Sublime Display of Submission


On one occasion, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) bought a cushion which was decorated with pictures (of animate objects). When Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) later arrived, he saw the cushion from outside the home before he could enter. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thus refrained from entering the home and remained standing in the doorway.

When Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) saw Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) standing in the doorway, and noticed the signs of anger evident on his blessed face, she immediately exclaimed, “I repent to Allah Ta‘ala and His Rasul (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)!”

In order to rectify her mistake and secure the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, she then asked, “What sin did I commit?” In reply, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) asked her regarding the cushion. She responded, “I bought it for you so that you may sit on it and rest against it.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then mentioned, “Indeed the people who made these pictures (of animate objects) will be punished on the Day of Qiyaamah and it will be said to them, ‘Give life to the picture which you made!’” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also mentioned, “The angels (of mercy, blessings, protection, etc.) do not enter the home in which there are pictures (of animate objects).”

(Saheeh Bukhaari #2105)


1. The extremely high level of submission and humility in our beloved mother, Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), can be gauged by her response and reaction in the above incident. When she saw that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was displeased, and thus refrained from entering the home, then even though she did not know what mistake it was that she had made, she immediately repented to Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). It was only after she repented that she enquired as to what her mistake was so that she could rectify it. It is thus clear that her first priority was to please Allah Ta‘ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). If it had to be one of us, then to appease our ego, we would first become defensive and protest saying, “Why are you angry? What did I do?” Instead, she displayed an exemplary level of submission and humility.

2. We should constantly try to identify our weaknesses and sins so that we may rectify ourselves and gain the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. Furthermore, since it is possible that we commit many sins unknowingly, we should engage in regular repentance for all our sins, those of which we are aware as well as those of which we are unaware.

3. We also learn from this incident that we should not take it for granted that we know what is right and wrong. We could be mistaken and misunderstand, therefore we must refer to and rely on those who are learned.

4. The sin of making pictures of animate objects and also keeping such pictures is extremely severe. We should thus totally abstain from making or keeping such pictures, whether the pictures are made through drawing, painting, taking photos, making videos, etc. If we are guilty of this sin, we should immediately repent and destroy the pictures that we have made or kept.

5. When pictures of animate objects are kept in the home, the angels of mercy are prevented from entering the home. Hence, by keeping such pictures with us, we deprive ourselves of the presence of these angels. As a result, we are deprived of Allah Ta‘ala’s mercy and barakah as well as the protection and du‘aa of the angels.