Prohibition of taking photographs of living beings unless when necessary

Question: Looking through “Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree”, I read the following words from the Messenger (peace be upon him), Every Musawwir (those who make pictures, photographs, and statues) will be in the Fire. I have worked as a photographer for 18 years, taking photos of people, animals, and other living beings. I am now working in the photography department of a munitions factory and take the photographs that are required by the factory for its publications and other reasons. Since I came across this Hadeeth I have been feeling very afraid, so I hope that Your Eminence will give me a Fatwaa on this matter.

Please bear in mind that I have been earning my living from photography for 18 years and that is still my source of income.

Answer: Firstly, taking photographs of beings with a soul, whether they are people or animals is Haraam (prohibited), unless it is an obligatory necessity, such as the photographs used for ID cards or on a passport for someone who has to travel, or photographs of criminals or people involved in incidents that endanger security, so they can be identified and arrested when this is required… read more here.

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