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Is it haram to take photos of living beings for memories of special occasions?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftisays.com
Assalamu Aleikum

i have recently heard that taking photographs of living beings is haraam.
i can understand why this would be so if the intention was to worship the photographs, but is there any harm in taking photographs just for the memory of a special occasion??
like when im with my friends, we like to take photographs of the good times we’v had together, is that a sin?
please advice me

assalamu aleikum


Wa ‘Alaykumussalaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh.

Although the fact that pictures may lead to polytheism is a wisdom its prohibition, it is not the the only reason.

Narrated from Sa’eed ibn Abu Al-Hasan:

While I was with Ibn ‘Abbas a man came and said, “O father of ‘Abbas! My sustenance is from my manual profession and I make these pictures.”
Ibn’Abbas said, “I will tell you only what I heard from Rasoolullaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). I heard him saying, ‘Whoever makes a picture will be punished by Allah till he puts life in it, and he will never be able to put life in it.’ “Hearing this, that man heaved a sigh and his face turned pale. Ibn ‘Abbas said to him, “What a pity! If you insist on making pictures I advise you to make pictures of trees and any other inanimate objects.” (Bukhaari 3.428)

From the above narration we learn that taking pictures resembles the ability to create, which is an exclusive attribute of Allaah.

Furthermore, Islam is a religion that destroys evil from the root, and every commandment of the Islamic Code of Law is replete with wisdom. The evils of polytheism stemmed from painting pictures of people that were loved, respected and honoured by their people without any intention of worshiping them. However with time, it was not them but their progenies who lost the whole object of the pictures, and began to worship them under the instigation of Shaytaan. It is foolish to play with fire deliberately and then try to to extinguish it only when it gets out of control. Hence Islam instructs us not to play with fire at all.

Besides it is a duty of a Muslim to accept all the commandments of Islam whole-heartedly, without the right to question its logic. It is not possible to logically understand every commandment as it is based on the absolute wisdom of Allaah, and the wisdom of Allaah is beyond our comprehension.

It is also worthy of mention that the best memories are lived in the heart. No one’s love for another can come close to the love that the Sahaabah had for the Noble Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). If there was any leeway in this regard, they would have most certainly captured special moments that they shared with the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) in pictures and drawings.

Please refer to the following answers for more elaboration:



And Allaah knows best.


A. Z. Pandor

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This answer was collected from MuftiSays.com, based in London (UK). It is one of the fruits of Darul Uloom London. Many ‘ulama are involved in answering the Q&A on the site, including: Shaikul Hadeeth Mufti Umar Farooq Sahib, Mufti Saifur Rahman Sahib, Mufti Abdullah Patel Sahib, Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahib, Mufti Abu Bakr Karolia Sahib.

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