What is the ruling on going to funfairs, as many of the rides are in the shape of animals (horses, monkeys), and sometimes also have images of animals on them, such as the adornment above the ride. Do these come under the same heading as the images that are forbidden in Islam, and based on that is it not permissible to go to these funfairs?
Praise be to Allaah.
When talking about going to funfairs, there are two aspects
to be discussed:
Haraam things that are involved in these funfairs, such as
free mixing, wanton display of women (tabarruj), and music. If any of these
evils or others are present, then it is not permissible to go there.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked:
Guardians often take their children to places called funfairs
in which there are things that are contrary to sharee‘ah such as the wanton
display of some women, but the children are very keen to go to these
funfairs. What is the Islamic ruling on going there?
These funfairs – as the questioner mentioned – include some
evils. If there are any objectionable things in them, then if it is possible
for a person to remove these objectionable things, then he is obliged to go
there in order to remove them. If he cannot do that, then it is haraam for
him to go there and in that case we say: Take your children out to the
country and that is sufficient. But if he takes them to the funfair, in
which there is mixing and foolish man who try to chat up women, and there
are clothes that it is not permissible for a woman to wear, then it is not
permissible to go there unless he is able to remove the objectionable
End quote from al-Liqa’ al-Shahri, 75/question no. 8
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Jibreen (may Allah preserve him) was
Some fathers – may Allah guide them and all the Muslims –
take their families, including little children, big girls, minors and women,
to places called funfairs, which include rides for young and old and the
women ride in front of one another when they are uncovered and wearing their
adornments, and many women and girls go there wearing short or see-through
clothes and pants, and some of them barely cover the ‘awrah. And they take
pictures of one another with their cameras. Some righteous women – who we
think are so, but Allah knows best – go to these places and they do not
denounce any of these objectionable things. If we advise them that it is not
permissible to go to these places, they argue that there is nothing wrong
with it and that this is just for fun and leisure. Some of them even regard
that as part of a good upbringing and they regard the one who advises them
not to do that as being extremist. We hope that you can offer them some
advice and direction concerning this matter and explain the bad consequences
that may result from it. Thank you and may Allah protect you and take care
I think that it is not permissible to go to these funfairs
which involve what is mentioned in the question. That comes under the
heading of doing things that are the causes of corruption and inclination
towards sin, and training children when they are young to love wanton
display, uncovering and mixing with non-mahrams. There is no doubt that if
children, male or female, grow up going to these funfairs and mixing with
those evildoers, that will result in them getting used to these haraam
matters and regarding them as insignificant, believing that they are
permissible and not denouncing them in those places or elsewhere. This will
make children like behaving in this manner and imitating those evildoers. It
cannot be justified by saying that it is for fun or leisure. There are
things that can take the place of that, such as going to the countryside and
places that are free of non-mahrams, or going to parks and gardens where
there is no free mixing, or doing useful things and learning beneficial
things at home, reading books of knowledge and Islamic history. That is a
kind of innocent fun and leisure which is free of haraam things and obvious
losses to one’s religious commitment and worldly interests. And Allah is the
One Whose help we seek.
End quote from the Shaykh’s website (question no. 11036).
The second issue is what these funfairs contained of statues
and images which is undoubtedly an objectionable thing, and what they
contain of images of horses, monkeys or other things that children ride on.
These things are still images and statues. Rather what is permissible of
children's toys are those that are handled with disrespect and played with,
not those that are shaped in the form of an animate being and are respected,
guarded and taken care of.
Shaykh Khaalid al-Mushayqih (may Allah preserve him) said:
With regard to these rides that are in the form of images and
statues, it seems that they are not permissible, so it is not permissible to
allow children to ride on them because of the stern warnings that have been
narrated with regard to making images. The Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) said to ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with
him): “Do not leave any image without erasing it or any built-up grave
without levelling it.” Narrated by Muslim.
And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to
‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah, when he asked him what Allah had sent him with: “… To
uphold ties of kinship, break idols and proclaim the oneness of Allah
(Tawheed) and not associate anything with Him.” Narrated by Muslim.
And he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“Allah has sent me as a mercy to the worlds and my Lord, may He be glorified
and exalted, has commanded me to destroy the idols.” Narrated by Ahmad in
So the questioner should not be swayed by his children’s
desires. As for the alternative, I say that it is possible to provide them
with permissible games at home or elsewhere, to make up for not taking them
to these funfairs in which there are these rides in the forms of animate
beings and statues. End quote.