Decorating a Muslim Home
It is true that worship and faith of a family are what make a home truly respectful and worthy in God's eyes, but there are a few more criteria given in Islam about what makes a home irresistible and inviting, even to angels, and what does not.
Firstly, many Infallibles (peace be upon them) have talked about the space and decorations of a home. It appears Islam prefers open concept living just as much as contemporary designers.
Imam Musa al-Kadhim (peace be upon him) once bought a house for one of his companions, ordering him to live in it because his own home was too small. This companion told the Imam that his father had made his current house and he would not feel right leaving it, to which the Imam inquired: if your father acted unintelligently, then must you also act that way?
It is also recommended to have curtains in the home not only for privacy or decorations but also in a way that they hide the imperfections of the home.
So while it is beneficial to have open homes, it is not beneficial to have large homes which are improperly utilized. Such a waste of land will have to be accounted for on the Day of Judgment, so it is better to be mindful of your space.
For decorations, it is best not to have pictures of people, animals, or other living things in the home, especially in the room where prayer is offered. If there are pictures in the prayer area, then it is better to get rid of them or turn them over. Statues are also advised against. Angel Jibraeel himself had told the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) that angels do not enter a home where dogs, statues, or chamber pots (used for urination, etc) are found. However, art like that is often found in Muslim homes, such as different chapters or verses of the Quran or supplications, is okay.
One famous historian relates he had seen Ayatul Kursi written on the door to the house of Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) as well as the place where he offered prayer.
Does it feel like you're out of decorating ideas? How about a visit to your nearest mosque or Hussainiyah? The beautiful tile work, soft decorative carpeting, and architectural details should suffice as enough inspiration.
Beautiful carpets or rugs and other similar decorative items could be found in the Imams' homes too. A few people came to see Imam Zainul Abideen (peace be upon him) and were surprised to find good-looking throws around the house and inquired about it. The Imam said, ‘We marry and give women Mahr. They can do as they please with it. These (decorations) are not mine.’
Author: Zaib Abbas
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