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.

Having a Duff beater at the wedding

Question 16: Tribesmen gather on many occasions most importantly during weddings. They hire what they call Al-Muzlif (a person who plays drums). They give him a sum of money that ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 Saudi Riyals provided that he should stay with them for the whole day. They argue that they make this ceremony at times other than that of prayer and do not distract people from worship. They say that it is an opportunity for the people of the tribe to gather and announce the marriage and so on. When one of our religious brothers advised them to substitute these ceremonies with useful religious lectures which will benefit everyone and bring up a good generation, they asked him to bring forth a Fatwaa’ from the Permanent Committee for Iftaa’ about this. We appreciate your advice, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: When announcing marriage, it is permissible for men to gather and greet each other and socialize with them and to prepare a wedding banquet. With regards to women, it is permissible for them to play the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) to announce marriage. However, it is not permissible to bring Al-Muzlif that you mentioned. The money he gets for this is unlawful and it is not permissible for you to pay him this sum of money... read more here.

Groom walking in a procession of women

Question 15: What is the legal ruling on wedding parties in which the groom walks to his bride in a procession of women. After that the bride and groom sit on their bridal throne which is called Minasah where strange women can see him and he can see them in their adornment. Is it permissible to make this bridal throne? If it is a common habit that women go to wedding and participate in playing the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) to announce marriage, how should the men who have a sense of honor allow their wives to look at the groom who is Ajnabee (men lawful for the woman to marry) to them when he goes to sit on the bridal throne, especially that according to the customs, he has to sit there? What should the Ajnabee (woman lawful for the man to marry) woman do at that moment?I hope your Eminence will explain the ruling on this and guide us to do what is right through a written Fatwaa’ to be read by everyone so they may know what is right with regards to their religion, morals and customs.

Answer: It is not permissible to celebrate weddings by dancing and singing in the Masjid. Moreover, you are not permitted tomix between reciting the Qur’aan and these songs. Beating tambourines is permissible only for women in places other than the Masjid in order to announce this marriage among women... read more here.

Holding weddings at the Masjid

Question 14: Is it permissible to organize wedding ceremonies in the Masjid (mosque) by reciting some songs and some parts of the Qur’aan? What is the ruling on beating tambourines for this purpose?

Answer: It is not permissible to celebrate weddings by dancing and singing in the Masjid. Moreover, you are not permitted tomix between reciting the Qur’aan and these songs. Beating tambourines is permissible only for women in places other than the Masjid in order to announce this marriage among women... read more here.

Women playing and dancing at weddings

Question 13: Is it permissible for women to play and dance during weddings in a place far away from the men’s area? Likewise, is it permissible for men to play during weddings in a place far away from the women’s area?

Answer: The Prophet (peace be upon him) prescribed that marriage has to be publicized to distinguish it from Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage). However, such publicizing is to take place through permissible procedures such as having witnesses to the contract of marriage and women playing the tambourine and singing decent songs that do not involve Fitnah (temptation) or intermixing between men and women... read more here.

Announcing marriage even if only in the presence of witnesses only

Question 12: I seek your Fatwaa’ (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) regarding the ruling on accepting to conclude a marriage contract between a suitor and a Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman regarding marriage) in the presence of four witnesses. This marriage is announced to some people only. Would this announcement suffice? Is the marriage contract valid?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, the contract is valid, and the announcement will suffice even if the witnesses are only two people... read more here.

Removing the wife’s hymen with the finger

Question 11: What is the ruling on beating drums and uttering cries of joy at weddings and on breaking the wife’s hymen with the finger?

Answer: It is commendable to announce the marriage and cries of joy take the same ruling as singing. However, it is prohibited in Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) to break the wife’s hymen with a finger and it is a despicable custom that contradicts the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) which indicates that the only manner of breaking the hymen is through sexual intercourse... read more here.

Females are permitted to beat the Duff during wedding

Question 8: What is the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells)? Is it permissible for women to use Duff and sing on any occasion other than weddings? What is the drum and is it permissible to use it in weddings or other occasions?

Answer: Scholars mentioned that Duff is a tambourine that has two faces; one face covered and the second face is open. It is used by women in weddings. This is permissible in weddings as it is a way of announcing wedding. Women may sing usual songs with the Duff by which they praise the bride, bridegroom and their families or the like... read more here.

Is dancing and free intermixing of men and women, whether Mahrams or non-Mahrams, permissible in weddings?

Question 7: Is free intermixing (of men and women) in weddings permissible? What is the ruling on men’s dancing with a Mahram (spouse or permanently unmarriageable relative) and non-Mahram (not a spouse or an unmarriageable relative) women? Moreover, if men are alone, will there be any problem?

Answer: It is permissible in marriage to declare and announce it by using Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) from the part of women. But free intermixing is not permissible if they are non-Mahrams. This is a Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) that should be removed... read more here.

Ruling on celebrating on occasions like: weddings, moving to a new house, birthdays

Question 16: What is the ruling on the joyful celebrations held by Muslims in Trinidad on particular occasions; such as weddings, moving to a new house, birthdays, and many others? They celebrate them by reciting the Qur’aan, singing eulogies to the honorable Prophet (peace be upon him) and at the end of the celebration they stand out of respect and appreciation to the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Answer: Firstly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade secret marriages and ordered people to announce weddings. This announcement involves celebrating the wedding and moving the bride to the groom’s house. Thus, it is permissible to hold these celebrations so long as they contain no unacceptable songs, are in a place where there is no mixing between women and men, or what is similar to these forbidden things... read more here.