al-Istidhkār 4:84.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Tuḥfah al-Aḥwadhī 5:99-100, `Awn al-Maʿbūd wa Ḥāshiyah ibn al-Qayyim ʿalā Sunan Abī Dāwūd 7:346.

[8] Tuḥfah al-Aḥwadhī 5:99-100, al-Istidhkār 4:84.

[9] `Awn al-Maʿbūd wa Ḥāshiyah ibn al-Qayyim ʿalā Sunan Abī Dāwūd 7:347.