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India:

Deoband Issues Fatwa Against Photography

by Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN

Wednesday 10 October 2007

LUCKNOW: A fatwa issued by Darul-uloom Deoband in Saharanpur district banning photography for Muslims has created a flutter in the community and beyond. The fatwa has called photographs unlawful and against Shariat.
Interestingly, the Islamic seminary has made it compulsory for students to afix their photographs in admission forms. It has also not taken into account that photographs are mandatory all over the world for those applying for Haj pilgrimage and passports.

The fatwa was issued in response to a query on photography by an Assam-based NGO by four senior clerics of Darul Ifta (fatwa section) of the seminary. The clerics are Mufti Habib-ur-Rehman, Mufti Zain-Ul-Islam, Mufti Mehmood and Mufti Zafiruddin. They stated that photography, which includes taking pictures or posing for picture, was completely against Shariat.
Mufti Arifuddin, a senior faculty member at the Darul-uloom Deoband (Waqf) in Saharanpur, told TOI, “Taking photographs is completely proscribed under Shariat.”

Asked about the seminary’s directive to students to affix their photos in admission forms, Mufti Arif said photographs were allowed only when mandatory. “The ban applies on photography during marriages and other social functions or for commercial use,” he said.

Asked about passports particularly for Haj pilgrimage, he said since Islam gives importance to intentions, photographs clicked for such purposes can be permitted. “But even such photographs must not be distributed or kept with oneself with the intention of showing it to others or for the heck of it,” said Maulana Khalid Rasheed, member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and Imam of Aishbagh Eidgah in Lucknow.

[Source: Times of India, 7 September 2007]