بسم الله و الحمد الله و كفى و الصلاة و السلام على خير الخلق و اله و صحبه و من تبع هداهم و بهم اقتدى أما بعد
I have been requested by a brother who I love and respect to write down my thoughts about emoticons since we had a discussion about its ruling. I advised him I lean to believe it is Haram or, at least, has doubt of Haram while he argued that some of our respectable scholars said it is allowed. So, I am writing about this topic to shade some light on Emoticons in depth since I know it has not been discussed in details before.
I shall divide this small article into four sections:
Emoticons come into various forms:
Reasons for impermissibility of Images in General:
I have looked into the Hadeeths that states the impermissibility of drawings and concluded that this prohibition is due the following two points:
Criteria of prohibited Images:
The above two Hadeeths specify two main keywords that upon we can determine the ruling over pictures in general.
1. (المضاهاة): This word means to Simulate or create something similar in description or appearance which explains that Prohibition is not only limited to pictures that are a match to animated creatures. As a result, pictures or drawing that contain eyes, mouths, noses, heads or bodies regardless how distorted the features are still will be included in prohibition. So, changing or distorting the features of the picture does not shift the ruling because it still includes an implementation of a simulation to Allah’s creatures.
Imam Al-Ramli Al-Shafi’e said: “Pictures of animals (are unlawful)....even if these drawings are for animals that do not exist in reality like horses with wings” [Tohfatul Minhaaj: Under section of Waleemah (wedding feast): 31/416]
2. (صورة): I wish to go in bit of details about the meaning of it as there are two evidences that support our argument but I will comment on afterward:
Ibn A’bbas said: “The picture is the face so if the head was taken off then it is not a picture anymore” [Silsilah Al-Saheeha: 1921]
This Athar is clear evidence on the fact that emoticons are prohibited as they are clear faces. This is supported by the authentic Hadeeth:
Narrated By Abu Hurairah: The Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: Gabriel (صلى الله عليه و سلم) came to me and said: I came to you last night and was prevented from entering simply because there were images at the door, for there was a decorated curtain with images on it in the house, and there was a dog in the house. So order the head of the image which is in the house to be cut off so that it resembles the form of a tree; order the curtain to be cut up and made into two cushions spread out on which people may tread; and order the dog to be turned out. [Sunan Abi Dawd: 4158]
There are two important points to be concluded from the highlighted underlined line in the Hadeeth:
Argument of who allow such images
It might be argued that there is a Hadeeth that proves that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) allowed Aisha (رضي الله عنها) to play with a doll that took the form of horse with wings as it follows:
Narrated By 'Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: When the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) arrived after the expedition to Tabuk or Khaybar (the narrator is doubtful), the draught raised an end of a curtain which was hung in front of her store-room, revealing some dolls which belonged to her. He asked: What is this? She replied: My dolls. Among them he saw a horse with wings made of rags, and asked: What is this I see among them? She replied: A horse. He asked: What is this that it has on it? She replied: Two wings. He asked: A horse with two wings? She replied: Have you not heard that Solomon had horses with wings? She said: Thereupon the Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth. [Sunan Abi Dawd: 4932]
This Hadeeth has a default because of Muhammad Bin Ayoub, who exists in the chain of narrators. And here is what scholar said about him:
He is: Yahya bin Ayoub Al-Ghafiqi, known as Abu Al-Abbas Al-Masri and he was classified by the following scholar as it follows:
Ahmad bin Hanbal: He has bad memorization
Abu Hatem: He is Sadouq (a word of discrediting); His Hadeeth is written but cannot be used as evidence
Al-Nasaaie: He is not strong and in another place he said: La baas bih (all, are words of discrediting)
Ibn Sa’d: his Hadeeth is Munkar
Al-Darqatni: Some of his Hadeeth ahs Idteraab
Al-Ismaie’li: He cannot be used as evidence
Al-U’qaili mentioned hi in his book: The weak narrators
This Hadeeth is documented in Sunan Abi Dawd, Sunan Al-Bayhaqi and Sunan Al-Nasaie Al-Kubra.
