Taking pictures of body parts without need

Question :

Many people here in Britain find taking pictures of those things that have a soul in it lightly.

They take pictures of themselves without the head with no need to do so, claiming that there is nothing wrong with this because ‘the picture is considered to be the head’

And some of us see that this may lead to that which is more greater than it and that it is a stepping stone for other actions

So what would be your comment upon this?

Whilst we ask Allah that he grants you success in being upright in that which you say

And May Allah bless you

Answer :

Shaykh Hassan bin Qaasim ar-Rayme said:

It is correct that the picture is the head as is in the Hadeeth, however it is appropriate for the person that he does not walk around the boundaries of the sanctuary; as it is feared for him that he falls in to it

(The Shaykh is referring to here the parable that the Messenger – May the peace and salutations of Allah be upon him – made when he described the one who comes close to the doubtful matters being close to fall into sin).

Shaykh Hussien al-Hateebi replied:

I asked Our Shaykh Yahya concerning taking pictures of some of the body parts of a living being (i.e. animals and people etc.) without (having in the picture) the head,

And he said: It is impermissable

Shaykh Abdul Ghani al-Umari responded by saying:

Your words are correct; that it may progressively lead (them to other actions)
And that this a means to (unlawful) picture taking (to take place).
And Our Shaykh Yahya is upon the stance of the impermissability of taking these (types of) pictures.

Shaykh Muhammad al-Hakami said in a recorded audio response :

As for picture taking of the apparent body without the head for no legitimate need it is considered to be from useless pastime.
And when al-‘Allamah Shaykh Yahya was asked about this he said; this is considered to be from picture taking because it is a part from the body parts of a living being and taking images of those living beings is impermissable, because it is a part of the parts of a those things that have a soul in it, so it is to be stayed away from.
And if it is not an (unlawful) picture of a living being then it is from foolishness, that which is unsuitable, and as you have said it may be a steppingstone, perhaps it may be a step (towards sins).
This is not from staying away from the unlawful acts, rather staying away from the impermissable actions is staying away from the forbidden acts and those things that are close to it, and that which is a step to falling into it.
So taking pictures of the hand, stomach, arm and the leg without a need and a necessity calls to the person becoming careless as days go past and take pictures of some of the head and then (perhaps) the whole head.

So we advice with staying away from that and leaving it off.

And Allah knows best

Shaykh Muhammad bin Ali bin Hizaam answered the question before teaching his daily lesson with the following (which can be found below):

(The questioner) says: some people are laxydaizical regarding taking pictures of living beings …
(The Shaykh comments by saying): Being careless upon this happans much, and it is manditory upon us to go against this great sin, that many people have become laxydazical in.

And you know the Hadeeths that have come regarding the great nature of this sin:
‘And who is more oppresive than the one who goes and makes a creation like my creation, then let him make an atom or a seed or a barley grain’
(The Shaykh asks his students): Who narrated this Hadeeth?
On the authority of Abu Huraira in the Saheehain (i.e. al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
And the Hadeeth:
‘The most punished people on the Day of Reserection are the picture takers’
Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim on the authority of Abdullah bin Mas’ood.
(The Shaykh aknowledges the correct answer of the student by saying):Correct.

And the Hadeeth, the Prophet – May the peace and salutation of Allah be upon him – said:
‘The angels do not enter a house with a dog or a picture’
On the authority of Abu Talha in the Saheehain as well

The Hadeeth:
‘The people who make pictures will be punished on the Day of Judgement; it will be said to them bring life to that which you have created’
Agreed upon (by al-Bukhaari and Muslim) on the authority of Ibn Umar

And the Hadeeth:
‘Whoever made a picture will be made to breath in it a soul, and he is not one who (has the ability to) breath (in a life into it);
On the authority of Ibn Abbas in the Saheehain

So it is a great sin, it is inappropriate to have negligence in it. Ahlus-Sunnah are the foremost ones to warn the people from this, and it is inappropriate to have it or it likes on mobile phones.
Yes, our brothers are most deserving of going against this care sin, even on their mobile phones, they don’t send pictures to the mobile of their brother; with the proof that he saw it and forget it. It is Shaytan progressively leading (him to that which worse), I mean many months (may go past) and the images of living beings remain on his phone; this is wrong.

… A brother asks about a live video phone call, he sees his picture and he sees a video, in it is doubt, it should be left, it is adviced to leave it off.
‘Whoever safeguards himself from doubt has kept his religion and his honor intacted’.
‘Leave off that which you find doubt in that which you don’t find doubt in’

… He (the questioner) said:
Some of them take pictures of themselves excluding their head without any need …
(The Shaykh comments): A stepping stone from the Shaytan and that which they understood from it: ‘The picture (of the living being) is the head,

(The questioner says): And some of us see it to be leading to that which worse than it’

(The Shaykh continues): Allah’s aid is sought
The picture is the head, taking pictures of the hand and the body is not unlawful and what is best is to leave it off …

[This is not a complete translation of the answer Shaykh Muhammad bin Hizaam as some part are questions outside the topic due to students asking questions]