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Last Updated: 2011/11/03
Summary of question
Let me know the history of the pictures and portraits of the Prophet of Islam (s). Is it permissible, according to Islamic law, to draw a picture of the Prophet (s) and dedicate it to someone?
question
Recently, an incident took place in our country, Indonesia. A man was accused of distributing the Holy Prophet's portraits in Indonesia. As per the verdicts of local scholars, drawing pictures of the Prophet (s) amounts to desecrating and insulting the Prophet of Islam (s). Hence, distributing such pictures is forbidden and haram and the holders should go on trial.
The question I would like to ask is about the history of such pictures. Is it permissible, according to Islamic law, to draw a picture of the Prophet (s) and dedicate it to someone? Can one argue against the charges of insult? To be honest, the holder and I do not believe that these are real pictures of the Prophet (s). Thank you for your time and attention.
Concise answer

Your question consists of two parts: (1) The history of drawing pictures of the Infallibles (a.s); (2) The Islamic law about drawing and distributing such pictures. Historically, these pictures especially those of the Holy Prophet of Islam (s) are not real and genuine; they are only ascribed to him. [1] As per the answers given by the grand jurists, [2] if having such pictures leads to desecration of the owners of the pictures (i.e. the Infallibles) or Shi'ism, it is not permissible to keep or dedicate them.



[1] - You can go to Hawza Net to read a detailed discussion about the images of the Infallible (a.s.) and the Prophet of Islam (s) and the permissibility of ascribing those pictures to them.

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