I am a moderator of a women-only chat room and they are asking me to allow pictures of women so that they can see makeup, hair styles and fashion styles (so that they can learn and benefit from it). There has been a great deal of argument about this topic. When I refused they suggested that the pictures could be sent to the one who has the password or the pictures could be partial (showing only the eyes or only the nose and so on).
Please note that any visitor to the chat room could put these partial images together. As for the password, any man could register in the chat room as a woman and ask for the password. … Please advise me, may Allah reward you with all good. I do not want to carry anyone else’s burden of sin. (Please give me a fatwa that I can post in the chat room).
It is not permissible to make images or take pictures of animate beings, whether they are humans, birds or animals, except in cases of necessity, such as pictures for identity documents, passports and the like. There is no distinction, in this regard, between drawings and photographs, because of the general meaning of the prohibition on image-making and the condemnation of the one who does that. Please see the answer to question no. 22660 and 8954.
Some scholars granted a concession allowing partial images or those in which that is cut off without which survival would be impossible. Others were of the view that what matters is the head: if the head remains the image is forbidden. This is the more correct of the two opinions because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The image is the head; if the head is cut off, there is no image.” Narrated by al-Ismaa‘eeli in his Mu‘jam from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, 1921.
If the image is of a woman, and it is going to be published in a magazine or newspaper or website, the sin is greater, because of what that involves of spreading corruption and temptation. What is seen in many chat rooms of pictures of women is something that saddens the believer.
Hence we appreciate your concern and your keenness to find out what is permissible in this regard, and we ask Allah to guide and help you and the sisters who are taking part in the chat room with you.
What we think is that you can allow the following types of pictures:
1. Pictures of the head and hairstyles from behind or from the side, with the facial features blotted out.
2. Pictures of the eyes or mouth or nose, in such a way that the pictures cannot be put together, by taking them from different pictures.
3. Pictures of outfits minus the head, or with the facial features blotted out completely.
And Allah knows best.