Fatwa: # 46323
Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings...
Country: African Country
Date: 13th October 2020

Title

Children & Toy guns - Can they play with them?

Question

Assalamualikum,

I heard that we should not allow our children to play with toy guns. Please clarify with Hadith reference.

Jazakumullahu Khairan

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Gun violence has become common in recent times. Between 2013 and June 2018 there were 316 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in the USA.

There is an ongoing debate whether toy guns create aggression or not. Hereunder are some views:

  • A psychologist, Watson, states that the more toy gun play was used, the more real aggression boys showed in their pre-school.
  • Afghanistan banned children from playing with toy guns in 2015.

However, other research shows that there is no evidence that kids who play with guns are more aggressive. Actually, research does show a link between violent media and aggressive behaviour, much more so than playing with guns.

Michael Thompson, a child psychologist, states that everyone has an informal causation theory that playing with guns leads to the use of guns in adulthood. Yet, most adult men who did engage in gunplay as children don’t commit violent crimes. He further states that there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that playing with war games in childhood leads to real life aggression.

It seems according to a New York Times article, that there is an on-going debate whether playing with toy guns encourages aggression and violent behaviour. This is a debate amongst parents, psychologist and even governments.

In June 2010, Malcolm Watson and Ying Peng published their findings on whether toy guns increase aggressive behaviours in three to five year olds. Their answer was a resounding “yes”.

The study did, however, argue for distinguishing between real and pretend aggression and other forms of play in future studies.

Nevertheless, it is a known fact that impulsive anger, mental health conditions and improper upbringings are key ingredients to an increase in gun violence and mass shootings. This aspect needs attention in our communities.

In view of the differences of opinion on whether toy guns create aggression or not, we advise against giving toy guns to children.[i]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mahmood Suliman

Student Darul Iftaa

Gaborone, Botswana


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

 

 


https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/arms-control/gun-violence/

 

https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/behavior/playing-with-toy-guns-lead-to-actual-gun-violence.htm

 

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/a27169485/toy-guns-for-kids-bad/

 

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/toy-guns-do-they-lead-real-life-violence#1

 

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/toy-guns-do-they-lead-real-life-violence#1

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/16/garden/toy-guns-do-they-fan-aggression.html

 

https://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/parenting/gun-violence-should-toy-guns-be-banned-in-sa-36292525

 

https://www.preventioninstitute.org/focus-areas/preventing-violence-and-reducing-injury/preventing-violence-advocacy

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