Answered by: Maulana Imran Mughal
I read in the Quran, in Chapter 34 Verse 13, that the Prophet Sulaiman had Jinns who made statues for him. I was surprised since idols and carvings are contrary to Islamic teachings. What is the explanation for this verse?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The verse in question is the following: “They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], ‘Work, O family of David, in gratitude.’ And few of My servants are grateful.”
The translation says “statues,” and the Arabic word used for this is “timthaal”. Timthaal in Arabic is a word given for any image, whether it be a human, animal or inanimate object.
Furthermore, Imam Az-Zamakhshari writes in the exegesis of this verse: “It is highly possible that this is in the image of other than an animal, like an image of trees or something of the sort. Because a timthaal can be from an animal and other than an animal as well.”
Additionally, Mufti Taqi Uthmani writes when addressing this issue after quoting the aforementioned saying of Imam Az-Zamakhshari: “This is further supported by the fact that taking images/pictures of animals was haram according to the teachings of the Torah as well, such that the same ruling is found in the Torah we have today.”
Therefore, the images/pictures the Jinn were working on are indeed that of inanimate objects and not that of humans and animals.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Imran Mughal
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
 Ministry of Religious Affairs, Al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (Kuwait: Ministry of Religious Affairs, 1983), 12:94.
 Imam Az-Zamakhshari, Tafsir Al-Kashaf(Beirut: Dar Al-Ma’rifah, 2009), Pg 870.
Mufti Muhammad Taqi, TakmilahFathulMulhim(Damascus: Dar Al-Qalam, 2006), 5:96.
This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.