THE FALLACY OF MUFTI TAQI’S DIGITAL PICTURE ARGUMENT
THE IMAGINARY ‘DALEEL’ FOR PLASMA-SCREEN PICTURES NOT BEING PICTURES
BY U.K. STUDENT
Now that the severe and tremendous evil of Suwar (images/pictures) of animate objects has been clarified through the words of Hadhratayn, both of whom also uphold the Ijma’ (consensus) that whatever new means or technology are employed to produce Suwar of animate objects, they will still carry the very same ruling, let us demonstrate that the “Daleel” on which the two Muftiyayn have based the preposterous contention that digital Suwar are fake Suwar, is a non-existent Daleel that collapses and vanishes into thin air, under a scrutiny that does not last more than few paragraphs.
The primary “Daleel” of the venerable Muftiyayn, both of them, is the fact that digital Tasweer do not have the quality of “istiqraar” (stability) and “thabat” (durability).
Mufti Taqi Saheb states in this regard, in his manifestly ridiculous assertion that digital Suwar resemble a shadow more than they resemble non-digital Suwar (images/pictures):
“As for pictures which do not have durability [thabat] and stability [istiqraar] and are not drawn on something with lasting quality, they resemble more a shadow than they do pictures.”
And, Mufti Rafi Saheb states in his Fatwa:
“As for it not being a picture; because a picture in its true meaning, comes into existence when it is carved, drawn, or formed onto something with the quality of istiqraar (stability) and thabat (durability) in its existence…It therefore is apparent from this description that the images and scenes that appear on the screens do not have istiqraar or thabat, rather they appear and disappear in a second 60 times. This is the reason the digital image cannot be regarded as a ‘picture’ ‘surah’ in actuality.”
Take note of the distinctly conspicuous absence of even the slightest semblance of a Shari’ Daleel to substantiate the wholly arbitrary and fanciful claim that the level of “istiqraar” (stability) and “thabat” (durability) determines the Suwar-status of a Suwar (images/pictures). This fact, in itself, renders the Fatwa completely null and void. Any Fatwa that attempts to make an exception out of a particular form of Tasweer, or a particular form of music, or a particular form of alcohol, or a particular form of any other abominable evil, without proper Shari’ Daleel, renders the followers of such a Fatwa as those who “take gods besides Allah.”
In any case, let us play along with this Daleel-less claim of the venerable Muftiyayn and demonstrate that even their fanciful theory linking the level of “istiqraar” (stability) and “thabat” (durability) with the definition of a picture, falls apart completely and evaporates away into non-existence, when placed under the slightest scrutiny.
We ask the venerable Muftiyayn regarding a newly-invented machine that paints the picture of an animate object on a slate, and then wipes the slate clean after 10 minutes. Would such a picture fall under the category of Tasweer, despite the level of “istiqraar” (stability) and “thabat” (durability) only being 10 minutes?
According to the position of the venerable Muftiyayn as borne out by their Fatwas, they are bound to categorically declare as Haraam all such pictures (images) produced by this contraption.
Now we ask the ruling if we were to lower the level of “istiqraar” and “thabat” to a measly one minute. Would the images produced under the new setting carry the same ruling as those produced in the first scenario?
Again, the venerable Muftiyayn are bound to issue the same ruling of Hurmat (prohibition).
Now, let us further reduce the level of “istiqraar” (stability) and “thabat” (durability) of the paintings produced by this machine to the exact same level as what Mufti Rafi Saheb claims is the reason why digital Suwar (images/pictures) cease to become Suwar (images/pictures) here:
“It therefore is apparent from this description that the images and scenes that appear on the screens do not have stability nor durability, rather they appear and disappear in a second 60 times. This is the reason the digital image cannot be regarded as a ‘picture’ ‘soorah’ in actuality.”
Thus, let us adjust the setting of our newly-invented contraption to paint a life-like picture and wipe the slate clean every 1/60th of a second. That is, 60 paintings are painted and displayed in one second, by our unique, man-made contraption.
We ask the venerable Muftiyayn, what is the ruling of each one of the 60 paintings that are painted and wiped away?
