Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
“Making and keeping of pictures—generally referred to as photos nowadays— both are haraam. It is waajib to get rid off and efface them in view of the grave sin involved in this practice.”
(Imdaadul Fataawa, 4/243)
“Question: What do the Ulama of the Deen say in regard to the following mas-alah? Zaid is an Aalim. He avers that it is haraam to make or keep at home a hand-drawn picture, i.e. with a pen. ‘But,’ he says, ‘It is not haraam to take a photo and keep it at home.’ The proof he adduces is that a photo is the reflection of a mirror. People generally do look at mirrors.
Answer: Zaid’s averment is absolutely erroneous. He has drawn a false analogy. In a mirror the reflection does not remain. After the object in front of it moves, the reflection goes away. This is unlike a photo, as is palpably clear. Further, it is a mechanical production and hence it is [i.e. its ruling is] precisely the same as a hand-drawn picture.”
(Imdaadul Fataawa, 4/253-4)
Allaamah Zafar Ahmad Uthmaani (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
“The hurmat [prohibition] of pictures is established by Ahadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah [in other words, a number of Hadeeth transmitted successively down the long corridor of 14 centuries and which preclude any scope of being rejected] and there is Ijma’ [Unanimity] of the Ummah on this.
…By changing the name of something haraam, it does not become halaal. It appears in the Hadeeth:
‘People of my Ummah will change the name of liquor and drink it. They will have parties in which they will play musical instruments and sing. Allah Ta’ala will cause the ground to swallow them up. Some of them will be transformed into apes and swine.’
Thus, just as calling interest ‘benefit’, bribery ‘service-charge’, liquor ‘brandy’, ‘spirits’, etc., gambling ‘insurance’ and ‘lottery’ and singing ‘gramophone’ does not make these things halaal, similarly calling picture-making ‘photography’ and ‘reflection’ does not make it [picture-making] halaal.
…If the methodology and means of production of a haraam act changes, it will still remain haraam when its reality and the reason for prohibition are still found. For instance, a new method of murder is devised such as electrocuting to death; or a new method of extracting liquor is found, such as the mechanical process of distilling liquor nowadays which was non-existent in former times; or a new form of gambling is contrived, such as the variety of insurance policies and lotteries devised which were previously unheard of; or new ways of fornication are practised, as in vogue in Europe in these times; then this will not render the haraam act to be halaal.
Thus, since forming pictures [of animate objects] is haraam, then whatever new method of it is invented, it will be haraam. The hurmat will not disappear by altering the name or altering the method of production. And the reason for this is that the cause of the hurmat of pictures, viz. it being a stepping stone toshirk, is found here [with the new method of production] as well.
Furthermore, in it [photography] is tashabbuh [imitation] of the kuffaar. This is not the way of Muslims.
…It is claimed that photography is in fact a process of reflection; like a reflection is cast on a mirror or water. The response to this [preposterous claim] is that the major difference between the two is that the reflection on a mirror, etc. is not durable, whereas the reflection obtained on a photo is preserved with the aid of technical materials. Thus, it is a reflection as long as it is not preserved with technical materials. But once it is preserved and made durable, in whichever way, then it becomes a picture.
…Then everyone knows that the purpose in taking photos and having one’s photo taken is the same as the purpose of drawing pictures. The voluntary act of the photographer and the one photographed is the determinant here just as in drawing pictures. Therefore, both are equal in prohibition.
Differentiating between the two is just as bad as differentiating between liquor manually extracted and distilled liquor mechanically extracted.
Thus, both the photographer and the one who allows himself to be photographed are guilty of haraam, guilty of a major sin and in the light of some Ahadeeth they are mal’oon and faasiq [cursed by Allah Ta’ala and branded as flagrant transgressors]. It is makrooh tahreemi[i.e. it is forbidden] to follow them in Salaat.
To keep such photos at home or in one’s possession is a clear-cut sin and it is haraam.”
Endorsing this Fatwa, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) declares:
“This is nothing but the Haq [Truth]. And in departing from the Haq there is nothing but dhalaal [deviation].”
(Imdaadul Ahkaam, 4/382-4)
Fatwa of Hadhrat Mufti Mahmood Sahib رحمة الله عليه
Producing a picture of any animate object is haraam. This is irrespective of whether it is produced through wood, sand, iron, gold, or whatever other material is used, like drawing with a pen on paper or on some surface, or a using a machine to capture a picture. There can be no permissibility for this at all. [Fataawa Mahmoodiyah, vol. 29, p. 290]
“Question: Is there any difference between drawing pictures and photography? What does the Shariah say about keeping photos?
Answer: There is no difference whatever regarding the hukm (injunction) of both. Photography has absolutely the same ruling as drawing pictures. It isnot permissible in the Shariah to keep pictures of animate objects. It is reported from Abu Talhah (Radhiyallahu anhu) that Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
‘The Malaaikah do not enter a home in which there is a dog or pictures.’—Bukhari Shareef
It is permissible to keep and take photos of inanimate objects, such as trees, etc.
The Ulama have stated that drawing pictures of animate objects is haraam—vehemently haraam—and it is among the major sins (kabaair) in view of its denunciation with this severe warning [from Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam]:
‘The most severely punished people by Allah will be the picture-makers.’—Fat-hul Baari”
(Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah, 5/90-1)
Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafee‘ Sahib
“For producing a picture, the situation of the mas’alah does not change whether it is produced using colourful pens or whether it is captured through a machine (camera).”
[Tasweer ke shari’ee ahkaam, p. 61]
“Making pictures is absolutely haraam in the Shariah of Islam, irrespective of it being with the pen, or in the form of photos, or through the printing press. This is the case of an animate object’s picture. The Hadeeth states:
‘The worst punished people on the Day of Qiyaamah will be those who seek to create like Allah.’
— Reported by Bukhari and Muslim from Hazrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) marfoo’an
Some reports have the words ‘the picture-makers’, as is documented by Bukhari and Muslim from Abdullah Bin Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu) and Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu anhu).
Another Hadeeth states:
‘I heard Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: ‘Allah Ta’ala declares: Who is more unjust than the one who ventures to create like Me?’—Bukhari and Muslim
One Hadeeth states: ‘It will be said to them: ‘Bring life to what you have created!’’
In other words, in castigation it will be said to the picture-makers: ‘Put life into your pictures.’
From these narrations and other similar Ahadeeth it is conclusively proven that the institution of picture-making is absolutely haraam. There is no exception reported of any kind [in regard to the manner of producing the picture of the animate object].”
(Imdaadul Mufteen, Fataawa Darul Uloom, V.2 pp. 991-2)
“We learn from the declarations of Hadeeth narrations and from the texts of the general Kutub of the Hanafiyyah that an incomplete picture—where there is no head—does not retain the hukm [effect, status, ruling] of a [haraam] picture. Rather, it, [the incomplete picture] falls into the category of designs and engravings. On this basis, permission for its usage [the headless picture] is generally mentioned in clear terms in all the books of the [Hanafi] Math-hab. This, apparently, evinces that taking such pictures has the same ruling as picture-making of designs and plants in general. In other words, just as that is permissible, similarly this [taking pictures of animate objects with their heads cut off] should also be permissible.
… Some of the words of the Hadeeth of Hazrat Jibreel (Alaihis Salaam) as reported by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radhiyallahu anhu) and documented by Abu Dawood, Nasaai and Tirmithi are:
‘Instruct that the heads be cut off from the pictures at home. In this manner they will resemble trees [i.e. inanimate objects].’
In the exceptionally authoritative and popular Hanafi Fiqh work, Badaa’i the following appears:
‘…by virtue of cutting [the head] it does not remain a portrait. It falls into the category of designs. Proof for this [permissibility] is the narration of the head of a bird being effaced from the shield of Nabi (Alaihis Salaam).’
..Also discussing this issue Bahrur Raaiq states:
‘… or with the head cut, i.e. irrespective of this being its original form or it had a head and was subsequently effaced.”
(Jawaahirul Fiqh, 3/227-8)
Hazrat Mufti Azeezur Rahmaan Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
“Taking pictures of oneself and taking pictures of others by means of modern photography is just as haraam and na-jaaiz as having and making hand-drawn pictures are prohibited and haraam. And keeping it in one’s possession is just as haraam as keeping hand-drawn pictures.
