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The Beneficial Response Concerning the Islamic Ruling of Pictures/Images
by:  Shaykh Abdul-Azeez Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baaz (May Allah Have Mercy Upon Him).
Original language:  Arabic.
Rendered into english by:  Abu Muhammad Abdur-Ra'uf Shakir.
Publishing house:  Presidency of Nationalistic of Islamic research & Afta, Tel:(+966-1)4595555, Fax:(+966-1)4596943.
Publishing date:  1418H, 1997G. Six Edition.
ISBN:  9660-11-064-8.
Printed via:  Al-Homaidhi press, Tel:(+966-1)4581000, Fax:(+966-1)4592217.


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Discussion the sayings of some of the scholars concerning these ahaadith

            There are still many ahaadith on this topic which we have not mentioned. In these ahaadith and those which are similar in meaning, there is a clear indication of the prohibition of image-making (tasweer) of everything which has a soul, and that it is one of the major sins (kabaa'ir adh-dhunoob) which carries with it the threat (wa'eed) of punishment in the Hell-Fire.

            These ahaadith are general, including all types of image-making (tasweer), there being no difference whether the image (soorah) has a shadow (three dimensional) or not; nor is there any difference whether the image (tasweer) is on a wall, on a curtain or shirt, drawn on a mirror, on paper or other than that.

            This is so because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) didn't differentiate between that which casts a shadow (three dimensional objects) and that which does not; nor between that which is on a curtain or otherwise. On the contrary, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) declared the curse (of Allah) upon the image-maker (al-musawwir); he informed us that the image-makers will be the most severely punished people on the Day of Resurrection, and that every image-maker will be in the Hell-Fire. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) declared this ruling to be general and all-inclusive, and did not make any exception.

            The fact of this prohibition being general [including that which casts a shadow and that which does not] is supported by the Hadeeth: When he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw the images (tasaaweer) in the curtain which was in the house of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tore it up, and the color of his face changed [due to anger], and then he said:� Surely, the most severely punished people on the Day of Resurrection will be those who try to imitate the creation of Allah�.

            In one narration, when he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw the curtain, he said:� Verily, those who make these images (suwar) will be punished on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them: Give life to what you have created�. These words, and those similar to them, are clear about the fact that the image-maker (al-musawwir) who makes images (suwar) in curtains and similar things, is included in the generality of the threat (wa'eed) [of punishment on the Day of Judgment].

            As for his (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) statement except designs/inscriptions in a cloth, in the Hadeeth of Abu Talha and Sahl ibn Hunaif (may Allah be pleased with them both) - this is an exception, i.e. these designs or inscriptions (raqman fi thawb) are not included under the ruling of the images (suwar) which prevent the entry of the angels. But it is not an exception from the ruling concerning the prohibition of the making of images (tasweer).

            This is very clear from the actual wording of the Hadeeth:� Verily, angels do not enter a house which has in it images (soorah) - illa raqman fi thawb except designs/inscriptions in a cloth�.

            Here the intended meaning (of this exception) is if the designs (ar-raqm) are in a cloth or something similar, which is laid out on the floor and in a degraded position. This is like the pillow which is in a degraded/lowly position [sat upon or leaned on] as has been pointed out in the Hadeeth of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) previously mentioned which mentions her cutting up the curtain and making one or two pillows from it.

            Also, the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) and in it the saying of Jibreel (Gabriel) to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):� So, order that the head of the image /statue (timthaal) which is in the house be cut off, so that it may become like the form of a tree; and order that the curtain be cut up and made into two pillows laid out, on which people walk... The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) then did so...�.

            It is not permissible to understand this exception as referring to the image in a cloth which is hanging up, nor that which is fixed to a door or wall or what is similar to that. This, because the ahaadith of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) are clear in their prohibition of that which is similar to this curtain [which is hanging up], and the necessity of its removal or its being torn up - the text of which has been previously mentioned.

            Also, the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) is clear about the fact that curtains like this one (hanging up) prevent the entry of the angels unless it is laid out on the floor, or the head of the image (timthaal) in the curtain is cut off, so that it will be in the form or shape of a tree.

