Is it permissible to sell gold shaped in the form of an animal
and gold coins engraved with a picture of half a man?
Selling and buying pictures of animate beings is impermissible. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is authentically reported to have stated:
Allah and His Messenger made illegal the trade of alcohol, dead animals, pigs and idols.
(Narrated by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
This also may cause deifying (Part No. 13; Page No. 74) those pictured as was the case with the people of Nuh (Noah, peace be upon him). It is recorded in the Sahih (authentic book of Sunnah) of Imam
Al-Bukhari (may Allah be merciful to him) on the authority of
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) on explaining the statement of Allah (Exalted be He):
"And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods: nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwâ‘, nor Yaghûth, nor Ya‘ûq nor Nasr’ (these are the names of their idols).
He said, "The names (of the idols) formerly belonged to some pious men of the people of Noah, and when they died Satan inspired their people to (prepare and) place idols at the places where they used to sit, and to call those idols by their names. The people did so, but the idols were not worshipped till those people (who introduced them) had died and the origin of the idols had become obscure, whereupon people began worshipping them."
There are, in fact, many other religious texts indicating that producing or using pictures of animate beings is prohibited.We have so far spoken about items taking the shape of animate beings. As for items engraved with pictures of animate beings, be they gold, silver or monetary coins, clothes or machines; if they are circulated among people with the purpose of being hung on walls or suchlike without serving a practical purpose, dealing in them will be prohibited. In fact, it is falls under the scope of the evidence prohibiting producing and making use of the pictures of animate beings. However, if the item engraved with such pictures is used for a practical purpose such as a cutting machine, a rug to be trodden on or a cushion to be leaned on or the like, it will be permissible. This is based on the Hadith authentically reported
in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
on the authority of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said that she hung a curtain decorated with pictures (of animates) on a cupboard. The Prophet tore that curtain and she turned it into (Part No. 13; Page No. 75) two cushions which remained in the house for the Prophet to sit on.
According to the wording of
Ahmad, she said:
I tore it and made two cushions out of it. I saw him leaning on one of them that has a picture.
Bear in mind that making images of animate beings is prohibited and it is not a permissible line of work to produce coins or clothing or anything else according to the above-cited evidence.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.