Fatwa n° 242
Category: Miscellaneous fatwas
The ruling concerning the acquisition of children’s toys
What is the ruling concerning the acquisition of dolls for children in order to play with? 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:
Toys of children like dolls and suchlike are excluded from the prohibition of painting, photographing and sculptures [representing things that have souls]. The permission concerning their acquisition is deduced from the hadith of ‘Â’icha رضي الله عنها in which she said: “I was playing with my dolls. It happened that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم entered when some girls were at my home. When he entered they left and when he went out, they entered.”(1). She also narrated that 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 (2), 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" (3).
Nevertheless, these toys must be disregarded. It is not allowed to glorify them and put them apparent on shelves and libraries or hang them on the cars or on the walls and suchlike. Moreover, these dolls must be a source of education and not the opposite, like some tempting western dolls that are made with the purpose of teaching our children the bad behavior of the western societies.
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.
(1) Reported by Abû Dâwûd (4931) from the hadith of ‘Â’ichaرضي الله عنها . This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Abî Dâwûd”.
(2) As-Sahwa: is like a shelf or a window used for putting objects on it. [See: “An-Nihâya” of Ibn Al-Athîr (2/ 430)].
(3) Reported by Abû Dâwûd (4932) from the hadith of ‘Â’icha رضي الله عنها. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Âdâb Az-Zifâf”: page (275).