Ruling on transformer toys
Fatwa No: 323455

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I have some questions regarding toys. There are a type of toys called transformers - toys that can change from a vehicle (like car or plane) to a robot resembling a human (but clearly not human as the car parts are still visible and most do not have human faces).1. Are these allowed for children (e.g. for young boys)? 2. Are these allowed for a grown up collector, if the toys are used for play (converting from vehicle to robot and vice versa) and kept hidden in boxes when not being played with? 3. Some of the toys have faces with fine detail - are they allowed? 4. Some of the toys change from mechanical animals to robots - are they allowed? 5. Some of the toys change from real looking animals to robots - are they allowed? 6. How to dispose of them if they are prohibited?

Answer

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

First of all, it should be mentioned that images of living beings are forbidden in the Islamic sharee'ah. ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, “The makers of images will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them, ‘Breathe life into that which you have created.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Therefore, it is not permissible to keep such images, regardless of whether they are in the form of a human being or an animal or anything else that has a soul. It is not permissible to get them and put them in a box and so on. Shaykh ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “It is not permissible for a person to keep images for memory or hang them on the wall, or put them in an album; all this is forbidden.

Images that can be used in two ways should be used in a way that is not forbidden, such as the case in what can be in the shape of a car or plane; this is the first point.

Secondly, the majority of the scholars excluded from the prohibition of images and sculptures what is for children for a valid benefit; as it was confirmed that ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated, “I used to play with dolls when I was with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and my girlfriends also used to play with them. When he used to enter the house, my girlfriends used to hide themselves, but the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) would call them to come and play with me.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Thirdly, if the face of the image is blurred or if it lacks a part without which the living being cannot live, then this is not considered an image. Al-Bayhaqi reported in his Sunan that Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said, “If the head is cut then it is not considered as an image (of a living being).

Besides, Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni, “An image that has been reduced to having its chest or stomach removed, or has had its head separated from the body, after which a creature would not stay alive, is not included in the prohibition, because it does not remain after such a removal. This is like chopping the neck (of a living creature).

The image of a robot, for example, if its face is blurred, then there is nothing wrong with it. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Everyone who does something that is comparable to Allaah’s creation is included in the following ahaadeeth: 'The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) cursed the image makers...;' and, 'Among the people who will be most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection will be the image-makers.' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]; but as I said, if the picture is not clear, i.e. if it does not have eyes or a nose or mouth or fingers, then this is not a complete image and it is not comparable to the creation of Allaah Almighty.

Finally, we would like to point out that adult people should preoccupy themselves with what is beneficial for them in their religion and worldly life, so it is not appropriate that they take collecting toys as a hobby, even if such toys are permissible.”

Allaah knows best.

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