Fatwa n° 149
Category: Fatwas about financial transactions – Hiring
The ruling concerning making shoes having pictures of animals on them
I have a brother who works in a private company, this latter manufactures shoes on which there are pictures of animals and other creatures that have souls as the human being. We would like you to deliver a fatwa concerning this delicate issue. Find in the attachments samples of these pictures. So, is this job permissible or not? May Allah reward you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:
Know that there is a difference –in the ruling- between making pictures and possessing them.
This being said, when it comes to making pictures by hand through carving, engraving or drawing, such an act is basically prohibited because of the resemblance of Allah’s creation that it entails, according to what is confirmed in the hadiths texts prohibiting that and justifying the prohibition through this meaning. However, pictures of objects that do not have soul as well as pictures representing parts of the body such as the hand, the foot, the eye, the finger and suchlike parts are excluded from the prohibition forasmuch as they are not a complete body.
As for possessing pictures and using them, this has different rulings varying according to the circumstances and cases that are attached to their use:
· If the use is based on having a statue that has a shadow among the creatures that have a soul, then this is unanimously prohibited whether the statue is hung, put on a support or preserved.
· As for the pictures that do not have a shadow, they are either hung or not hung:
Ø If they are hung on the wall and are printed or engraved on curtains, then if the picture is glorified, it comes under the ruling of prohibition; and if it is not glorified, then it is strongly detestable.
Ø When it comes to pictures that are not hung and are humiliated through the fact that one walks on them, wears or sits on them such as cushions and pillows and suchlike uses that are beyond the glorification or the fact of being hung, then there is no matter to possess and use them, according to the hadith of Abî Talha رضي الله عنه : “Except a figure on a garment”(1), and other hadiths.The children’s toys and suchlike objects meant for the amusement of kids are also excluded from the prohibition, according to the famous hadith of ‘Â’isha (2), provided that such toys are not associated with any aspect of nakedness, depravity and decadence, the toys shouldn’t be glorified by hanging them on the walls or keeping them on shelves, otherwise they are prohibited due to the meaning of glorification.
Based on that, if the shoes manufacturing company is engaged in making the pictures of live creatures by drawing or engraving them, then such an act is prohibited due to what has already been elucidated. Yet if the pictures are already prepared and the company puts them on shoes, then the worn shoes is apparently dispraised and is, accordingly, beyond the glorification, and the pictures are subject to humiliation and will vanish at any time, then -in such a case- it comes under the ruling of permissibility. All this provided that these pictures do not represent any religious, ideological or ethnic slogan. Otherwise, they will be prohibited because it is not permissible to show allegiance unless to the people of faith and the (true) Group.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on Ramadân the 24th, 1421 H.
(1) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (5958) and by Muslim (2106), from the hadith of Abû Talha رضي الله عنه.
(2) Reported by Abû Dâwûd (4932), from the hadith of ‘Â’isha رضي الله عنها. She said: “When the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم arrived from the expedition of Tabûk or Khaybar, and a curtain was hung in front of her Sahwa (i.e. a shelf or a window used for putting objects on it), the draught raised an end of the curtain revealing some dolls which belonged to her. He asked: "What is this?". She replied: "My dolls". Among them, he saw a horse with wings made of rags, and asked: "What is this I see among them?" She replied: "A horse". He asked: "What is this that it has on it?". She replied: "Two wings". He asked: "A horse with two wings?" She replied: "Have you not heard that Sulaymân (Solomon) had horses with wings?". She said: "Thereupon the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth”. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in "Âdâb Az-Zifâf" (170).