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Assalamualaikum Dato’ Seri SS Mufti. I want to ask about keeping children’s toys, such as dinosaurs, robots, action figures and others for teaching and learning purposes. Recently, there is an ustaz that told us that it is prohibited and we quickly throw them away. Hope for an explanation from SS Mufti regarding Islam’s perspective on this matter. Is it permissible or not?

Thank you.


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

There is a prohibition in several hadiths against placing idols in houses and carving it. Among them is a hadith that we have discussed previously in Al-Afkar #47: Hukum Patung Sebagai Perhiasan (The Ruling of Statues as Ornaments), where the Prophet PBUH said:

لَا تَدْخُلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ كَلْبٌ وَلَا صُورَةُ تَمَاثِيل

"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).”

Sahih al-Bukhari (3225) and Sahih Muslim (2016)

In another hadith, the Prophet PBUH said:

أنَّ أُمَّ حَبِيبَةَ، وأُمَّ سَلَمَةَ ذَكَرَتا كَنِيسَةً رَأَيْنَها بالحَبَشَةِ فِيها تَصاوِيرُ لِرَسولِ اللهِ ﷺ، فَقالَ رَسولُ اللهِ ﷺ: إنَّ أُولَئِكَ، إذا كانَ فِيهِمُ الرَّجُلُ الصّالِحُ، فَماتَ، بَنَوْا على قَبْرِهِ مَسْجِدًا، وصَوَّرُوا فيه تِلْكِ الصُّوَرَ، أُولَئِكِ شِرارُ الخَلْقِ عِنْدَ اللهِ يَومَ القِيامَةِ.

“Umm Habiba and Umm Salama made a mention before the Messenger of Allah () of a church which they had seen in Abyssinia and which had pictures in it. The Messenger of Allah () said: When a pious person amongst them (among the religious groups) dies they build a place of worship on his grave, and then decorate it with such pictures. They would be the worst of creatures on the Day of judgment in the sight of Allah.”

Sahih Muslim (528)

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar RA said that the hadith is evidence for the prohibition of carving or keeping statues or idols. (Refer: Fath al-Bari Syarh Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:525)

The same is stated in another hadith of the Prophet PBUH, narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, he heard the Prophet PBUH said:

إنَّ أشَدَّ النّاسِ عَذابًا يَومَ القِيامَةِ المُصَوِّرُونَ

"The people who will receive the severest punishment from Allah will be carvers of idols (to be worshipped)."

Sahih al-Bukhari (5606) and Sahih Muslim (2108)

Allah SWT also warn those who carve idols challenging them to create a grain and a matter. In a hadith from Abu Hurairah RA the Prophet PBUH said:

وَمَن أظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ ذَهَبَ يَخْلُقُ كَخَلْقِي، فَلْيَخْلُقُوا حَبَّةً، ولْيَخْلُقُوا ذَرَّةً

“Who would be more unjust than the one who tries to create the like of My creatures? Let them create a grain: let them create a gnat.”

The reason is, in the verses of the Quran, the attribute of creating and changing of something is a specific attribute of Allah SWT which is al-Musawwir (المصوّر). Allah SWT state in the Quran:

هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ ۚ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

“It is He who forms you in the wombs however He wills. There is no deity except Him, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.”

Surah ‘Ali Imran (6)

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ

“And We have certainly created you, [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam"; So, they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated.”

Surah al-A’raf (11)


According to the above Quranic and prophetic evidences, it is clear to us that the prohibition is on the carving of idols and statues that resembles Allah SWT’s creation and it is prohibited to be worshipped and honoured.

As for other than that, such as toys for children to play or for teaching and learning, then it is permissible. This is in accordance with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH, from Aisyah RA:

كُنْتُ أَلْعَبُ بِالْبَنَاتِ عِنْدَ النَّبِىِّ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – وَكَانَ لِى صَوَاحِبُ يَلْعَبْنَ مَعِى ، فَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إِذَا دَخَلَ يَتَقَمَّعْنَ مِنْهُ ، فَيُسَرِّبُهُنَّ إِلَىَّ فَيَلْعَبْنَ مَعِى

“I used to play with the dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and my girlfriends also used to play with me. When Allah's Messenger () used to enter (my dwelling place) they used to hide themselves, but the Prophet would call them to join and play with me.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (6130)

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani commented on the above hadith saying: The scholars use it as evidence in supporting their ruling that it is permissible for children to play with dolls and toys. The hadith is an exception from the general hadith that prohibits anything that resembles the creation of Allah SWT. The permissibility is affirmed by al-Qadi ‘Iyadh and he states that this is the opinion of the majority of scholars. (Refer: Fath al-Bari Syarh Sahih al-Bukhari, 10/527)

The reason is, children’s toys is something that is neither worshipped nor honoured. Furthermore, children would usually disassemble their toys and damage them after playing with them, such as disconnecting their actions figure’s head from its body. Hence, it is neither honoured nor is worshipped.

May Allah SWT give us the correct understanding in our religion and guide us to worship and be sincere to Him. Amin.