Photocopying ID cards and documents that bear photographs

Question: We have a photocopier. Is it permissible to photocopy identification cards and documents that bear photographs and the like?

Answer: The ruling on picture making of living beings that have souls is prohibition. It was reported on the authority of `Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said… read more here.

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.

Do angels enter a house in which there is a picture?

Question: We have been informed by some Muslims that pictures are Haram (prohibited), and that angels do not enter a house where there are pictures. Is this true? Do these prohibited pictures refer to the three-dimensional images of humans and animals or do they include all pictures such as those in the ID card or on paper money? If the prohibition is general, how can we remove all images from the house? Please, enlighten us! May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: Yes, all images of animate beings whether humans or animals are prohibited, whether they are three-dimensional pictures, drawings, or paintings on paper or cloth, or even photos. Angels do no enter a house where there are pictures, according to the general meaning of authentic Hadeeth.… read more here.

Photography to obtain an ID card

Question: People have to include a personal photograph in Identification Cards, Family Records, Driving Licenses, Social Insurance papers, Exam Forms in schools and universities, Passports and the like. Is it permissible to take photographs for this purpose? If it is not permissible, what should the employee do in his job? Should he leave it?

Answer: The basic principle regarding photography as well as carrying and keeping pictures is that they are Haraam because the Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed image-makers… read more here.

Putting photos on ID cards

Question: People have to include a personal photograph in Identification Cards, Family Records, Driving Licenses, Social Insurance papers, Exam Forms in schools and universities, Passports and the like. Is it permissible to take photographs for this purpose? If it is not permissible, what should the employee do in his job? Should he leave it?

Answer: Photography is Haraam (prohibited) according to the Saheeh Ahaadeeth (Ahaadeeth that have been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish) reported from Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) where he cursed Al-Musawwiroon (painters, drawers, sculptors, and subsequently photographers) and mentioned that they will receive the severest punishment on the day of judgment… read more here.

Possessing embalmed birds sold as gifts and decorative ornaments

Question: There are many embalmed birds such as pigeons and hawks that are sold as gifts and decorative ornaments. These birds are from the creations of Allaah and they have not been changed. We would like to know the ruling on keeping them at home.

Answer: This is not a type of picture making or resembling the creation of Allaah that is prohibited in the Ahaadeeth, but keeping these embalmed birds as antiques at home is a waste of money and lavishness if their meat is … read more here.

Owning embalmed birds and animals

Question: The phenomenon of selling embalmed animals and birds has recently appeared. We hope that Your Eminence will give us the legal opinion regarding the ruling on owning embalmed animals and birds? What is the ruling on selling these figures? Is there a difference between what is prohibited and what is lawful to own alive and after embalmment? What should a Muhtasib (i.e. A public official entrusted with keeping order), do regarding this phenomenon?

Answer: Owning embalmed birds and animals, whether lawful or unlawful to own if alive, is a waste of money and a type of extravagance because of the cost of embalmment. Allaah has forbidden extravagance and wastefulness. Likewise, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade wasting money… read more here.

The price of selling prohibited photos

Question: Your Eminence, I know that your time is precious, but I have to relate my problem to you in detail, so your Fatwaa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) will be compatible with my actual situation, because, as far as I know, explaining the problem is as important as the Fatwaa itself. In brief, I am a graduate from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Cairo. I used to work as an artist to earn my living; drawing pictures on papyrus. This type of paper is expensive, even without drawings,and even more expensive with drawings. I used to draw pharaonic pictures of men, women, and birds. I used to live like so many Muslims, not knowing anything about Islam, except its name. I did not perform any of the Islaamic acts of `Ibaadah (worship), such as Salaat (Prayer) or any other type of worship. But Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) favored me with guidance and commitment to the Deen (religion) and enabled me to follow its Sharee`ah (Islaamic law). I hope that I will obtain Allaah’s Pardon from the Fire, enjoy His Mercy, and be among those who will be admitted to Paradise. I started to change my lifestyle, in accordance with the Sharee`ah of Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He), but I did not know the ruling of Islaam on Tasweer (painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography). In the wave of detentions that swept Egypt, I was arrested just like any bearded young man was. I was arrested on 4/9/1981 at the Masjid (mosque) in my village during Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer and sent to prison until 20/1/1983 – all praise be to Allaah in all cases. What is important is that while I was in prison, I learned from knowledgeable brothers that Tasweer is Haraam (prohibited), and consequently, the money that I earned from Tasweer was Haraam, and that I would have to change my work when I was released from prison.

All praise be to Allaah, I am now working as a calligrapher, writing signs and other such things. However, I am now asking for a Fatwaa, because I have some papyrus that I bought, which is worth around 800 Egyptian Pounds, that has pictures on it, and I paid for the paint to draw those pictures. I did this before I knew the Islaamic ruling on Tasweer, as I did this before I was arrested. I used to sell the pictures to European tourists, who were non-Muslims, but I still own some of these pictures now, as I was arrested beforeselling them. Following my release from prison, I am in dire need of money to repay the money my family borrowed to support me while I was in prison and also to pay the original cost of the paper. I support a family of four brothers, but I cannot save money from my current work and I have also made the intention to marry from the money I earn through this work. Should I sell these pictures and use the money, as I mentioned to Your Eminence, or would this money be Haraam, because it would be gained from the selling of Haraam pictures? It should be borne in mind that I sell these pictures to foreigners.

Answer: It is obligatory for you to erase the pictures of beings with a soul that you have, as you cannot benefit from them at all. As to the sheets of paper themselves, you may benefit from them by selling them or drawing on them – but not living beings with souls… read more here.

Is it permissible to depict the Sahaabah in movies and plays?

Question: Is it permissible to depict the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him)? We perform plays and we stopped showing one of them in order to know the ruling in this regard.

Answer: Depicting any of the Sahaabah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is prohibited as this makes them liable and an easy target for contempt and insult… read more here.

Prohibition of taking photos of beings with souls and earning a living from them

Question: My father (may Allaah guide him) makes his living by taking photographs. Is the money earned from this job Haraam (prohibited) or Halaal (lawful). And what is meant by the Hadeeth: Allaah curses Al-Musawwireen (painters, drawers, sculptors, and subsequently photographers)?

Answer: Picturing animate beings is Haraam as well as earning a living from it. If the money earned from taking photos is Haraam, then making use of it is also Haraam… read more here.

Selling statues as a profession

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to sell statues and make it their profession as a way to earn a living?

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to sell statues or trade in them, according to what is related in the Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth on the absolute prohibition of making images of beings with a soul and making statues… read more here.

Keeping pictures even if not hung on walls

Question: Is it permissible to keep the photographs of children, whether they are of half the body or the whole body, in an album and not for the sake of hanging them on walls? Guide us regarding this please!

Answer: It is impermissible to keep pictures even if not hung on walls or kept in other places unless they are necessary for an identification card, passport, money or for other essential reasons… read more here.

Keeping prohibited photos

Question: I found a picture of my wife’s older brother-in-law in a small frame, which she has been keeping in her bag for a few months. Is it permissible for her to keep this picture? I am angry at her but she claims to consider him as her own brother. What is the ruling on this? May Allaah bless you!

Answer: Photographing soul-possessing creatures is Haraam (prohibited) and a major sin. Accordingly, neither your wife nor anyone else has the right to keep such pictures… read more here.

Hanging pictures on the walls of houses

Question: What is the ruling of Islaam on hanging pictures on walls or house walls?

Answer: Taking or making pictures of beings with souls and hanging these pictures on the walls is prohibited. This has been confirmed by the Saheeh Hadeeth (a Hadeeth that has been transmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity and blemish)… read more here.

Hanging pictures on walls

Question: What is the ruling on hanging pictures on walls, especially the pictures of prominent people such as kings, scholars and righteous people as souls are inclined to glorify them?

Answer: Photographing or drawing pictures of living beings that have souls and hanging them on walls are prohibited whether they are materialized or not and whether they are of kings, scholars, righteous people or others. This is because of the general meaning of the authentic Hadiths reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard… read more here.

Keeping pictures of beings with souls hung on walls

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to offer Salaah (prayer) in a house where the walls are covered with pictures of human beings or animals?

Is it permissible for a Muslim to offer Salah with a garment embellished with pictures of animals?

Answer: Photographing an animate being is Haraam (prohibited), and keeping their pictures hung on the wall and the like is also Haraam. Offering Salaah in a place containing such pictures is not permissible, except in the case of necessity… read more here.

Pictures on paper money

Question: e some issues causing me a great deal of anxiety, one of which is the issue of pictures on paper money that we have been afflicted with and which we bring into the Masaajid (Mosques) in our pockets. Does our bringing them into the Masaajid cause the angels to leave? Would this make it Haraam (prohibited) to bring it in? Is it considered among the humiliated things, as menial images do not prevent the angels from entering houses?

Answer: The pictures on money are not under your control. You have no choice but to own money… read more here.

Photos of Muslims offering congregational Salaah and of children reciting the Qur’aan

Question: Some scholars in Britain permit taking photos of Muslims offering Salaah (Prayer) in congregation and of children reciting the Qur’aan. They think that these pictures may impress non-Muslims and encourage them to know about Islaam and Muslims when they are published in the newspapers and magazines.

Answer: Photographing animate beings is Haraam (prohibited), whether they are humans or animals, and whether the pictures are of those who perform Salaah, recite Qur’aan or any other act… read more here.

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.

Keeping photos as mementos

Question: What is the ruling on pictures found in newspapers and Islaamic magazines? Is it permissible to possess and keep the photos taken as mementos without hanging them on the wall?

Answer: It is not permissible to keep the photos taken as mementos, but they should be wiped out, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to `Alee (may Allaah be pleased with him)… read more here.