The one who has his picture taken through photography and the photographer are liable and deserving of the punishment and warning mentioned in the Ahadeeth in relation to picture-drawers.”
After quoting a few Ahadeeth on the prohibition of drawing pictures and the relevant text from an authoritative Fiqhi Kitaab of all types of pictures of animate objects being haraam the venerable Mufti Azeezur Rahmaan Saheb concludes:
“Thus, in view of the institution of picture-making being unconditionally haraam, the perpetrator of such a crime is a faasiq, it is haraam to appoint him as Imaam [for Salaah] and Salaah behind him is makrooh tahreemi [reprehensible and forbidden].”
(Azeezul Fataawa, Fataawa Darul Uloom Deoband, 2/742-3)
Hadhrat Mufti Rasheed Ahmad Ludhyaanwi Sahib
“It is haraam and a major sin to produce the picture of any animate object, whether it is a large portrait or a small picture, whether it is on paper or cloth or through a camera. Similarly, it is impermissible to print it.”
[Ahsan-ul-Fataawa, vol. 8, p. 437]
“To take a picture of oneself is haraam in the unanimous verdict of the Ummah. In contrast to the masses, it is more despicable and evil for an Aalim or Mufti to take a picture of himself, for several reasons. First, Divine accountability on the Ulama, the intelligent and seniors is more harsh. Second, transgression by the Ulama emboldens the masses to transgress. Third, hypocrisy by the Ulama will lead to the masses believing that this sin is permissible.
Note: It has been learnt through reliable sources that legally it is not lawful to take someone else’s photo without permission. Therefore, if someone’s photo was taken whilst being unaware then it is an incumbent duty upon him to threaten the criminal with legal action and in this way he [the criminal] should be forced to destroy the photo. If he does not destroy it, it will be fardh in the Shariah to take legal action. This duty has stronger emphasis on the Ulama. To be lax in this regard is haraam. May Allah Ta’ala protect everyone.”
[Ahsanul Fataawa, 8/191]
Hadhrat Allamah Binnori رحمة الله عليه
The warning that has been sounded in the Hadith regarding picture making applies to pictures of all animate objects. The entire ummah has consensus on its prohibition. However, may Allah Ta’ala destroy ‘western modernisation’ which has began to prove permissible that which is accepted as haraam by consensus…. It is not only our Akaabir, but the Fuqahaa of the entire Ummah have consensus on the fact that a photo is haraam. However, a picture of half the body or less will be allowed for passport reasons and other necessities and the consequence of this will fall on those who have made such laws. [Bayyinaat – Ishaa`at-e-khaas, p. 350]
Can the television be used for Deeni purposes?
The opinion of Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf Binnori رحمة الله عليه on television
During the last meeting of the Pakistan Islamic Council that Allamah Yusuf Binnori رحمة الله عليه attended, Hadhrat was asked to appear on television. He declined. Later Hadhrat was asked whether films could be used for the propagation of Deen, provided that all immorality and factors that destroy character are removed. Upon this, Hadhrat Moulana رحمة الله عليه expounded on a principle of Deen, the gist of which is:
“I wish to share with you a principle issue. We have not been obligated by Allah Ta’ala to use every possible means, whether permissible or impermissible, for the tableegh of Deen. Instead, we are required to use all our energies and resources to propagate Deen only using permissible means and methods.
Together with the injunction of tableegh, Islam has also laid down guidelines and principles for tableegh. We are thus obligated to conduct our tableegh within this framework.
If we are successful in our efforts after following the guidelines and principles, then indeed, we have achieved our ultimate goal and objective. If our efforts were unfruitful, but we had adopted the permissible methods and means, we will not be compelled to further our tableegh by using every possible and available means, be it permissible or impermissible.
If even one person is blessed with guidance after using the permissible means, then undoubtedly our tableegh was successful. However, if on the other hand, scores and droves of people embrace Islam on account of us adopting impermissible methods and means, then this holds no value in the sight of Allah Ta’ala.
How can success ever be achieved when we have transgressed the bounds of Shari‘ah? Rather than it being the tableegh of Deen, it would be the tableegh of something else.