            Know that his (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ahaadith do not contradict one another. On the contrary, they confirm the truthfulness of each other. So, whenever it is possible to show agreement or reconciliation between various ahaadith, in a manner which is suitable, without stretching their meanings, it becomes obligatory to do so.

            Making reconciliation (al-Jam')[32] between the ahaadith takes precedence over the other two methods of resolving apparent contradiction between proofs - the two other methods being At-Tarjeeh[33] and An-Naskh[34].

            This is what has been agreed upon in the science of 'Usool al-Fiqh[35] and the science of Mustalah al-Hadeeth[36].

            [In the case of apparent contradictions between various evidences, the order which should be observed, is to first try to make reconciliation (jam'); if this is not possible, then abrogation (naskh) if the dates of the evidences are known; if not, then determination of the strongest evidence (tarjeeh)]. Here it was possible to make reconciliation (al-Jam') between the ahaadith in the manner that we have mentioned. And for this, the Praise is due to Allah!

            Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in his book 'Fath al-Baaree' has given preference to reconciliation (al-Jam') between the various ahaadith in the manner that I have just mentioned. Then he mentioned that al-Khattaabee said: "The image (soorah) which the angels refrain from entering a place because of its presence - is that image whose possession is forbidden, i.e. those images (suwar) which are of things which have a soul, and its head has not been cut off nor has it been placed in a degrading or disrespectful position.

            Al-Khattaabee has also said: "The punishment for the image-maker (al-musawwir) is so severe because the images (suwar) were taken as something to be worshipped besides Allah; and because looking at them causes temptation (and arousal of sensual desires); and because some souls are inclined to them".

            Imam an-Nawawee , in his explanation (sharh) of Saheeh Muslim, says: Chapter: The Prohibition of Making Images of living beings [human or animal] and the Prohibition of Possession of that which has an image in it - which is not degraded by its being in a carpet and what is similar to it; and the fact that the Angels (peace be upon them) Do Not Enter a House which has in it an Image or a dog.

            Imam an-Nawawee goes on to say: Our companions [of the Shaafi'ee madh-hab] and other scholars as well have said that image making (tasweer) of living beings (human and animal) is sternly prohibited and it is a major sin.

            This is because the one who engages in it is threatened with the stern warning mentioned in the Hadeeth (which follow?). It is the same whether one makes the image in that which will be disrespected and degraded or otherwise - in every case, its making is prohibited.

            This is because the act of making of images is an act of imitation of the creation of Allah, the Most High [i.e. imitating the Creator in His action of creation]. Also, there is no difference whether it is in a cloth, carpet, coin (dirham, deenaar, fals), container, wall or other than that.

            As for making images of trees or the riding saddle of a camel, or other things which do not contain images of living beings - this is not forbidden. This is the ruling concerning the actual Making of the images.

            As for the Possession/Keeping of that which has in it images of living being [human or animal] - if it is hanging up on a wall, or in clothing that is worn, or a turban and whatever is similar to that, or those things which are not considered to be degraded or dishonored - then it is forbidden.

            However, if it is in a carpet which is trampled upon and treated with disdain, or in a cushion, pillow, or that which is similar - or those things which are degraded and disrespected - it is not forbidden. Yet, there remains the question of whether or not it prevents the entry of the angels of mercy to that house. There is difference of opinion in this matter, which we will mention later, In sha' Allah!

            Finally, there is no difference in any part of this matter [i.e. the prohibition is equally applicable] between that which casts a shadow [three dimensional objects] and that which does not casts a shadow [two dimensional pictures, drawings, etc.].

            This is a summary of our madh-hab in this issue. And what is similar to this in meaning is the opinion of the Majority of Scholars (al-Jumhoor) from amongst the companions (sahaabah), the students of the companions (taabi'een) and those after them. It is also the madh-hab (opinion) of ath-Thawree, Maalik, Abu Haneefah, and others besides them.

            Some of the salaf (righteous predecessors) said that what is prohibited is only that which casts a shadow [three dimensional objects, like statues], and that there is no harm in the images (suwar) which do not cast a shadow [two dimensional images on a plane surface, such as paintings and drawings].

            This is a baatil madh-hab (false opinion). Indeed, the curtain which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) spoke against the pictures in it - no one doubts that it was blameworthy - and its images (soorah) did not cast a shadow [i.e. it was not three dimensional]. This, in addition to the rest of the Hadeeth which are general and inclusive of every type of image [two and three dimensional][37].