Taking photos of the bride, bridegroom, and their families at weddings

Question: I want to describe to you something that people have adopted as a recent custom. Since around 1390 A.H. Approximately, people have become accustomed to arranging wedding ceremonies, during which they take the bride and the bridegroom home in a procession and then take many photos of them and their families. These photos are then distributed among the relatives and friends as gifts. Weddings are now seen as incomplete without this custom, except by less than one percent of the population, although it is refuted by sound reason. What is the religious opinion on this?

Please advise us – and may Allaah enlighten you – through broadcasts, newspapers, or “Da`wah Magazine”. However, if you answer me through the magazine, please cite irrefutable evidence, whether of its prohibition or permissibility. May Allaah protect you!

Answer: What you mentioned regarding taking photos of the bride, the bridegroom, and their families during wedding ceremonies is Haraam (prohibited) and is one of the bad wedding customs. This is so, because taking pictures of beings with a soul is absolutely Haraam and a major sin… read more here.

Taking family photographs

Question: What is the ruling on taking photographs for the whole family and others for the sake of remembrance and amusement only?

Answer: Photographing living beings is prohibited and one of the major sins whether a photographer considers it to be their job or not and whether it is a drawing, photograph or sculpture. Keeping these photographs, pictures or sculptures for remembrance or any other purpose will not change its ruling as there are many Ahaadeeth reported in this regard… read more here.

Taking photographs of beings with souls and keeping photos

Question: What is the ruling on the photos I take for myself or with my friends?

Answer: Taking photographs of living beings, whether they are human beings or animals, or keeping these photographs is Haraam (prohibited)… read more here.

Attitude of artists towards the Ahaadeeth prohibiting Tasweer

Question: What is the attitude of artists towards the Ahaadeeth that denote the prohibition of picture making?

Answer: They may deny these Ahaaadeeth. But they are authentically reported in the books of Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet). They may also figuratively interpret them or allege that they are specific for certain time… read more here.

Sculpture, classical paintings, and abstract art

Question: What is the Islaamic position on sculpture, classical paintings, and abstract art?

Answer: Making images of beings with a soul is Haraam (prohibited), whether it is in the form of a sculpture or a painting on a wall, cloth, or paper, or embroidery. There is also no distinction whether a picture is created with a paintbrush, a pen, or any other drawing instrument… read more here.

Statues and the so-called “Unknown Soldier Monument”

Question: What is the ruling on erecting statues and what is known as “Unknown Soldier Monument”?

Answer: Erecting statues of prominent figures who played a role in developing the country in the scientific, economic, and political fields and what is called “Unknown Soldier Monument” is an act of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic time of ignorance)… read more here.

Islaamic ruling on erecting statues for several purposes

Question: What is the Islaamic ruling on erecting statues for several purposes?

Answer: Erecting statues for whatever purpose is Haraam (prohibited); whether to memorialize kings, leaders, dignitaries, or reformers, or to celebrate symbols of wisdom or bravery such as the Sphinx, or for any other purpose. This prohibition is based on the general authentic Hadeeth on this topic… read more here.

Destroying statues and wiping out pictures

Question: A person made a statue from useful material such as gold, silver, or the like and the statue represents a human being or an animal and is used as a decorative ornament. Then this person makes Tawbah (repentance) to Allaah and wants to convert the statue into something lawful and beneficial by changing it into coins, jewelry or making use of it in building. Is this permissible? What is the interpretation of the word “worshipped” in the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the person who wanted to sacrifice camels as a vow at Buwanah: Did the place contain any idols worshipped in pre-Islaamic times? ?

Answer: It is obligatory to destroy these statues and obliterate their drawings. It is also obligatory to wipe pictures out and remove their traces… read more here.

Acting the part of Sahaabah (Companions) (in plays, films or movies etc)

Question 100: Is it permissible to depict the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him)? We perform plays and we stopped showing one of them in order to know the ruling in this regard.

Answer: Depicting any of the Sahaabah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is prohibited as this makes them liable and an easy target for contempt and insult. It may appear to contain some benefits but it will lead to great harm. In such a case; when harm outweighs benefit, the ruling is impermissibility. The Council of Senior Scholars issued a decision that prohibits this... read more here.

Selling statues as a profession

Question 99: Is it permissible for a Muslim to sell statues and make it their profession as a way to earn a living?

Answer:  It is not permissible for a Muslim to sell statues or trade in them, according to what is related in the Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth on the absolute prohibition of making images of beings with a soul and making statues. Keeping images is unlawful, as is, without a doubt, trading in them, merchandising them, encouraging the making of them, and setting them up in homes, clubs, and other places.

In the light of this prohibition, it is clear that any gains made from making or selling statues are Haraam. It is therefore not permissible for a Muslim to earn a living from this and if they do, they should dispose of the money they earned and perform Tawbah (repentance) to Allaah (Exalted be He). May Allaah accept their Tawbah, as Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them, (till his death).... read more here.