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Salafi View on Photography

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 29th October 2014 20:29
Assalamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullah everyone,

What exactly is the prominent Salafi view on Photography?

Usually our Salafi brothers - at least to my experience - don't delve too much into issues like this. But now I came across a clip of a German "GM leader" commenting on this issue for around 10 mins and I'll try to briefly paraphrase his explanation.

He starts off by making clear, that photography and especially digital photography is an issue of legitimate difference of opinion. He said, some acts (or things) are impermissible in themselves and others due to some reasons. He cited some warnings from Ahadith about making pictures/sculptures, but also mentioned that it belongs to the second type of impermissible acts. Picture- or stature-making is supposed to be Haram basicly due to the following three outward factors:

1) It implies imitating Allah in being the Creator.
2) Scultpures/images may eventually lead to being worshipped, thus Shirk.
3) Angels of Mercy will not enter such a house, in which pictures are hung.

He says, that which was regarded as creating images at that time - (1) making sculptures and (2) drawing images - of living beings is definitely Haram. Scholars of today now make Ijtihad/Qiyas on Photography based on the aforementioned, as photography is a new phenomen.

Then he continues by paraphrasing Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (rahmatullah alayh)'s opinion, which is supposedly to be found in his Sharh of Riyadhus Salihin:

1) In Photography is no danger in imitating Allah, as one is merely capturing the reflection of the objective.
2) Is there a possibility of people worshipping (someone on) a photo? Yes, possible but the probability of digital photos being worshipped is relatively small.

Thus Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (rh) regarded digital photography permissible. Other than Shaykh al-Albani (rh) who regarded even Videos as Haram, as he considered Videos nothing else than pictures being shown quickly after each other. One should respect both views the speaker concludes, although he personally agrees with Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (rh)'s opinion.

Now, I have basicly two questions:

1) Did he summarize the Salafi viewpoint on (digital) Photography correctly?
2) Is this argumentation and deduction correct according to our scholars?

Jazak'Allah khayran in advance for any help...
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 29th October 2014 21:23
(bism1)

(salaam)

Answer to your second question:

His argument and deduction is incorrect according to the Hanafi scholars who deem digital photography to be haram.

The `illaah for the hurmat of digital photos (whether on durable medium or not) is that of imitation of Allah i.e. imitating/challenging Him in His power to create.

The `illah is NOT fear of shirk.

An image, whether digital or hand-drawn, fulfills the `illah and hence it takes the same hukm as the asl i.e. the hukm of prohibition.

wassalaam.
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 29th October 2014 21:58
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 29th October 2014 22:08
Maybe someone can find the actual passage of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (rahmatullah alayh).
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 29th October 2014 23:08
True Life wrote:
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Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him), explained that pictures contained on a video tape and the like are stored in the form of electro-magnetic waves, hence they were regarded as permissible by those who do not regard photographs as permissible. 

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Images made by modern methods are of two types: 

1 – Those that are stored in a way that does not have any tangible or visible form, as was mentioned in the case of images, such as video tapes. There is no ruling on these at all and they do not come under the prohibition at all. Hence the scholars who forbid photographs printed on paper regarded them as permissible, and said that there is nothing wrong with them. It was said: Is it permissible to film the lectures that are given in mosques? Their opinion was that this should not be done, because it may disturb those who are praying there, and it does not befit the place, and so on. 

2 – Photographs that are printed on paper. 

But there remains the question: if a person wants to make these permissible images, then he is subject to the five rulings according to his intention. If he intends thereby to do something haraam, then it is haraam. If he intends thereby to do something obligatory then it is obligatory. It may be obligatory to make images sometimes, especially moving images. For example, if we see someone committing a crime that is a crime against a person’s rights, such as a murder attempt and the like, and it cannot be proven except by means of a picture, then in that case taking a picture is obligatory, especially in cases where pictures could tell the full story, because the means are subject to the same rulings as the ends. If we use this image-making to prove the identity of a person lest he be accused of a crime committed by someone else, there is nothing wrong with this either, rather it is essential. But if we take a picture in order to enjoy looking at it, this is undoubtedly haraam. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (2/197-199). 
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 30th October 2014 16:02
Arslan. wrote:
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Not sure if ALL Hanafi scholars believe that. Many esteemed Hanafi scholars have their lectures recorded and have their pictures on their FB page.
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 30th October 2014 17:24
Imam Ali wrote:
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Yes, thats what I meant when I said:

Quote:
according to the Hanafi scholars who deem digital photography to be haram.


Otherwise I would've just said, "according to Hanafi scholars".
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 30th October 2014 18:03

True Life wrote:
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I am not sure if there is a difference of opinion on the issue at all! This is pretty much the position

“…Any pictures that are carved out of wood or rock, or made of mud or clay or anything similar, are all forbidden if they are images of living creatures that have souls because of their imitation of the Creation of Allah – the Mighty and Majestic. And in the authentic hadith is that the Messenger of Allah cursed the image-makers, and to be cursed is to be expelled and far-removed from the Mercy of Allah. And in the hadith qudsi also is that Allah – the Exalted – said: “And who is more oppressive than the one who went and created as I have Created! So, let them create an atom, or let them create a mustard seed, or let them create a fiber.” And also, in the authentic hadith: “The people who will be tortured most on the Day of Resurrection are the image-makers who imitate the Creation of Allah. It will be said to them: ‘Bring life to what you have made.'” And the proofs for this are many, and from the image-making that this warning applies to – according to the strongest opinion – is that which takes place when a human being draws an image of a creature with a soul by hand. This falls under the image-making that is warned against, and it is a sin from amongst the major sins.

