Shaykh Muhammad Yunus Jownpuri’s view on digital photography

Shaykh Muhammad Yunus Jownpuri’s view on digital photography

Shaykh Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī’s view on digital photography


We have recently seen some photos of Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī. Was he of the opinion that digital photography is permissible?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم


Muḥaddith al-ʿAṣr Shaykh al-Ḥadīth Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūnus Jownpūrī (d. 1438/2017) was firmly of the view that digital photography falls under the prohibition of taṣwīr (photography) and is not different to non-digital images. I personally heard him affirm this in Shaʿbān 1438 (2017), two months before his demise, when he clearly mentioned that those who make the differentiation between digital and non-digital images have made a mistake. In so far as the pictures that are circulating, they were not taken with his permission or consent. It is a great breach of trust and privacy, even if one regards digital images as lawful, to take someone’s image without their consent and circulate them particularly when there is no compelling need.

I personally heard our respected Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muḥammad Taqī ʿUthmānī (b. 1362/1943) confirm that although there are both views regarding digital photographs, to take someone’s photograph without their permission is wrong. (He added, despite his stance on digital photography, that photography should not be used in gatherings of scholars as it is against the sanctity of the gathering. He also made a general point that digital photography is against iḥtiyāṭ (caution) as there are differing views regarding it and if scholars use it, it will be used by people to use all forms of photography as they will not differentiate between digital and non-digital photography).

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

3 Rajab 1439 / 20 March 2018

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir

Updated: 28 Rajab 1439 / 14 April 2018

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تتمة: قال شيخنا محمد يونس الجونفوري في مجلس سماع ثلاثيات الإمام البخاري والأوائل السنبلية الذي انعقد في شهر ذي الحجة سنة ١٤٣٤ في قطر لمَّا بدأ بعض الناس أخذ التصوير: يا أيها الناس لا تأخذوا الصورة، الصورة في بلادنا محرمة، علماء الهند اتفقوا على تحريم الصورة، سواء كان باليد، أو بالقلم، أو بأخذ الماكينات، ثم يُؤخذ منه التصوير. فالتصوير سواء صنعتَه من القلم، أو سواء صنعتَه من ماكينة، كلُّها حرام عندنا، ويمنعون منه مشايخنا ونحن على طريق المشايخ. والسبب في تحريم الصورة المضاهاةُ مع الله سبحانه، المضاهاة المشابهة، والمشابهة كما تكون بتصوير الصورة بالقلم، كذلك تكون بأخذ الصورة بالماكينات، كلُّ ذلك يورث المضاهاة مع الله تعالى، والمضاهاة مع الله تعالى للخلق لا يجوز، فإنه هو الخالق، وكلّه بعده مخلوق، انتهى۔