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Last updated: 11th May 2006
Question ID: #1830
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11th May 2006

i know that taking pictures isn't allowed....but when a person dies, does his/her picture need to be chucked away?will he/she have difficulties in the grave? if so what difficulties?

Ulamaa ID 04
Answer last updated on:
12th February 2007
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 04
Location: London

Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)

One must get rid of living pictures of the deceased etc. This ruling applies on all pictures of living objects whether they are alive or deceased.

Narrated Aisha (RA):

When the Prophet became ill, some of his wives talked about a church which they had seen in Ethiopia and it was called Mariya. Umm Salma and Umm Habiba had been to Ethiopia, and both of them narrated its (the Church's) beauty and the pictures it contained. The Prophet raised his head and said, "Those are the people who, whenever a pious man dies amongst them, make a place of worship at his grave and then they make those pictures in it. Those are the worst creatures in the Sight of Allah." (Bukhari 2.425)

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib (RA):

AbulHayyaj al-Asadi told that Ali ibn AbuTalib said to him: Should I not send you on the same mission as Allah's Messenger sent me? Do not leave an image without obliterating it, or a high grave without levelling it. This hadith has been reported by Habib with the same chain of transmitters and he said: (do not leave) a picture without obliterating it. (Muslim)

Why should pictures not be kept:

It opens the door of idol worship. That is, it will turn into a common custom. There are different level of understanding among the masses so, there is always the possibility of mischief and misuse as indeed, had happened earlier. Those who made icons did not themselves worship them but cast them to keep alive the memory of righteous elders and saints. Finally, it led to idol worship. Therefore, to keep pictures is unlawful even from an angle of reasoning and intelligence. (The wisdom behind the commands of Islam Pg. 350)

It should be remembered that, true memories of a Muslim relative or friend reside in the heart, and One must remember them by praying for mercy and forgiveness for them.

However, if one has kept the picture of their deceased, they will not have any difficulties in the grave. Insha Allah.

And Only Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.