*What are the interpretations of Islamic scholars on the issue of photographs or say, selfies?*
Private TV Channel Host Bilal Qutb asked Mufti Muhammad Zubair to discuss what the Shariah says about pictures and music.
*Mufti Muhammad Zubair: Digital images are allowed in Islam*
“A perception prevails in our society that a lot of ulema first declare something haram and later declare the same thing halal,” he said. This is not a weakness on part of the ulema, he said. “In fact, this can be appreciated. You can see that the ulema are flexible in accordance with changing society. Through *ijtihaad*, we propose solutions.”
However, *ijtihaad* cannot happen over issues that Allah (swt) or the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) gave clear instructions on, he said. “When we talk about pictures, it’s very clear that they are haram. There are various hadiths. Hazrat Ali (RA) has clearly said that whatever image or statue you see, remove it.” He also cited how the Holy Prophet (PBUH) expressed discontent over a curtain with an image that his wife, Bibi Ayesha (RA), had put up.
“One more hadith in *Sihae Sitta* says that on the Day of Judgment, the hardest punishment will be for the *musavvir* [artist],” he said.
However, he added, the situation is entirely different in today’s age. According to him, digital images are permitted in Islam. “The image that was declared haram used to have*naqsh*, which was printed and could be touched and held. It was *zildaar*, which means it had a shadow. Such an image is haram and nobody can declare it halal. But the image of a digital camera, according to our research, is not included in the category of haram images. Why? It’s not touchable, it cannot be held.”
“Zubair *bhai*, I can stand with a digital image in front of me and I can also put it in the third dimension,” Qutb interrupted to ask.
“Bilal *bhai,* it is not like that,” said Mufti Zubair. “You cannot touch the image. You can only touch the device that has the image. Once you destroy the phone, where is the image? In computer terminology, it’s software not hardware. Remember this. It’s in the form of 0101 code. You may ask an IT expert.”
The scholar then clarified that if you print a digital image, it is haram as you will be able to touch the image then.