Making a model of the Ka'bah for educational purposes
Fatwa No: 228235

Question

assalaam alaikum my children's school make a model Kabah every year and teach them the rites of Hajj with it and they carry out Tawaf etc to practice. I was then told it is not acceptable to perform these rites except in Mecca and at the Kabah itself. Is there any advice about this Jazzakum Alluhu khairan

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

One should not make a model of the Ka’bah even if it is for the purpose of teaching, as a group of scholars issued a Fatwa that this is not permissible. Fatwa 20266 of the Permanent Committee of Iftaa’ reads: “Making models of wood or other materials for some of the Islamic rituals such as the Ka'bah, Maqaam Ibraaheem (Ibraaheem’s place of standing), the Jamaraat (the place of throwing the pebbles) and so on for the purpose of using them in teaching the performance of the rituals of Hajj and `Umrah in the way mentioned in the question is not permissible; rather, it is an abominable Bid`ah (innovation in religion). The reason is that it leads to religious prohibitions, like the hearts being attached to these models – even gradually – and exposing them to desecration and so on. Furthermore, there is no need for this method, as oral or illustrated explanations generally suffice for conveying the religious significations to the people. Indeed, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Anyone who does an act that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.” [Muslim] May Allaah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.” [End of quote]

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Iftaa' [signed by Committee Members: Bakr Abu Zayd, Saalih Al-Fawzaan, Abdullaah ibn Ghadyaan, Abdulazeez Aal-Ash-Shaykh, and Committee President: Abdulazeez ibn Abdullaah ibn Baaz]

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked: “There is a teacher who explains to his students how the Hajj and ‘Umrah are performed but says the students do not understand quite well, so he asks whether it is permissible for him to put in the school a model of the Ka’bah and other rituals for them to practice on them." The shaykh replied saying: "This is not permissible, and this should not be done at all. The teacher may draw the shape of the Ka'bah on the board and say, 'you make Tawaaf in this manner'; but in my view, making a model renders the acts of worship mere movements without any effect on the heart.” [Majmoo' Al-Fataawa, Ibn 'Uthaymeen]

Indeed, there is a number of Fataawa generally prohibiting making models of the Ka'bah. For instance, the Decision of the Fiqh Committe, on manufacturing and marketing Ka'bah models. Decision number 3, session 13, Islamic Fiqh Committee, affiliated with the Muslim World League, 16/10/1425 - 29/11/2004, reads as follows: “Praise be to Allaah and peace and blessings be on the Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions. To proceed: The Islamic Fiqh Committee of the Muslim World League, in its 13th session held in Makkah, studied the subject and decides as follows: It is an obligation to close this door and prevent it, as this leads to evils and forbidden acts.” [End of quote]

Moreover, a Fatwa from the Permanent Fiqh Committee reads: “It is not permissible to make a model of the Ka’bah or of the dome over the grave of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) or to trade in them; this is because manufacturing them and trading in them lead to many forbidden acts and the door should be closed to anything that leads to such.

Allaah Knows best.

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