Oh, shoot. Picture problems...

>> Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have a very small problem, but I don't know what to do and I hope you can help me. I started wearing hijab last year and alhamdillah, it's been very good. But a few days ago I found out that this person I used to be good friends with but no longer speak with put up pictures (that have me in them) on her facebook. The problem is that I'm not wearing hijab in those pictures. I'm not sure what do to. Should I let her keep them since I wasn't wearing hijab then or should I ask her to remove them? And if I should ask her to remove them, how should I do that since I no longer talk to her?
- Thanks so much for your help,

Teensy weensy shy

Dear “A Teensy Weensy Shy”

Ma’shaAllah! I am sOooO proud of you for wearing hijab, ma’shaAllah. That’s wonderful!

As for your question, I hear you. Man, oh, man, is facebook a little problema because of all the pictures on it.

I don’t have a fatwa for this, but even though you weren’t wearing hijab at the time that picture was taken, if you were SUPPOSED to be wearing hijab, you really probably should try to avoid having those pictures up there. Not only that, but you said they were pictures of you one year ago- right? You probably didn’t really change much (in terms of looks). I don’t know, but I’d feel really uncomfy with people seeing pictures of me that still clearly look like me- you get me.

So what to do… I can think of 2 options.

  1. You tell a mutual friend of yours to inform her that you started wearing hijab and have asked everyone that has pictures of you not to post them on facebook/etc. Remember, there are chances that she doesn’t even know that you wear hijab.
  2.  You send her a message on facebook/ or her e-mail, yourself….preferably NOT one like this:
You little scum, you. How dare you put up pictures of ME?”

That would be a huge, big, No NO! Seriously, though, I know it can be hard to think of what to say which is why I wrote a little template for you.

Dear X,
How are you? It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I know we had some problems in the past- I’m really sorry about that. But we also had a lot of good memories, didn’t we? And lots of crazy, fun times :P

The thing is, the other day, Y was checking her FB (or however it happened- you explain) and I saw that you had put up some pictures of me. I know you might not know this, but I started wearing the hijab. (This is the veil that we Muslim girls wear as a command from God in front of male strangers). Since I’m not covered in those pics, I feel a little uncomfortable with them being on the internet. I’d really appreciate it if you could remove the pictures or even just black me out. I could even photoshop it myself (err, teensy, do you know how to do that hehe), if you want. Thank you so much.

*End of template*

Any normal person would honor such a polite request/ or honor the friendship that you once shared and immediately remove any pictures of you. If, however, she refuses, then you have a small problem. We’ll cross that bridge when that happens, though.

However, I’m not done, yet. I’d like to take the opportunity now to give some advice to our readers.

1. Be careful. Once someone takes a picture of you, you are no longer in control. You don’t where your pictures will end up. You don’t know who is looking at you, what they’re doing, how they think, etc. This might sound like the words of a paranoid aunt, but it happens. Like Teensy Weensy Shy, this is especially a big problem if you take the picture and you’re not wearing hijab (whether you actually wear the veil or not) because you might have to deal with such pictures later. It can have ‘devastating effects’….so just be careful :)

2. NEVER put up pictures of people on facebook without their permission. Seriously. Not everyone one feels comfy with pictures of them on the internet and not all parents allow the same things for their children. I know this might seem a little ‘harsh/extreme’ but just because you are friends with someone and you took a picture with them that you really like, doesn’t mean that person wants you to put that picture up. Ask them. Do they mind? Is it okay? If you don’t want to ask permission, cut them out. They have the right to decide what they want up/ don’t want.

3. My personal tip for hijabis who put up pictures of their friends who do not wear hijab. We cannot guide our friends but we are responsible to give nasiha. See, when you go walking out with your friend, it’s your friend’s decision to let people look at her and she will have to deal with that on the Day of Judgment. BUT when you put up her pictures, you are responsible for those people on your list/ in your home/whatever who look at her. Think about it. Don’t you love your friends enough that you don’t to encourage her to do wrong things?

Remember, this hadith:
"Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith."

When we put pictures of her up, are we really following that?

Besides, you might also want to read this: Interesting Article

OK, teensy weensy a little shy, I hope this helps you a bit. And remember readers…You’re gorgeous. You’re a diva. You’re beautiful. How could you not be when Allah created you? But be grateful to Him and honor His commands…even on your facebook,

6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Unknown January 16, 2011 at 3:51 AM  

Loved the answer. This is exactly what I think as well.
Two thumbs up.

M.4.D January 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM  

You little scum, you. How dare you put up pictures of ME?”

I know thats horrible but it made LAUGH! hahaha!

Love the article! I hate fitnabook, whatever happened to real in-person-face talk!?

Much love!

syurga kecil January 18, 2011 at 5:50 AM  

Masya Allah, ^_~
such an informative answer you have been shared.

Little Auntie January 19, 2011 at 6:00 PM  

LOOOOL fitnabook :P

Thank you, girlies!

Anonymous,  May 29, 2011 at 7:01 AM  

i love the way you answer! :) the flow of it...amazing! Masha Allah :)

Anonymous,  April 8, 2012 at 12:43 AM  

Dear little aunites,
I am alittle unsure of what to do about my little problem. You see I am going to start wearing hijab this summer inshallah but I have a facebook and in all my pictures I do not have a hijab on and in all the pictures that I have been tagged on by friends and family I also do not have a hijab on. I am just confused about what step to take becausd I really do not want to delete my facebook because that is how I communicate with my friends back home since Im in America now. Thank you so much!

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Asalamu aialkum!
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