In a bizarre diktat, Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur has issued a fatwa saying Muslims are prohibited from posting their or their families' photographs on social media sites.
Darul Uloom, one of the largest Islamic seminaries in India, termed publication of photos of self or family on social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp ' un-Islamic '.
The fatwa was issued on Wednesday by Darul Iftaa, the fatwa department of the Darul Uloom Deoband, after a man approached it recently asking if posting photos on social media sites was allowed in the religion.
Mufti Tariq Qasmi, an Islamic scholar associated with a madarssa here, said when clicking pictures unnecessarily is not allowed in Islam how posting photos on social can be allowed.
The edict has divided not only general Muslim population but also the cleric community. While some Muslim clerics say that if photographs for the purpose of Aadhaar, voter ID card and driving license is allowed then why not for the social media.
Maulana Abbas Basir said while there is no issue for men uploading pictures on social media, women can post pictures only in hijab.
Another cleric Maulana Ashrafi said Islam does not allow publishing pictures for self-publicity.
Muslim youths, however, disagree with the diktat and say that social media helps them connect with the world and that they would not follow the fatwa.