Making Dolls with Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Fatwa No: 379012

Question

As salamu alaykom respected AlimI would like to ask the permissibility of making simple soft toys for children by knitting with wool or from sewing with fabric such as dolls or rabbits, teddy bears ect? Is it permissible to make these toys with a face by using buttons as eyes and stitching a small line with thread to resemble a mouth?May Allah azza wa jal bless you and your family abundantly.

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.

There is no harm in produce dolls to play with that are made from fabric or wool, and the like. ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her narrated that when the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) arrived after the expedition of Tabook or Khaybar (the doubt is from the narrator on her behalf), the wind raised one end of a curtain which was hung in front of her store-room, revealing some dolls which belonged to her. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked, “What is this?” She replied, "My dolls.” Among them, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saw a horse with wings made of rags and asked, “What is this that I see among them?" She replied, “A horse.” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked, “What is this that it has on?” She replied, “Two wings.” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked with astonishment, “A horse with two wings?” She replied, "Have you not heard that Solomon had horses with wings?” She then said, “Thereupon the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth.” [Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’i; and Al-Albaani classified it as authentic]

Making toys as dolls from fabric and the like, is exempted from the general prohibition of making images. Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Fat-h Al-Baari when commenting on the Hadeeth by ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her: “The scholars stated that the following narration: ‘I used to play with dolls with some of my female friends…’ is evidence that it is permissible to possess dolls and play with them. This is exempted from the general prohibition of making images. ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him authoritatively stated this, and he quoted it from the majority of the scholars.” [End of quote]

This Hadeeth does not mention whether or not those horses and dolls had what looked like a mouth and eyes. However, it appears that exempting those toys from the prohibition is general for toys, even though they are of living being.

Allah knows best.

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