Photocopying ID cards and documents that bear photographs

Q: We have a photocopier. Is it permissible to photocopy identification cards and documents that bear photographs and the like?


A: The ruling on picture making of living beings that have souls is prohibition. It was reported on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The most grievous torment on the Day of Resurrection will be for those who imitate (Allah) in the act of His creation. (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). It was reported also on the authority of Ibn `Abbas that he said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: Every picture maker will be in Hellfire, every picture he made will be revived by Allah and will torment him in Hellfire." (Part No. 1; Page No. 724) Photographing for living beings that have souls whether human beings or animals is prohibited because it is an attempt to resemble the creation of Allah. But it is permissible, out of necessity, to take photographs for identification cards, passports and for suspects. Otherwise, photographing is not permissible.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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