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Specializing in computer vision

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I am a computer science PhD and I want to specialize in Computer Vision. Please allow me to explain what this does with examples:

1. Self-driving cars use computer vision techniques to “perceive” the surroundings and make decisions (avoid passengers, avoid trees, recognize road sighs, etc.)

2. Security camera uses computer vision for smart, precise facial recognition (not the blurry survey cams)

While these seem to be permissible, it is important to know that this technique is built upon (especially for self-driving cars):

– use camera/sensor to gather data (mostly images/photos/other data) –> cleanly visualize the image by rebuilding the images in 3D–> construct math model for the images –> provide instruction for next move.

As you can see, in order for it to work researchers and engineers must take photos with cameras on car. They also need to build 3D models in computer of human, cars, animals, trees, etc. It is well-known that takings photos, making images, and 3D images of human beings is haraam (not permissible), even though the technology (computer vision) is extremely useful, even for Muslims and Muslim countries (the applications are too many to be named).

Can I study this field and work in this field?

Bismillaah

A: The principle is that picture making of all animate objects is not permissible.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

 

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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