The following is a draft translation from Arabic.
Answer: Concerning the books of stage one in the education curriculum for children from age (6-10), it is allowed to illustrate what is of benefit for them in their religion or life, by drawing or story, whether narrated by imaginary people or animals, on condition that the illustration is to manifest a scientific idea of arithmetic or other, or a Shar'i idea such as to illustrate how to make Wudu’ and Salah and so on.
That is based on the Hadith which was narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim from Al-Rabee’ bint Mu’awath Al-Ansariyeh, may Allah be pleased with her:
«قَالَتْ أَرْسَلَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم غَدَاةَ عَاشُورَاءَ إِلَى قُرَى الأَنْصَارِ مَنْ أَصْبَحَ مُفْطِرًا فَلْيُتِمَّ بَقِيَّةَ يَوْمِهِ وَمَنْ أَصْبَحَ صَائِمًا فَليَصُمْ قَالَتْ فَكُنَّا نَصُومُهُ بَعْدُ وَنُصَوِّمُ صِبْيَانَنَا وَنَجْعَلُ لَهُمْ اللُّعْبَةَ مِنْ الْعِهْنِ فَإِذَا بَكَى أَحَدُهُمْ عَلَى الطَّعَامِ أَعْطَيْنَاهُ ذَاكَ حَتَّى يَكُونَ عِنْدَ الإِفْطَارِ»
"She said the prophet (saw) sent on the morning of Ashura’ to the villages of Al-Ansar, he who woke up not fasting, let him continue his day without fasting, and he who woke up fasting let him continue fasting, so we fasted on that day and let our children also fast, we used to make a toy of hay for them so if any of them cried asking for food, we used to give it to them until the time of breaking the fasting" [Narrated by Al-Bukhari].
And in the narration from Muslim:
«وَنَصْنَعُ لَهُمْ اللُّعْبَةَ مِنْ الْعِهْنِ فَنَذْهَبُ بِهِ مَعَنَا فَإِذَا سَأَلُونَا الطَّعَامَ أَعْطَيْنَاهُمْ اللُّعْبَةَ تُلْهِيهِمْ حَتَّى يُتِمُّوا صَوْمَهُمْ»
"We used to make a toy of hay for them, and take it with us, so if they asked for food we gave them the toy to play with until they finish their fasting". And the Hadith of Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, she said:
«قَالَتْ كُنْتُ أَلْعَبُ بِالْبَنَاتِ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم »
"I used to play with the girls (dolls) at the house of the prophet.." [Narrated by Al-Buhkari] and in a the Riwayah by Muslim:
«كُنْتُ أَلْعَبُ بِالْبَنَاتِ فِي بَيْتِهِ (صلى الله عليه وسلم) وَهُنَّ اللُّعَبُ»
"I used to play with the girls in his house (saw). Meaning the toys…".
In the first Hadith Al-Rabee’ may Allah be pleased with her, made the kids get used to fasting, so if they got hungry she made them play with the toys which were similar to statues, by the approval of the Prophet (saw), because if the Sahabi said we used to do this and that at the time of the Rasul (saw) then it is from the Sunnah. It is known that these toys are not allowed for other than children, because they are statues, and it is not allowed to own statues, but here they are used to teach children what is good for them from their religion (to make them get used to fasting) so it was allowed.
In the second Hadith, Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, used to play with the dolls in the shape of girls, here it is for an allowed benefit in life, meaning that the prohibited statue (toys in the shape of humans) are not allowed, but here they were allowed for children for a benefit for them in life.
Thus using drawings, pictures and stories on the tongue of persons or animals to illustrate an allowed benefit for the child in life or to illustrate a matter which is good for his religion such as a prayer or a behavior or other, to make things nearer to their understanding and to train them on what is good, all of that is allowed if measured on allowing children to play with toys in order to get used to fasting, as mentioned in the first Hadith, and also on allowing children to play with toys as mentioned in the second hadith.
We exclude from that mentioning the verses of Qur'an and Hadiths as texts on the tongue of animals, that is not allowed, the meaning is mentioned only, because mentioning the verses of the Holy Qur'an on the tongue of animals as if it is read by the animals, is not allowed, because the Qur'an are the words of Allah revealed to His prophet to be read for the people to read and understand. As well as the Hadith which is narrated by Rasulullah (saw).
As for mentioning the meaning of the verses of the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith of Rasulullah (saw) on the tongue of the animals in the stories of children, that is allowed.So if it was mentioned in the story that the rabbit says to the fox, why do you want to attack me, don’t you know that Allah forbids attacking and that He does not like those who attack, that is allowed, because the animals are creatures which praise Allah and are subjected to Him.
14 Thul Hijjah 1426 AH
14 January 2006 CE
This answer was verified by Sheikh Ata Abu Rashta