Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
I know that pictures of humans and animals are forbidden, and I have seen this stated in your question and answer section several times.
I am therefore very puzzled to see a picture of children in a madrasa on the homepage of Sunni Path. Could you please explain to me what it is that makes this picture permissible when in general pictures of humans are not permissible?
Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah,
What is explicitly forbidden is picture-making’ (taswir) of human or animal life, in many hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).
Do photographs fall under this prohibition? There is genuine difference of opinion within Islamic scholarship. The position I personally believe and follow is that there is no essential difference between painting and photosif anything, photos are more effective means of conveying images and forms.
However, there are major scholars in the 20th Century who distinguished between the prohibited picture-making’ and photosmost notably, Imam Muhammad Bakhit al-Muti`i of Cairo, whom Imam Kawthari used to refer to as the faqih of the age’.
Given the difference of opinion, it is not an issue where one may condemn another, and one must respect others’ right to follow their conscience. Anything else is intellectual terrorism.
However, the picture of children on the Sunni Path homepage (www.sunnipath.com) is not problematic according to the more conservative of the two opinions, either: they are pictured from the back, and their faces are not visible.