Oh boy, here we go ...
Apologies for the long post, the TLDR is if it's digital, it's okay, and if it's not digital, you have a problem.
"Tasweer" means to make stuff (linguistically). Allah's name, Al-Musawwir, is translated as "the one who shapes/forms stuff." Drawing, painting, clay pots, building a bridge out of straws, oil on canvas, all of this falls under tasweer.
The problem with tasweer is that pictures of animate beings (that is, humans and animals, real or imaginary) can lead to shirk. This is precisely how shirk started back in the time of Prophet Nuh (alayhi salaam), when some pious people died, Shaytan said "make pictures of them so you remember them and your eman goes up." A couple hundred years later, he comes back, "what are these pictures?" "We don't know, our forefathers left them here." "They are your gods, so worship them." Bingo, shirk 101.
Before you say "nobody's going to worship my ub3r l33t drawings," it's not about that. There are many ahadith and athaar (narrations of companions) about how the picture-makers will be in the hellfire, etc. etc. -- you can find a decent list here
. Notably, one companion said to another, why don't you just draw mountains/trees/etc. instead?Solution #1: Draw Inanimate Objects.
Avoids the problem entirely.
Now, a diversion to photography: photography didn't exist in the time of rasulullah (obviously). No ayah mentions it. No hadith talks about it. No ijmaa (scholary consensus) talks about it. Therefore, scholars went to the next proof: qiyaas (analogy to known rulings).
Some scholars said "taking a picture (oldschool camera) is like cranking a crank and something comes out, therefore, it's like tasweer, and is prohibited." They have a point.
Some scholars said "taking a picture (new camera) is light rays and exists in bits and bytes, it's not like tasweer, and therefore, is permitted." They have a point.
I believe, and Allah knows best, that the second group is more correct and stronger in their proofs. Their main caveat is, don't make it physical and hang it up on your wall.
Doing so starts down the same road of shirk and definitely glorifies images and makes it tasweer.
Also notable is the hadith of Aisha, radiallahu anhaa, when she was playing with a toy unicorn. Rasulullah asked, "what is this?" she said, "a horse with wings." He was like, "a horse with wings?" to which she replied something like, "Didn't you know Prophet Dawud (alayhi salaam) had a horse with wings?" and to which he laughed
In usool ul-fiqh, laughing, or staying silent, from rasulullah means approval. Therefore, he approved kids toys
that are tasweery in nature.Solution #2: Make kids toys.
I assume you're not married, so lets go to the main point here.Solution #3: get marr--er, keep it digital.
Solves all the problems, really, and makes your life easy. No need to apply the hadith of decapitating statues by blotting out faces, eyes, etc.
Wallahu a'lam. As someone keen on game dev in jahiliyyah, I asked many, many shuyookh about this. Finally I said, "Finish the issue, I will ask three and take the strictest opinion of the lot."
They all gave me the same opinion:This is not tasweer.
(Drawing stuff digitally.)
Wallahu ta'ala a'lam.
Are you still reading this? Go back to the TLDR :P
Oh, one last point: do not try to shoot down the ruling based on your understanding.
The methodology of scholars is impeccably watertight, and is sometimes more advanced than we can understand. Just be humble and submit yourself to the opinion of the scholars. That's what we're commanded to do; this is all just extra icing so you can understand what and why this comes from.