A doll with no facial features has been launched for Muslim children in line with Islamic rules about avoiding the depiction of faces.
The featureless toy comes dressed in a hijab and red dress but has no eyes, nose or mouth. It has been designed to comply with strict Muslim teachings which rule against the representation of humans and animals in other forms, and specifically Muslim gods and their companions. The doll, which comes in just one design, is called Romeisa and named after the female companion of the Prophet Muhammad. It is aimed at children living in strict Muslim families.
‘There is an Islamic ruling which forbids the depiction of facial features of any kind and that includes pictures, sculptures and, in this case, dolls,’ the designer, who is known as Ridhwana B, told the Lancashire Telegraph.
I spoke to a religious scholar in Leicester who guided me through what was and what was not permissible when producing the product
‘The Deeni Doll has no face on it whatsoever and is Shariah compliant.’
The former teacher, who used to work at a Muslim school in Lancashire, said she came up with the idea to design the doll after speaking to parents who were concerned about toys with facial features. She said it took four years to design and added: ‘The Islamic range in kids toys is quite limited at the moment with few choices. Although this project took a while, I am looking at researching other ideas in the future.
BANNING GODS AND ANIMALS: HOW ‘ANICONISM’ CREATED FACELESS DOLLS
- Islam teaches aniconism – the practice of avoiding creating images of living things.
- The most absolute prohibition is images of God, followed by Islamic prophets and then relatives of Muhammad.
- However this teaching is extended to humans in the hadith.
- This has led to Islamic art being represented in geometric patterns and calligraphy.
- The Quran doesn’t specifically prohibit depictions of humans, but it does rule against idolatry.
- Sunni authorities interpret the hadith as prohibiting any representations of living things.
- The variety of images available today has created some problems for followers.
‘I am looking at compiling a book for the Islamic upbringing of children in the future too.’
Aniconism is taught in Islam, which rules against the creation of living beings.
The avoidance of idolatry is the main concern for devout Muslims.
It is hoped the doll will be able to be used by Muslim children who often face having to have their toys removed at night because teachings forbid anything with eyes being left in the room.
The doll is being sold for £25 and although it is not the first of its kind in the world, it is thought to be the only one produced to such a high quality. Only a limited number have been made but Ridhwana said she has already had orders. It has been named after one of the female companions of Muhammad, who are known by the collective name Sahabiyat. The prophet had hundreds of companions who knew Muhammad and recited hadith, which were the basis of developing the Islamic tradition.
Companions are loosely defined as anyone who saw the prophet Muhammad and died a Muslim. The idea of creating dolls for children to play with and learn from is based on stories that Prophet Muhammad’s wife, Aisha, also played with the featureless items. via