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Assalamualaikum wbt,

What is your opinion about sharing pictures/videos of animal slaughter on social media?



Waalaikumussalam wbt,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

The Ruling for Photography or Filmmaking (Videography)

There are a few pieces of evidence that prohibit the making of idols or painting of pictures [1]. One of it is a hadith from the Prophet PBUH:

لاَ تَدْخُلُ المَلاَئِكَةُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ كَلْبٌ وَلاَ صُورَةُ تَمَاثِيلَ

"Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).

Sahih al-Bukhari (2106)

From Abdullah, he said, “I heard the Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَذَابًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ المُصَوِّرُونَ

"The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be the picture makers.'"

Sahih al-Bukhari (5950)

Imam al-Nawawi wrote in his book al-Minhaj Syarh Sahih Muslim, painting the pictures of animals is a great sin and is prohibited, for it is considered as duplicating Allah SWT’s creations.

In our opinion, the original ruling for photography and filmmaking is permissible. The reason is, it is not considered as taswir (painting or carving) of living creatures that are prohibited by most Islamic scholars, due to the absence of the ‘illah (reason) of duplicating Allah SWT’s creations. We have translated the words of Al-Allamah Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi hafizhahullah in his book al-Halal wa al-Haram fi al-Islam (pg. 203), as follows:

The fatwa by Syeikh Muhammad Bakhit (former Egyptian Mufti) states that taking pictures with any type of photography instrument is like capturing an image through the principles applied by the expert of the field and it is not prohibited in Islam. This is my opinion.

Syeikh Muhammad Mutawalli al-Sya’rawi also holds the same opinion.

However, the permissibility depends on the purpose of the photograph or video taken. If it has a good purpose and fulfils a need, then it is permissible. Consequently, if the purpose is bad, then it is prohibited.

The Definition of Social Media

Social media is a term used describing “a type of media that is used online by its users to share, participate and create content through blogging, social networking, wiki, or forum in the virtual world.” [2] This includes famous social media platforms that utilize pictures such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.

Due to social media’s wide access and a huge audience, a mix of reactions results from certain issues. Sometimes, something that is sanctioned by Islam could be misunderstood and damage Islam’s image, for the sharing of certain images or videos, is without proper explanation, are modified or exaggerated or shared without following the guidelines set by Islam. This often happens, especially in the issue of the establishment of Syariah law, polygamy, the status of out of wedlock child, and the issue of sharing pictures or videos of animal slaughter on social media.

Thus, in fiqh dakwah, there is a concept of al-tadarruj (gradual), where a certain syarak ruling is established and taught gradually and taking into consideration the situation of the mad’u (the person that is being taught). An example of this concept is the prohibition of alcoholic beverages where the verses were revealed in three stages, the verses are revealed starting with the statement of its harm towards oneself and worship before later prohibits them completely. The reason being, the harm (mafsadah) to someone who has weak iman (belief) after embracing Islam, if he renounces Islam is greater than focusing on the establishment of the prohibition ruling.

The Ruling for the Issue and the Guidelines

The permissible animals to be eaten, such as camels, cows and goats are among the animals slaughtered as a form of worship of Allah SWT. Allah SWT created animals to benefit humans. Some are used for transport and farming, while others are consumed as food. If something is sanctioned in Islam, surely it is beneficial to humans. The important factor for us is, to carry out this sanction responsibly and benevolently.

Hence, our opinion is it permissible to publish pictures and videos of animal slaughter on social media, however, it must follow a specific guideline. The following are the guidelines:

  1. The sharing or broadcasting is for a good purpose and it must include an explanation. For example, to broadcast the eminence and grandeur of Islam during the ‘Eid celebrations, explaining the process of animal slaughter according to syarak, issues regarding animal slaughter and the manners of animal slaughter. Allah SWT states:

وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ

“But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].”

