It is not permissible to hang up pictures at all, whether of children or adults. That is because of the stern prohibition narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) against keeping pictures and his command to Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him): “Do not leave any image without erasing it or any raised grave without leveling it.” Narrated by Muslim, 1/66
Hence pictures must be removed, erased or burned and not kept.
Hanging up pictures of animate beings inside houses or elsewhere deprives the people of that place of a great deal of good, which is the angels entering that house.
It was narrated from Abu Saeed al-Khudri (may Allaah have mercy on him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there are statues or images.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1961.
You have to hasten to remove these pictures at once, because it was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) strongly forbade hanging pictures, and he commanded his great Companion Ali ibn Abi Taalib, “Do not leave any picture without blotting it out and do not leave any built-up grave without levelling it.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1/66).
You can replace them, if you wish, with pictures of inanimate objects, such as trees, mountains, oceans and other natural scenes, or other drawings of inanimate objects, without being extravagant or wasteful.
As for the pictures which are hanging, you have to remove them and blot them out or burn them; do not keep them. It is worth noting that hanging up pictures of the dead is one of the things that renews grief and serves no useful purpose; it may even lead to some kind of veneration which goes against Tawheed. Let us not forget that the shirk committed by the people of Nooh (peace be upon him) started because they set up pictures and images of some righteous people who had lived among them. So be very careful.
Hanging plaques and cloths containing aayaat of the Quraan in homes, schools, social clubs and places of business, involves a number of reservations and prohibitions according to Islam, such as the following:
1 : In most cases, hanging such things on the wall is done for purposes of decoration and adornment, as the aayaat etc. are written in calligraphy and colourful brocade. This is an inappropriate use of the Quraan, as it was revealed to guide people and to be read regularly. The Quraan was not revealed to decorate walls, but to guide mankind.
2 : Some people hang up such things for “blessing” - which is a form of bidah. The blessing as described in Islam comes from reading or reciting the Quraan, not from hanging it up or placing it on shelves or turning it into artwork and three-dimensional images.
3 : This is contrary to the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs (al-Khulafaa’ al-Raashidoon), may Allaah be pleased with them, who never did such a thing. The best way is to follow them, not to introduce bidah.
4 : Hanging up such pictures or plaques could lead to shirk, because some people think that these things are amulets that will protect the house and its people from evil and disease. This is shirk and is haraam, because the One Who really offers protection is Allaah, may He be glorified, and one of the means of gaining His protection is sincere recitation of the Quran and duaa’s taught in the Quraan and Sunnah.
5 : There is the risk that the Quraan may be used, in such cases, as a means of promoting one’s business or increasing one’s earnings. The Quraan should be protected from being used for such purposes. It is well-known that the production and sale of these pictures and plaques involves a great deal of extravagance and wasting money.
6 : Many of these plaques are painted with real gold, which makes using them and hanging them up even more haraam.
7 : Many of these plaques involve a kind of carelessness, because the letters are twisted into complex designs that are of no benefit to anyone because they are barely legible. Sometimes words are fashioned into the shape of a bird or a man prostrating, and similarly forbidden pictures of animate beings.
8 : Ayaat and soorahs of the Quraan are exposed to misuse and abuse by this practice. For example, when moving house, they are piled up with the rest of the furniture and belongings, and other objects may be placed on top of them. This also happens when they are taken down so that the wall may be painted or cleaned.
9 : Some Muslims whose observance of Islam is lacking put these plaques and pictures up so that they can feel that they are doing something religious, in order to reduce their feelings of guilt – in spite of the fact that this practice does not help them in any way.
All in all, we must close the doors of evil and follow the leaders of guidance of the early centuries of Islam, whose people the Prophet (peace be upon him) testified were the best of the Muslims in faith and practice.
If someone were to say, “We are not going to abuse it or make it a decoration or exaggerate about it, we only want to remind people (about their religion) in our gatherings”, our response would be: if we look at real life, will we find that this is what actually happens? Do people really remember Allah? Do they even read these aayaat when they raise their heads?
What really happens is the opposite: people go against the words hanging over their heads, they still tell lies, engage in gossip, make fun of others and do and say evil things. Even if we assume that there are some who do benefit from these plaques etc., the fact is that they are very few, and this does not change the hukm (Islamic ruling) on the matter.
The Muslims must turn to the Book of Allaah, read it and recite it, and act in accordance with it.
We ask Allaah to make the Quraan a light of guidance for us, and a means of removing our grief and anxiety.