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HAJJ AND 'UMRAH SELFIES?



As for taking of pictures of human beings and other animate creatures, Islam prohibits it in clear terms. That is why you can never see a picture of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and that of his companions رضي الله عنهم. If taking of pictures is halal, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would have allowed himself to be drawn and kept for his ummah to see. Let us think deep, if the pictures of the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم is to be available today, some people would have been worshipping it the way the pictures of Ibrahim Niyas is being worshipped today by many of his followers. Afterall, people used to draw their favourite icons then, yet the Rosul صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited it. 

Apart from the fact that people who snap during hajj and post it on the internet are not totally free from show-off that can destroy their hajj exercise, it is even worse if such sinful act is committed during hajj and at the Haramain as-Shareefain (the two prestigious mosques). Highly respected Companions like 'Ali Ibn Abi Taalib, 'Abdullahi Ibn Mas'ud, AbdulRahman Ibn Sakhr 'Abdullahi Ibn 'Abbas and so on reported different hadiths relating to this matter. Yet, many of us dont care to listen. In the riwaayah of Ibn Mas'ud رضي الله عنه , it was reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: 

Those who will be most severely punished by Allaah on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers." [Reported by al-Bukhaari, see al-Fath, 10/382]

Some people try to argue that drawing is different from photographs, then I say: if those who used pen in the time of the Prophet had the opportunity of cameras, they could have used it because it is more original than drawings. While commenting on the claims of those who try to differentiate hand-drawn pictures and photographs pictures, Sheikh Nasirudin Al-albaani رحمه الله said in one of his works:

"Those who say that photography is permitted have "frozen" the meaning of the word "tasweer," restriciting it only to the meaning known at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and not adding the meaning of photography, which is "tasweer" or "picture-making" in every sense - linguistic, legal, and in its harmful effects, and as is clear from the definition mentioned above. Years ago, I said to one of them, By the same token, you could allow idols which have not been carved but have been made by pressing a button on some machine that turns out idols by the dozen. What do you say to that?" [Aadaab al-Zafaaf by al-Albaani, p. 38]

However, I do not think it is bad to merely add one's location on Facebook while on hajj if it is done with good intention. That is if done without the intention to show off. It is also important to point out the fact that a person hajj can educate us on Facebook or any other social media about the lessons of hajj and umrah based on what he or she has been able to discover, learn or witness with the naked eyes. It is not impermissible to snap inanimate sites and explain their purposes in order to benefit the ummah. It is not bad for someone to indicate that he is at the Prophet's Masjid in Madeenah where he has an important message to pass to us. It is not bad for a pilgrim to inform us how much he enjoys the recitations of the Imams of Haramain, get us some voice messages and explain some of the verses recited to us. It is not bad for a pilgrim who is at Arafah to tell us about his feeling and encourage people to perform hajj. It is not bad if someone who is at the Miiqaat and he tells us the purpose of the Miiqaat in hajj and umrah. These and many more are beneficial things from hajj exercise rather than posting pictures with or without the intention of showing off. 

About two weeks ago, I interviewed Alhaji AKW Aliyy Kamal in his house on some matters crucial to my wive's project, and he informed me that when Sheikh Muhammad Kamaldeen Al-adabiy performed his first hajj, he used the opportunity to study how the Qur'an was being taught and studied there within few months. He also saw how people learned fast using chalkboards, exercise books, pen, biros, chairs and desks. This was different from what he was used to at home where a student would spend many years before completing the Qur'an, and yet would not be as proficient as the students in the Arabia. When he got home, he started implementing those beneficial things in his madrasah. Despite the fact that the old Mallams then fought him over it thinking it was haram to learn in that manner, the Sheikh was firm in his appraoach and he prevailed over them and now everyone is using that style. 

So, don't just go to hajj to snap pictures and visit historical sites without gaining something. Pick the good things from them and encourage them back home. For instance, if we would be sincete to ourselves, our women should not return back home and start dresing without niqab or atleast full hijab that complies with the relevant verses and hadiths. In the same vein, our men should not return home to continue to maltreat their wives. See how Arabs guides their wives from other men. Are we like that? Our Mallams should not come back home to continue to promote bid'ah (innovations) and jalabi practice. There are many things to gain from hajj than the tourists attractions that many of our people have turned it into. 

May Allah guide us aright

Ibn 'Abdillah As-sudaisiy
12th Dhul Qa'dah, 1437 AH (15th August, 2016)

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