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Is it forbidden in Islam to take pictures/photos of oneself, family or any other humans

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

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Asalamulikum !

Burhan Bahi ! God Bless You

Sir I am going to ask you about a very important issue. Is it forbidden in Islam to take pictures/photos of oneself, family or any other humans, i mean to take photos & keep them as memory. This was tod to me by an Alim. Also that Alim told me that it is a sin to watch TV because they are also pictures etc. Sir if this is the case then how can we get information if don`t watch TV , how can we progress if we declare that it is a sin to take photos of living things, how can a student be taught without pictures etc.

Also Sir it is also said that it is forbidden to say prayers at a place where there are pictures

Guide me in this regard .

 

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Answer:

 

Pictures and photos

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Statements: Sir I am going to ask you about a very important issue. Is it forbidden in Islam to take pictures/photos of oneself, family or any other humans, i mean to take photos & keep them as memory. This was tod to me by an Alim. Also that Alim told me that it is a sin to watch TV

Beloved Brother, it is the responsibility and the duty of the Aalim or religious scholar to answer the queries posed by the believers and non-believers alike, in light of their knowledge of the Quran and the Sunnah. Some scholars, because of their sincere piety and earnest fear of the accounting of Allah Subhanah regarding the discharge of their duties and responsibilities, tend to take the best and purest route when it comes to any matter which has even an iota of a doubt regarding its permissibility and declare it forbidden. That would save them and those who follow their opinion from ever approaching the things which might be forbidden in Islam.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 3585 Narrated by Mu'adh ibn Jabal

When the Messenger of Allah (saws) intended to send Mu'adh ibn Jabal to the Yemen, he (saws) asked: How will you judge when the occasion of deciding a case arises? He replied: I shall judge in accordance with Allah's Book. He (saws) asked: (What will you do) if you do not find any guidance in Allah's Book? He replied: (I shall act) in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah (saws). He (saws) asked: (What will you do) if you do not find any guidance in the Sunnah of the Prophet of Allah (saws) and in Allah's Book? He replied: I shall do my best to form an opinion and I shall spare no effort. The Messenger of Allah (saws) then patted him on the breast and said: Praise be to Allah Who has helped the messenger of the Messenger of Allah to find something which pleases the Messenger of Allah!

 

When there is a clear command in the Quran and the Sunnah regarding the permissibility/impermissibility of things, there should never be any difference of opinion amongst the good scholars. But when it comes to things which were developed by man after the Quran and Sunnah were established (eg. TV, the internet, photography, technology, modern modes of travel, etc.), it is the responsibility of the scholars to come to a decision regarding its permissibility in light of their understanding of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah; and it is only in these opinions where one scholar who might give weight to one command more than the other, sometimes differ in their opinions.

 


As believers, we must appreciate the tremendous duty and service the good scholars provide in the Noble Cause of Allah Subhanah; and when one finds a difference of opinion amongst them in matters which are doubtful in nature, one must be careful not to declare one scholar as truthful and the other a liar; but rather appreciate and understand the beauty and vastness of this deen or complete way and conduct of life called Al-Islam. It may be that one has given a good decision based on the evidence and knowledge available to him; and the other has given a better decision according to the evidence and knowledge available to him. Rather than us declaring one right and the other wrong, it would be more beneficial for us to determine which decision is good and which is better, fear Allah, and act upon the one which better satisfies ones heart.

Your Question: Is it forbidden in Islam to take pictures/photos of oneself, family or any other humans, i mean to take photos & keep them as memory.

Allah Subhanah has singled out shirk or associating other deities with Allah as the one single biggest sin in Islam. Many amongst mankind through the ages used to make images and portraits of the pious amongst them, and as times and generations went by, the ignorant amongst them would start worshipping these images of their deceased pious ancestors and thus involve themselves in the abomination of shirk! Thus Allah and His Messenger (saws) guided the believers to abstain from making and glorifying images and portraits, and thus eliminated the very root that might lead some amongst them to the evil path of shirk!

