Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I bought my son a school bag. It has a drawing of a fictional superhero deity on comic books called Thor. If my son uses this bag would that invalidate our Islam?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for writing in. I pray this finds you in the best of states.
Merely buying or using a bag which has pictures of fictional gods does not invalidate one’s faith. However, buying or selling an item with prohibited images or text printed on it is impermissible, but the sales transaction remains valid [Mughni al Muhtaj].
A person’s faith is a tremendous matter, and for this reason, those things that take one out of Islam are usually grave matters too, such as believing in false deities or worshipping them, even in jest, or disdain or ridicule for any aspect of the religion, or being pleased with disbelief.
Making the right choices
As Muslims, and especially as parents, we have to be more particular about our consumer choices. This can be difficult when buying children’s items, though usually if we look hard enough, we can find suitable clothes and accessories with neutral yet lively and colourful images and texts that are still appealing to children. This way the parent has not done anything wrong and it teaches the child how to make conscious choices as a Muslim.
Given that you have already bought the bag, you can consider the following options:
1. If it’s not too late and you can return the bag and exchange it, then do so.
2. If you have to keep it, then mark out with a permanent marker pen the writing or any problematic images, or sew patches over it.
3. Mark out the writing and any problematic images, then place badges or the like over the area.
4. If you are able to, buy a new bag, and after marking out the problematic designs, use the bag for some other use in the house, such as storage.
I hope this helps. May Allah grant you and your family to God’s Pleasure always.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.