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Difference of opinion regarding making a model of the Ka‘bah in order to teach children about the rituals


Publication : 05-10-2014

Views : 33749


The school that my children attend is going to have a party to celebrate the occasion of Hajj on Friday. The school has asked me to dress my children in white garments, so that they can teach them how to perform the rituals of Hajj and tawaaf (circumambulation) of the Ka‘bah. But there will be a “ka‘bah” for teaching purposes only; is that permissible? Should I send my children to school on that day?


Praise be to Allah.

Making a model of the Holy Ka‘bah, whether it is for the purpose of teaching or adornment and so on, and whether one actually walks around it in the manner of tawaaf in order to teach children and endear the rituals of Hajj to them, or to educate adults too – all of these are matters concerning which there has been a great deal of debate in recent years, because it has become widespread in some Muslim countries, especially in Islamic schools and some ministries of awqaaf (Islamic endowments) and Hajj. Some researchers and supervisors of those departments have their own opinions on this matter, on the basis of which they regard these practices as permissible, and many researchers have agreed with them. 

But what has been stated clearly by more than one of our contemporary scholars, and has been mentioned in fatwas of Fiqh Councils and institutions for issuing fatwas, is that this should not be allowed and a stop should be put to it; it should not be done by children or adults, for two important reasons: 


The principle of barring the means that may lead to reprehensible outcomes, which is based on a great deal of evidence from the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The means here is “making the model and walking around it”, for fear lest people attribute to this action some kind of sanctity or veneration, thus leading to worship being mixed with teaching, and to the common folk thinking that there is some connection between the real rituals of Hajj and the sanctity of the sacred House of Allah, and these models that are sometimes built in the actual size of the real Ka‘bah, surrounded by imitations of other features of the Sacred Mosque. 


Another issue is that to which many of these models may lead, which is a decrease in veneration of the holy Ka‘bah in people’s hearts. That is because these models have become commonplace, and are made in the form of pendants and medallions, and key chains, and are hung up in cars, or are played with by small children. What we should do is always strive to increase the veneration and respect for the holy places in people’s hearts. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then let them complete the prescribed duties (Manasik of Hajj) for them, and perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (the Kabah at Makkah).

That (Manasik prescribed duties of Hajj is the obligation that mankind owes to Allah), and whoever honours the sacred things of Allah, then that is better for him with his Lord”

[al-Hajj 22:29-30]

“Thus it is (what has been mentioned in the above said Verses is an obligation that mankind owes to Allah). And whosoever honours the Symbols of Allah, then it is truly from the piety of the heart”

[al-Hajj 22:32]. 

We will quote here some fatwas and statements that have been issued concerning this matter: 

Statement no. 74 (3/13) regarding the manufacture and marketing of models of the Holy Ka‘bah.

alone, and blessings and peace be upon the one after whom there will be no prophet, our master and Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and companions.

To proceed: the session of the Islamic Fiqh Council in the Muslim World League, in its thirteenth session, held in Makkah al-Mukarramah, beginning on Saturday 5 Sha‘baan 1412 AH/8 February 1992 CE, examined the matter and determined:

What should be done is to put a stop to this and prevent it, because it leads to negative consequences and things that are contrary to sharee‘ah.

May Allah send blessings and peace upon our master Muhammad, and upon his family and companions. Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.

Head of the Islamic Fiqh Council: ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baaz 

Deputy head: Dr. ‘Abdullah ‘Umar Naseef

Members: Muhammad ibn Jubayr, Dr. Bakr ‘Abdullah Abu Zayd, ‘Abdullah al-‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Bassaam, Saalih ibn Fawzaan ibn ‘Abdullah al-Fawzaan (abstained), Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn as-Sabeel, Mustafa Ahmad az-Zarqa, Muhammad Rasheed Raaghib Qabbaani, Abu Bakr Jawsi, ‘Abd ar-Rahman Hamzah al-Marzooqi, Dr. Ahmad Fahmi Abu Sanah, Muhammad al-Habeeb ibn al-Khawjah (not signed), Dr. Yoosuf al-Qaradaawi, Shaykh Muhammad ash-Shaadhili an-Nayfar, Shaykh Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali al-Hasani an-Nadwi (not signed), Muhammad Mahmoud as-Sawwaaf (not signed)

General Manager of the Islamic Fiqh Council: Dr Talaal ‘Umar Baafakeeh  

End quote from Qaraaraat al-Majma‘ al-Fiqhi (p. 285) 

In Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (11/14), vol. 2, there is a question as follows: 

There is a man who teaches the people the rituals of Hajj in a practical manner. He has made a wooden structure for them and painted it black to resemble the Ka‘bah. He also made models of Maqaam Ibraaheem, as-Safa and al-Marwah, Zamzam and the Jamaraat, and other locations having to do with the rituals of Hajj. What the training involves is that the people come, wearing their ihram, and they do the rituals, starting with ‘umrah until the end of Hajj. They raise their voices reciting the Talbiyah inside the mosque, in unison. This phenomenon has started to spread in all regions of Morocco, to the point that if you enter some of the mosques, you will find a wooden structure resembling the Ka‘bah and everything connected to the rituals, throughout the year. 

The Standing Committee replied:

Making models out of wood or other materials for some of the Islamic rituals, such as the Ka‘bah, Maqaam Ibraaheem, the Jamaraat and so on, for the purpose of using them to teach people how to do the rituals of Hajj and ‘umrah in the manner described, is not permissible. In fact it is a reprehensible innovation, because of what it leads to of things that are contrary to Islamic teachings, such as feeling an emotional attachment to these models, even if that is after a while, and because they may be mishandled, and so on, when there is no need for this method. Explaining and describing the rituals verbally, and writing explanations  is sufficient to convey the meaning to all people. It is narrated in a saheeh report that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.” Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. End quote. 

President of the committee ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz; vice president ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh; members at large ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Saalih al-Fawzaan and Bakr Abu Zayd. 

It also says in vol. 2, answering a question about making medallions in the form of the Ka‘bah and the green dome: 

It is not permissible to make models of the Holy Ka‘bah and the dome that is above the grave of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or to trade in such items. That is because making them and trading in them and dealing in them leads to things that are not permissible; we should warn against that and block all doors that lead to it. End quote. 

President of the committee ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz; vice president ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh; members at large ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Saalih al-Fawzaan and Bakr Abu Zayd. 

Please see also fatwa no. 192265 

What we think is that teaching by explaining and using other methods and resources available via a computer, or showing films that show the actual rituals, is sufficient and there is no need for these methods that the scholars say are not allowed, whether that is for teaching at home or in school. If you use the alternative, permissible methods with your children, that is better. 

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A