PICTURES AND PAINTINGS

Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Those who paint pictures would be punished on the Day of Resurrection and it would be said to them, “Breathe soul into what you have created.” (Muslim)

The Hadith pertaining to the preparation of pictures whether with the help of colour, paint or pencil or photographic cameras, declare this art to be unlawful in Islam. The reasons of the Sharee’ah are so eloquent and clear in regard to the prohibition of making pictures that they need no comment and elucidation.

That person is missing the mark who says that this prohibition comes under the category of disapproval and is not absolutely unlawful and the stress which had been laid upon its prohibition was because of the fact that idolatry had been quite recently curbed, but now when idolatry has been exterminated and Islam has spread everywhere, the is no need of stressing its forbiddance with full force. This reason for adopting a lenient attitude toward preparation of pictures is quite invalid for in the Hadith the treason put forward for the unlawfulness of the pictures is this: Those who prepare pictures would be asked to breathe soul on the Day of Resurrection in these pictures made by them. And when they would not be able to do this, they would be punished. In the above-mentioned Hadith, the reason for the forbiddance of preparing the pictures of living bodies has been given and that is the vain ambition of the artist in competing with Almighty Allah in His act of creation.

The other reason for the forbiddance of pictures is that it has led to the cult of idolatry in the past and the present too though with a variation of name. There is a Hadith reported on the authority of Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha), which explains the attitude of mind that paves the way for idolatry. Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) reported that the Beloved Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said about the people of the Book: “Whenever any pious person amongst them died they built a house of worship at the place of his grave and then made his picture. These are the most wretched creatures in the sight of Allah.”

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HAIR DRESSING AND COMBING

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did not forget this item of cleanliness. He said: “Whoso has got hair let him honour it”. This means oiling, combing and cleansing the hair. He always kept guard over his hair and kept them in proper order by parting them from the middle of the head. He once said to a man: “Is this (combing) not better than that one of you should come while he is dishevelled in hair as if he is a devil?” He directed his companions to shave, shorten or clip their moustaches, to preserve health, to keep beard, to shave the hair of the private parts, to pair nails, and to shave the hair of the armpit.

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used antimony (Surma) with paint-stick every night before going to bed as it brightens eye-sight, and grows hair on eyebrows.

Islam does not approve the wearing of a wig for men and women. “The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has made it clear that wearing a wig is prohibited”. He indeed cursed a woman who requests another to help her attach hair to her own hair, in order to give her a false appearance, and the one who gives such help. This area is an extension of the Islamic principle that falsehood is rejected. Wearing hair over one’s own gives a false appearance and, therefore, is forbidden.

A woman asked the Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) about her young daughter who lost much hair through an illness. She wished to know whether she was allowed to wear a wig. The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) made it clear to her that “that” was not permissible.

SHOES

He advised mankind to wear shoes and socks, as they are protectors of feet. He advised women to wear shoes different from those of the males.

Sayyiduna Jaabir (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Make a general practice of wearing sandals, for a man is riding as it were when he wears sandals.” (Muslim) The meaning is that wearing of sandals makes movements easier and protects the feet from roughness or thorns on the road. So it is compared to the riding on an animal.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: When one of you puts on sandals, he should first put in the right foot, and when he takes off he should take off the left one first, or he should put them on together or take them off together.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Don’t walk in one sandal; wear either both or take off the two”. (Bukhari, Muslim) The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has prohibited wearing the shoes in standing position except the shoes, which have no laces. (Tirmidi)

Manners of Eating

  1. Wash hands before and after eating,
  2. Do not use towel after washing hands before eating,
  3. The hands should be dried up with a towel after washing them at the end of eating session,
  4. The hands should be washed both up to the wrist. Some people wash only one hand and some wash only the pores of the fingers. This is against the tradition of the Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
  5. It is better if the man himself pours water on his own hands one by one,
  6. An impure man (who needs a bath after the discharge of semen) should also wash his mouth along with both the hands. The menstruating woman need not wash her mouth before taking meals,
  7. It is advisable to begin the washing of hands from the younger members before the start of dinner. The washing of hands after the food should start from the elders,
  8. Recite Bismillah in a louder voice so that co-eaters may also follow the recitation,
  9. Don’t keep any dish over the bread,
  10. Don’t wipe off hands or knife with the bread,
  11. It is against the table manners to eat with an uncovered head or using a pillow as a support,
  12. Eating only the middle portion of bread by throwing the rest is not desirable,
  13. Start eating as soon as the bread is served, without waiting for the curry. That is why it is better to serve the bread at the end of service,
  14. Start eating from one side of the bowl or plate and not from the middle of the utensil,
  15. Start eating with the salt and finish eating with salt as it drives away seventy diseases,
  16. It is undesirable to eat things while walking on the road or standing at public places.

Manners of Drinking

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to take three breaths in a drink. (Agreed) Muslim added in a narration: He used to say that it is highly thirst removing, most conducive to health and most digestive.

Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) prohibited drinking from the mouth of a skin-carrier. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed Khudri (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) forbade drinking by upsetting the water-pots. And he added in a narration: ”And its upsetting is to upset its head and then to take drink from it”. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) prohibited a man to drink in a standing posture.  (Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Glorious Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “None of you shall drink standing. Whoever forgets, let him vomit.” (Muslim)

Sayyidah Umm-e-Salmah (radi Allahu anha) reported that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever drinks in a silver cup, the Hell-Fire will flow in his belly with noise.”(Agreed)

Sayyiduna Hudhaifah (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) say, “Don’t put on silk and embroidered silk, and drink not in cups of gold and silver, and take no food in plates made thereof, because they are for them (unbeliever) in this world and they are for you in the next world”. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Holy Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) forbade to take breath or to give out breath in drinking pot. (Abu Da’ood)

In another narration he reports: The Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Don’t take drink in one breath like the drinking of camel, but take drink twice or thrice and utter “Bismillah” when you drink and utter “Alhamdu Lillah” when you finish.

Unlawful Food

“The great principle for knowing what is lawful and unlawful food is that what the Holy Quraan and Hadith prohibited is unlawful and what is besides that is lawful”. There are certain things, which have not been expressly permitted or prohibited.  These are doubtful things. These are considered as Mubah or simply lawful. There are two things introduced by jurists between lawful and unlawful things: One is Mubah, near the lawful things and the other is Makrooh, near the unlawful things, but nevertheless lawful. The abominable things being near the unlawful things should be avoided as far as possible by pious Muslims, as none should even go to the neighbourhood of the places of destruction or epidemics. In that case, there is but little space to fall into illegality. The pious Muslims should not go even to the borderline of illegality. The Mubah things are lawful and can be taken if constitution and climate permit.

The effect of food and drink upon the body and temperaments is wonderful. The medical men therefore prescribe special diets for patients, so that indiscriminate diet may not injure the body. Different things have got different properties for different uses according to the requirements of men, and they have naturally got different effect on body. As soundness of mind depends on soundness of body, therefore food and drink may be said to be one of the principal causes, which lead a man to vice, and virtue. The control of food and drink is the control of the vices and promotion of virtues.

Almighty Allah and His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) therefore prescribed such food for men as are conducive to them from a temporal and religious point of view. This is also the reason why lawful food, unlawfully acquired, has been made unlawful as it greatly affects the moral tendency of a man.

The Holy Quraan and Hadith have expressly prohibited the following foods and things:

  1. Food on which Allah’s Name is not taken or meat of a lawful animal or bird which is not slaughtered in the Name of Allah. The Holy Quraan says: And don’t eat of that on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned. That is surely a transgression. (6:122)
  2. Everything which is offered to idols.
  3. All animals, which die of themselves without slaughter in the Name of Allah. These include also animals strangled to death, or beaten to death, or killed by a fall, or attacked by horns and killed, or torn to death by beasts.
  4. All bloods flowing.
  5. All beasts and birds of prey; all quadrupeds that seize prey with teeth, and all birds which seize it with talons, viz., foxes, hyenas, elephants, weasels, kites, crows, raven, crocodiles, insects, domestic asses, mules, swines, and men.
  6. All unclean things repugnant to health and morality, viz., dogs, cats, mules, horses, asses, lizards, swines, etc.

In support of these, the following Quraanic verses are quoted: Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other than Allah has been invoked, and the strangled animal, and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall, and that killed by being smitten with horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten except what you slaughter. (5: 3)

There is a reservation in case of extreme necessity, such as possibilities of death for want of food. In that circumstance, a small quantity of unlawful things, which can barely save life, becomes lawful. The Holy Quraan says: “But whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him.” (2: 173)

It so happens sometimes that the food is being served and suddenly some stranger or guest enters. The master of the house invites the newcomer to join. If the master does not invite the stranger, it is considered a very bad manner. Invitation to a Muslim brother to food is a virtuous thing, but this invitation should not be for the name’s sake. This is also a custom these days that the stranger who is invited to join the food says: “No thanks!” or say “Bismillah”. The scholars have prevented us not to say that. Anybody who is invited to join food should say, “May Allah bless you with abundance in food.”

If a man is too hungry to go out and ask the people to help him, in that case it is abiding on those persons who know his condition to provide him with food. If the man dies of hunger, the persons who knew his condition but did not give him food, would be answerable to Almighty Allah.

Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) asked Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) what were the things, which we cannot refuse to others. He said: “Water, salt and fire.” She said: “O Allah’s Apostle (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)! Why can’t we refuse salt and fire to others?” He said: One who gives others a share in his fire, it is as if he has given in Sadaqa the entire stuff cooked on that fire, and he who gives others a share in his salt, it is as if he has given in Sadaqa the complete dish processed with that salt; and he who quenches the thirst of a Muslim at a place where water is not available, it is as if he resurrects a dead. (Ibn-e-Majah)

Sayyiduna Abu Waqed Laithi (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) came to Madina and they had liking for humps of camels and for cutting the tails of sheep. He said: “What is taken off from animals while they are alive is a dead thing. It shall not be taken” (Tirmidi, Abu Da’ood)

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