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Paintings and sculptors – distortions of God’s creation?

I was at NCA before I came to LUMS. A friend of mine from NCA is majoring in Sculpture. We are both religious and I have started to become critical of her. From my personal understanding of Islamic material on pictures, photographs, videos are not exactly un-Islamic because they are just captured images/moments of creations of Allah and not creations of the Artist. However, painting and sculpture tend to focus on creations that are unique or distortions of Allah’s creations. Hence, they are according to me questionable. Please help me out with regard to this personally developed theory of mine. Is it logical or does it sound non-sensical? Secondly please give me some Islamic Background on things like Paintings and Sculpture. Am I being haughty by crticizing her?


My answer to your question would be based on my understanding on the issue. There are many other points of view on the subject as well. My understanding is that Islam prohibits only those images which lead to polytheism. The narrations that mention condemnation of pictures and statues are all to be taken in that context. There is no reason to apply that condemnation to those images which are neither promoting polytheism nor anything else that could be considered un-Islamic, like obscenity.
If you criticise somebody for something you genuinely think is wrong, you are not being haughty. All that you need to ensure while pointing out weaknesses in others is to ensure that your are doing it in an as polite and intelligent way as could be possible. Also make sure that you are not criticising others for something you do yourself.
For more details please see “Prohibition or allowance of photography in Islam”