Muslim clerics in Lucknow are of contrasting views on allowing Muslim women post their pictures on social networking sites.
While some say that the practice is completely un-Islamic and should be strictly discouraged by girls, others are of the view that it is a part of development and there is no harm in doing so if the picture is not posted for a wrong purpose.
Abul Irfan Naimul Halim Firagni Mahli said, “There are so many crimes taking place each day. The animal instincts of men are not sparing girls even within the four walls. In such a case posting pictures is extending an open invitation to such crimes.”
He said that irrespective of the religion and community, girls should not post their pictures on the Internet. For those who are Muslims, they must understand that purdah is a must in Islam and posting pictures is very much against the practice.
He said that if the girls are young and they don’t understand the harsh side effects of the trend, it is our duty to explain it to them and set them on the right track.
Endorsing the views, Shia cleric Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi said that there have been a rise in the number of calls made on the Lucknow-based helplines, run for Shia and Sunni Muslims where callers have been asking if Islam allows them to make accounts on facebook and twitter.
He said, “We tell them there is no harm in making an account because it may be for enhancing knowledge. But posting pictures is certainly against Islam. Purdah is compulsory for all Muslim women and in such a case making the face public by posting it on the Internet is un Islamic.”
On the contrary, prominent Shia cleric Ali Nasir Syeed Abaqati alias Agha Roohi said that the concept about purdah needs to be clear.
He said, “Women must cover their heads upto their forehead on the top and cover the chin. The Irani hijab is the real purdah.”
Open face is not un-Islamic, he said, adding the world was moving fast and one should be practical in life. He said technoloigical advaces should be adopted for improvement in quality of life. He said picture with Hijab on Net was not un-Islamic.
Another Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad said women can post pictures and exchange it among themselves through Internet. However, if it is for attracting boys, then the practice is certainly un-Islamic.”
He said that pictures of girls can be posted for the purpose of getting married. He said purpose and intention of posting of picture on Internet was important.