            Az-Zuhree said: The prohibition of images (soorah) is general (not confined or restricted to a certain type or class). So also is the prohibition of the use of that which has images in it, and entering the house which has images in it - there being no difference whether it is (raqman fi thawb) designs/markings in a cloth or otherwise.

            Likewise, it is the same whether it is in a wall, a cloth or a carpet, and whether it is in a state of degradation and dishonor or otherwise. This is based upon the apparent meaning of the ahaadith, particularly the Hadeeth of the cushion which has been mentioned by Imam Muslim [and al-Bukhaaree]. And this is a strong opinion.

            Others said: What is permissible (of these images) is the designs or markings in a cloth (raqman fi thawb), it being the same if it is in a state of degradation or not. There is also no difference whether it is hanging up on a wall or not. They disliked that which casts a shadow, or that which is made into the walls and the like of it, there being no difference whether it is designs or markings (raqman) or other than that.

            They took as an evidence (for their opinion), the saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in some of the ahaadith of this chapter: "...except designs or markings in a cloth/garment". This is the opinion of al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad.

            They agreed by consensus about the prohibition of that which casts a shadow [three dimensional objects], and the obligation of disfiguring or changing it. Al-Qaadee said: except that which has been narrated about small girls playing with dolls and the concession for it. Still, Imam Maalik disliked that a man should buy dolls for his daughter. Some of the scholars claimed that the permissibility for the small girls to play with dolls is abrogated by these ahaadith. And Allah Knows Best!

            Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar - after his mentioning a summary of these words of an-Nawawee - says: "I say: The Hadeeth of 'Alee (may Allah be pleased with him) which is reported by Ahmad[38], supports the position that the prohibition of making images is general, including that which casts a shadow [three dimensional objects like statues] as well as that which has no shadow [two dimensional images].

            In it the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is reported to have said:� ...Anyone of you who goes to al-Madinah, must not leave there any idol/statue (wathan) without breaking it up, nor any picture (soorah) without effacing or obliterating it�.

            In one of its narration's, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:� ...and whoever goes back to making any of these images, then he has disbelieved in what has been revealed to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)�.

            Whoever gives thought to the preceding ahaadith, it will become clear to him that they point to or indicate the general, all-inclusive nature of the prohibition; as well as the absence of any distinction between that which casts a shadow and that which does not, as has already been made clear.

            If someone was to say: It has preceded in the Hadeeth of Zaid ibn Khaalid, from Abu Talha that Bisr ibn Sa'eed (the narrator from Zaid) had said:� ...then Zaid became ill, so we visited him, and suddenly to our surprise, we found on his door a curtain having an image (soorah) on it...�. On the surface, this might suggest that Zaid held the opinion of the permissibility of hanging up curtains which have images (suwar) in them.

            The answer to this is as follows:
The aforementioned ahaadith of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), as well as other ahaadith of similar meaning indicate: the prohibition of hanging up curtains which have images (suwar) in them; the obligation to tear them up; that these images prevent the entry of angels.

            Hence, if any ahaadith are authentically narrated from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) it is not permissible for anyone to oppose them or contradict them, with the sayings or action of anyone, no matter who that person may be [scholar or otherwise].

            In fact, it is obligatory for the believers to follow the authentic Hadeeth, hold tightly to that which it indicates, and reject whatever opposes it, as Allah, the Most High, said:� So, whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it. And whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)�[al-Qur'an 59:7].

            Allah, the Most High, also said:� Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger. But if you turn away (in rejection) he is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah's message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way�[al-Qur'an 24:54].

            Allah (subhaanahu - He is Far removed from any imperfection) has, in this verse, guaranteed the Guidance for whoever obeys the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

            Allah, the Most High, also said:� And let those who oppose his (Muhammad's) commandments beware lest some fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions) befall them, or a painful torment be inflicted on them�[al-Qur'an 24:63].

