Mon 21 Jm2 1435 - 21 April 2014
70497

Ruling on taking pictures of natural scenes and those that include animate beings

What is the ruling on taking pictures of the natural views using a digital camera in order to save them on the computer? What is the ruling if the scene I want to take a picture of includes birds or animals?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

Taking pictures of natural scenes, such as trees, oceans and mountains, is permissible even if they are drawn by hand. No difference of opinion is known among the scholars concerning the permissibility of that, apart from what was narrated from Mujaahid ibn Jabr concerning the prohibition on making pictures of fruit bearing trees, but not non-fruit bearing trees. Al-Qaadi Ayaad said: No one said this except for Mujaahid. 

The majority quoted a number of things as evidence for this permissibility, including the following: 

(a)

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever makes an image in this world will be commanded to breathe the soul into it on the Day of Resurrection, and he will not be able to do that.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5618) and Muslim (2110). 

(b)

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man came to him and said: O Ibn ‘Abbaas, I am a man who earns a living from what my hands make, and I make these images. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: I will not tell you anything except that which I heard from the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him). I heard him say: “Whoever makes an image in this world, Allaah will punish him until he breathes the soul into it, and he will never be able to do that.” The man was very afraid and his face turned yellow. He [Ibn ‘Abbaas] said: Woe to you! If you must do that, then (make images of) these trees and everything that has no soul. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2225) and Muslim (2110). 

(c)

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that Jibreel (peace be upon him) said to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him): “Tell someone to cut off the head of the statue so that it will be like a tree.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2806), Abu Dawood (4158); classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb (3060). 

This indicates that it is permissible to make an image of a tree. 

If this permissibility has to do with drawing by hand, then it is more likely that that which is transferred onto paper or onto a computer by means of a camera is also permissible. 

With regard to taking pictures with a digital camera of animate beings in order to keep them on the computer, we have discussed that in the answer to question number 95322

And Allaah knows best.

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