Thursday, 27 October 2011

Taking pictures of student activities with a video camera and digital camera


What is the ruling on recording by video cameras and digital cameras in schools, in order to document the activity and submit it to the administration, as per their request?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to take
pictures of student activities with the video camera and digital camera
mentioned, for the purpose of documenting the activity so that the
administrators may study it, so long as these images are not produced in any
fixed format such as on paper. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

With regard to pictures
made in the modern fashion, they fall into two categories:   

The first category is those
which have no tangible substance (and can only be seen by running them
through a machine), as I was told is the case with pictures on video tapes.
There is no ruling at all concerning these, and they do not come under the
prohibition at all. Hence the scholars who forbid making pictures with
cameras on paper (photographs) permitted this (video pictures), and said
that there is nothing wrong with this. Then it was asked, is it permissible
to film lectures which are given in the mosques? The (scholarly) view was
that it is better not to do that, because it may disturb the worshippers and
because they may film things that may not be appropriate, and so on.   

The second category is
fixed or still pictures on paper (photographs) … 

But the matter needs
further discussion if one wants to make these kind of permissible pictures.
For they are subject to five rulings which depend on the intention. If the
intention is something forbidden, then it is haraam. If he intends something
waajib (obligatory), then it is waajib. Sometimes pictures may be essential,
especially moving pictures. For example, if we see someone in the act of
committing a crime against a person’s rights, such as an attempt to kill and
so on, and we cannot prove it in any way but by taking pictures, then in
this case taking pictures becomes waajib, especially in cases where pictures
may decide the case. The means are subject to the rulings on the ends. If we
make these pictures in order to prove the identity of a person for fear that
someone else may be accused of the crime, this is also acceptable, indeed it
is essential.   

But if we take these
pictures just to enjoy looking at them, this is undoubtedly haraam...
And Allaah knows best.” (See Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 2/197-199)

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn
Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on
videotaping celebrations, conferences and seminars? 

He replied: If there is the
hope that people may benefit from the videotaping of the party, seminar or
Islamic meeting in which there is the call to Allaah, and it is believed
that this is most likely to serve a good purpose and that this videotaping
will be good and will benefit the people, then there is nothing wrong with
that in sha Allaah. End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah (4/367). 

May Allaah help us all to
do that which He loves and which pleases Him. 

And Allaah knows best.

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