Ruling on photographing women

Question: The secret letter of the capital police chief, No. )2598 C2) dated (14 / 12 / 1398 AH) – a copy sent as an attachment- based on the secret letter of the prison director of Makkah No. (1834 MK /23) in (10/12/1398 AH) stating: The director of Makkah prisons has a lot of troubles and problems in women prison, especially when matching the prisoners names with the bench warrants because it is difficult for him to know who is written in the bench warrant as a result of impersonation. He wants to photograph them and send the photographs with the bench warrant to end these problems and troubles. He wants to photograph all of them and put their photographs in the bench warrant to identify them easily.

Answer: Taking photo of animate creatures is prohibited, especially, of women because their bodies are unlawful to appear. Rather, they should be covered, for they are seductive to men. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

Ruling on photography

Question: Is photography Haraam (prohibited) or not?

Answer: Yes, photographing soul-possessing creatures and the like is Haraam. Whoever does this should repent to Allaah, seek His forgiveness, regret what they are doing and never do it again… read more here.

Photography and buying magazines that include pictures

Question: We have disputed over the issue of photography which you did not mention in your letter. Does it fall under the same ruling of portraying or not? Some (scholars) have argued that it is permissible, for it is not drawing but nothing more than imaging the figure of a person without exerting any effort other than pressing the button (of the camera) to bring out a photograph identical to the figure being photographed. Some of my friends showed me a photograph of Your Eminence in the Kuwaiti magazine of “Al-Mujtamah`” and the Egyptian magazine of “Al-I`tisaam.” It was published with your Fatwa regarding the rulings of Sawm (Fast) during the blessed month of Ramadan. Is displaying your photograph in the magazine a proof of the permissibility of photography or was it taken without your knowledge?

Moreover, if photography is not permissible, then what is the Islamic ruling on buying the newspapers and magazines replete with pictures, although they contain important news and other useful and useless information? Please advise us in this regard.

Is it permissible to put these magazines in Al-Musallah (place for prayer) even if they are covered by a cloth or suchlike? Or should they be destroyed after reading them? What is the ruling on watching moving images on television? Is it permissible to turn on the television in Al-Musallah?

Please enlighten us in these regards, may Allaah enlighten you.

Answer: Firstly, photography falls under the forbidden types of image making, for its ruling is the same as portraying, making images on cloths with color paints and statue making. The difference in the means and tools of making images does not entail having a different ruling… read more here.

Three-dimensional, photographic, painted, or sculptured forms of beings with souls

Question: We know that the Messenger (peace be upon him) cursed Al-Musawwiroon but who are Al-Musawwiroon? Are they the idol-makers, the photographers, or the painters? Do paintings of natural scenery fall under the prohibited category?

Answer: Figuration of living beings is unlawful whether it is in three-dimensional, photographic, manual, or sculptural form, due to the generality of the evidence on the prohibition of Tasweer (painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography)… read more here.

Taking photographs of beings with souls using cameras or the like

Question: Is photographing or video filming permissible? Is it permissible to watch television, especially for the news?

Answer: It is not permissible to take photographs of animate beings using cameras or other means of photographing machines, or to keep pictures of animate beings, except for necessity, such as photographs used in identification documents or passports… read more here.

Taking photographs of humans and other beings

Question: I live abroad and want to send my photograph to my friends, family, and especially my wife. Is this permissible?

Answer: According to some Saheeh Ahaadeeth (Ahaadeeth that have been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) of the Prophet (peace be upon him), it is prohibited to take photographs of animate beings, be they humans or animals… read more here.

Photography in Islaam

Question: What is the ruling on Photography in Islaam?

Answer: The basis is that taking pictures of anything that has a soul such as humans and animals is forbidden whether the image is stereoscopic, drawn on paper, cloth, walls, or otherwise because of the following:

1- The prohibition of taking pictures is related in the authentic Ahaadeeth where the doer is threatened with severe punishment… read more here.

Photography and keeping photographs

Question: A debate arose between some brothers on photography and keeping photographs and the conclusion is still undetermined. So what is the ruling on photography and keeping photographs?

Answer: Taking photographs of living beings, be they humans or animals, and keeping these photos, is unlawful. In fact, it is one of the major sins, for there are authentically reported Hadeeths about the terrible threat and severe torment that will befall photographers and those who keep photographs, also because taking photographs is similar to imitating Allaah in creating living beings and may be a means to Shirk (associating others with Allaah in His Divinity or worship) like honoring the photographs of great figures and righteous people, or a means for temptation like photographs of beautiful women, actors, actresses, and semi-naked women… read more here.