May I Keep Coins as Collectors Items If They Have Images of Animate Life?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Farid Dingle


Is it permissible to keep coins as collectors items if they have images of animate life on them?


Thank you for your important question.

Most modern notes and coins have pictures of people on them, some partial and some complete. To forbid people to use modern bank notes/coins would be too much, so it would be permissible in view of the great difficulty that would be caused if it were forbidden (umum al-balwa). Furthermore, major scholars of the past have considered the use of them as currency a sufficient deprecation to them that would make them permissible to use and keep. [Nihayat al Muhtaj, Ramli]

Now with collectors items, if there is a clearly intact (the whole body) image of an animate object, then it would not be permissible to buy, even if it is made of gold or silver. [Nihayat al Muhtaj, Ramli]

One could not buy an antique cross or silver figurine, for example. If such an item is in one’s possession, one should have it melted down.

Now if it is just the picture of the head of a king or the like, then there would not be any problem in keeping it. 

It is worth noting that there is a difference between what one can make/draw and what one must dismantle: one is not obliged to dismantle an incomplete picture of animate, however one may not draw one to begin with. [Nihayat al Muhtaj, Ramli]

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.