Photography inherently contradicts the injunctions of Islam. Therefore, we will not be compelled to utilise it as a tool for tableegh. If a person is prepared to accept Islam through our invitation via permissible methods and means, then we will definitely be grateful and pleased. However, for those who are not prepared to do so and wish to accept our invitation only by means of the television, then we regret that we will have to be excused.
If this stance is not adopted today, then the television will be a tool for tableegh now, but in time to come, be-hijaab (unveiled) women would be used for this purpose, and an effort will be made to use immoral gatherings of music and dancing, etc., to invite people to Deen.
In this way, in the name of tableegh we will be guilty of gradually violating the laws of Islam.” [Nuqoosh-e-Raftagaa, p. 104]
Moulana Yusuf Ludhyaanwi رحمة الله عليه
Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf Ludhyaanwi رحمة الله عليه writes:
Although the photos captured by video or television equipment are not visible (like a normal printed picture), but they are stored, and displayed on a television set.
These pictures cannot be excluded from the hukm of tasweer.
The most that can be said is that instead of the olden method of picture-making, technological advancement has brought about a new means of picture-making.
When Shari‘ah has declared picture-making as haraam, then no matter which methods or means are invented, Tasweer will remain haraam.
The humble of opinion of this servant is that in hand-drawn pictures those evil are not found which are found in video and tv… because of the television and videos every home has been transformed into a cinema…
Does this make sense that on the one hand Shari‘ah declares hand-drawn pictures as haraam, and the picture maker as mal’oon and warns him of “ashad-dun naasi azaaban yowmal qiyaamah”, but on the other hand declares Halaal this ‘storm of immorality and indecency’ known as TV?
As for the claim made by some that there is some benefit therein, so I ask:
“Are there no benefits in intoxicants, pork, interest and gambling?” But the Qur’aan Shareef has put a cross on all these benefits by announcing “wa ithmuhumaa akbaru min naf’ihimaa”.
Some say that through TV and videos we will propagate and spread Islam.
In our country there are Deeni programmes on TV, but, with due respect, may I ask:
How many non-muslims have accepted Islam by viewing these Deeni programmes?
How many bê-namaazi’s began performing Salaat because of these programmes?
How many sinners have made taubah because of these programmes?
This is nothing but deception.
This instrument of immorality and sin, which is ‘najisul ayn’ from head to toe, which is mal’oon, the one who makes it is mal’oon in Dunya and Akhirat, how will it assist in spreading Deen?….
As for those who say that so-and-so says this and so-and-so does that, this is not a daleel of jawaaz (permissibility) for us.
(Moulana) Muhammad Yusuf
20 Zhul Qa’dah 1406
(Mufti) Ihsaanullah Shaa’iq, Darul Iftaa wal Irshaad, Naazimabad, Karachi 16 jumaadal Ukhraa 1425
Al Jawaab Saheeh (Mufti) Muhammad 16/06/1425
Al Jawaab Saheeh (Mufti) Saeedullah 16/06/1425
“Question: Just today you wrote in response to a question that pictures areharaam and you cited Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Deobandi. What I would like to ask is that if pictures are haraam then together with our country, several Islamic countries have pictures on their currency notes. We keep these pictorial notes in our pockets when reading Namaaz. Is our Namaaz accepted?
Leading Ulama of our country are affiliated to political parties. Regularly interviews with them are featured in newspapers and magazines. Included are photos of them. But no Aalim has stopped the papers or magazines from publishing his photo.
During the days of Haj, the Haj rituals are broadcast on TV. Is this also incorrect? Is the viewer sinful? This is but a reflection. Like this there are innumerable things which you as well are aware of.
Response: A fundamental error has been committed in the question. There are two things. One is the Law of Allah Ta’ala and the second is practice on His Law. I explain the Law of the Shariah. I do not discuss the level of compliance to that Law and the level of incompliance. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) declared pictures to be haraam and he cursed the makers of pictures. Now, even if we assume for a moment that the whole world is acting in conflict with this Declaration, the Shar’i Declaration will not turn out to be a mistake. On the contrary, the violators of the Declaration are sinners.
Those who print pictures on notes; those who print photos in newspapers; those who produce Haj films; are their statements and actions proof against the Declaration handed down by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)? If not [as is obvious], then it is meaningless to cite them.
