“Selfies” as Profiles Pictures on Twitter and Facebook? | Shaykh ‘Ubayd answers
May Allāh reward you with good O our Shaykh! And this is the twentieth question; a questioner from Morocco is asking about the ruling on placing personal photos (“selfies”) by members on [internet] forums, specifically on Facebook pages and Twitter?
Shaykh al‘Allāmah ‘Ubayd al-Jābirī:
I say, pictures of living things with souls are ḥarām, and it is from the major sins. The messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The most severely punished people on the day of judgement will be the picture-makers.”
And he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) informed us that every picture (of living things with souls) the picture-maker made will be made an entity and he will be told to blow a soul into it (bring it to life) and surely he will not be able to do so. And hopefully Abū Ziyād will remind us about this [issue/question] at the next meeting, as the matter requires detailed explanation.
On that basis, it should be understood that it is impermissible to spread personal photos (“selfies”), whether it is spreading them on Twitter or on forums. Yes, the authorities, when they request pictures for specific reasons, like driving authorities (for example driver‘s license), security affairs (e.g. national security I.D. cards etc.), or government bodies that require everyone to hold individual identification documents etc., then this is in accordance to the degree of necessity or the degree of need, and one does not go beyond that [need].