According to the Shariah, how is it to earn one's livelihood through the following means:
1) Designing billboards, posters, banners and packaging materials
2) Making TV advertisements
3) Taking photographs of weddings
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
We appreciate you writing to the Darul Iftaa and we commend you for your concern of the permissibility of your earnings according to the Shariah. Indeed, to be concerned about one’s earnings is of utmost importance and is a blessing of Allah Ta’ala. According to the following hadith, one of the first things a person will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment will be about his earnings:
Abu Barza al-Aslami (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “On the Day of Judgment, no slave (of Allah) will be able to move from his place until he is questioned about: how he spent his life, how much he acted upon his knowledge, where he earned his money from and on what things he spent it, how he utilized his body.” (Tirmizi, hadith 2341)
Also, consider the following ahaadith:
Sayyiduna Jabir ibn Abdullah (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Flesh which has grown out of what is unlawful will not enter Paradise, but Hell is more fitting for all flesh which has grown out of what is unlawful” (Tirmizi; Introduction to Islamic Commerce by Mufti Ebrahim Desai: pg 7)
Sayyiduna Rafi’ ibn Khadij (Radiyallahu Anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) was asked what type of earning was best and replied, “A man’s work with his hand and every business transaction which is approved.” (Ahmad; Introduction to Islamic Commerce by Mufti Ebrahim Desai: pg 8)
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) has stated, “An honest, truthful businessman will be (on the Day of Judgment) among the Prophets, sincere Believers and martyrs.” (Tirmizi; Introduction to Islamic Commerce by Mufti Ebrahim Desai: pg 9)
Indeed, a person who abstains from haram earnings out of the fear of Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala will put barakah and blessings in his halal earnings. Allah Ta’ala says:
وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا (2) وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ
“And he who fears Allah, He will make for him a way out; And will provide for him from where he expects not; And he who puts his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him.” (Quran 65:2-3)
Reverting to your questions, you mentioned that you do the following types of jobs: 1) designing billboards, posters, banners and packaging materials 2) making TV advertisements 3) taking photographs of weddings. Hereunder we discuss each of these separately.
Designing billboards, posters, banners and packaging materials
Designing billboards, posters, banners and packaging materials is permissible with two conditions:
1) The first condition is that the billboard, poster, banner or packaging must not be for a haram product or a haram service. This is not permissible as it is assisting in sins. Allah Ta’ala says:
وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ
“And help one another in righteousness and in piety; but help not one another in sin and transgression” (Quran 5:2)
2) The second condition is that the design does not contain pictures of humans and animals. It comes in a hadith that on the Day of Judgement, the worst punishment will be given to those who made pictures (Bukhari, hadith 5494). In another hadith, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Those who make these pictures will be punished on the Day of Judgement and it will be said to them ‘Give life to what you created’.” (Bukhari, hadith 5495). However, drawing/printing pictures of inanimate objects (such as trees, buildings etc.) is permissible. Consider the following narration:
عن سعيد بن أبي الحسن قال كنت عند ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما إذ أتاه رجل فقال يا أبا عباس إني إنسان إنما معيشتي من صنعة يدي وإني أصنع هذه التصاوير فقال ابن عباس لا أحدثك إلا ما سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول سمعته يقول من صور صورة فإن الله معذبه حتى ينفخ فيها الروح وليس بنافخ فيها أبدا فربا الرجل ربوة شديدة واصفر وجهه فقال ويحك إن أبيت إلا أن تصنع فعليك بهذا الشجر كل شيء ليس فيه روح
Sa῾īd ibn Abil Hasan rahmatullah ῾alayh says, “I was by Ibn ῾Abbās radiallahu ῾anhu when a person came and said. “Oh Ibn ῾Abbās, my source of income is through the labour of my hands and I manufacture these pictures.” Ibn ῾Abbās radiallahu ῾anhu said. “I will not narrate to you except what I heard from Rasulullah salallahu ῾alayhi wasallam. I heard Rasulullah salallahu ῾alayhi wasallam saying, “Whosoever draws a picture, verily Allah will punish him until he can blow life into the picture and most definitely he will not be able to blow life into it. (so the punishment will be permanent).”” The person got very worried and the colour of his face changed. Ibn ῾Abbās radiallahu ῾anhu then said to him, “If you insist on manufacturing pictures then manufacture/draw pictures of this tree and all those things that do not have life (inanimate objects)”. (Bukhari, hadith 2073)
Making TV advertisements
Before understanding the ruling on making advertisements for TV, it is important to understand the ruling on watching TV itself. For this please read the following answer: http://askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=a6213e913e5d0494f9e9ccd6139df951
It is clear that TV and movies are a compound of many great evils and haram acts and that TV and movies have played a great role in promoting and spreading promiscuity and evil throughout the world. Hence, making TV is not permissible as it falls under assisting in sins. And if the advertisements contain other haram elements -- such as pictures of humans, music etc. – then the prohibition of such issues is clear.
Taking photographs of weddings
As mentioned earlier, it is not permissible to take pictures of animate objects. Hence, it will not be correct to use that as a source of income.
Almighty Allah Ta’ala has given you the tawfeeq and courage to ask these questions. Allah wants to guide you to pure and wholesome income. Allah Ta’ala has taken the responsibility to sustain you. You inculcate the courage and adopt halal means. Make an effort to adopt all permissible worldly means and make dua to Allah. Allah will guide you to pure and halal income if you are honest and sincere. May Allah grant you barakah in your intention and courage. Aameen.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Faizal Riza
Darul Ifta Australia
Mufti-Online.net answers issues pertaining to Shariah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.mufti-online.net for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Mufti-Online.net bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
- The Shariah ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
- Mufti-Online.net bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
- This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of Mufti-Online.net.
- Any or all links provided in our emails, answers and articles are restricted to the specific material being cited. Such referencing should not be taken as an endorsement of other contents of that website.