There is a new book coming out November 5th, written by Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the world’s foremost scholars on the subject of Islam. It's mostly photographs, 140 of them, all of worship and spaces in Mecca and Medina. The photographer got the permission from the Saudi government, which is very very rare. They're all in color. What do you think of this kind of publication? Does it work toward inter-faith understanding?
The question has been closed for the following reason "Posted on Islam.com Community site." by Irfan Alam Oct 21 '13 at 12:26
Firstly, In the Bible is the command, not to make graven images, secondly, The Hadiths, and im not sure whether The Quran contains, information on pictures. As modern man is influenced and manipulated by pictures, and with the internet, it seems prevalently conduced by pictures to attract attention. We easily forget the simplicity of the command of Allahs. Portraits are strewn all over the internet and on identity documents, and of course books.
We also have to be careful about how we make a living, by halal means is the only acceptable way. I do not condemn this scholar, may Allah forgive him, maybe we do not know his intentions, for Allah knows best.
In the interest of knowledge, pictures are not always necessary. In particular fields of study they may be needed, i.e, medicine, anatomy, etc. For purpose of i.d documents it is something we can not avoid, as Allah states, follow the laws of the land. As regards educating the other faiths, and our own , are pictures really necessary??? Written information is more informative and says far more than a picture could. If we need to see places, given this finance, then travel and seek knowledge, and see what has been before us, and what is to come.
IMAGE MAKERS WILL BE PUNISHED ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT
Narrated Abdullah ibn 'Umar (d. 73H) radiallahu 'anhu: Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Those who make these images (suwar) will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them, make alive what you have created." [Al-Bukhari 7/541, no.835; Muslim, 3/160, no. 5268]
Al-Hafidh ibn Hajar (d. 852H) said, "It is a command to do that which one is unable to do. From it we get a description of how the punishment of the image-maker will be. He will be ordered to breathe the soul into the image which he has made and he will not be able to do so. As a result his punishment will continue (unceasingly)." [Fath ul-Bari, 10/398]
It should also be mentioned that there must be consideration in this matter if the making of a picture is necessitate by urgency or emergency, such as x-rays for identification or diagnosis of a disease or sickness. In this case the condition is that the picture itself be not the immediate goal or objective. This is based on the rule is usul ul-fiqh: necessity should be measured by the existing circumstances. Whatever goes beyond that, to the point of being done out of pride, and enjoyment of these images, is forbidden. [Nuzhat ul-Muttaqin, 2/1150, no. 1680]
ANGELS DO NOT ENTER A HOUSE WHERE THERE ARE IMAGES
Abu Hurayrah radiallahu 'anhu reported Allah's Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam as saying, "Angels do not enter a house (or any other place) where there are statues (tamathil) or pictures (tasawir)." [Muslim 3/1162, no. 5276]
Whoever is pleased to have images in his house himself prohibits the entry of the angels. The angels do not enter because of their rejection and disapproval of the act of the image makers in violation of the laws of Allah, the Most High. The result of this is that the absence of the angels is an open invitation to the devils. According to some scholars the angels which are prohibited from entry are only the angels of mercy, and not all angels, since the angels who write the deeds of human beings (al-Hafazah) do not separate from the human simply because of the presence of images. [Nuzhat ul-Muttaqin, 2/1153, no. 1686 and 1688]
Ibn Hajar says its apparent meaning is that it is general (i.e. applicable to all angels).
Al-Qurtubi says, "That which points to the recording angels being a special exception i.e. that they are not prevented from entering, has no supporting textual evidence."