Question: My understanding of Islamic reasoning for the prohibition of photography/pictures is to avoid Fitnahs. For instance, pictures could become equivalent to statues where people would start worshiping them. Or people could use them for seduction and other inappropriate purposes.
Are there exceptions in Islam that allow us (particularly females) to use our pictures for our worldly business dealings such as work and education?
Also, what is the Islamic approach/teaching of using pictures during a marriage proposal? Isn’t that completely unacceptable for a guy to ask for a picture rather than meeting an individual to get a better sense of their personality? بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
It is not permissible for a woman to allow non-mahram males to see her picture even if it is for work or education. If a woman is forced to work or attend a university due to dire circumstances, and her job/school requires her to take a photo for identification purposes, then initially she should try her best to avoid it by explaining her religious beliefs to the employer/school. If they do not comply with her request, then she will be excused in this situation based on the principle in Islamic law ‘necessities allow prohibitions’. Whilst at work, try to conceal the picture as much as you can.
If it is a digital photo (printing photos is prohibited), a woman may show her face and hands to the prospect who is serious about marriage. Care should be taken that the photo is not misused, etc. other non-mahram men besides the marriage prospect seeing it. If the male and female who are interested in marriage choose to see each other in person rather than exchange digital photos, then that is between them and a matter of preference. For more details regarding the etiquettes of meeting the prospective suitor, kindly refer to the following link: https://daruliftabirmingham.co.uk/meeting-the-prospective-suitor/
Raddul Muhtar: v. 9, p. 532 (Maktaba Imdadia)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham