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In view of unprecedented development in print and electronic media, particularly TV, Internet and Video phones, it is important that we understand the issue of 'pictures' in Islam in its proper perspective.
The opinions of Islamic scholars are divided on this subject. We have explained below important facts in this context in the light of Quran and Ahadith.
AS PER QURAN
DRAWING / TAKING / HANGING OF PICTURES FOR GOOD PURPOSES IS ALLOWED IN ISLAM
(1) It is in Quran - وَاتَّخَذَ قَوْمُ مُوسَىٰ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِنْ حُلِيِّهِمْ عِجْلًا جَسَدًا لَّهُ خُوَارٌ ۚ أَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّهُ لَا يُكَلِّمُهُمْ وَلَا يَهْدِيهِمْ سَبِيلًا ۘ اتَّخَذُوهُ وَكَانُوا ظَالِمِينَ (Meaning - The people of (Prophet) Musa ( علیھ السلا م ) made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of calf, (for worship): it seemed to low: did they not see that it could neither speak to them, nor show them the way? They took it for worship and they did wrong. (Al-Araf - 148).
(2) It is in Quran - وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَالِمِينَ- إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَـٰذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ - قَالُوا وَجَدْنَا آبَاءَنَا لَهَا عَابِدِينَ - قَالَ لَقَدْ كُنتُمْ أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ (Meaning - We bestowed aforetime on Abraham ( علیھ السلا م ) his righteousness of conduct, and well were We (Allah - swt) acquainted with him. Behold! He (Abraham - علیھ السلا م ) said to his father (the brother of his father whom he used to call father out of affection) and his people, "What are these images, to which you are (so assiduously) devoted?" They said, "We found our fathers worshiping them." He said, "Indeed you have been in manifest error, you and your fathers." (Al-Anbiya - 51-54).
(3) It is in Quran - يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِن مَّحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَّاسِيَاتٍ ۚ اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا ۚ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ ( Meaning - They worked for him (Prophet Sulaiman - علیھ السلا م) as he desired, (making) arches, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places):"Work O'Sons of David (علیھ السلا م)with thanks! but few of My servants are grateful!". (Saba - 13).
The first Quranic verse says that in the absence of Prophet Musa ( علیھ السلا م ) some people made an image of a Calf for worship. This act on their part was wrong.
The second Quranic verses say that some people in Prophet Ibrahim's ( علیھ السلا م ) time made some images and worshiped them. This act on their part was wrong.
The third Quranic verse says that some people worked as per the orders of Prophet Sulaiman ( علیھ السلا م ) and made images. This act on their part was right. Why? Because these images were not meant for worship.
The above Quranic verses confirm the fact that the intention behind making images has to be virtuous. Images made with bad intention (for worship) are disallowed and images made out of good intention are allowed in Islam.
We also see live pictures of Masjid Al-Haram and Masjid-e-Nabawi Shareef five times a day during congregational prayers there. During these telecasts, Muslims all over the world see live pictures of Rawda-e-Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Aalihi Wa Sallam) and Khana-e-Kab'a, and thousands of people live video praying 5 times a day on their televisions. Similarly Hajj is broadcasted live on TV stations all over the world.
Muslims all over the world hang pictures of Prophet Mohammad's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Green Dome, Masjid-e-Nabawi, Ka'abatullah, Dargah of Awliya Allah and Shuyooks on the walls of their homes and office as remembrance and mark of respect and reverence. Whenever they look at these pictures, they get reminded of Allah Ta'ala and Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) which helps them in strengthening their religious bond and their commitment to do virtuous deeds.