Recording a Scholar Without Permission

Question: In the past, I have sat in semi-private and private gatherings with a well-known Sheikh. I recorded these meetings without notifying him. Have I done wrong here and should I delete these files?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. It is not permissible for you to record someone’s audio or video in a private or public setting without their permission. If I were you, I would return to that scholar and tell him the matter. If he permits that you keep the recordings for yourself or otherwise, then act accordingly.

Always be cautious of doing something out of good intention. It may still contravene the shari`ah if done without the correct knowledge. You could end up harming the very person that you are trying to benefit from.

See this related link:

Ruling on recording university lectures without the permission of the lecturer

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.