Understand well that be it the president of Pakistan, the king of Saudi Arabia, any eminent politician, Ulama or Mashaaikh, all are all mere Ummatis. Their views and actions are not rubber stamps in the Shariah. They cannot be cited to scuttle the Declaration of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). If they remain Ummatis and comply to the Declaration of Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), they will receive thawaab by Allah Ta’ala. And if they do not, they will be brought in the Court of Allah Ta’ala as criminals. Then it is left to Allah Ta’ala. He may forgive them or he may sentence them. Be that as it may, violation of the law by a criminal does not itself, in any way, weaken the law. We are guilty of a grave error in giving the name of this person and that person when faced with the Law of Allah Ta’ala.
Namaaz does not become faasid [invalid] if there happens to be notes with pictures in one’s pocket. Without a pressing necessity it is not permissible to take one’s picture. Production and viewing of Haj films are also not permissible.”
(Aap kê Masaail, 10/309-10)
Hazrat Mufti Sayyid Abdur Raheem Saheb Lajpuri (Rahimahullah)
“In the absence of necessity and legal compulsion—a valid Shar’i reason—it is not permissible to take photos and nor to have one’s photo taken. It is sinful. If one has taken a photo it should be destroyed and taubah, istighfaarshould be made. Seek forgiveness from Allah Ta’ala.
There is no Shar’i concession to take photos for the purpose of remembrance or to send home or to show the prospective bride and bridegroom. If someone needs to see [the bride] he should go and see. Besides the sin of pictures in this [sending photos for marriage purposes] there are other evils attached to it.”
(Fataawa Raheemiyyah, 6/271)
Hazrat Mufti Kifaayatullah Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
After a visit to Egypt by the Jamiatul Ulama of India in connection with the plight of the oppressed Palestinians, when preparing to leave, a number of Egyptian Ulama and dignitaries came to see the delegation of Jamiatul Ulama Al-Hind off. The dignitaries requested for a photo to be taken but Mufti Kifaayatullah Saheb emphatically refused and declared it haraam. In view of certain Egyptian scholars having issued a fatwa of permissibility of photography, a discussion ensued. A brief recording of the discussion appears in Biography of Mufti Kifaayatullah as follows:
“Ulama-e-Misr: The impermissibility only applies to those pictures which are made by the work of the human hand. In photography, no such thing is needed. It is simply a reflection of the picture.
Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: So how does this ‘reflection’ become transferred from the lens to the paper?
Ulama-e-Misr: It requires much [i.e. technical] work.
Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: What is the difference between “human handiwork” and “much work”?
Ulama-e-Misr: Yes, they are the same thing.
Hadhrat Mufti Saheb: Hence, their ruling is the same [i.e. photography is just as haraam as drawing pictures with the hand].”
Hadhrat Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri
Moulana Sayyid Ahmad Ridha Bijnori رحمة الله عليهwrites regarding Hadhrat Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri رحمة الله عليه:
“In my opinion Hadhrat’s most outstanding feature was his exceptional firmness on the path of the Salaf. Despite his vast knowledge, extensive research and in-depth study – in my opinion there was no book in the libraries of India and the Haramain Shareefain, whether still as manuscripts or published, that had not been studied by Shah Sahib رحمة الله عليه – yet he would never be prepared to digress from the maslak of the Salaf in even the smallest of masaa’il.
You would be aware that almost all the Ulama of Egypt permit photography. Allamah Tantaawi presented all the proofs for its permissibility in his tafseer. When I studied his proofs presented in his mesmerising and captivating approach, I was convinced that after studying it Hadhrat Shah Sahib would indicate towards its permissibility even if the slightest degree of permissibility could be extracted from it. However, what was Shah Sahib’s answer? Hadhrat’s only answer was:
”This does not conform to the verdict of our senior Ulama.”
i.e. the verdict of permissibility of photography opposes the four great Imaams of fiqh. The value of this statement can never be explained. About 28 years have passed since this discussion took place, yet when I recall this statement I ask myself, ‘What did Hadhrat رحمة الله عليه say?’ Many Ulama in India were influenced by the article of Allamah Tantaawi and had views of permissibility in mind.
