What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Some people take selfies of themselves with their backs to the Holy Ka’bah in Makkah al-Mukarramah. Likewise, they also take selfies of themselves with their backs to the Sacred Rawdah in Madīnah al-Munawwarah. Is it correct to do this?

Questioner: Waqas from Luton, England


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Taking a selfie of oneself while having one’s back facing the Blessed Ka’bah is disrespectful to the Blessed Ka’bah, and an extremely inappropriate action; to take a selfie with one’s back facing the Sacred Rawdah in Madīnah al-Munawwarah is a worse offence than this. Some ignorant people even have the audacity to busy themselves in taking selfies with their backs facing the Revered Muwājahah (that sacred place towards which the blessed face of the Noble Prophet ﷺ is facing) while giving salām – we seek refuge in Allāh.

The Noble Prophet ﷺ is truly physically alive in bodily form just as he ﷺ was alive before his blessed passing, and when the pilgrims present themselves near the Sacred Muwājahah, then he ﷺ directs his blessed face in order to glance mercifully at them. However, alas! Some ignoramuses are busy in taking selfies with the backs faced towards him ﷺ, just as Imām Muhammad Ibn Hājj Makkī states in Madkhal and Imām Muhammad Qastalānī in Mawāhib Ladunniyyah,

لَا فَرْقَ بَیْنَ مَوْتِہٖ وَحَیَا تِہٖ صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ فِیْ مُشَاھِدَتِہٖ لِاُمَّتِہٖ وَمَعْرِفَتِہٖ بِاَحْوَالِھِمْ ونِیَاتِہِمْ وَعَزَائِمِھِمْ وَخَوَاطِرِھِمْ وَذٰلِکَ عِنْدَہٗ جَلِیٌّ لَا خِفَاءَ بِہٖ

“There is no difference in the living & passing of the Noble Prophet ﷺ; he ﷺ can see his nation, their conditions, their intentions, what they wish for, he ﷺ recognises their heart’s desires, and this is so clear to the Holy Prophet ﷺ whereby there is nothing hidden at all.”

[Mawāhib Ladunniyyah, vol 3, pg 595]

Remember! This is that occasion which is more delicate than the Throne, whose respect is even more than the Throne itself, because that sacred land which is graced by the noble embodiment of light is superior than the Blessed Ka’bah, in fact, even more than the Throne.

[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 10, pg 711]

This is the very topic which the scholars have filled their books regarding the excellences of, and whose respect is not possible to be encompassed, and this is the very place where one is commanded to face, with one’s back to the Ka’bah, because O pilgrim! My master ﷺ is alive, and is gracing you with a merciful glance, but you are stood with your back towards him ﷺ. Yes, yes; my master ﷺ is looking at you with great consideration.

Just as it is stated in Marāq al-Falāh sharh Nūr al-Īdāh,

ثم انهض متوجها إلى القبر الشريف فتقف بمقدار أربعة أذرع بعيدا عن المقصورة الشريفة بغاية الأدب مستدبرا القبلة محاذيا لرأس النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، ووجهه الأكرم ملاحظا نظره السعيد إليك

“Then bowing one’s head, one should direct one’s attention towards the enlightened resting place i.e. one should face towards it, and stand four yards back from the Sacred Tomb, with the utmost level of respect, while facing one’s back towards the Qiblah, one is to stand in front of the blessed head and blessed face, bearing in mind the fact that his blessed gaze is towards you.”

[Marāq al-Falāh sharh Nūr al-Īdāh, pg 283]

How can my eyes be worth a glance

This is your generosity that your attention is directed towards me

The author of Bahār-e-Sharī’at, Muftī Amjad ‘Alī A’zhamī, upon whom be mercy, states that now in the utmost manner of respect, one should lower his neck, eyes looking towards the ground, trembling, shivering, sweat emanating from the sheer regret of sins, hoping for the forgiveness & generosity of the Master of mankind ﷺ, the one presenting himself in their blessed court facing Eastwards towards the magnificent & enlightened resting place of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. If a person presents themselves facing this direction, then the blessed glance of the Noble Prophet ﷺ which gives refuge to the helpless will be towards yourself, and this is all you need for (success in) this life and the next. And praise be to Allāh Almighty.

[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 6, pg 1224]

This is the place where the prayers & supplications of all are answered, and the blessed father of A’lāhadrat – Mawlānā Naqī ‘Alī Khān, upon whom be countless mercies – states when writing with regards to the 26th place where prayers & supplications are answered that the noble and sacred resting place of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is where prayers & supplications are answered. Imām Ibn al-Jazarī states that if prayers & supplications are not answered here, then where will they be answered! I’m mentioning the blessed verse,

وَلَوْ اَنَّھُمْ اِذۡ ظَّلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَھُمْ جَآءُوۡکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللہَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَہُمُ الرَّسُوۡلُ لَوَجَدُوا اللہَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِیۡمًا

This is proof enough for this matter. The Lord ﷻ can forgive any person, but it is stated that,

{And if when they do injustice to their own souls (by committing sins), then O Beloved, they should come to your august court, and then seek forgiveness from Allāh ﷺ, and the Messenger intercedes for them, so they would definitely find Allāh ﷺ the Greatest Acceptor of repentance, the Most Merciful}

[Sūrah al-Nisā’, 64]

[Ahsan al-Wi’ā’, pg 48]

How elegantly and great someone said in Persian regarding the blessed & sacred resting place of the Noble Prophet ﷺ,

“The place of respect & reverence under the sky which is even more delicate than the Throne is indeed the resting place of al-Mustafā ﷺ, where great personalities such as the likes of Junayd and Bāyazīd would hold their breath when presenting themselves.”

Thus, it is essential for Muslims to first learn the manners, etiquettes & respect of presenting oneself in the noble court of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, and then present themselves. Moreover, people must also avoid taking selfies etc. with their backs faced towards the blessed & sacred resting place, otherwise even the smallest of inadvertent oversights can cause one’s deeds to fritter away.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali

Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0738] Is it allowed to take selfies with our back towards the blessed Kabah and resting place of our Prophet ﷺ?

Also see:

[Q-ID0529] How is to take my newlywed Wife for Umrah, and engaging in sexual relations in Makkah and Madinah?

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