The Maliki View on Pictures of Humans and Animals
Question: 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?
Answer: 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]