Photography and Picture-Making


Photography and Picture-Making

Nowadays, we find that photography and videoing have become accepted in all circles, yet Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)  said:

“Those who are involved in picture-making will be subjected to the worst forms of punishment on the day of Qiyamah”.[1]

In another Hadith, Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Those who are involved in picture making will be severely punished on the Day of Qiyamah, and Allah Ta’ala will say to them:

“Give life to what you have created!”


We also know the fatawa of our respected Imams of Fiqh, and the majority of the past, and present scholars, which prohibit picture making of anything animate.


Photography carries within it so much evil, which erupts into so many more sins. Just like how a volcano erupts and spews out rocks, gases, ash, and lava, which causes great harm and destruction, photography has led to an eruption of Fitan, which spews out immodesty, obscenity, and a host of other evils.

There is no doubt that photography plays a key role in the destruction of man’s spirituality, modesty, and morality. I received numerous emails and letters, and many people – young and old – are caught up in pornography and other sins, stemming from photography.

I have mentioned previously that the porn and filthy film industry is all based on pictures. This gives rise to rape, incest, child porn, and other vices. Islam cuts at the root of the evil by prohibiting picture-making and photography.
Whatever we see today of various Fitan, is due to the Shar’i prohibitions being flouted and disregarded.

Our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said that despite the deep love that the Sahaba (Radhiyallahu ’anhum) had for Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), not one of them drew any image of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).


From amongst the Sahaba (Radhiyallahu ’anhum), some could have sketched images of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) when he was at Badr, when he was at Uhud in his armour, when digging the trench at Khandaq, when Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was entering Makkatul Mukarramah at the time of its conquest, when Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) was on the plains of Arafah —hands raised, imploring and begging of Allah Ta’ala, so many pictures could have been drawn, to “capture the moment”, to keep those “memories alive” and so that we, the latter of the Ummah, may also see a picture or pictures of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), but not one Sahabi (radhiyallahu ‘Anhum) drew such pictures.


Since picture-making in any form, is prohibited, the Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) did not compromise on their obedience to Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
Their condition was: “We hear, and we obey.”


This is what we must learn to nurture and imbibe within ourselves, that when we hear the command of Allah Ta'ala; or the command of Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), we should willingly submit and obey.


We are told to follow the Sahaba (Radhiyallahu ’anhum) for guidance. Rasulullah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

“My companions are like the stars; whichever of them you follow, you will be rightly guided.”[3]


The Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum) set a precedent and a beautiful example for us. We need to follow in their noble footsteps.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the concern and grant us obedience to Him and His Rasul (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), and may he grant us Istiqaamah on Siraatul Mustaqeem, Aameen.

by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)


1. Sahih Al-Bukhari
2. Sahih Muslim
3. Jami’u Bayanil ‘ilmi wa fadhlihi