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Many converts will have Christmas photos, in which they will not be observing hijab, be drinking alcohol, celebrating Christmas, eating Christmas ham, etc., none of which is particularly Islamic. However, these photos will also including their loved ones as they grew up, and will be irreplaceable memories, and thus not easy to discard.

These photos can both be hard copies, in electronic format (on their personal computer), or on social media (e.g. Facebook, for all their friends to see).

Question: What should a convert do with their old Christmas photos?

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If it is in the public domain and one has control over it then it should be taken down because it is haram to display oneselves, or any other hijab observing woman, in public. In case, it is not in one's control they should at least try (Allah does look at your intentions).

I cannot say for sure if one should get rid of them, but it is neccessary that one should put it in a safe place so that only your mahram and you can see it. This is also a personal decision, there could be things that one would think I would rather not have or see it again, and erase the memory of.

It is also haram for a man to look at (the pictures of) a woman who he knows observes hijab but isn't in that setting e.g. a private family setting with just the mahrams. It is even haram to look at their hair.

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This is a personal thought which may help you with the problem.

In keeping with an ideal Islamic spirit, other than the sweet memories, those photos must probably also remind you of a sinful past life! So this thought may help you feel less attached to them and makes it easier to discard. Moreover depending on how deeply you feel about Islam, those photos may also invoke in you pity about those friends and relatives who continue to spend their lives in those sinful ways due to absence of faith and hence you may still feel less about those common memories.

Practically then, you may want to keep the Islamically appropriate ones and discard the unIslamic ones. Or alternately if you still feel attached to them, you may only choose to blur or shade out the unIslamic objects, gestures or settings in those photos and then keep them.

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‌There's an English saying : It's the thought that counts

There's also an Arabic narration: انمال الاعمال بالنیات deeds are ranked by the intention.

You said: However, these photos will also including their loved ones as they grew up, and will be irreplaceable memories

We have all sinned. We have to repent, We can't put in a nail in our brain to destroy that piece of memory. You're not committing any sin by looking at your old pictures, possibly with your grandma, uncle, aunt, etc. Some who have departed. Keep those memories alive, in Islam the meaning of صله رحم (tying with your kin) applies even after the person is dead, as you visit their grave and see forgiveness on their behalf, do good in their name.

Just remember whenever you see those pictures say الهی العفو، استغفر الله +‌ Alhamdulillah that I was guided just as it's said on your profile | Please don't take away this guidance from me.


As a side note. Something that may be worth knowing is that:

AFAIK Islam is a religion that has core guidelines. It's not a religion that would tells you, when x happens while Y has happened and then if Z was less than then you can do such.

It's more a religion of X is better (because of such and such). Y should never be done (because of such and such). Z is doable, but not really good. (so go figure out yourself).

You ask many questions on ISE, which aren't about core Islamic guidelines, rather you are specifically asking about how to apply it, your are narrowing it down. ( And since you are a convert your case is very different, I mentioned this so you get a better understanding of Islam)

Such questions are OK to ask, but it's best that you realize you are asking for suggestions rather than actual Ahkam. You are suppose to understand/fathom the core guidelines + apply them using your own wisdom. Not other people's wisdoms. At max what another can do is, explain the details of that guideline. You should apply it yourself. You know the whole situation yourself better. If a scholar starts giving such narrow guidelines publicly it becomes somewhat hard for others to understand where to apply what.

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