السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Question: Is it permissible for little girls to play with baby dolls? Some parents say that these are images or could be used as idols. This is what is commonly mentioned in America in relation to these types of toys such as the Barbie dolls, and here in Saudi Arabia they have what is called the Fula dolls which could probably be better because she is a Muslim, she has a khimaar, a jilbaab and everything else. However, the point is that some parents remove the head from the doll and then give it to the child, making it undesirable for the child to play with as the child doesn't want to play with a doll without a head. Is this type of doll to be looked at as an idol or an image or something that is impermissible for the children to play with?
Answer: If this toy or doll is the type of doll which is magnified or glorified like 'China dolls' or dolls which the child is not allowed to touch - perhaps it is made from wood or glass or it is placed in a particular box or something like that, then this is something that is prohibited. This is what is prohibited.
As for the baby doll that is in the form of a girl or a boy or like this, and it is something that the child plays with and which the child throws around; something that you may find lying on the ground and the child picks it up and plays with it; then there is nothing wrong with this. `A'ishah رضي الله عنها had a toy horse with two wings which she used to play with; the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم acknowledged this and he never stopped her from playing with it. This is not the type of image/form which is prohibited in Islaam. The image/form that is prohibited is the one that is magnified or glorified and the one that no one should touch or play with. It may be in the form of a man or woman or like this. As for the toy that the child plays with, there is nothing wrong with it; it is not haraam because it is for children.
The Shaykh حفظه الله added to this, that the legislation of Islaam has prohibited taking dogs as pets and has prohibited pigs from being eaten or taken as pets as it is itself something that is najis (impure). Due to this, it is not permissible to play with toys in the image/form of a pig, a dog or anything that the legislation of Islaam has prohibited. This is not appropriate. However, if it is in the form of a lion, a camel or any animal which Islaam has not prohibited then this is okay.
Answered by: Shaykh Wasiullaah 'Abbaas
Title of Lecture: As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah
Date of the Lecture: January 30th, 2007