Be that as it may, but Hadhrat’s comprehensive and complete answer is most sufficient and all-encompassing. It is totally impossible to express due appreciation to this statement, for it did not only answer my question but, it served as a guide for others as well, that whenever any such perplexity arises in a mas’alah then simply ask yourself, ‘What was the opinion of our senior Ulama?’” [Malfoozaat-e-Kashmiri, p. 41/42]
Hazrat Moulana Husain Ahmad Madani
“I never ever had my photo taken knowingly and voluntarily. That takes place when I am unaware, and I do not consider it permissible. Those who do that [i.e. take other peoples’ pictures] are responsible for their actions.”
(Ma’aarif wa Haqaaiq, 380)
The Disastrous Consequences of Legalising Photography
(by Hazrat Moulana Yunus Patel Sahib)
One of the greatest calamities of our times is the abuse of the camera.
In this day and age, with the easy availability of cell-phones, digital cameras, camcorders, etc. everyone seems to be in possession of a tool which has created an upheaval in mischief. How many have had their names dragged through the mud or have been black-mailed, slandered or left humiliated and disgraced due to photographs taken and then circulated?
Photography is an evil, which has been entirely misjudged and under-estimated.
Just recently, a brother related a dream to me, requesting an interpretation. I interpreted his dream saying: ‘It seems as if movies are being viewed in the Musjid.’
Within a matter of days, the interpretation was made apparent. We had a visiting ‘Aalim give a talk in our Musjid. I was sitting on a chair, near the front, when I observed three young boys very absorbed with their cell phones. I requested a friend to go to the back of the Musjid and see what they were up to. He observed that they were viewing some film with dirty, indecent pictures. إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون We give our children high-technology at the expense of hayaa (modesty), Deen and Imaan.
One is to have no shame and commit sins in the presence of Allah Ta`ala, but increasing in shamelessness is when one is brazen enough to commit sins in the presence of Allah Ta`ala, whilst in the Musjid, the House of Allah Ta`ala.
The same shamelessness is found en-masse in the Musjid of all Masaajid, Musjidul Haraam in Makkah Shareef. The objective of the majority visiting these days, is taking photographs and video recording, instead of engaging in Ibaadah.
Complaints – and it is even our experience – of flashes and clicks of the camera, seen or heard, whilst Salaah is in progress or whilst in Tawaaf.
There is a very dire need to explain that this is a grave and serious crime in the sight of Allah Ta`ala.
What needs to be understood is that photography of anything animate is a clear prohibition. It is haraam.
It has been narrated from Hadhrat Jabir (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) forbade pictures in the house and he forbade making them.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Verily, of the most grievously tormented people on the Day of Resurrection are picture-makers.”
There are, in fact, many other Ahaadeeth, which clearly prove this prohibition.
Why did Allah Ta`ala prohibit photography?
One reason is quite clear; that it was the origin of shirk (polytheism):
Going down the passage of history, we find that mankind was introduced to idol worship due to Shaytaan’s efforts in leading mankind astray. So due to his whispering encouragement, people began to draw and sketch their pious predecessors, thinking that their faces and images will be a source of inspiration; an incentive to also follow in their footsteps of piety. However, it was the means by which many began to worship those pictures, and thereafter carved such idols; and idol worship came into vogue.
Whilst this would have been more than sufficient for the Believer, it is no longer considered a worthy reason by Muslims who want to engage in the sin. Many say that there is no way that they would worship a photograph or even a sketch, let alone an idol. My Shaikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib دامت بركاته explains that one reason behind the prohibition is so that Allah Ta`ala may protect the respect and dignity of His servants.
Many a time, a person who was engaged in various evils is granted hidayah (guidance). Sometimes, this hidayah is such that he attains a high stage of wilayah. The person becomes a great Wali (Friend) of Allah Ta`ala and even a Shaikh, and thousands of people throng to his gatherings. Now at such a time, if someone were to dig up pictures of his past … what embarrassment would he have to endure?
From Allah Ta`ala’s side, there is forgiveness of sins, on sincere taubah, to the extent, that all evidence is ‘deleted’ and Insha-Allah, the person will not have to render an account for those sins. However, if photographs were taken, then this is evidence which the person has produced against himself, and which cannot always be destroyed – especially if it is in the hands of others who wish to bring disgrace to the person.
