Question:

I wanted to ask if it is permissible to use webcam? Like talking with relatives overseas (i.e. parents, sisters, brothers etc.) Does it fall under the same law as pictures? What about videos?

How about if one uses the webcam (sometimes) as a mirror? Like seeing your face or hair? There is no live transmission, nothing is stored or saved. Just open the software and check your face etc.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There is a difference of opinion whether digital image produced through a digital camera constitute as a tasweer or not. On both sides of this difference, there are god fearing and pious Ulama’.

It is my humble opinion that the image rendered through digital camera is a proper image, and the rules of tasweer will be applied to it.

This is regardless whether one saves the stream or merely points the camera. The stream which is displayed on the screen of the device is completely different from an analogue camera. In an analogue camera the light rays are reflected and refracted through the lenses to display in the eye-viewer. Whereas in a digital camera the light rays are immediately converted to raw binary data which goes through a compression before it is displayed on the lcd screen. This process entails that the image/stream is already saved in the buffer before the stream can be displayed.

Nonetheless, the caution demands to opt for the safer option which in this case is to abstain from using any digital imaging utility. This will be a mean of Taqwa and blessings. In issues where there is a difference of opinion, it is better to err on the side of caution. I urge you to read this small article from Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb on the issue: http://www.qafila.org/abstain-from-the-pasture-of-allah/

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi

www.fatwa.ca