Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Q&A: Drawing pictures of animals & people to teach children?

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


Muslim in the West said...


Recently there is an initiative to create a series on the life of Salahudin Al-Ayubi by means of animation.

However, animation requires artists to draw storyboards of the characters in the movies.

Would it be permissible to create animation-type movies even though sketchs of the characters are required?

Jazak-Allah Khair.

Anonymous said...

Can you post up the question please.

Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

Assalam wa alaikum

Yes it is permitted if it is intended for children. Drawing animals or human beings or making toys of them are permitted if it for children. The evidences for this are explained in the Q&A.


Abu Ismael al-Beirawi said...

I do not have the exact question only the text of the answer this is why I did not post it. However it can be deduced that the question is about whether it is permitted to use drawing of animals or humans in order to teach children such as in childrens books. Also whether it is permitted to use the characters in the books to quote from the Quran.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that children are considered children up to puberty not 10 years old. Although there is a change in how they are taught at 10 years old it doesn't mean they have to stop playing with dolls and drawing pictures until they reach puberty. I may be wrong in this.

Anonymous said...

Salaams brother. Is it allowed to play Cricket in islam? Would it not be considered wasteing precious time.

Please email me your responce on sheffieldfriends1971@yahoo.co.uk


Dj Anjaan.

Anonymous said...


Playing cricket is permitted as long as it doesn't distract you awar from your obligations (fara'id), it is well known that the Abysinnians used to play with spears at the time of the Prophet (saw) and he allowed that pracise and allowed the sahaba to watch that.


Anonymous said...


are pictures allowed as in camera photos?
because someone recently told me it is haram to take pictures of me an husband on our weddin and that taking pictures is haram

jazakallah khair
email me on: aisha2000@hotmail.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alikum,

Brother, can you pls upload an article explaining the issue of images and photos?

May Allah reward you for your effort.

Anonymous said...

Asslamo alaikum !

Will the same case be valid for making drawings for teaching adults like higher studies such as medicine, where teachers draw organs and parts of body?

Anonymous said...

is that allowed to draw portrait in case of education. what the quran and hadith say anout it.

Anonymous said...

was there anything with the dolls of Ayesha (ra) revelling specific shape of animal like head, eye, ear, nose etc.
What I know that those were made of cloths and not giving a spefic animal shape, but a look alike.
And the Hukm of Tasweer (making image) or Sawara (making shape and form) was reveled after the play of Ayasha (ra).

In the 1st Hadith dolls made by grass....It is not possible to give a specifically shape of eye, head etc....

What you say here? please.
May Allah keep secured of all harm.