My Shaikh mentioned the above reason, during an election in Pakistan, where a woman was a candidate in the election. She was blackmailed with photographs of herself in a compromising situation, so that she withdraws.
Further to this reason, we find that the porn industry and filthy films are all based on pictures. Islam nips the problem in the bud by prohibiting photography.
If everyone practiced upon this teaching, we would not have pornography, woman abuse and exploitation, child pornography, and the evil consequences of rape, insanity, suicide, incest, etc., much of which has shattered and devastated the marriages and homes of many Muslims.
Now thinking over all these harms, we should appreciate the prohibition all the more and show that appreciation by abstaining. There is nothing but great wisdom in the prohibitions of Allah Ta`ala, with nothing but good for His servants.
[Extracted from http://www.yunuspatel.co.za%5D
An interview with Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sahib
The following is a report of an interview conducted with Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib:
Recently, a young professional in the U.S. approached the prominent Muslim scholar and Deputy Chairman of the Jeddah based Islamic Fiqh Council of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), (Justice) Mufti Taqi Uthmani to inquire about his profession. He produced computer graphics for the television and motion picture industry. “This is the age of the media, and the only effective way to spread Islam today is through television and movies” he argued. “If we do not learn the trade, how will we be able to produce such programs? If we don’t produce such programs, who will?” he inquired. Yet, some people had told him that it was not a good profession.
“I have given a lot of deep thought to this issue,” replied (Justice) Mufti Uthmani in his characteristic measured tone, weighing every word. “I have reached the conclusion that the cause of Islam cannot be served through television, especially under the current circumstances. You should seek another line of work.” [Extract of “Understanding television” by Khalid Baig.]
Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sahib’s fatwa on television
It is evident regarding digital media in the form of television, etc., that it is giving rise to immorality, shamelessness, vice, violence and evil character through the various programs appearing on it. Further, it is quite difficult to find such programs that are free from any irreligious aspects. Moreover, it is almost impossible for a person to have a television at home without being affected by such evils. Therefore, in such circumstances, one should not keep a television. [Translation of Mufti Taqi Sahib’s fatwa from Darul Uloom Karachi – dated: 8-4-1427.]
Hadhrat Mufti Rafee’ Uthmani Sahib’s fatwa on television
It is not permissible to keep the television in the homes, looking at the contemporary circumstances. This is due to the reason that every broadcasting channel, as we all know, in this day and age, includes programs and episodes that are not void of religiously impermissible matters such as music, singing, nudity, exposure, mockery and other traits of transgression and sin. It is impossible for the user to refrain from the prohibitions in this widespread system. This is also because, many things that are broadcast in between a permissible program, contain prohibited matters, in commercials and advertisements etc. [Fatwa of Mufti Muhammad Rafee’ Uthmani – Translated by Shaykh Yusuf Badat – Mathabah Foundation, http://www.mathabah.org]
Shaykh Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar (rahmatullahi alayhi)
A General and Important Notification From Khanqah Imdadiya Ashrafiya
We are notifying the general public and the elite that the reliance and trust, based on which Mufti Munir Ahmad Akhun Saheb was granted khilafa (successorship) and ijazat e bay`at (permission to take bay`at) no longer remains.
Due to our loss of this reliance and lack of trust in him, his khilafat and ijazat e bay`at, was annulled quite a while ago. He was explicitly informed of this annulment by way of correspondence as well.
The purpose of this general and open notification however is that despite being explicitly informed of the annulment of his khilafat, he still insisted to portray himself as a khalifa.
NOTE: According to the statement of Hazrat Hakimul Ummat Thanwi (ra), ‘any khalifa who is publicly found committing major sins then hiskhilafat will automatically be considered null and void.’
Some examples of these actions due to which thekhilafat will be nullified are:
(1) Appearing on television.
(2) Appearing on the internet with ones picture.
(3) Taking pictures of animate objects and or printing them or making films.
(4) Not observing shar`i pardah and or not exercising caution from intermingling with non-mahram women.
(5) Participating in gatherings that go against the sharia.
(6) To practice black magic, write un-Islamic talismans/amulets, and or be involved in fortune telling.
Khanqah Imdadiyyah Ashrafiyyah
Gulshan Iqbal, Karachi