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Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ruling on Pictures.

Q; Sir. Salaam. So is even photography prohibited?, Apart from painting etc. Do reply. JAZAKALLAH. Coz, press photography, even many islamic organisations print leaf lets with pictures and all. So,this is in that context.

A; All-Praise is due to Allah,

The Muslim should not keep any pictures of animate beings in his house, because they will prevent the angels from entering. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/380).

Shaykh Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani, said In regards to this matter: "Some of them (Scholars) differentiate between hand-drawn pictures and photographic images by claiming that the latter are not products of human effort, and that no more is involved than the mere capturing of the image. This is what they claim. The tremendous energy invested the one who invented this machine that can do in few seconds what otherwise could not be done in hours does not count as human effort, according to these people! Pointing the camera, focusing it, and taking the picture, preceded by installation of the film and followed by developing and whatever else that I may not know about… none of this is the result of human effort, according to them!

Some of them explain how this photography is done, and summarize that no less than eleven different actions are involved in the making of a picture. In spite of all this, they say that this picture is not the result of human action! Can it be permissible to hang up a picture of a man, for example, if it is produced by photography, but not if it is drawn by hand?

Those who say that photography is permitted have "frozen" the meaning of the word "tasweer," restriciting it only to the meaning known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and not adding the meaning of photography, which is "tasweer" or "picture-making" in every sense - linguistic, legal, and in its harmful effects, and as is clear from the definition mentioned above. Years ago, I said to one of them, By the same token, you could allow idols which have not been carved but have been made by pressing a button on some machine that turns out idols by the dozen. What do you say to that?" Enf of quote.
(See Aadaab al-Zafaaf by al-Albaani, p. 38)

It is also worth quoting the opinion of some contemporary scholars who allow the taking of photographs but say that the pictures should not be kept: "The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures." (See al-Sharh al-Mumti', 2/198).

Photographs which are essential are permitted - such as those required for identity documents, or for identifying or pursuing criminals [e.g. "wanted" posters and the like - translator's note], or for educational purposes which cannot be achieved otherwise. The principle in sharee'ah is that we should not exaggerate about what is necessary.

And Allah knows best...

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