Now Fatwa against photography!

India's leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa branding photography ‘unlawful and a sin’.

Published : 11 Sept 2013, 10:28 AM
Updated : 11 Sept 2013, 12:05 PM

Mufti Abdul Qasim Nomani, Mohtamim (Vice-Chancellor) of the institution, has said Islam does not permit videotaping of marriages or taking of pictures to save as mementos.

"Photography is un-Islamic. Muslims are not allowed to get their photos clicked unless it is for an identity card or for making a passport," he was quoted as telling the Press Trust of India over phone.

Saudi Arabia allows photographers inside Makkah and live telecast of namaz and Hajj on TV across the world.

Mufti Nomani said Saudi Arabia “can do it, but they will not allow it”.

The Darul Ifta in Deoband had issued a religious edict on a query from an engineering graduate, saying he was passionate about photography and wanted to pursue it as a career.

"Photography is unlawful and a sin. Hadith warns sternly against it. Do not do this course. You should search any suitable job based on your engineering course," reads the fatwa posted on the school's website.

Mufti Nomani agreed with the fatwa.

Another platform of Indian Muslims, All India Muslim Law Personal Board, has agreed with the Deoband fatwa.

Its member Mufti Abul Irfan Qadri Razzaqi told PTI: "Islam forbids photographing of humans and animals. Whoever does that will be answerable to God."

A similar fatwa was issued when a television reporter asked if his "facing the video camera" is against Islam.

"…it is prohibited in Islam to photograph and to let others photograph you," reads the fatwa.

Another one reads that any work which involves ‘unlawful things’ is ‘unlawful’. If part of a person's job includes oral or written reporting as well as photography, then the entire income will not be labelled unlawful.

Shia Chand Committee President Mufti Saif Abbas, however, differed.

He said his sect allows photography and television viewing.

"Islamic channels such as Peace TV, QTV, ARY and others beam live coverage of namaz, Hajj...are they all wrong?

“I have argued with my Sunni colleagues that there is nothing wrong with photography," he said.

On Jan 1, 2001 the High Court in Bangladesh declared fatwa illegal.

In 2010, the High Court had ruled against extralegal punishment of people by issuing fatwa in local arbitrations in Bangladesh.

Fatwa has been often used as a tool of punishment in Bangladesh and was in practice particularly in some the rural area.

A petition said local religious leaders and socialites torture, harass and punish women in the name of fatwa, which cause incidents like injuries, killings and suicide.

The bench of justices Syed Mahmud Hossain and Gobinda Chandra Thakur had issued the verdict.

The opinion enclosed in the copy of the judgment said persons found involved in ordering, executing or assisting such extra-legal punishment will face criminal proceedings.