Giving out Female Photograph During Marriage Proposal

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 23 Rajab 1422, 11 October 2001

Q.) Now a days people give ads for marriages on Internet. I did so for my sister. People are asking for photograph that we refuse because she observes hijab and she did not have any photograph because of it. As we learnt before, having photograph is not permissible. When we refuse, people give the reference of a hadith that it is permissible to see female before marriage. A lot of families come. If she has to go in front of everyone then what's the use of hijab? I cannot understand it. I need guidance. Will you please help me with a detailed answer. May Allah reward you.

A.) When a person intends getting married, he should see the girl to determine the suitability of getting married to her. That is the advise given to a Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, from Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

To draw images of animate pictures (which includes taking out photos) is expressly prohibited in the Hadith. Therefore, in general situations, it is not permissible to exchange photos for marriage purposes. However, the Fuqahaa have ruled that necessity relaxes a prohibition, therefore, if there is a need to exchange photos for marriage purposes, there will be a leeway with the following conditions:

a) Both the parties are in foreign countries, for example, Pakistan and America.

b) There is a strong inclination for marriage.

c) The photograph should be confined only to the interested party and not given to others.

d) The photograph be destroyed after the need is fulfilled.

If any one of the above condition is violated, the original ruling of prohibition will remain.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best


The answer of Mufti Ebrahim Desai is correct for the purpose. Muhammad Taqi Usmani