Hanging bells for home decor
Fatwa No: 323482

Question

Is there any prohibition, according to Islam, on hanging ringing bells for home decor?

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

There is no harm in hanging ringing bells for home decor as long as they do not make a melodious sound. Scholars held that it is permissible to use door bells that make the usual bell sound and not a melodious sounds. Ibn ʻUthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “On some doors, there are bells that are used to seek permission to enter. This, also, does not come under this prohibition because they are not hung around an animal’s neck and the like nor do they make musical sounds, which Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, forbade.” [Sharh Riyaadh As-Saaliheen]

The Permanent Committee of Iftaa' was asked, "What is the bell that is prohibited, given that there are electric bells that produce bird sounds and clock bells wherein a piece of metal hits another (inside) and other types?"

The answer: “Bells used in homes and schools and the like are allowed as long as they do not include prohibited things like resembling the church bells of the Christians or make a musical sound. In that case, it would be prohibited for that reason.

Regarding what early scholars mentioned, that it is disliked to use bells, it was narrated on the authority of ʻAa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “Angels do not enter a house in which there is a bell.” [Ahmad and Abu Daawood - Al-Albaani graded it hasan (good)] The Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, also said, “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a small bell (cowbell/sleigh bell) or a bell, and the angels do not accompany a group of people who have bells with them.” [An-Nasaa'i - Al-Albaani graded it hasan]

The bells meant in those ahaadeeth are those that make melodious sounds. The Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, said, “The bell is the musical instrument of Satan.” [Muslim]

Ibn Khuzaymah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him allocated a chapter in his book Saheeh Ibn Khuzaymah entitled “Chapter: Evidence that angels do not accompany a group with whom there is a bell since the bell is the musical instrument of Satan.

Ibn Hibbaan  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him allocated a chapter in his book 'Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan' entitled “Chapter: Rationale behind the fact that angels do not accompany a group with whom there is a bell.

Allaah knows best.

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