Are Statues for Training Purposes Allowed?

12 July, 2020
Q Can Muslims possess statues for training purposes or statues made of candy or pasta? What about full-figured statues? Is it allowed to possess busts or statues with a missing part without which a human being cannot survive?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- Scholars agreed that it is permissible to possess statues made to be an object for training and children toys, i.e. dolls of animals and humans.

2- The majority of scholars view that defaced or incomplete statues are not prohibited so long as they are not worshipped. However, some scholars prohibit the use of statues under any circumstances whatsoever.

3- The full-figured statues are, according to the majority of scholars, prohibited, even if they are not worshipped or revered.


Answering your question, Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, the late Head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, states:

Scholars have different views concerning the issue of statues. Following is a summary of their opinions and views:

Muslim scholars unanimously agree that is not permissible to possess statues for purpose of worshipping them. Allah says: {So shun the abomination (worshipping) of idols and shun lying speech.} (Al-Hajj 22:30)

It is not also permissible to possess statues if the following conditions exist, even if they are not for the purpose of worship:

1- If they are full-figured statues.

2- If there is no need to acquire them.

3- If they are formed of a substance that lasts for a long time, i.e. wood, metal, or stone.

Therefore, we can say:

a) The possession of busts or statues with a missing part without which a human being cannot survive, i.e. the head or the stomach is permissible, but yet disliked.

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b) The possession of statues becomes permissible once there is a need to acquire them, i.e. girl’s dolls or statues used in practical training. According to Al-Bukhari and Muslim authentic books, the Prophet allowed Aishah to play with dolls, but this was an exception for girls. According to some scholars, erecting statues to commemorate great men is only detested, not prohibited.

c) According to the Maliki scholar, Asbagh ibn Al-Farag, it is allowable to possess statues made of candy or pasta.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.