Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I love art that depicts feathers and wings. Would it be permissible to draw or display hangings or pictures that show angel wings (but not their faces or features), just detailed wings to indicate angels? If my intention when I see or draw feathers or wings is to represent angels, would that be sinful? If it is not sinful, would it be disliked by the angels?
Also, would it be permissible to use a western type of halo symbol in a business logo (to represent something holy)? I specified Shafi‘i School, but I would like to know all perspectives if they differ on this.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.
Depicting animate life in various ways is an issue that scholars have differed. The more lenient view is that drawing images, such as those described (without detailed animate features), is lawful, and Allah knows best.
Avoid symbols such as halos since they are not native to the Islamic tradition about Angels, though they are not necessarily unlawful, and Allah knows best.
Drawing Animate Life – Could It Be Brought to Life?
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Those who make images will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them: ‘Bring to life that which you have created.’” [Bukhari; Muslim]
Many scholars appear to regard the depiction of images with incomplete features (having no nose, eyes, neck, etc.) as lawful. Therefore, their makers are not included in the warning because these pictures are not “competing” with the creation of Allah.
Pictures such as those in question are permissible to draw, which applies to all non-detailed images, even though they are living beings. [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘; Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
I pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.