Is photography permissible in Islam?

This is one such an interesting dispute that has been going on among the Islamic scholars since ages and with the advent of modern technology more so!

To break it down and to make it easy, we must know that drawing or painting animated things with ur hands on a paper or cloth or any other item which is like permanently noticeable or making idols such as wax statues which have become quite famous across the globe are all prohibited in Islam and there is no dispute over it.

Then arrived an age of modern technology with cameras which could click pictures but then they had lot of work to do with their hands, such as to develop, print and distribute . Now in this, we need to understand that if pictures are clicked for necessary items like in today’s world we have passports and other ID cards used for recognition and license etc. then that can be used just for the purpose of necessity, which arose due to the modern world citing safety and security reasons. But if ur using it for purposes to beautify yourselves to attract the opposite sex and sadly these days it has been even the same sex as well, naudhubillah, then it’s totally prohibited. There is no question over it.

Moving ahead in the 21st century, the mobile industry catapulted such that it advanced so quickly that almost each one across the globe has a phone which is used more so for social media rather than the actual calling! And so pics and videos took over a major role in all the social networking apps. Now we must understand that these pics are just an image which is ur actual reflection and not permanent in the sense that when u switch off ur phone it goes off, and being on electronic media it’s just like something which u get on tv. So the use of it has come under dispute with scholars differing among themselves. But we need to realize that any tool used to do any haram will always be haram. And so if ur using pics on Fb or what’s app with the in trend selfies with the pouts or showing different styles with ur fingers or showing up urself as some cult with loads of fashion, then again all these are prohibited.

Having said that if your using a decent pic just as to recognize u then it’s fine but not to portray your body and make a fashion portfolio or expose ur physique. And this has been limited to males alone. For females the face is part of their Zeenah or beauty and that is only for her mahrams to look at and not for the world around. So it’s better if they can avoid pics which show their face. Many of the scholars have opined that females above the age of puberty, all fall under restricted zone to click pics other than the necessity. Now I know many females will get offended but that’s the true fact, after all the face is the tip of the iceberg as far as beauty is concerned for the women! So it’s better to conceal it ideally but I know many cannot implement that, it’s up to them coz each one will be held responsible for their actions in this world. And this is one such act, where we can be held responsible for a part of others sin coz we made that sin possible.

And with regards to hanging pictures of animated things, it’s a big No and there is no doubt about it!

To summarize photography per se is not prohibited but it all depends on what you use for. Clicking pics of scenery or inanimate objects are fine but those which move like humans or animals are all prohibited unless out of necessity like to recognize or for the usage of ID Cards but not for modeling and fashion or to attract people!

Finally use the permissible for what it has been permitted for and do not abuse!!

© Dr. Nisar Ahmad bin Ibrahim





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