Home » Hanafi Fiqh » Seekersguidance.org » Do Animate Pictures or Dolls In the Room Affect my Prayer?

Do Animate Pictures or Dolls In the Room Affect my Prayer?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


When praying around animate pictures or objects like dolls, how apparent must they be to have an effect on the prayer?

I am aware of the general fiqh principles like picture size, photos or pictures being behind one praying but I would like to know how strictly the prohibition applies e.g. is it for hanging pictures and the like, or does it extend to even those things which are not so apparent and are more subtle such as some books with pictures.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, regarding forms/pictures (of animate creatures) the following narrations:

“The Angels (of mercy) do not enter a home in which there is a dog or pictures (of forms).” [Bukhari]

“Indeed, those who, in the sight of Allah, are most intensely punished on the Day of Judgment are those who make pictures (or forms).” [Ibid.]

“Indeed those who make these suwar (i.e. pictures or forms) will be punished on the Day of Judgment; it will be said to them, ‘Bring life to what you created.’” [Ibid.]

Regarding pictures, it is prohibitively disliked to pray in the following circumstances:

1) The picture is of (or a likeness of) an animate creature
2) The picture is large enough that one can clearly make it out if they were standing in prayer and looking at it.
3) The creature likened in the picture is not missing a body part that they normally could not live without. Like a missing head or torso.
4) The face is not erased or wiped out.
5) The picture is not below one’s feet or behind one’s back

The reasoning for the above is due to the semblance of worshipping or showing devotional reverence to that picture. Thus in all the above circumstances, an onlooker could perceive the one praying as showing adoration toward the picture, whereas if it were, beneath their feet, behind their back, very small, etc… that meaning no longer is found.

Thus a small picture on a binding of a book does not fulfill the above conditions and unless the picture is big and clearly visible, prayer in its direction is not prohibitively disliked.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani 

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

Read answers with similar topics: