Do the recording angels enter houses in which there are images?
Yes, the recording angels who write down the deeds of the son of Adam enter houses in which there are images. What is meant by the angels who do not enter a house in which there are images are the angels of mercy.
Al-Bukhaari (3226) and Muslim (2106) narrated from Abu Talhah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said; “The angels do not enter a house in which there is an image.”
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars said: The reason why they do not enter a house in which there is an image is because it is a grievous sin, and it is competing with the creation of Allah, may He be exalted, and some of them are images of things that are worshipped instead of Allah, may He be exalted.
With regard to these angels who do not enter a house in which there is a dog or an image, they are the angels who go round with mercy, blessings and prayers for forgiveness. With regard to the recording angels, they enter every house and never leave the sons of Adam under any circumstances, because they are enjoined to list and record their deeds. End quote.
Sharh Muslim, 14/84
It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (8/72):
The words “the angels do not enter” mean: the angels of mercy, not the recording angels or the Angels of death. End quote.
Ibn al-Atheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
What is meant is the angels who travel about and not the recording angels and those who are present at the time of death. End quote.
Al-Suyooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Al-Khattaabi said: What is meant is the angels who bring mercy and blessings, not the recording angels. End quote.
Sharh al-Nasaa’i, 1/141
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Are his words “The angels do not enter a house in which there is an image or a dog” general in meaning and do they include the recording angels or not?
He replied: It seems that they are not included in this. End quote.
Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem, 1/169
The images which prevent the angels from entering a house are images of animate beings, apart from images that are deal with in a disrespectful manner.
Al-Khattaabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or an image that it is forbidden to keep. With regard to that which it is not forbidden to keep, such as a dog for hunting, farming or guarding livestock, or images that are not dealt with in a respectful manner (such as) those on carpets, pillows and the like, the angels are not prevented from entering because of them. End quote.
Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, 8/72
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: If the images are treated without respect, such as images on carpets or pillows, the majority of scholars are of the view that they are permissible. Based on that, the angels are not prevented from entering that place, because if they were prevented that would be not allowed. End quote.
Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh, 85/6
With regard to praying in a place where there is an image, it is not permissible, unless the Muslim is forced to pray in that place and is not able to remove the image.
The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said:
Praying in places where these images are is not permissible except in cases of necessity. The same applies to praying in clothes on which there are images of animals; it is not permissible, but if he does it, his prayer is sound but he is committing a haraam action. End quote.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 1/705
And Allah knows best.