Answered by Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf Mangera
My son has received several trophies as tokens of accomplishment for the sports he has played in as a youth, and these trophies are like a whole body player kicking a soccer ball. Since he is a child, would the ruling of this come under the hadith where the Prophet, (saw), said that the fact some youth girls were playing with whole body dolls was ok, because they were children?
As he grows older and receives trophies in the shape of people, We do not want to throw away these items of accomplishment, so should we cut off the heads of these people of the trophies, or should we tape their heads with black tape so as not to see the face, or keep them inside a box to be out of sight.
As you have suggested, the heads should be separated and disposed of. If there is nothing else objectionable about the trophy, for instance, no exposed parts of the body that need to be covered of men or women, then they can be kept. Animate forms or pictures prevent the angels of mercy from entering into the homes they are in as stated by the Messenger (upon him be peace), “Angels do not enter a house in which there is a picture or a dog”.(Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Talha t).
There are very strong admonishments for pictures and sculptures. The Messenger (upon him be peace) said: “The most severely punished on the day of Judgment will be those who create (animate) pictures.”
In regards to the dolls mentioned in the time of the Messenger (upon him be peace), the ulama state that they were just crude depictions and forms of the actual creation, and not close-to-life models (as nowadays) that would fall into the prohibited category.
And Allah knows best.
Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf