I would like to enquire if drawing mandalas are impermissible? Someone i know recently made an adult colouring book consisting of these designs, and someone informed her that these are used in the hindu culture.
The person who made the book did not make it with that intention, rather it was made with the intention of art, since these are used as art therapy, in henna, geometric patterns, architecture and so on.
Would it be permissible for them to sell such drawings?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Such items that are specifically connected to un-Islamic and baseless beliefs and practices, it would not be permissible to sell them as such items are a symbol of their falsehood and are not used for any other purpose except for their worship and rituals. Examples of these items are crucification crosses, statues, idols, Diwali/Christmas cards etc.
This rule also applies to items which are generally used, except that the symbols of shirk and kufr are displayed on them (i.e printed, painted, engraved, embroidered or attached in any way).
Such prohibition is clearly stated in Hadith:
أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يكن يترك في بيته شيئا فيه تصاليب إلا نقضه
“The Holy Prophet ﷺ would not leave anything in his house on which there was a cross but he would alter it.”(Bukhari)
The reason from this prohibition is because by trading in such items, one is directly assisting and promoting evil and shirk, which is forbidden as it goes against the spirit of Tawheed. Allah ﷻ mentions in the Holy Quran:
وتعاونوا على البر والتقوى ولا تعاونوا على الإثم والعدوان واتقوا الله إن الله شديد العقاب
And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah, indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
If however, the items can normally be used for multiple purposes, it would be permissible to sell it (i.e. it is used for their rituals as well as other things which are permissible).
Regarding the drawing of mandalas and selling its drawings for art etc., we note that the origin of mandalas is from Hinduism and Buddhism religions. Nowadays mandala designs however are used in many other ways which has no attachment to non-Islamic beliefs, e.g. art, architecture and even on the covers of numerous Islamic books. Therefore, it will be permissible to draw and sell such mandalas as long as there is no connection with such designs and any non-Islamic beliefs. Any particular design that relates to non-Islamic beliefs must be avoided.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)