Q: With the escalation in the use of social media we find that people often put up status messages or post pictures with a message addressing a deceased person. For example, a person would post “We miss You, Dad” or “last year this time you were with us” etc. etc. Is this permissible in Islam?
A: Pictures of all animate objects are haraam in Islam. Grave warnings have been sounded in the Mubaarak Ahaadith for those who get involved in the major sin of picture making. Apart from this, these things have no real meaning and are of no benefit to the deceased. When one examines this closely, he will realise that it is a clear emulation of the Kuffaar custom. As Muslims, why should we suffer from an inferiority complex and try to emulate the Kuffaar in their ways and customs?
The Kuffaar reserve one day in the year or certain occasions for expressing their love and emotions for their deceased relatives. Some of them even place pictures of their deceased parents or relatives in the newspapers. Others mourn over their deceased and express their grief by circulating pictures among their friends of happy moments they shared with their deceased. We, as Muslims, should remember our deceased parents and relatives throughout the year and should not reserve just one day or a few special occasions in the year for remembering them. We should specify a time everyday to recite a portion of the Qur’an and convey the reward to them. This will bring cheer to their souls, brighten their countenance and benefit them in the Hereafter.
On the other hand, expressing our emotions in ways that emulate the Kuffaar will cause our deceased parents grief and sorrow in the grave. Furthermore, if during their lives they had promoted or were pleased with these Kuffaar customs, then they will also be punished in the grave when their children express grief over their demise in ways that emulate the Kuffaar.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)