            Perhaps Zaid (may Allah be pleased with him) wasn't aware of the image (soorah) which was in that curtain. Or, maybe be knew about it, but considered it permissible because the ahaadith, which indicate the prohibition of hanging up curtains which have images in them, didn't reach him. Hence, he based his opinion on the apparent/surface meaning of the statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):� illa raqman fi thawb� - except designs/inscriptions in a cloth. Therefore, he would be excused (from blame) due to his not having knowledge of these ahaadith.

            As for the one who knows about the authentic ahaadith, which point to the prohibition of putting up curtains containing images (suwar) - there is no excuse for him opposing or contradicting these ahaadith.

            Whenever someone contradicts clear authentic ahaadith in order to follow his whims/desires, or in consequence of his blind following of some man - this necessarily brings upon him the anger and hatred of his Lord. It would be feared for such a person (that he will be afflicted with) the sickness of deviation (zaigh) of the heart, and falling into temptation (fitnah), as Allah (subhaanahu) has warned of this in His statement:� And let those who oppose his (Muhammad's) commandments beware lest some fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions) befall them, or a painful torment be inflicted on them�[al-Qur'an 24:63].

            Also, the saying of Allah, the Most High:� So, when they turned away (from the path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the right path)�[al-Qur'an 61:5].

            Also, the saying of Allah, the Most High:� ...So He punished them by putting hypocrisy into their hearts...�[al-Qur'an 9:77].

            That which has preceded, in the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) indicates that an image (soorah) is permissible to be kept in the house if and when its head is cut off. This is so because it would then be in the form or shape of a tree.

            This, then, shows that making images (tasweer) of trees and the like of them - of those things which have no soul - is permissible. The clear mention of this has preceded in the narration of the two Shaykhs (al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) on the authority of Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both).

            This Hadeeth is also a proof that cutting off anything other than the head of the image - such as cutting off the lower half, or what's similar to that - is not sufficient, and doesn't make it permissible to be used (kept in the house). Nor does it remove that which prevents the entry of angels. This, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded that the images (suwar) be torn up and obliterated/effaced; and informed us that these images actually prevent the angels from entering, with the exception of those images which are in a degraded condition or if its head has been cut off.

            Whoever claims any "musawwigh" (excusing-factor) which makes permissible the keeping of images (soorah) in one's house - other than these two matters - then he is obligated to produce the evidence (for such) from the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

            This, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed us that if the head of the image (soorah) is cut off, the remainder will be like the form of a tree. And this shows that the factor (which makes allowable its retention in one's house) is its being transformed from the shape or form of those things which have a soul, to a form similar to inanimate things (i.e. that which has no soul).

            If the lower part of the image has been cut off, and the head remains - it would not have attained this stature (of being like something inanimate), due to the face remaining - and in the face is beauty and uniqueness of creation and form not found in the rest of the body.

            Therefore, it is not permissible with whoever has understood the intended meaning from Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), to make comparison (qiyaas) between it (the head) and anything else besides it, [i.e. it is not possible to compare the cutting off of any other part of the body to the cutting off of the head, and then saying that the image is now permissible to be kept, as when the head is cut off][39].

            From this it becomes clear to the seeker of Truth that making images of the head and that which follows it, from the body of any living thing [human, animal, bird or fish, etc.] is subject to the same ruling - i.e. it is prohibited, and it prevents the entry of angels.

            This, because the preceding authentic ahaadith include it (the head with what follows it of the body). It is not the right of anyone to make exceptions from this general (all inclusive) ruling, except in that which the Law Maker has made an exception.

            There is no difference in this matter between the image which has body (al-mujassadah) and that which does not; nor between that which is woven (al-manqooshah) in a curtain or on paper and what is similar to them; there is also no difference between the images (suwar) of humans or other than them, of that which possess a soul; nor between the images of kings and scholars or others. On the contrary, the degree of the prohibition, of the images of the kings, scholars and those like them of the people who are [considered] exalted is even more severe.

            This, because the fitnah (trial and temptation) caused by them is greater. And putting up/posting their images (suwar) in sitting places and its likeness, and exalting them, is one of the greatest means leading to shirk (associating something with Allah in worship) and the worship of the so-called 'lords' whose images are made, instead of worshipping Allah. This is what happened to the people of Nooh (alayhi as-Salaam). And this has previously been hinted at in the words of al-Khattaabee.

