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I would like to know if photos taken, family filming, (whilst a person is alive) needs to be destroyed after a person has passed away.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

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

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

assalamualaikum,

i would like to know if photos taken, family filming, (whilst a person is alive) needs to be destroyed after a person has passed away. i have heard that it needs to be destroyed, but i am not sure if this is true or false. i would be very grateful if you can kindly help me with my answer. 

 

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Answer:

 

Photos of dead deceased

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 none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

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!

 


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).

 

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 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 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)."

 

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: i have heard that it needs to be destroyed, but i am not sure if this is true or false.

To the best of our knowledge, none amongst the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion or have declared a ruling that it is obligatory or required that one destroy all the pictures of the deceased believers. And Allah Alone Knows Best.

 

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

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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