44029: Ruling on buying products on which there are images


What is the ruling on buying sweets or products on which there are images of animate beings?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Buying these things, if they are bought because of those images, is haraam, because that is acquiring images, which prevents the angels from entering the house. 

Undoubtedly it is better for the Muslim to keep away from everything that may cause the angels not to enter the house. 

But if most of these things have images on them, and it is hard for the Muslim to find products that do not have any images on them, then there is no sin in that in sha Allaah, so as to ward off hardship from the Muslims. 

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (12/112): 

The Maalikis have two views on the production of images which are not meant to last, such as those that are made of dough. The more well known view is that it is not allowed. Both views were narrated by al-‘Adawi, and he said: Those who say that it is permissible are referring to things made of dough or melon peel, because when it dries out it breaks. 

According to the Shaafa’is, it is haraam to make it but it is not haraam to sell it. End quote. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (2/203): 

Nowadays the problem is widespread and it is common to find images on everything, except in rare cases. They are to be found on vessels, food containers, books, newspapers and everything except what which Allaah wills. There are also images that can be eaten, such as biscuits in the shape of fish and rabbits. We say: if a person keeps the images (i.e., he keeps the things because of the images on them), this is undoubtedly haraam. If he buys magazines which publish images because of the images, this is also haraam, but if he buys them for knowledge and to read the news, we hope that there is nothing wrong with that, because of hardship. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“and [Allaah] has not laid upon you in religion any hardship”

[al-Hajj 22:78] 

These images should not be the aim when a person buys something, and he should not be concerned with them at all. With regard to vessels and food boxes, etc., it may be said that these pictures are not being treated with respect, so there is no need to regard them as haraam. 

And Allaah knows best.

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