Fatwa: # 34523
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: United Kingdom
Date: 13th December 2015

Title

Snapchat is prohibited along with Skype?

Question

 http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/34482

regarding this question, you said snapchat is prohibted along with skype is prohibited.

how can you say that it is prohibited when there is a valid ikhtilaf on this issue.

http://www.daruliftaa.com/node/5611

why dont you say `our view is that its prohibited but there is the other opinion that it is permissible.`

you should mention both sides. mufti taqi usmani allows video. go to the link above

 

2) Photography

In view of the above-mentioned one position of Imam Malik, there is no question with regard to the permissibility of taking photographs, for according to that position, painting pictures of human or animal life on a paper or fabric is allowed, hence camera pictures would hold the same ruling.

However, in view of the mainstream and majority position of classical scholars, the question arises as to whether photos of humans and animals fall under the type of picture-making prohibited by the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) in numerous Hadiths. Camera photos were not in existence when classical scholars were discussing the issue of picture-making, hence one will not find an express ruling regarding photography in their works. As such, it was left to contemporary scholars to determine whether photos held the same ruling as that of painting and drawing pictures.

Contemporary scholars have differed on this issue:

a) The position of the overwhelming majority of Indo-Pak and some Arab scholars is that photographs of human or animal life are not permissible for the very same reasons that paintings of these are not permissible. They state that the ruling on picture-making does not change by changing the tool with which the picture is produced. Whether an image is produced by painting it or using a camera, as long as it is an image of a human or animal, it will remain unlawful (haram).This is the position of Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani and most of my other teachers. It is, without doubt, the more precautious and arguably stronger opinion.

b) The second position on the issue, held by most Arab Scholars (from all four Madhabs) and some from the Indian Subcontinent, is that there is a difference between photos and the prohibited picture-making (taswir). Shaykh Muhammad Bakhit al-Muti’i of Egypt, a 2oth Century scholar known for his knowledge and piety, wrote a whole treatise titled al-Jawab al-Shafi fi Ibahat Surat al-Photography in support of this view of permissibility. His basic understanding is that the reason behind the prohibition of painting pictures (in the words of the Hadith) is challenging Allah in His Creating of living creatures. In camera photos, however, one does not produce an image through one’s own imagination; hence one is not challenging the Creating of Allah as such. It is merely a reflection of a living being already created by Allah Most High.

These are the two positions of contemporary scholars on the issue. There are great scholars of knowledge, wisdom and piety on both sides of the fence; hence, it would be wrong to criticize anyone for following any one of these positions. It is a matter of genuine and valid difference of opinion. It is not an issue where one may condemn another, and one must respect others’ right to follow their conscience.

As you have asked about my personal stance, firstly I am by no means in a position of having a ‘personal’ opinion as such. I follow my teachers and learn from them. I have teachers in the UK and the Subcontinent who prohibit photos, but I also have teachers in the Arab world permitting them. The position which I follow is that of my teachers who prohibit taking photos, for that is a more precautious and safe position. However, I have complete respect for the position (and practice) of those who permit taking photos.

As such, my practice is that I do not willingly pose for a photo unless there is a genuine need like for a passport or something similar. If I am asked, I politely refuse. At the same time, if someone is taking photos and I am also in attendance going about my own business, I do not go out of my way to prevent him taking my photo. Thus, if you did come across a photo of mine, it is probably because I may have been present in a place where photos were being taken. The recent photo of mine you have referred to was taken in the same context. I had knowledge that photos were being taken and that I may appear in one, but I did not willingly pose for a photo. I hope that makes sense!

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We have reviewed the opinion of the respected Mufti in reference. He too like us is of the view that pictures of animate objects produced in anyway is prohibited, and that is the view he adopts. He states “The position which I follow is that of my teachers who prohibit taking photos for that is a more precautious and safe position”. He also tolerates the other view. That is also our position. 

 

Also find attached an interesting article by Mufti Emraan Vawda (Hafidhahullah) why digital pictures are tasweer. It makes an interesting read. 

 

Why digital pictures are regarded as tasweer

 


Stage 1: Consider we have a room or a booth which is made up on one side of a

large sheet of opaque (semi-transparent) glass. On the other end of the room is a

window leading to the rear. Outside the observation window is a tiger. Inside this

room stands an artist (in red). On the outside facing the glass is an observer seated

(in blue). The artist looks at the tiger and thereafter paints a picture of the tiger on

the glass. This is done the traditional way by the use of paint and an artist’s

paintbrush. The observer cannot see the artist because the glass is opaque. However he does see the image of the tiger made on the glass.

 


Stage 2: The artist divides the screen into a billion small squares. Instead of drawing by means of strokes with his paintbrush he rather fills in each square with a colour. Therefore he produces a picture by means of a mosaic. Because each square, called a pixel, is extremely minute the observer does not discern any difference whatsoever. In his eyes the picture is exactly the same as when the artist was using his paintbrush and applying paint by means of strokes. The artist turns around, looks at the tiger, works out what colour needs to be filled placed in each pixel and accordingly applies one colour in each pixel. In this way the image of the tiger is created on the screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 3: The artist, instead of applying paint into each pixel, installs a light bulb in

each pixel. He is able to individually control the colour that glows from each of these billion light bulbs positioned in each pixel. Here too he looks at the tiger and works out what colour needs to be applied in each pixel and accordingly sets each light bulb to glow at the corresponding colour. To the observer on the left there is

absolutely no difference. In his eyes he still sees the same image of the tiger which

was originally observed when the artist was using paint and strokes with the

paintbrush.

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 4: The tiger has in the meanwhile moved a little away from the observation

window. The artist therefore employs the assistance of the watch-out man (in

green). This watch-out man has divided the lens of his spectacles into a billion

squares. By viewing the tiger through this special spectacle he is able to work out the colour that needs to go in each pixel. He then verbally communicates this to the artist who accordingly applies each colour to the respective pixel by means of

ordering each light bulb to glow at a particular colour. Once again to the observer on the left there is absolutely no difference. He sees before him the same image of the tiger as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 5: The watch out man in green gets tired of his job. He therefore invents a

machine that is able to observe the tiger, work out the colour that is to go in each

pixel, and is able to verbally shout out this colour to the artist. Once again the artist

makes the necessary adjustments to each light bulb and accordingly the picture is

formed. To the observer the result is the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Stage 6: The artist in the booth, learning from the watch-out man in the green, also becomes tired of his job. He therefore invents a robot (in purple), who takes over his function of adjusting the colour in each light bulb on the screen. The image is now created by two machines: the robot that replaced the artist and the machine that stood in for the watch-out man.

 

For further information kindly see:  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/104253012/ebook%20Television%20and%20Digital%20Images%20--%20In%20Response%20to%20the%20Mufti's%20Invitation%20revised.pdf

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hafizurrahman Fatehmahomed 

Student Darul Iftaa
Netherlands 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER - AskImam.org questions
AskImam.org answers issues pertaining to Shar'ah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.askimam.org for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Askimam.org bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
  • The Shar's ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of AskImam.org.
  • Any or all links provided in our emails, answers and articles are restricted to the specific material being cited. Such referencing should not be taken as an endorsement of other contents of that website.
The Messenger of Allah said, "When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]