In Sunan Abi Dawd , from the way of Yahya bin Ayoub, the Hadeeth mention that this incident took place either after the Battle of Tabuk or Khaybar while in Sunan Al-Bayhaqi Al-Kubra it is mentioned as Battle of Tabuk while in Sunan Al-Nisai’e it is mentioned it is a battle without mentioning which one and in Sahih Habban it is not mentioned the battle. Furthermore, the chain of narrator has Idteraab in it as in one it is from Abdullah bin Wahb – Yahya bin Ayoub – I’mara Bin ghazya – Abi Al-Nadr – U’rwa – Aisha [ Sahih Ibn Habban] while in another it is Yahya bin Ayoub – I’mara bin Ghazyya – Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Alharith - Abu Salama Bin Abdulrahman – Aisha [ Sunan Al-Bayhaqi Al-Kubra]. This Idteraab is due to the bad memorization of Yahya bin Ayoub as it noted.
Imam Al-Bayhaqi commented on this Hadeeth after he documented by saying: “This Hadeeth is documented in Sunan Abi Dawd from the way of Muhammad bin A’wf from Sa’ed Ibn Abi Maryam as he stated in that Hadeeth either battle of Tabuk or Battle of Khaybar. It is proven that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) forbade pictures and statues from many ways therefore it is most possible that the Hadeeth from Abu Salam from Aisha that this incident took a place after Khaybar battle which was before the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) forbade pictures and statues. As supportive to what we have mentioned we know that Abu Huraira embraced Islam after the battle of Khaybar therefore the Hadeeths he narrated that shows the impermissibility of pictures and statues took a place after.
If we to assume the authenticity of the above Hadeeth about the horse with wings , which others may employ as a proof of permissibility of having not existing creatures as dolls or drawings, then it is aught to know that this Hadeeth is nothing but a proof of prohibition rather than permissibility. This is based on the fact that such Hadeeth must be understood in its context and applies it based on its circumstances.
The Type of dolls that children had at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) were just sticks that is wrapped with wool and an extra piece of sheet added on the top as if it is a head.
Rubayyi' daughter of Mu'awwidh b. 'Afra' said that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent (a person) on the morning of Ashura to the villages of Ansar around Medina (with this message): He who got up in the morning fasting (without eating anything) he should complete his fast, and he who had had his breakfast in the morning, he should complete the rest of the day (without food). The Companions said; We henceforth observed fast on it (on the day of 'Ashura) and, God willing, made our children observe that. We went to the mosque and made toys out of wool for them and when anyone felt hungry and wept for food we gave them these toys till it was the time to break the fast. [Agreed upon; Muslim: 1136 and Bukhari: 1859]
The above Hadeeth proves that dolls of children were nothing like what we know as dolls nowadays since they are nothing but stick wrapped with wool that takes no shape and if someone looked at it won’t be able to recognize what they symbolize. Hence, it is incompatible to compare toys at that time that has no shapes or real figure with the toys we have nowadays that have as exact look and shape as the real creatures or a mixture of various creatures put in one toy to make unreal creature. Knowing that, we can explain why the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did not recognize the toy therefore inquired about it to the extent he could not tell the wings as it was just extra piece of wool or sheet added to the toy. So, it is what children tend to look at rather than what the toys really are.
Based on the above, we still confirm that creating creatures in the form of pictures or statues whether they exist in reality or not won’t make a difference as long as such images shows features that people can give a description at the time they look at. It is because this process is considered replicating Allah’s creatures and showing similarity to what Allah created
Applying the Criteria On Emoticons
The first type, as noted, belongs to creatures that have no original and this form contains face and at the same time replicates Allah’s creature because the mixture of features which are all based originally on what Allah has created in animated creatures.
The second type of emoticons is the simple ones that represents human emotions especially the ones that appear on faces. This form still has the concept of imitating Allah’s creatures that have souls. Hence, if a drawing includes a simulation in any form to Allah’s creatures then it becomes prohibited and whoever argues that such simulation is not considerable then he is required to present an evidence of excluding this simulation!
The third form is the animated emoticons and I do not believe that we need to discuss this form as it is obvious prohibited not only because the above mentioned reasons but also because it was given the ability to adapt human being or animals behaviors as if they have souls that enables them to interact in that way!
