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Purchasing dolls for children.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa-TT.com

Is it permissible to purchase dolls with facial features for my daughter? Jazakallah.

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله وبركاته

It is not permissible to keep or give to children such dolls that are made with the features of animate objects or that have complete human features. Children should be given other toys like cars and blocks, etc. If the doll has no face or facial features, then it would be permissible. If it has a face or facial features, then it will be necessary to remove them. If it cannot be done immediately, then, as a temporary measure (with the view of removing the face as soon as possible), a sock or bandage can be used to cover the face of the doll in such a way that no features show. If the features show through the covering then the covering will serve no purpose. [Ref.: Ahsan ul Fatâwa vol.8 p. 201/203; Fatâwa Rahimiyya vol.9 p.204, Bada’i us Sana’i vol.4 p.304; AlBahrur Râiq vol.2 p.28]

وتكره التصاوير في البيوت….ولو لم يكن لها رأس فلا بأس لأنها لا تكون صورة بل تكون نقشا فإن قطع رأسه بأن خاط على عنقه خيطا فذلك ليس بشيء لأنها لم تخرج عن كونها صورة بل ازدادت حلية كالطوق لذوات الأطواق من الطيور ثم المكروه صورة ذي الروح .. (بدائع الصنائع ۳٠٤⁄٤)

The reason for this prohibition is that Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) has explicitly prohibited us in many Ahâdîth from making life-like statues and drawing pictures of animate objects:

Âisha (radhiallâhu ‘anha) reported that Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) entered my apartment and I had hung (on the door of my apartment) a thin curtain having pictures on it. The colour of his face changed. He then took hold of the curtain and tore it and then said: “The most grievous torment for the people on the Day of Resurrection would be for those who try to imitate Allah Ta’âla in the act of creation.” {Sahîh Muslim vol.2 p.200}

In another Hadîth, Âisha (radhiallâhu ‘anha) reported that she bought a carpet which had pictures on it. When Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) saw it, he stayed at the door and did not enter. Âisha (radhiallâhu ‘anha) says: “I perceived or I was made to perceive signs of disgust on his face. Then I said: O Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam), I offer repentance to Allah Ta’âla and his Rasûl, (but tell me) what is the sin that I have committed.” Thereupon Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “What is this carpet?” She said: “I bought it for you so that you might sit on it and take rest on it.” Thereupon Rasûllullah (Sallahu alaihi wasallam): “The owners of these pictures would be tormented and they would be asked to bring to life what they tried to create.” He (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) then said: “Angels do not enter the house in which there is a picture of an animate object.”   {Sahîh Muslim vol.2 p.201}  Abu Talha (radhiallâhu ‘anhu) reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger (Sallahu alaihi wasallam) saying: “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).” {Sahîh Muslim vol.2 p.201}

So, to save ourselves from this severe punishment, we should abstain from buying and giving our children dolls or any toys that have complete human features or the features of animate objects (animal-like) or that have pictures and designs with these features.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Khaleel Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)


This answer was collected from Fatwa-tt.com, which is operated by the Darul Iftaa of Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad and Tobago) under the advice and guidance of Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Daamat Barakaatuhum) of South Africa.

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