            In the Days of Ignorance (al-Jaahiliyyah - before the establishment of al-Islam amongst the Arabs) images (suwar) were many in number, and were exalted and worshipped instead of Allah, until Allah raised his Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) broke the idols (asnaam) and effaced the images (suwar), and Allah removed - through him - ash-shirk and the means leading to it.

            Therefore, everyone who makes an image (soorah) and posts it up, or exalts it, has become similar to the disbelievers in their actions. They have opened for the people the door to shirk (worship of something other than Allah) and the means leading to it.

            Additionally, whoever Orders the making of images (tasweer) or is Pleased with it, then the ruling for him, is the same as the ruling for the One who actually does it -in terms of him also having done something prohibited and being equally entitled to the threat (wa'eed) of punishment.

            The reason for this is that the prohibition of Ordering disobedience or Being Pleased with it, has been established in the Qur'an, Sunnah and sayings of the scholars, just as the Actual Doing of It has been prohibited.

            Allah, the Most High, said:� And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur'an) that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case YOU WOULD BE LIKE THEM. Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell�[al-Qur'an 4:14].

            This verse indicates that whoever is in the presence of evil (munkar) and does not turn away from those who are doing it, then he is like them.

            Therefore, if the one who Remains Silent about evil - while he has the ability to reject it or speak against it or to separate from it - is like the Doer of Evil, then the one who Commands The Evilor is Pleased With It, would be even more sinful and in a much more evil condition than he who Remains Silent. He is also more deserving to be considered like the one who Actually Does It.

            The evidences containing this meaning are many, and can be found, by whoever seeks them, in their respective places [i.e. in the books dealing with this subject].

            Based on what we have mentioned in this "Jawaab" (Answer), from ahaadith and the sayings of the scholars, it should be clear to one who desires the Truth that the widespread engaging of the people in image-making (tasweer) of that which possess souls - in books, magazines, newspapers and letters [and post cards] - is an obvious mistake and open disobedience (sin).

            It is obligatory, on everyone who would advise himself, to be warned from it; and as well he should warn his brothers from it, after sincere repentance from that which has passed.

            It should also be clear to him, from the evidences previously mentioned, that it is not permissible for these images (tasaaweer), which we have referred to here, to remain intact. On the contrary, it is incumbent to cut off their heads, or to efface and obliterate them, unless it is in a carpet or something similar, of those things which are walked upon and degraded. In that case, there is no harm in leaving them intact. The evidence for this has preceded, in the ahaadith of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) and Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him).

            As for the toys which have body (three dimensional), in the shape of that which has a soul - the scholars have differed about the permissibility or non-permissibility of their possession by little girls.

            It has been affirmed in the two books of Saheeh (al-Bukhaaree and Muslim), from 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) who said:� I used to play with dolls in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). And I had girl-friends (playmates) who played along with me. They would hide (feeling shy) from him (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) whenever he entered. But, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would call them to join and play with me�[al-Bukhaaree 8/95 #151, Muslim 4/1299 #5981].

            Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baaree:[40]
This Hadeeth has been used as a proof for the permissibility of possessing (suwar - of) dolls and toys, for the purpose of the little girls playing with them. This has been especially exempted from the general prohibition of possession of images (suwar).

            Al-Qaadee 'Iyaad has stated this position with definiteness, and transmitted it as the position of the Majority (Jumhoor) of the Scholars; and that they declared permissible the selling of toys/dolls (al-lu'ab) for little girls, to train them from childhood for the household responsibilities and child-rearing.

            He (al-Qaadee 'Iyaad) then says: Some of the scholars hold that this permission is abrogated (mansookh). Ibn Battaal was inclined to this opinion. It was also narrated from Ibn Abi Zaid, from Maalik that he disliked (kariha) that a man would buy for his daughter images (suwar) [dolls]. From this ad-Daawoodee considered stronger the opinion that this permission is abrogated.

            Ibn Hibban entitled the chapter:" The allowance (ibaahah) of young women[41] to play with toys (al-lu'ab) [dolls]".

            An-Nasaa'ee entitled the chapter:" A man's allowing his wife to play with dolls (al-banaat)". He didn't restrict it to childhood, and this (on his part) is questionable.

