Ṣūrah appears three times in the Qurʾān:
- It is Allah who made for you the earth a place of settlement and the sky a ceiling and formed you and perfected your forms and provided you with good things... (40:64)
- He created the heavens and earth in truth and formed you and perfected your forms; and to Him is the [final] destination.
- In whatever form He willed has He assembled you. (82:8)
illustration, drawing, painting
al-Muṣawwir — the Shaper, the Fashioner
Generally speaking, Muṣawwir means sculptor, painter, illustrator.
One of the names of Allāh is al-Muṣawwir, i.e. the Shaper of Beauty, the Fashioner, the Giver of Form, the Sculptor (59:24).
Taṣwīr — making images
Is there any merit in these arguments allowing 2-D images of people and animals for educational purposes?
- Angels don’t enter a place where there is an image http://sunnah.com/urn/55930
- Pictures of animals were allowed when they are not up for worship http://www.understanding-islam.com/q-and-a/islamic-beliefs/pictures-and-photography-5361
Sayyiduna Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade the keeping of pictures at home and making them.” (Sunan Tirmidhi, no: 1749)
Sayyiduna Abu Talha (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Angels (of mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 5609)
- Book 73, Number 151: Narrated ‘Aisha: “I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girl friends also used to play with me. When Allah’s Apostle used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me.” (The playing with the dolls and similar images is forbidden, but it was allowed for ‘Aisha at that time, as she was a little girl, not yet reached the age of puberty.) (Fateh-al-Bari page 143, Vol.13)
- Book 59, Number 338 : Narrated by Ibn Abbas “Abu Talha, a companion of Allah’s Apostle and one of those who fought at Badr together with Allah’s Apostle told me that Allah’s Apostle said. “Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture” He meant the images of creatures that have souls.”
- Book 34, Number 428: Narrated Said bin Abu Al-Hasan: While I was with Ibn ‘Abbas a man came and said, “O father of ‘Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures.” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “I will tell you only what I heard from Allah’s Apostle . I heard him saying, ‘Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.’ ” Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn ‘Abbas said to him, “What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects.”
- Book 34, Number 318: Narrated Aisha: (mother of the faithful believers) I bought a cushion with pictures on it. When Allah’s Apostle saw it, he kept standing at the door and did not enter the house. I noticed the sign of disgust on his face, so I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I repent to Allah and H is Apostle . (Please let me know) what sin I have done.” Allah’s Apostle said, “What about this cushion?” I replied, “I bought it for you to sit and recline on.” Allah’s Apostle said, “The painters (i.e. owners) of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection. It will be said to them, ‘Put life in what you have created (i.e. painted).’ ” The Prophet added, “The angels do not enter a house where there are pictures.”
- Book 72, Number 833: Narrated Abu Talha : The Prophet said, “Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or there are pictures.”
- Book 72, Number 834: Narrated Muslim: We were with Masruq at the house of Yasar bin Numair. Masruq saw pictures on his terrace and said, “I heard ‘Abdullah saying that he heard the Prophet saying, “The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be the picture makers.’”
- Book 72, Number 835: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar : Allah’s Apostle said, “Those who make these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them. ‘Make alive what you have created.’”
- Book 72, Number 838: Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostle returned from a journey when I had placed a curtain of mine having pictures over (the door of) a chamber of mine. When Allah’s Apostle 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 Allah’s creations.” So we turned it (i.e., the curtain) into one or two cushions.
- Book 72, Number 839: Narrated Aisha: The Prophet returned from a journey when I had hung a thick curtain having pictures (in front of a door). He ordered me to remove it and I removed it. Aisha added: The Prophet and I used to take a bath from one container (of water).
- Book 72, Number 840: Narrated ‘Aisha : I purchased a cushion with pictures on it. The Prophet (came and) stood at the door but did not enter. I said (to him), “I repent to Allah for what (the guilt) I have done.” He said, “What is this cushion?” I said, “It is for you to sit on and recline on.” He said, “The makers of these pictures will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said to them, ‘Make alive what you have created.’ Moreover, the angels do not enter a house where there are pictures.’”
- Book 54, Number 447: Narrated ‘Aisha: I stuffed for the Prophet a pillow decorated with pictures (of animals) which looked like a Namruqa (i.e. a small cushion). He came and stood among the people with excitement apparent on his face. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is wrong?” He said, “What is this pillow?” I said, “I have prepared this pillow for you, so that you may recline on it.” He said, “Don’t you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked to give life to (what he has created)?”
- Book 54, Number 449: Narrated Busr bin Said: That Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani narrated to him something in the presence of Said bin ‘Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani who was brought up in the house of Maimuna the wife of the Prophet. Zaid narrated to them that Abu Talha said that the Prophet said, “The Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a picture.” Busr said, “Later on Zaid bin Khalid fell ill and we called on him. To our surprise we saw a curtain decorated with pictures in his house. I said to Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani, “Didn’t he (i.e. Zaid) tell us about the (prohibition of) pictures?” He said, “But he excepted the embroidery on garments. Didn’t you hear him?” I said, “No.” He said, “Yes, he did.”