If the venerable Muftiyayn are hesitant in answering, or issues a Halaal Fatwa for all those 60 life-like paintings that are clearly visible to the passer-by, we then ask: Why the hesitancy? Or, to what level do we need to raise the level of “istiqraar” and “thabat” back again, so that the hesitancy or Fatwa of Halaal dissolves away, and the previous Fatwa of Hurmat can be affirmed again as vehemently as in the first two scenarios? Perhaps if we were to raise the level of “istiqraar” and “thabat” back to, let’s say, 1 painting per minute, or 2 paintings per minutes, or 3 paintings per hour, etc. the hesitancy or Fatwa of Halaal will suddenly transform back to Haraam. The Muftiyayn will not be able to offer a clear and definitive answer to this question, nor will they be able to produce any Shari’ Daleel for any specific amount of “istiqraar” (stability) and “thabat” (durability) which would instantly transform a fake Soorah (image/picture) into a real Soorah.
We ask the venerable Muftiyayn regarding a special paint that only lasts for a limited time, before fading away. Again, what level of “istiqraar” or “thabat” does the painted picture need to have to be classed as real painted picture? And, what level of “istiqraar” or “thabat” causes the painted to cease to be a painted picture? And, what is the Shari’ basis for averring that painted pictures cease to be painted pictures in an issue which has been declared amongst the greatest of evils by the Shariah? Again, the venerable Muftiyayn will have no proper and consistent answers for any of the questions above.
The baselessness of the fanciful and wholly arbitrary theory of the venerable Muftiyayn is thus manifest. In reality, the venerable Muftiyayn have absolutely no Shari’ Daleel for their contention that it is the level of “istiqraar” (stability) or “thabat” (durability) that determines the Suwar-status of Suwar. They have no Shari’ Daleel for deriving a specific number of hours, minutes, or seconds of “istiqraar” or “thabat” which renders a picture, whatever the means of its creation, into a fake, fraudulent, and imposter picture.
Rather, it is manifestly clear that the “Daleel” of the venerable Muftiyayn is a fake, fraudulent and hallucinatory Daleel, unlike the Suwar-status of digital Suwar (images/pictures) of animate objects which is the most real, life-like, potent, and damaging form of Suwar ever to have been invented by man.
Falsehood spawns more falsehood. One absurdity leads to multiple absurdities. Hence, Mufti Rafi Saheb, in his Fatwa, is constrained to make the following absurd and false claim:
“Looking at the above mentioned difference between the actual picture and the figure that appears on the screen, the experts of this field have specified the difference in terminology also; where they have termed the figure captured by the photography camera as “Soorah” and the visible figure on a screen as an “Aks”.
The Arabic word in the original Fatwa of Mufti Rafi Saheb is “Aks” which has been erroneously translated by the translator as “image”. “Aks” means “reflection”. No expert in the world, not even a so-called one, ever calls the Suwar (images/pictures) on television screens, computer screens, phone screens, etc. “reflections”. Rather, BOTH the words “pictures” and “images” are employed interchangeably and liberally as borne out by even a perfunctory reading of the writings of experts on digital pictography. Something is truly amiss with a Fatwa that makes such ridiculously false averments as the ones above, and something is even more amiss with the droves of Muftis and Maulanas who simply regurgitate such absurdities as if they are the gospel truth, simply because such Fatwas conform to their base desires.
Regarding such Daleel-less Fatwas of misguidance whose absurdity, incongruity, and falsity is manifest, and which are identical in status to Daleel-less Fatwas today that claim that music produced electronically is no longer the music prohibited in the Ahadith, or that alcohol produced chemically is no longer alcohol, or that perceived “benefits” or widespread prevalence of an abominable evil can transform it into Halaal, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Whosoever has issued a Fatwa which was not substantiated correctly, then the burden of sin will be upon the one who issued the Fatwa.”
Prior to these worst of eras in which the Halaalizers of Haraam started abounding aplenty, the sanctity of the prohibition of pictures of all animate objects was deeply entrenched and a strongly embedded belief in the hearts of the Muslim masses in general.
For the grave evil of Halaalizing what Allah has made Haraam, and for the hundreds of millions of Muslims for whom this deeply embedded sanctity of prohibition would have been a normally insurmountable stumbling block for Shaytaan to lure them eventually into addiction to pornography, into addiction to social media Zina, into addiction to films and television, into addiction to video games, into addiction to Kuffaar sports idolatry, and into addiction to countless other evils which are EXCLUSIVELY available through the means of digital form of Suwar (images/pictures) only, a terrible and unimaginably weighty burden of sins will have to be borne by ALL those who have contributed, whether actively or in silent condonation, towards the propagation and implementation of such Baatil, Daleel-less Fatwas that Halaalize the abominable evil of Tasweer in its most potent form.
“And upon us is only to convey (the Haqq)” (Qur’an)
11 Sha’baan 1444 – 4 March 2023