IslamQA: The rule on writing sexually explicit materials in Islam

Assalamu Alaikum brother, I just wanted to ask if u have any advice how writers or artists can avoid 'fahisha' in their work. When I write fiction I avoid writing about Islam bc I don't want to mix that which is made up with the truth. At the same time I don't want to represent lewd ideas in my writing but since that is a grey area I dont know how to go about it.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

One rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you would be ashamed to read what you wrote in front of your family and other Muslims you respect. If you think they would find it shocking and unacceptable, then that is a strong indication that you should change it. However, sometimes people find something unacceptable just because they cannot fully understand it. So think of an imaginary pious Muslim who is as intelligent and well-educated as yourself. Would they consider your creation wholesome and justified or questionable? If you are not sure about a certain passage or story, show it to someone whose opinion you respect and find out what they have to say about it.

So there are no strict rules on this. Sometimes you have to write about seemingly lewd things to make a beneficial point. Check out the chapter on Islam and sexuality in my new book An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims to get an idea about how a Muslim can write about sexually explicit topics (you can download it for free here).

IslamQA: How to know which scholarly opinions to follow in Islam

assalamu aleikum, how can I know whether I'm following a certain Islamic opinion due to my personal preferences/ because it seems less extreme to me Or if I am just thinking logically?Jazak Allah Khairun

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

You cannot practice Islam without using your own judgment. Even if you only follow the opinions of respected scholars, you still often have to choose between the opinions of one scholar and another. Your duty is to make a best effort to figure things out by following the scholars who seem to make the most sense and who seem to represent the spirit of the Quran most accurately.

I recommend reading the Quran daily and basing your thinking on that. The Quran is your guide and the scholars are your teachers. Try to take the best from everyone and try to constantly increase your knowledge so that you can better judge things for yourself.

IslamQA: Should you wear the hijab before homosexual women?

Is it wrong for girls who wear the hijab to show their hair in front of girls who are homosexual? Would it be a big deal (as it becomes a sin) if they called me pretty and all those compliments?

The purpose of dress codes in Islam is to take sexuality out of public interactions so that men and women can interact without either sex having reason to sexually admire the other sex. Based on this, we can draw the analogy that it would be best if women wear the hijab in front of women who are likely to sexually admire them.

Also note that most scholars are of the opinion that Muslim women should wear the hijab before non-Muslim women, as discussed in this answer.

IslamQA: How a Muslim should fight the harmful influences of Western movies, shows and music

Hello. Do you have any advice for someone who is struggling with faith? I am a Muslim Arab girl, but being constantly exposed to western movies, shows, music and their general detachment from God and religion is really starting to shake my faith. Please help.


Your faith will only be as strong as the amount of work that you put in it. I recommend dedicating a certain amount of time daily to reading the Quran (I recommend an hour for those who are able). If you do not dedicate time to worship and remembrance of God, you will invariably feel distant from God and go under harmful influences. But if you hold tight to the Quran and dedicate time to it daily, then you will be able to easily overcome harmful influences.

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Public interactions between the sexes in Islam

Salaam. Would you explain why in some Islamic sources that men and women should not be allowed to be together alone or mixed in some places or situations (e.g. markets, streets, or party, meetings, etc.)? I was studying Islam and they try to apply this in real life, only to be resulted as when the men and women in the same jama'a met, they interacted minimally (as to prevent further unnecessary interaction) yet came across as awkward to my observation. Your thoughts, please? Jazakallahu khayr.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There are no strict rules on the mixing of men and women in Islam in public. The one strict rule is that a marriageable man and woman should not spend private time together unless there are others present. Each culture does things in its own way. The awkwardness usually comes from people of different cultures meeting and not knowing what level of interaction the other person is used to. But when it comes to Muslims of the same culture (as in people of the same village), then public interactions can be very comfortable and lack awkwardness.

In large cities where most people are strangers and come from different cultures, devout Muslims often choose to do what is “safest”, which is to keep interactions to a minimum, and this leads to awkwardness. I don’t know if there is a solution for this. In the United States when interacting with Muslim women I do my best to avoid eye contact, while back in my home town in the Middle East, since I speak the same “cultural language” as the women I meet, I have to follow different rules. My female relatives and neighbors there would find it strange and even insulting if I do not look directly at them when interacting.

So Islam has very little to say on the way public interactions should take place between men and women. If you read a Victorian novel and note how the men and women interact in public, their behavior is often perfectly “Islamic”. The point is to avoid sexually objectifying people of the opposite sex and to avoid situations where lust could become a factor. Apart from that we are free how we interact.

