Ruling on digital photography
Fatwa No: 285556

  • Fatwa Date:14-3-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 24, 1436
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Question

Assalamu alaikumWhat is the rule on digital photography, some say that digital photography is not similar to normal photography that is here image is stored as electrical signals, also what is the rule on using newspaper which consists of photographs?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Some scholars who hold photographic imaging to be forbidden also hold as forbidden video imaging and the like, in which the image is in the form of vibrations on a tape.

The Fatwa of the Permanent Committee of Iftaa’ reads: "Question: Does the imaging that uses a video camera fall under the ruling of photography? Answer: Yes, the ruling on video imaging is the same as the ruling on photography; they are both forbidden because of the general evidence."

Besides, Shaykh Dr. Abdul Kareem Al-Khudhayr said: "Image-making in all its forms and types. The imaging of animate beings is forbidden, including photographic imaging and video imaging, except in cases of necessity when people are obliged to do it." [End of quote]

Nonetheless, some scholars who are of the view that photographic imaging is forbidden are of the view that video imaging is permissible; Dr. Khaalid Al-Muslih said: "Video imaging is like photographic imaging in terms of the difference of opinion on its legal status, although a group of scholars who are of the opinion that photography is forbidden, are of the view that video imaging is permissible."

Other scholars, such as Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him are of the view that photography and video imaging are permissible. He was asked about the legal status of filming lectures and seminars with video equipment, and he replied: "In my view, it is permissible to film lectures and seminars on video if the need arises, or when there is a benefit."

With regard to newspapers that contain images, please refer to Fataawa 84182 and 87616.

Allaah Knows best.

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