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Keeping photos of the deceased at home

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Keeping photos of the deceased at home

 

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

 

Islam only permits a person to take photos out of necessity like for ID cards or passports. Once a person passes away there is no need to have any photos of the deceased.  True memories of a Muslim relative or friend reside in the heart, and then this should be manifested by praying for the deceased. Therefore, it is advised that all photos of the deceased are burnt or removed from mobile phones.

 

Saaidah Aisha Radiallahu Anha narrates that when the Prophet became ill, some of his wives talked about a church which they had seen in Ethiopia and it was called Mariya. Umm Salama Radiallahu Anha and Umm Habibah Radiallahu Anha had been to Ethiopia, and both of them narrated its (the Church's) beauty and the pictures it contained. The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam raised his head and said, "Those are the people who, whenever a pious man dies amongst them, make a place of worship at his grave and then they make pictures of those people in it…" (Saih Bukhari)

The main reason for its impermissibility is that it opens the door of idol worshiping. It began with people keeping these pictures with the intention of keeping alive the memory of the deceased which, finally, led to idol worshiping. (The wisdom behind the commands of Islam p.350)

The conclusion we can come to is that it is not permissible to keep photos of the deceased after they have passed away either in picture form or on mobile phones. The best way to remember the deceased is by visiting his grave and by praying for him or her.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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Question

Assalamu Alaikum.

My father in law passed away on Saturday evening (please make dua maghfirat for him and pray Allah gives the family sabr)

We have some photos of him we would like to keep. Please tell me is it permissible to keeps photos, even of we decide to not look at them but just keep them with the intention of showing his grandchildren when they get older.

Would you also please inform me of what the consequence of keeping the photos would be for the marhoomeen as some members are adamant on keeping them Please advise.
Wassalam.

 

Answer

Walaikumussalam w w

May Allah shower His mercy upon the grave of your grandfather, forgive his mistakes and elevate his ranks in jannah, And give sabr to the whole family.

Sorry for the delay in replying. I had to give careful consideration and make mashwera.

Mufti Tahir Saheb of Saharnpoor is very strict and says It would be haram to keep them.

Firstly, photos should not be taken unless extremely necessary. Showqia photos are not allowed, Eg holiday snaps, wedding memories etc

Thereafter, if any photos are taken out of necessity, and the person dies, the correct procedure is to destroy them.

Especially showqia photos and videos must be destroyed.

If the necessary ones are not displayed but kept concealed, there might be some flexibility in there.

Photos kept for respect will not be allowed, eg photos of buzrugs. This is because this reverence could lead to their worship.

Mufti Mahmood Saheb went to someone’s house, who showed them the photo of some buzrug. Mufti Saheb tore it apart. The person felt bad. Mufti Saheb said this is also tagyeerul munkar. (rectifying the incorrect). Mufti saheb went on to say that keeping photos of awliyaullah is worse than keeping photos of others.

If the marhoomeen had instructed their family to keep their photos or liked their photos to be kept or knew about them but they did not instruct their disposal, then there is a possibility of them being reckoned in the qabr.

This is derived from the mas’la of maatam (lamenting), where Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said
الميت يعذب بما نيح عليه
“The mayyit gets azaab when nawha is done upon it”

The commentators have mentioned various reasons for this azaab. 3 of them are what I have said above.

So this could also be applied to the mas’ala of photos and other unislamic instructions left behind.

Allah knows best

Tafseer Raheemi

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