            Al-Bayhaqee[42] - after narrating this Hadeeth and its sources (takhreej) - said:
" The prohibition of possessing images (suwar) is firmly established. Therefore, the permission given to 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) in this matter should be understood to have been before the prohibition [and therefore abrogated]" Ibn al-Jawzee has firmly stood on this position.

            Al-Haafiz goes on to say:[43]
Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa'ee have narrated with another chain (wajh aakhar) from 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said:� The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) returned from the battle of Tabook or Khaibar...�.

            Here he mentioned the Hadeeth about his (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) tearing down the curtain which she (may Allah be pleased with her) attached to her door. She (may Allah be pleased with her) said:� Then the side of the curtain which was over the dolls of 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) was uncovered. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: What is this, O 'Aa'isha? She said: My dolls. She then said: then he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw amongst them a winged horse which was tied up. He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: What is this? I said: A horse. He said: A horse with two wings? I said: Didn't you hear that Sulaiman (Solomon - peace be upon him) had horses with wings? Then he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) laughed�[44].

            Al-Khattaabee said: From this Hadeeth it is understood that playing with dolls (al-banaat) is not like the amusement from other images (suwar) concerning which the threat (wa'eed) of punishment is mentioned. The only reason why permission in this was given to 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) is because she had not, at that time, reached the age of puberty.

            [al-Haafiz says:] I say: To say with certainty, [that she was not yet at the age of puberty] is questionable, though it might possibly be so. This, because 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) was a fourteen year old girl at the time of the Battle of Khaibar - either exactly fourteen years old, or having just passed her fourteenth year [and entering into the fifteenth year], or approaching it (the fourteenth year).

            As for her age at the time of the Battle of Tabook - she had by then definitely reached the age of puberty. Therefore, the strongest view is that of those who said: "It was in Khaibar" [i.e. when she was not yet at the age of puberty], and made reconciliation (jam') [between the apparent contradictory rulings, of permissibility of dolls, in particular, and the prohibition of images, in general] with what al-Khattaabee said (above).

            [al-Khattabee said that images are prohibited, except in the case of dolls for young girls]. This, because to reconcile (make jam') is better than to assume the ahaadith to be in contradiction (at-ta'aarud). Here Shaykh Bin Baaz concludes his quotation from al-Haafiz, saying: The above is the essence of the words of al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar.

            He then goes on to say:

            If you have understood what al-Haafiz (rahimahu'llah ta'aala) has mentioned, then the safest position (al-ahwat) is to avoid possession of dolls (al-lu'ab al-musawwarah) (three dimensional). This, because its lawfulness is doubtful, due to the possibility that the approval of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), for 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) to possess the three dimensional dolls (al-lu'ab al-musawwarah), was before the order came to obliterate and efface images (suwar).

            In such case, the permission would be considered abrogated (mansookh) by the ahaadith containing the command to efface and remove all images (suwar), except those whose head is cut off, or those which are dishonored or degraded, as it has been stated/opinioned by al-Bayhaqee and Ibn al-Jawzee, and inclined towards by Ibn Battaal.

            There is also the possibility that this permission could be a special exemption from the general prohibition, as the Majority (Jumhoor) of the Scholars have held, for the benefit of training (the girls to be mothers). Another reason might be that Playing with dolls is a form or manner of degradation (to the image) and showing that it is not something honored.

            Nonetheless, with the Possibilities mentioned, along with the Doubt about its permissibility - the safer position is to leave it alone, and let the training of girls be with toys other than those which have body (three dimensional), in order to be completely free from the difference of opinion and doubt about the ruling concerning dolls which have body (as-suwar al-mujassadah).

            In this way, you would be putting in practice, the saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):� Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt� At-Tirmidhee[45], An-Nasaa'ee[46]. At-Tirmidhee said it is a good and authentic Hadeeth (hasan saheeh).

            Also, his (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying, in the Hadeeth of an-Nu'maan ibn Basheer (may Allah be pleased with him) , which has been narrated in the two Saheeh Books (al-Bukhaaree and Muslim):� That which is lawful is clear, and that which is unlawful is clear. And between them are certain unclear matters which not many people know. Thus he who avoids the doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor. But he who falls into the doubtful matters, falls into that which is unlawful. This is like the shepherd who grazes his flock near a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions...�[al-Bukhaaree, Muslim][47].

