Sun 20 Jm2 1435 - 20 April 2014
1747

Taking photographs of traffic accidents in which people appear

We work in the Traffic Accident Department. Sometimes we need to take photographs of some traffic accidents in order to protect the rights of our brother citizens [i.e., establish who is at fault so that no one is unjustly treated, etc.]. Sometimes people who happen to be at the scene appear in the pictures. What is the ruling on this?

Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with this kind of work, because it is taking pictures that serve a purpose, indeed they are necessary. There is nothing wrong if pictures taken at the scene of the accident include people who are not involved. But if the pictures are taken by someone using his own camera, in order to keep the pictures for himself, then this is not allowed. It is haraam not in and of itself, but because of the purpose, which is to keep the pictures for himself with no need to do so. The reason why you are taking the pictures, on the other hand, is for a legitimate and necessary purpose.

Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 198.
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