Surah al-Dhuha (11)

Imam al-Qurthubi (w.671) Rahimahullah comments on this verse: “Spread whatever Allah SWT has given you with gratitude and praise towards Allah SWT. Mentioning His blessings and acknowledging the blessing in the form of gratitude.” Refer Tafsir al-Qurtubi (20/102)

  1. Display noble character, ethics and the true manners of slaughtering an animal as has been set by Islam, which is filled with benevolence. From Syaddad RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَتَبَ الْإِحْسَانَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ فَإِذَا قَتَلْتُمْ فَأَحْسِنُوا الْقِتْلَةَ وَإِذَا ذَبَحْتُمْ فَأَحْسِنُوا الذَّبْحَ وَلْيُحِدَّ أَحَدُكُمْ شَفْرَتَهُ فَلْيُرِحْ ذَبِيحَتَهُ

“Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. So, if you kill then kill well; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.”

Sahih Muslim (1955)

Imam al-Nawawi (w.676) states the following when commenting on the above hadith: “The Prophet PBUH said ‘Allah SWT has prescribed ihsan in the killing,’ is a general statement that includes animal slaughter or killing back as a punishment for qisas, hudud, and the like. This hadith is included as one of the hadiths of the Islamic rulings.” Refer al-Minhaj Syarh Muslim (13/106)

  1. Avoid provocation and slander that may disrupt the harmony in a community and prejudice that can damage Islam’s image. For example, purposely act or state something that can be interpreted as an insult towards the non-Muslims or animal rights activists, or step on the heads of the slaughtered animal and others. The jurists state:

اِتَّقُوا مَوَاضِعَ التُّهَم

“Fear the things that could be a prejudice to others.”


Imam al-Ghazali (w.505) Rahimahullah states:

A people of taqwa must be careful of the things that could lead to prejudice, to maintain the hearts of humans from prejudice and from their shameful words. The reason is, if their speech results in them sinning, then the person that cause it actually is the one that encouraged the sin.” Refer Ihya Ulum al-Din (2/201)

Then he states a verse of the Quran:

وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ

“And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge.” 

Surah al-An’am (108)

The Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ مِنْ أَكْبَرِ الكَبَائِرِ أَنْ يَلْعَنَ الرَّجُلُ وَالِدَيْهِ قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَكَيْفَ يَلْعَنُ الرَّجُلُ وَالِدَيْهِ؟ قَالَ يَسُبُّ الرَّجُلُ أَبَا الرَّجُلِ، فَيَسُبُّ أَبَاهُ وَيَسُبُّ أُمَّهُ

"It is one of the greatest sins that a man should curse his parents." It was asked (by the people), "O Allah's Messenger PBUH! How does a man curse his parents?" The Prophet PBUH said, "'The man abuses the father of another man and the latter abuses the father of the former and abuses his mother."

Sahih al-Bukhari (5973)

In a hadith, the Prophet PBUH is seen to be alone with a woman. Two Ansari men passed by, and when they saw the Prophet (ﷺ) they hastened away. The Prophet said (to them).

عَلَى رِسْلِكُمَا إِنَّهَا صَفِيَّة بِنْت حُيَي فَقَالَا‏‏ سُبْحَانَ اللَّه يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏!‏ ‏إِنّ الشَّيطَانَ يجَرِي مِن ابنِ آَدَمَ مَجْرَى الدَّم وَإِنِّي خَشِيْت أن يَقْذِفَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمَا شَرَّا

"Don't hurry! It is Safiya, the daughter of Huyay (i.e. my wife)." They said, "Glorified be Allah! O Allah's Messenger PBUH! (How dare we suspect you?)" He said, "Satan circulates in the human mind as blood circulates in it, and I was afraid that Satan might throw an evil thought (or something) into your hearts."

Sahih Muslim (2175)

This shows that as a Muslim, we must avoid situations that could lead to prejudice or misconception to Islam or to our own dignity.

Hopefully, this explanation will benefit all parties by celebrating our rights to practice religion without neglecting the sensitivities of other citizens.



[1] Refer Irsyad Al-Fatwa Series 27: The Ruling of Building Monuments or Memorials