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.841 Narrated by Abu Talha

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house where there are pictures."

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.845 Narrated by Abu Juhaifa

that he had bought a slave whose profession was cupping. The Prophet forbade taking the price of blood, and the price of a dog, and the earnings of a prostitute, and cursed the one who took or gave (Riba') usury, and the lady who tattooed others or got herself tattooed, and the picture-maker.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.450 Narrated by Abu Salim

Once Gabriel promised the Prophet (saws) that he would visit him, but Gabriel did not come, and later on he said, "We, angels, do not enter a house which contains a picture, or a dog."

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.834 Narrated by Muslim

We were with Masruq at the house of Yasar bin Numair. Masruq saw pictures on his terrace and said, "I heard 'Abdullah saying that he heard the Prophet (saws) saying, "The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be the picture makers.' "

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.448 Narrated by Abu Talha

I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) saying; "Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal)."

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.428 Narrated by Said bin Abu Al Hasan

While I was with Ibn 'Abbas a man came and said, "O father of 'Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures." Ibn 'Abbas said, "I will tell you only what I heard from Allah's Apostle. I heard him saying, 'Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.' " Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn 'Abbas said to him, "What a pity! If you insist on making pictures, I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other unanimated objects."

 

Because the concept of cameras and photography is a technological development of man after the establishment of the Quran and the Sunnah, there is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding its permissibility. The majority of the scholars of Islam are of the opinion that photography in itself is not forbidden in Islam, because it provides nothing but an exact reflection and mirror image of the creation of the Supreme Creator as opposed to paintings, or images, or the sculptures of an animate objects, where there is a possibility that man can make an imaginary addition/subtraction to the original creation of the Creator, and are thus strictly forbidden in Islam.

 

The majority of the scholars are also of the opinion that a believer must not decorate or display in his house any pictures, images, idols, or photos of animate objects, as in light of the several narrations of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the Angels of Mercy do not enter a house where there are pictures (of animate objects).

 

Almost all the scholars of Islam are unanimous in their opinion that there is no harm if one takes a portrait photograph for necessary and legal reasons, and to comply with the modern methods of identification like identity cards, drivers license, passports, etc. Some opine that there is no harm if one wishes to take photos of family and loved ones and keeps them secured in albums for memory; but if they abstain from it, it would be better and purer for them.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.267 Narrated by An Numan bin Bashir

The Prophet (saws) said "Both legal (halaal) and illegal (haraam) things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So whoever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and whoever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah's Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment."

 

Your Question: Also that Alim told me that it is a sin to watch TV because they are also pictures etc.

To the best of our knowledge, the majority of the good scholars in Islam do not consider it a sin to watch good, educational, and beneficial television programs which do not contain any fahisha or indecency, which in its essence is prohibited in Islam.

 

Your Question: Also Sir it is also said that it is forbidden to say prayers at a place where there are pictures

There is nothing in the Quran and the Sunnah which declares that it is forbidden to pray in a place where there are pictures, or ones prayers are invalid if there are pictures in ones vicinity. The biggest evidence that prayers are neither forbidden nor invalid where there are pictures in the vicinity is the fact that the Messenger of Allah (saws) and his noble companions would perform their prayers in the precincts of the Holy Kaaba, where the mushriks had placed in excess of 360 images, idols, and pictures in the days before the Conquest of Makkah by the believers!

 

Thus if one happens to be in a place (hotel rooms, airports, or disbelievers houses or offices, etc.) which might have images or pictures on display and the time of prayer approaches, there is absolutely no harm if one offers ones prayers on location; it is expected that the Lord Most Merciful would not reduce their reward in the least.

 

But it would not behove a believer, who sincerely believes in Allah and the Last Day, to decorate or display pictures or images or photographs of animate objects in ones houses, offices, or places under his control as the Angels of Mercy do not enter a places which have pictures on display.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.841 Narrated by Abu Talha

The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house where there are pictures."

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan


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