I earned money by working as a photographer and I am prepared to give it up to seek the pleasure of Allaah and His Messenger. What is the ruling on that money? Is it haraam or what should I do with it?.
I hope that there will be nothing wrong with it because when you earned it you were not certain that it was haraam because you were unaware of the shar’i ruling, or because of the confusion resulting from those who permit photography. Allaah says concerning the people who deal with riba (interpretation of the meaning):
“So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops consuming Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allaah (to judge); but whoever returns (to Riba), such are the dwellers of the Fire — they will abide therein.”
May Allaah save us and you from it. We understand from this verse that the past earnings from work that is not Islamically acceptable are permissible, if a person repents to Allaah and gives it up. If you give it or part of it in charity to be on the safe side, that is good, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever guards against the doubtful matters will protect his religious commitment from shortcomings and will protect his honour from slander.” As for it being obligatory to give it in charity, I do not know of any clear evidence to that effect. End quote.