Praise be to
Islam came to prevent all
means that may lead to shirk or the association of others in worship
with Allaah. Among these means is the making of images, so sharee’ah
forbids making images, and curses the one who does that, and a strong
warning is issued to the one who does that. It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah
the Mother of the Believers that Umm Habeebah and Umm Salamah mentioned
a church that they had seen in Abyssinia, in which there were images.
They mentioned it to the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and he said: “Those people,
if there was a righteous man among them and he died, they would build
a place of worship over his grave and put those images in it. They will
be among the most evil of creation before Allaah on the Day of Resurrection.”
(narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Salaah, 409).
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah
(may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from a journey
and I had placed a curtain of mine that had pictures on it over (the
door of) a room of mine. When the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw it, he tore it and said,
‘The people who will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection
will be those who try to make the like of Allaah’s creation.’ So we
turned it (the curtain) into one or two cushions.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari,
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah
ibn Mas’ood said: “I heard the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘The people who will
be most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers.’”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Libaas, 5494).
So how could he grant permission to make a picture
of him? Hence none of the Sahaabah dared to make a picture or image
of him, because they knew the ruling that doing so was haraam.
Allaah warns against exaggeration,
as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O people of the Scripture (Christians)!
Do not exceed the limits in your religion”
And the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against doing anything
that may involve exceeding the limits concerning him
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). He said: “Do not exaggerate
about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam, for
I am just a slave, so say ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, Ahaadeeth al-Anbiya’, 3189).
Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab
wrote a chapter entitled “Maa jaa’a ‘an sabab kufr Bani Adam huwa
al-ghulw fi’l-saaliheen (What was narrated stating that the reason
for the kufr of the sons of Adam was their exaggeration concerning the
righteous).”, in which he said: “In al-Saheeh it is narrated
that Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, concerning the
aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
‘“And they have
said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor
Suwaa‘, nor Yaghooth, nor Ya‘ooq nor Nasr’ (these are the names of their
– “These were the names of righteous
men among the people of Nooh. When they died, the Shaytaan inspired
their people to set up stone altars in the places where they used to
sit, and call them by their names. They did that but they did not worship
them, until those people died, then the knowledge was forgotten and
they were worshipped.”
Ibn al-Qayyim said: “More
than one of the salaf said: ‘when they died, the people started to frequent
their graves, then they made statues of them, then as time passed they
started to worship them.” (Fath al-Majeed Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed
by ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan, p. 219)
For this reason there are
no pictures of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because he forbade doing
that, lest it lead to shirk.
The implication of the testimony
that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that we believe in him
and in the message that he brought, even though there are no pictures
of him. The believers do not need a picture of him in order to follow
him. The description of him that is given in the saheeh reports means
that we have no need of his picture. Among the descriptions of him
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that have been narrated
are the following:
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most handsome of
face of all people.
had wide shoulders.
He was neither tall nor short (of average height).
He had a round face with a ruddy complexion.
His eyes were intensely black.
He had long eyelashes.
7- He was the Seal of
the Prophets, the most generous of people in giving, he was the most
forbearing and content of all people, he was the most sincere in speech
of all people, he had the gentlest nature of all people and was the
most easy-going with others. Those who saw him suddenly stood in awe
of him and those who mized with him came to love him. Those who described
him said they had never seen anyone like him
before or since.”
See Sunan al-Tirmidhi,
al-Manaaqib, 3571 and other books of Sunnah which give descriptions
of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Undoubtedly the believers
wish that they could have met the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Hence it says in the hadeeth
narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the
Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people most loved
by me among my ummah will be those who would come after me, but every
one amongst them would have the keenest desire to catch a glimpse of
me even at the expense of his family and his wealth.” (Narrated by Muslim,
al-Jannah wa Sifat Na’eemihaa, 5060). Undoubtedly love
of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and following him are the
means of being brought together with him in Paradise. Part of loving
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is seeing him in a dream,
which means seeing him in his real form. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah
said: “I heard the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: ‘Whoever sees me in
a dream will see me when he is awake, for the Shaytaan cannot take my
form.’” Abu ‘Abd-Allaah said, Ibn Seereen said: this applies if one
sees him in his true form. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Ta’beer,
And Allaah is the Source of strength.
May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.