Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Is it permissible to post pictures of the deceased on social media or in frames around the home?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Posting or framing pictures is generally goes back to a difference of opinion between the scholars based on the understanding of the various Prophetic narrations prohibiting Taswir (or form-making).
Some scholars considered picture taking a modern manifestation of taswir; others opined that taswir only applies to making something that casts a shadow – i.e., a 3-dimensional object.
You can see the details of the different opinions in these links:
If we consider the opinion which allows pictures (since they are not three-dimensional), is this permission affected if the picture is of deceased people.
If the picture is of a person who passed away, however, the picture was taking of them during their life – this does not affect the ruling whatsoever. However, if the picture is of a person’s deceased body, there are other considerations that must be looked at.
1) Does the picture portray the deceased in an undignified state?
Ibn Abidin (May Allah have mercy on him), the leading authority in Hanafi law, cites the commentary of al-Munya saying, “It is befitting for the one washing (the deceased) or those present (during the washing) if they see anything that the deceased person would want to be concealed, to conceal it and never mention it. This is because exposing such a thing is considered backbiting (ghiba).
The exception to this is if those present see signs of a good ending such as light in the face, smiling, or other such signs. In such a case, it is recommended to mention so as to increase the people’s supplication of mercy for the deceased and to encourage others to strive in righteousness. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar citing Munya al-Musalli]
From this text, we can see that anything the deceased person would want concealed is prohibited to expose. Since it is not possible to consult the deceased person and ask their permission, one must refrain from taking and sharing pictures of the deceased in a compromised state of death.
2) If the picture portrays any parts of their body that are obligatory to conceal.
If the picture portrays the nakedness of the person, it is strictly prohibited to look at or show others.
Pictures showing the deceased in an undignified manner or showing parts of their body considered nakedness – sharing or hanging such pictures is strictly prohibited. This again is in light of the opinion of those who deem two-dimensional photos to be permitted. According to the other opinion, all photos of living beings are prohibited, whether living or deceased.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani