If the animated pictures are of inanimate things – such as trees and cars – there is nothing wrong with producing them or watching them, because they are just drawings. But if they are of animate things – such as human beings and animals – then this is something concerning which contemporary scholars differed. The scholars of the Standing Committee are of the view that it is not allowed to make animated pictures and cartoons even if they are for shar’i purposes.
In a fatwa of the Standing Committee (no. 19933, dated 9/11/1418 AH) it says:
It is not permissible to buy, sell or use cartoon movies, because they include haraam images. Raising children should be done in ways that are Islamically acceptable with regard to teaching, disciplining, telling them to pray and taking good care of them.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd.
Shaykh al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was of the view that it is permissible, as we have quoted him in the answer to question no. 71170.
Based on the view that it is permissible, the one who produces them has to pay attention to a number of things, such as:
1- Not showing prominent figures or leaders of jihad in funny ways, or showing them as saying things that they did not say.
2- Not including music in films and animated pictures.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
There are some reservations. They should not attribute to any of the leaders of these conquests things that they did not say. This is the problem. I think that if these movies contain only that which is good, then there is nothing wrong with them, in sha Allaah. But if they are accompanied by music then this is not permissible, because music is haraam.
Liqaa’aat al-Baab il-Maftooh (127/question no. 10).
In some of our answers we have stated that electronic games are not permissible for children or adults if they include any music. For more information please see the answers to questions no. 2898 and 39744.
3- Not showing men or women with their ‘awrahs uncovered or doing any haraam actions or actions of kufr such as wearing a cross or worshipping idols, even if that is for the purpose of teaching and acting.
4- These films and animated pictures should convey a good message, or include things that teach good morals.
5- The drawings and images should not resemble the creation of Allaah, so that the small child will not think that there is someone who makes things like the creation of Allaah.
6- There should be no veneration of any bid’ah (innovation) or innovator, or of any evil deed or evildoer, and it should not include any mention of any innovated or haraam occasion such as celebrating the Prophet’s birthday or anyone else’s birthday.
7- There should be no representation of the Prophets or Sahaabah, even if the stories are true.
See the answer to question no. 14488.
See also the answer to question no. 10836 for more important guidelines in addition to what we have mentioned here.
Whatever the case:
The producer should think about what he is going to produce for the new generation, because they are going to be influenced by what they hear and see. So he should strive to convey the pure message of Islam and play a role in giving children an Islamic upbringing. So he should include in his films and cartoons respect for and teaching of prayer, honouring one’s parents and reminders of their rights, and other great Islamic virtues, as well as warning against disobedience to parents, lying, severing family ties and so on. We hope that the good things in these drawings and films will outweigh the evils of image-making and drawing. If there was unanimous agreement among the scholars we would not have said that it is permissible, even if there are numerous benefits in it, but because there are texts which make an exception for toys, even if they resemble animate beings, for children, and there are some of our scholars who say that it is permissible, we have inclined towards the view that it is allowed.
And Allaah knows best.