Bringing magazines that contain photographs to the Masjid

Q: Some Muslim brothers bring magazines into the Masjid to show some articles to others, like the one published in Al-I`tisam magazine concerning the issue of the imported meat. It is known that this magazine publishes the photographs of scholars, and sometimes these photographs are published on the cover. Is it permissible to bring this magazine that includes such photographs inside the Masjid to clarify a legal affair, like the matter of the imported meat? The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith: Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture. What about the Masjid in this case?

A: There is a rule in the Shari`ah (Islamic law) stating that things are determined according to the intentions behind them. Thus, if the intention of bringing these magazines - that have pictures - into the Masjids is to achieve a preponderant legal interest, then it is permissible to do this. Otherwise, it is impermissible. Yet, the faces of the people in these photos should be effaced before brining such magazines into the Masjid, and the same is applicable if the magazines are to be kept inside the Masjid.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.