To ‘Selfie’ Or Not To ‘Selfie’ During Haj Pilgrimage?

Kuala Lumpur – Famous Arab scholar has addressed his concern over selfies taken by pilgrims whilst performing the haj pilgrimage.

In an article published on academician Sheikh Abdul Razzaq Al-Badr strongly cautioned against taking photos during the haj season.

“When the Prophet (peace be upon him) reached the Miqaat (customary stations where pilgrims are place during their hajj) he would say: ‘0 Allah make this a Haj without riya (showing off) and without trying to be heard of”, said Sheikh Abdul Razzaq.

He stated that the act of documenting images in the holy land of Makkah and Madinah, followed by the act of sharing them as ‘mementos’ of sorts — on social media had encouraged pilgrims using their phones in the holy mosques which can be a disincentive to achieving humility and tranquility while performing acts of worship, especially during the once-in-a-lifetime journey of haj pilgrimage.

Khairulazman Mohamad, 40 who performed his umrah in 2013 however, begs to differ. He said he has no qualms with pilgrims immersing themselves with tourist activities or taking pictures during their haj pilgrimage.

“Almost everybody in Makkah and Madinah were taking pictures and selfies. Even I did it. I did it so that I can tell my stories and share this wonderful experience with my families. I have no problems with other people taking selfies during haj – it is totally their business. I don’t see it as an issue,” he said.

Ustaz Muhammad Asyraf Mohd Ridzuan, the winner of reality show, Imam Muda Astro Oasis (Season One) opined that there is no prohibition in Islam when it comes to taking pictures when performing the haj pilgrimage.

“When you say riya or showing off, it really boils down to your intention … and intention is what lies within you and can’t be seen by the naked eyes. It is between you and Allah Almighty and no living human can ever justify whether that person is riya or not,” said Muhammad Asyraf.

“So really, I have no objection whatsoever with pilgrims taking selfies as long as it does not cause any inconvenience or intrude other pilgrims performing the haj,” Muhammad Asyraf added.

“Everyone’s doing it and to me it is perfectly fine,” said Abdul Razak Chik, Executive Editor of Astro Awani, who performed the haj last year.

Abdul Razak said that Makkah and Madinah are the perfect place and time share and eternalise unforgettable moments with families and friends. – Awani

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