As for the image-making that takes place using instant cameras, this does not appear to fall under this, because the photographer does not draw out or try to imitate the Creation of Allah. Because of this, if some people are presented with a photograph that has been taken, you will not find them saying: ‘How good is this photographer! How excellent is he!’ But, if they are presented with a hand-drawn picture that closely resembles what was being drawn, they will say: ‘How good is this artist! How excellent is he!’ So, this proves that there is a difference between drawing the picture by hand and taking it using a camera.

And this is also proven by the fact that if a person writes something by hand and a photocopy is made of it, the people will not ascribe this writing to the one who made the photocopy of it. Rather, they will ascribe it to the one who originally wrote it, and people still preserve copyrights in this manner. They would not say that this person who made the photocopy did a good job of copying the writing precisely using this innovative technology. In fact, a blind man can be given this task, or a man can perform this task in the dark.

However, if a man copies the handwriting of the original writer by hand so that the people think that it was the original writing itself, the people would then say: ‘How innovative he is! How excellent he is! How did he copy this handwriting so precisely?’ And with the likes of these examples, it becomes clear that photographic imagery is not image-making that can be truly ascribed to the one who took the picture, and it cannot be said that this is imitation of the Creation of Allah because he did not create anything.

And to in order to say that photographs are allowed, a condition must be met that they do not lead to what is forbidden, because the permissible things that lead to the forbidden are in turn forbidden. The means have the ruling of the ends. So, for example, we do not see that it is allowed for a person to take these pictures in order to preserve memories because of what this contains of possession of a picture that we fear might fall under the saying of the Prophet: “The Angels do not enter a house in which there is a picture.”“

Shaykh Uthaymeen (RA)
 

الشيخ: الصور المنحوتة من خشب أو حجارة أو المصنوعة من الطين أو العجين أو ما أشبه ذلك كلها حرام إذا كانت على تمثال الحيوان له روح لما فيها من مضاهاة خلق الله عز وجل وفي الحديث الصحيح أن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم لعن المصورين واللعن هو الطرد والإبعاد عن رحمة الله وفي الحديث القدسي أيضا أن الله تعالى قال (ومن أظلم ممن ذهب يخلق كخلقي فليخلقوا ذرة أو ليخلقوا حبة أو ليخلقوا شعيرة) وفيه أيضا في الحديث الصحيح (أشد الناس عذاباً يوم القيامة المصورون الذين يضاهؤن بخلق الله يقال لهم أحيوا من خلقتم) والأدلة في هذا كثيرة ومن التصوير على القول الراجح المتوعد عليه أن يقوم الإنسان بتصوير ذي روح بيده فإن ذلك داخل في التصوير المتوعد عليه وهو كبيرة من كبائر الذنوب أما التصوير بالآلة الفوتغرافية الفورية فلا يظهر لي أنه من التصوير وذلك لأن المصور لم يكن يخطط أو يحاول أن يضاهي بخلق الله ولهذ ا فنرى الناس لو عرض عليهم صورة بالآلة الفوتوغرافية على حسب ما حصل من التصوير لم يقولوا ما أجود هذا المصور وما أحدقه لكن لو عرض عليهم صورة صورها بيده وخططها بيده وظهرت مطابقة لما صور فقالوا ما أحسن هذا ما أحدق هذا فدل ذلك على الفرق بين من يرسم الصورة بيده ومن يصور بالآلة الفوتوغرافية ويدل لهذا إن الإنسان لو كتب كتابا بيده ثم وضعه في آلة التصوير وخرج من الآلة فإن الناس لا ينسبون هذا المرسوم إلى الذي صور بالآلة وإنما ينسبونه إلى الكاتب الأول وما زال الناس يحفظون الوثائق بمثل هذا ولا يقولون أن هذا الذي التقطه بالآلة مبدع متقن جيد بل ربما يكون يتولى هذا رجلا أعمي أو يتولاه رجل مبصر في ظلمة لكن لو جاء شخص وعُرِض عليه خط الرجل الآخر فجاء يقلد أخر حتى ظهر وكأنه خط الرجل الأول لقال الناس ما أبدعه ما أحذقه كيف صور هذا التصوير الذي جاء مطابق للرسم وفي هذه الأمثلة يتبين أن التصوير الفوتوغرافي ليس في الحقيقة تصويرا ينسب إلى الفاعل ولا يقال أن هذا مضاهئاً لخلق الله لأنه لم يصنع شيئا والقول بالحل مشروط بأن لا يتضمن أمراً محرماً لأن الأشياء المباحة إذا أدت إلى شي محرم كانت حراماً لأن الوسائل لها أحكام المقاصد فمثلاً لا نرى أنه يجوز أن يصور الإنسان هذا التصوير للذكرى كما يقولون لما في ذلك من اقتناء الصورة التي يخشى أن تكون داخلة في قول النبي صلي الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم إن الملائكة لا تدخل بيتا فيه صورة

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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd November 2014 22:28
Arslan. wrote:
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Right, personally, I believe the majority are inclined with the opinion posted by True Life.
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