Depicting Images of the Paradise and the Hellfire – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen
What is the ruling on drawing orchards as if they are depicting Paradise and a fire as if it is depicting the Hellfire?
Answer (Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen):
This is not permissible, because we do not know the description of this; as Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has said:
No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do. (As-Sajdah 32:17)
And none knows the (full) description of the Hellfire. It is greater than the fire of the Dunyaa by 69 times; (that goes for) all fires of the Dunyaa, due to what is within the fire from terror; such as a gas fire and other than that from that which is worse. So can anyone actually depict the Hellfire? No one is able. Due to this, convey to the one who does this that it is Haraam. It is extremely unfortunate that the people today have begun depicting affairs of the Hereafter as if they are worldly matters that they see. I saw a square paper, like a flyer, and there was written upon it: Al-Mawt (Death); there was a line and there was drawn a grave, then a line and there was drawn (what appeared to be) Al-Qiyaamah, and so on. This is as if he drew what is after death, with lines depicting this; the refuge is with Allaah. Moreover, it is said: What makes you know that this comes after that? It is known that the Fire, and resurrection (etc.) is after the grave, but the details of what will happen on the Day of Standing, the reckoning, the scales, and other than that; we do not know the details of that. But this is boldness; great boldness, and a strange thing that one would venture into this matter. However, in general the papers which are circulated amongst the people today upon which is written: This is the Messenger, upon him be prayers and peace; it is obligatory to abandon and warn against these papers.
Summary Translation By: Raha ibn Donald Batts