Indian clerics tell Muslim girls not to post 'selfies' on Facebook

Two leading helplines for young Muslims seeking guidance have warned teenagers that in Islam the only men who should see their faces are close relatives and their husbands.

Their edict will be difficult to enforce within India’s growing ranks of middle class Muslims among whom social networking is as popular as it is in the West.

Sunni and Shia clerics have warned them, however, that true relationships and friendships cannot be made over the internet and that it is wrong for girls to project their charms online.

Maulana Tauquir Raza Khan, president of the Itehad-e-Millat Council, in Barelli, Uttar Pradesh said Muslim girls were at risk on social networks.

“Uploading pictures on Facebook or other social networking sites should be avoided. As per the Islamic traditions showing your face to unknown and unrelated men is prohibited. Moreover, these pictures can be misused by any person. Social networking sites should be used for better things than displaying ones physical beauty,” he said.


Question to our Islamic participants: Is this a common reflection of Islam? Is this extreme? What is your opinion of this?


Sounds like good advice to me. I am not Muslim but believe this is sound advice to all.


This I agree with. :rolleyes:

I think this is stupid. I don’t think risqué photos should be posted and I’m pretty sure a picture of one’s face isn’t risqué. PARENTS should be making sure that their kids have the proper security measures and privacy settings. They should also make sure that they monitor who their kids “friend.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

Of course I think you should show your face online. But I hate “selfies”. Post pictures of you with your friends or doing something, but don’t take a picture of your face with your phone just to show off how pretty you look that day.


If it were about keeping young women safe, I agree. (Too many potential predators out there, and I think children’s online activity should be closely monitored)

If it were about refraining from excessive pride and vanity, I agree.

But I don’t agree with the actual reasoning that was presented - that only husbands and male family members should be able to view a woman’s countenance. It reeks of sexual control to me, not to mention a profound ignorance of female sexual response to attractive men.

Yes. If one has a beautiful face it seems a shame to hide it.

I believe that veiling one’s face in the manner proposed isn’t a muslim requirement. I knew a female Muslim who didn’t veil or dress in any way that’s perceived in the West as muslim attire. She told me and a group of other people, in response to another’s question, that the only requirement is to dress modestly. That doesn’t include having to cover the face.

You’re right, it’s not an absolute requirement. If I’m not mistaken, I think a lot of customs are influenced by particular imams. Which is why in some Muslim countries women are garbed head-to-foot, and in other countries the women can wear jeans or other western clothes with a hajib. I’ve even seen Muslim women cover their hair, but wear make-up on their bared faces. So this directive (to not expose the face) could be merely an individual cleric’s advice.

I see face-covering not as a blanket Islamic tradition, but as some of its authorities taking the issue of modesty to the extreme.

Good advice; modesty cannot be overstated. However, imho it’s the theological extreme opposite of secular objectification of woman.

We can admire beauty without it being sexual. No reason God would want all woman to hide her face from the world (except maybe Cecile Richards :p)

I wish more teens/women would dress more modestly. Some leave nothing to the imagination. Covering the face is not a requirement of Islam.

Sounds like the Muslim clerics are concerned about revealing dress and inappropriate poses which is a valid concern. I agree with them.

My argument that the only real solution to the modesty problem in Islam is that their men should only be let out of the house when blindfolded and accompanied by their mothers (mothers-in-law after marriage) is easily applied to the internet. Muslim males should only go online while blindfolded and with their mother/mother-in-law in attendance.

In no way do I want to resurrect an old thread, but this is the only one that seems relevant to a question I have, and please, before the moderators delete it, it is a serious question.

Many people have accounts on the social network “Instagram.” Basically, it is a social network where pictures are shared. In my opinion, it could be used quite effectively to inform others about what is happening in one’s life. However, it seems like a lot of teenagers post “selfies” and other group pictures on there that might not be relevant to the original purpose of the network.

Should something like Instagram be avoided? Is it wrong to post selfies and have other people “like” them? I am obviously not talking about immodest photos. That is a no brainer. However, what about modest photos?

I have heard differing opinions from priests regarding the subject. For example, when I asked one priest in the confessional “Should I avoid photos of girls on Facebook?” He responded, “What kind of photos?” It seemed like he was drawing a line between modest and immodest, okay to view and not okay to view.

However, another priest said to avoid photos. However, I believe it was because he was under the impression I was only talking about immodest photos.

Finally, some priests who I know but haven’t spoken to about the issue have Instagrams themselves! One even follows Miley Cyrus (Let’s be realistic. I am going to avoid her Instagram because I know nothing good will come out of it.)

I am just confused if it is alright to have this social network. I avoid immodest photos and anything that might lead to sexual arousal. However, what about “clean” pictures of guys and girls?

Thank you for input, this question is not only from me but from many other people. I would like to give them a good answer.

“Selfies” for the most part glorify oneself. It’s an issue of pride, not modesty.

I suspect that that site is oversimplifying that fatwa that was given (whether that’s intentional or not, I don’t know). That is a common view, though, that women and men should not post pictures of themselves online. As for the view that women shouldn’t display their faces at all to non-mahrams [males who aren’t relatives/spouses], that’s also a common view. That would be the viewpoint that says that the niqab is obligatory.

I’ve met some sisters who believe that the niqab is obligatory; they wear it out of a deep sense of conviction and that can be a beautiful thing. They wear it not out of fear of men, but fear of Allah azza wa jal (which, by the way, fear of God is different kind of fear :stuck_out_tongue: ).

I’m with the Imams on this one. Family/one off/event photos are different from the endless clog of people (especially teens) taking photos of themselves posing in different attire, most of it inappropriate in their bedrooms in one afternoon designed specifically for ‘likes’ or flattering comments.

It’s narcissistic, tacky and reeks of low self esteem.

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