Misconceptions about the unlawfulness of photography

Question: Suspicions are raised about the unlawfulness of photography. May Your Eminence give a detailed response to the following claims:

1- It is claimed that photography is not an imitation of Allaah’s Creation. Rather, it is the reflection of a person’s shadow on a film. Man has nothing to do with shaping the picture.

2- Photography is likened to a mirror, which reflects the visual image of a person looking at it. Would it also be unlawful if the image reflected in the mirror is fixed?

3- It is claimed that whoever permits watching television, in a case where it broadcasts nothing unlawful, should permit photography as well. This is because television is the transmission of visual images moved quickly to give the viewers the illusion that they are really moving.

4- It is claimed that if photography is prohibited, then taking photos for essential reasons, such as issuing a passport necessary for the residents of Egypt, for example, or to perform Hajj, will also be prohibited. This is because Hajj is not to be sought by unlawful means, that is, a person can not commit theft to perform Hajj, neither can he be, accordingly, photographed to perform Hajj or to issue an identification card, or for other necessary reasons.

Answer: According to the Committee, it is impermissible to photograph soul-possessing creatures because of the authentic evidence reported from Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) regarding this matter. These pieces of evidence are general and applicable to those who earn a living by photography and those who do not. In addition, it is impermissible to fashion soul-possessing creatures whether by hand, by devices in studios or by any other equipment… read more here.

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