            And Allah Knows Best! And May Praise of Allah in the Assemblies of the Angels and Peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family.

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[32]al-Jam': The attempt to reconcile between two or more evidences, in an effort to clarify what might appear to be a contradiction.

[33]at-Tarjeeh: Determining which of two or more evidences is the strongest or more closely related to the issue in question, in the case where the variant evidences would lead to a different ruling.

[34]an-Naskh: Determining which of two or more evidences, in the same issue, is the latest or last to be legislated, and making the last of them to abrogate the earlier.

[35]Usool al-Fiqh: the science which deals with those fundamental principles and rules, which are the guidelines followed by the scholars to make legal (Fiqh) judgments in the specific matters of the life of a Muslim. The rules related to al-Jam', an-Naskh, and at-Tarjeeh are studied in Usool al-Fiqh.

[36]Mustalah al-Hadeeth: the rules and principles related to determining whether or not a Hadeeth is authentic; and classification of ahaadeeth according to whether the chain of narrators is complete or broken.

[37]The following five paragraphs were not included in this book, but are taken from the original statement of Imaam an-Nawawee as found in his "sharh" of Saheeh Muslim [14/81-82].

[38]Musnad Imaam Ahmad, 1/87, no.97 (658). Shaykh al-Albaanee says:� ...This isnaad (chain of narrators) is weak�. The narrator - Abu al-Muwarrah or Abu Muhammad is 'majhool' (unknown; i.e. not certified as a reliable narrator), as stated by al-Haafiz, in "Ta'jeel al-Manfa'ah" in a transmission from al-Husainee. I say: There is also "idtiraab" in it (the isnaad) - as he narrates it one time "mursal" (broken chain, between the taabi'ee and the Prophet) - - and another time he narrates it "mawsool" (with a complete chain of narrators) mentioning 'Alee (may Allah be pleased with him) in the chain. Both ways (mursal and mawsool) have been reported by Ahmad from (this narrator) ['Ghaayah al-Maraam' page.92, no.144]. Note: There is another narration of this hadeeth which is authentic (saheeh) reported by Imaam Muslim. Its wording does not include:� ...don't leave any idol/statue (wathan) without breaking it up...�.

[39]al-Ismaa'eelee reported in his 'Mu'jam', on the authority of Ibn Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:� The image (soorah) is actually the head (ra's). Therefore, if the head is cut off, then there is no image (soorah)�. Shaykh al-Albaanee has declared it to be authentic (saheeh) in Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer, 2/718 no.3864. See also, as-Silsalah as-Saheehah 4/554 no.1921. This hadeeth is also narrated by al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa 7/280 [Arabic Edition of Ibn Turkamaanee].

[40]Fath al-Baaree 10/400 no.5954 - 5955, Kitaab at-Tasweer, Baab: Ma Wuti'a Min at-Tasaaweer; also 10/544, no.6130, Kitaab: al-Adab, Baab: al-Inbisaat ilaa an-Naas.

[41]Perhaps the meaning here of 'young women' is young girls who married at an early age, as was the case with 'Aa'isha (may Allah be pleased with her), whose marriage to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was contracted at the age of six and consummated at the age of nine [al-Bukhaaree 7/65, no.88].

[42]As-Sunan al-Kubraa 10/220, Kitaab: ash-Shahaadaat, Baab: Ma Jaa Fi al-Lu'ab bi-Banaat. [Edition of Ibn Turkamaanee].

[43]Fath al-Baaree 10/400, Baab (91), related to Hadeeth no.5954, 5955.

[44]Abu Daawood 3/1373, no.4914; Saheeh Sunan Abu Daawood 3/932, no.4123/4932.

[45]Sunan at-Tirmidhee no.2518; Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee 2/309, no.2045. [Hadeeth no.11, English Translation of Forty Hadeeth of an-Nawawee].

[46]Sunan an-Naasaa'ee 8/732, no.5726; Saheeh al-Jaami' 1/637, no.3377.

[47]Al-Bukhaaree 1/44, no.49, and 3/151, no.267; Muslim 3/840, no.3882.