Reply to who relies on scholars statement of permissibility
I understand that some may say that some of our respectable scholars stated the permissibility of the emoticons or what known as smiley faces. However, I believe their verdict was issued because of two facts:
Emoticons are forbidden because of its imitation to Allah’s creatures whether it is original or mixture or even deformed one and since the picture is the face and the face is what makes the real picture then emoticons which represent faces that express emotions then all that add up to make them Haram. Further to that, even if you are not convinced of the above and still not able to comprehend with this ruling, which I know many scholars have declared it before me, then having this as a doubtful matters should motivate you to avoid it.
And if you consider yourself a knowledge student then it is not part of manners of knowledge students to use such smiley. smile
If what I say is correct then it is from Allah and if it is wrong then it is from me and the Shaytaan.
Seeking Knowledge & Learning Fiqh Is Only Praised When It Is For The Purpose Of Acting Upon It, Not For The Sake Of Discussions & Arguments
Why Posts Are Deleted?
If I do not greet back in writing then know I do it verbally because sometimes I am too busy and just want to answer the question.
JazakAllah khayr; interesting arguments.
JazakAllah Khayr once again.
Jazakallahu khair akhi al-fadhil.
Some people have taken extreme liberties in this, May Allah Guide them. I had suggested b4 that emoticons should be taken off this mubarak forum too and replaced with bismillah and sallallaho'alaihiwasalam gif's.
أنا محمّدي ما حييت فإن أمت **** فوصيتي للناس أن يتحمّدوا
I am a Muhammadi as long as I breathe....
....And if I die, then my will is for people to become Muhammadi
wa'S-Salaatu wa'S-Selaamu `alaa Rasuli'L-Laah
wa `alaa aalih,
wa atbaa`ih ajma`een
wa'S-Selaamu `alaykum wa Rahmatu'L-Laahi wa BarakaatuH
Hayyaaka Allaah Habeebunaa Akhunaa Ayman bin khaled.
May Allaah reward you with the best of rewards in this life and in the Hereafter, aameen, thumma aameen.
I must say that learning from the Sources (Qur'aan and Sunnah) is a must. However, to learn from a living qualified person that teaches from the Sources is a greater must that supercedes the previous must for anybody serious about learning their Deen.
As learning from the sources, without knowing how the Salafu Saalih have taken it, could lead one astray.
Learning `ilm from the Internet is a great ni`mah, if you know what you are searching and reading.
For a wannabe taalibu'l-`ilm, I dare not get my knowledge, directly from the Qur'aan and Sunnah. Or even from the Salafu Saalih without knowing how they come to this conclusion.
Let alone from the internet.
With this said, please do not take it as an offence Akhee al-Kareem.
As Allaah is my Witness, I have nothing but immense respect for you. May Allaah preserve you with khayr, aameen.
May Allaah keep us upon the Truth, aameen.
Coming back to learning from living Shuyookh, I am not saying that my Sheikh is the most wise.
I am not saying that he is more wise than the `Ulamaa that you have quoted, Allaahumma Yarhamuhum jamee`aa.
However, I sincerely believe that my Sheikh is a wise Sheikh, wa'l-hamduli'L-Laah.
He is not one that buries his head in books of knowledge and knows nothing of the real world that we live in.
Neither is he one to be wordly, that he hardly knows his Deen, Allaahumma Yahfizuh, aameen.
He is a well rounded Sheikh it appears.
He does not view matters as x, y and/or z.
He looks at matters in as many aspects as possible before saying whatever it may be that he says.
Despite this, I believe that he may not be correct 100% of the time, as he is only human. However, I sincerely also believe that he would be rewarded for his ijtihaad nonetheless, w'Allaahu A`lam.
This is why I said what I did.
I ask Allaah `Azza wa Jall to grant me and you, our children and wives the best from this world, aameen.
I ask Him to give me and you, our children and wives the best in the Hereafter, aameen.
I ask Him to place sincerity within our actions, in our children's and wives' actions, aameen.
I ask Him to allow us to act solely for His pleasure, aameen.
I ask Him to grant us Jannatu'l-Firdaws al-A`laa, aameen.
wa'S-Selaamu `alaykum wa Rahmatu'L-Laahi wa BarakaatuH.
إِيَّاكَ نَعۡـبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡـتَعِـينُ