Indian Project Trains Muslim Women to be Photographers, Defies Fatwa

An educational project in India is encouraging Muslim women to take up photography, in defiance of a controversial fatwa issued earlier this year that said the practice was "unIslamic."

Woman's advocacy group Aawaaz-e-Niswaan -- which is based in the Mumbai suburb of Kurla -- has trained more than a dozen women in photography skills, going against of regional customs and, now, this particular fatwa.

Photography is a Sin, According to India’s Leading Islamic Seminary

Update: The rector of Darul Uloom came out to clarify some of the statements included in the original Hindustan Times article quoted in this post. We have included the significant portion of the update at the bottom.

In response to a question by an engineering graduate who wanted to follow his passion for photography, Darul Uloom, India's leading Islamic seminary, issued a fatwa declaring photography and that particular career path "unlawful and a sin."

Photographer Captures Intimate Photos of Mecca with a Medium-Format Camera

Mecca in Saudi Arabia is considered to be the holiest city of Islam, and is only accessible to Muslims. 38-year-old London photographer Toufic Beyhum wanted to document what a pilgrimage is like for a Muslim and to "portray the peaceful and spiritual side of Islam", so he brought along a Hasselblad 500 medium-format camera when he visited the city. His images -- a few of which were snapped in locations where photography was prohibited -- offer an intimate look at locations that most people will never be allowed to see in their lifetimes.