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ADDICTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY



By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

The addiction for photography and posting of pictures for public consumption is real. I had thought that the invention of phones with sophisticated cameras would make photographers lose customers. The reverse is the case. Some people still enter studios to take brighter and sharper pictures for different purposes. Some of us were once afflicted with the selfie virus. It takes time to get cured gradually once it enters the blood.

You will just look at yourself and say: as sweet as I am, I deserve to take a shot for keep and post for people to see how beautiful or handsome I am.

You will look at your child and decide to take his pics with the happiness that he is growing well, and post it online without even minding the evil eyes. 

You will look at your spouse and say: "emi ni kan tan" (this is for me alone?), take his or her pics and post it to the public without minding the effect of the enviers.

That is why someone would enter the Masjidil Haraam and  the first thing that comes to his mind is to take his pictures backing the Baytil 'Atiq and post it immediately on social media. The selfie virus is already in the blood ni. It is important to strive to defeat this satanic instinct. The reported ban of selfies in the Haram is a welcome development if it is true. It would enable worshippers to focus on ibaadah as expected.

In a Hadith, 'Abdullaah ibn Mas'ood رضي الله عنه 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).

In another Hadith, Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Allaah, may He be exalted, says: 'Who does more wrong than the one who tries to create something like My creation? Let him create a grain of wheat or a kernel of corn.'" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, see Fath al-Baari, 10/385). 

Although some of the scholars hold that the electronic images are exempted from this prohibition. But the most acceptable position is that of the scholars who holds that images made from electronics are not exempted. In fact, the electronically made images look more original than mere drawings. It is also argued that had it been there are electronic cameras in the olden days, those who used draw or mould images would have preferred it. In another Hadith, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ordered 'Ali رضي الله عنه to deface any image that he finds and many of the Companions رضي الله عنهم also took up this job in compliance with prophetic instruction. Some of the exceptions to this general rule are cases of passports size photos, ID Cards and other means of identification, diagrams that are meant for educational purposes, documentary evidence and so on.

To be on a safer side, it is better to avoid all forms of image making. Then, there are lots of evils attached to posting pictures for public view or displaying them in our homes for decoration or entertainment. In a Hadith, it was said that Angels would not enter any house where images are displayed. Like Malam Sanusi Lafiagi would say: how many days are we spending in this life? This life is short. We should not risk our hereafter with frivolous things of this nature. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم had no single picture, yet he is the most precious of all mankind.

May Allah guide us aright and protect us against all evils.


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