Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I own a marketing company and provide social media marketing to businesses. To gain credibility in my services, I also promote my own account. Recently, I’ve had a discussion with my wife, and she thinks it’s hypocritical of me to promote myself online while not allowing her to post pictures of herself on Instagram.
She wears a hijab and sees no harm in posting pictures. But I can’t get over the fact that her pictures will be freely accessible to other men. I know of ghayra (praiseworthy protective jealousy) but I don’t know whether I’m taking it too far.
This is the meaning of ghayra. Jealousy (ghayra) is linguistically defined as a person’s dislike of another’s sharing in a right (which belongs to the former). [Birgivi, al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya; Nahlawi al-Durar al-Mubaha]
It has a sense of earnest concern or zeal over something. Moreover, it can be considered as a kind of protective jealousy.
The Protective Jealousy (Ghayra) of Spouses
The protective jealousy that you have for your wife is absolutely correctly placed and should not be treated as a negative thing. The advent of social media makes more and more people believe that it is fine to display oneself to the opposite gender without any regard to the Quranic injunction of lowering one’s gaze.
The likes of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram stoop all communication to the low level of speaking through pictures when more emphasis should be put on words, meanings, and encouraging each other to do good and forbidding evil. I believe that it is fantastic that you do not let her post her pictures and this is a step in the right direction for the ummah.
Please see this video about social media:
Etiquette of Social Media – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin
Promoting your own account for marketing purposes is perfectly permissible. When one has the intention to post photos strictly out of promoting one’s work, which aids one’s lawful income, it is a very good reason to follow the opinion that photography is permissible according to several major scholars in all the schools:
What is the Ruling on Taking Pictures and Drawing Animate Objects?
See this link:
Is the Income Earned Through Media Activities Permissible?
The issue that you are discussing with your wife regards two very different things. One is leisure while the other is work. One concerns a palpable benefit, while the other has more harm than benefit. I agree with your stance. Always be kind to her, be generous, helpful, loving, and fulfill your obligations to Allah. She may well agree with you in the long run, in sha Allah. Take a course at Seekers together so she can understand your point of view and see what the scholars say on the halal and haram for herself. Nothing convinces a person better learning through direct Sacred knowledge.
May Allah bless you both and give you the best in this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.