IslamQA: Stealing before puberty is not counted as a sin

In Islam when is a girl considered to have hit puberty? After she starts menstruating? Because as a child I was a petty thief which I feel a lot of remorse and guilt over now, I want to compensate the people I hurt along the way but I also want to know if it counted as a sin as I think I hadn't hit puberty. Also how can one make amends for stealing especially if those people aren't in their life anymore? Jazak Allah Khairun

Puberty starts with menstruation as you said. What you did before puberty is not counted as a sin. But it is best if to try to return what you stole. Do your best to return the price of what you took (as gifts) to those people. But if it is impossible to track those people down and return the amount, then give the amount to a charity.


IslamQA: Is it sunna to raise the index finger in tashahhud?

Isn't it the sunnah of prophet to lower your index finger and raise it?

The clearly established sunna is to point with the index finger during the tashahhud. As for raising the index finger or moving it, there are conflicting narrations about it which has led to the different schools having different stances about it. One narration says the Prophet PBUH did not move his index finger while another mentions that he moved it. Because of this the different schools have different opinions on whether to do it or not. But keeping the finger still or moving it are both acceptable according to the Mālikī scholar Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr.

The Ḥanafī opinion is to point during the tashahhud and lift the finger when you say lā ilāha illā allāh then lower it again.

The Mālikī opinion is to continuously move the finger from the beginning to the end of the tashahhud.

The Ḥanbalī opinion is to lift the finger each time the name of God is mentioned in the tashahhud.

The Shafiʿi opinion is to lift the finger when you say illā allāh and to keep it lifted until the end of the tashahhud.

There is no conclusive evidence for any of these options.


IslamQA: Is using healing crystals haram?

assalamu aleikum, do you know anything about “healing crystals” and if it is shirk to own them? not just as a decoration but to believe that they better our mental/physical state? maybe there’s some science behind it that i don’t understand but it doesn’t seem compatible with islam to me

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is no scientific evidence that healing crystals have any benefit. But from the Islamic point of view it depends on your intention whether it is acceptable or not to use them. If you think they may have a natural healing power similar to drugs and herbs, then that is not idolatry (shirk) since idolatry only applies to beliefs about things having mystical and supernatural benefits. But if someone believes healing crystals have mystical and supernatural powers to bring benefit into one’s life and bypass God’s decrees, then that is idolatry and therefore forbidden.

IslamQA: Is it disliked to study philosophy in Islam?

Is it true that philosophy is considered a dangerous topic to discuss or do a study or just dive deep into it for knowledge? Some religious people in my country think that philosophy is dangerous to Muslims and we should not study about it.

The mainstream opinion is that there is nothing wrong with studying philosophy as long as a person is able to do their own research and find answers to any questions that come up for them regarding religion. Many of Islam’s great scholars deeply studied philosophy, such as al-Ghazāli and al-Rāzī.

Personally I love the study of philosophy and consider it an essential field of study for Muslim intellectuals. If we do not keep up with the latest philosophical ideas we will not be able to answer the latest questions and doubts that are raised about religion and God and we will be deprived from many beneficial ideas.

Some scholars dislike its study because they fear that it will cause people to doubt their religious beliefs or embrace un-Islamic beliefs. But there is nothing in the Quran or hadith that forbids philosophy. It is just a personal opinion of these scholars that philosophy might be harmful to some people.


IslamQA: The Islamic view of being asexual

Is being asexual a bad thing? I feel as if I do not have any sexual desires. I would marry but I wouldn't want to do those things, I personally would want to have fun and basically nonsexual things with my spouse.

Marriage and sexual activity are optional rather than compulsory in Islam. If you let your future spouse know that you are not interested in sexual activity and if they are fine with that then there is no issue with it from an Islamic perspective.

IslamQA: Dealing with a homosexual child in Islam

Asalam Walikum, how do would you handle a situation if your child is part of the LGBTQ+ community? Since Islam prohibits it, I don't want to disown a child so what would be the right way to handle it?

Below is a preliminary answer to your question. I may change it if I find out more. I probably know more than most Muslims about homosexuality due to my wide reading of Western sources, but I do not claim to be an expert.

Having homosexual inclinations in itself is not a sin. It is only sinful if it is acted upon. Therefore if one’s child comes forward and claims they are gay, they should be told that both natural (genetic) and environmental factors contribute to whether a person feels attracted more to their own sex or the opposite sex. Sexual attraction is on a spectrum–most humans are capable of being attracted to their own sex given the right circumstances (note the extremely high rates of reported homosexual activity among prison inmates and monks).

Among monozygotic twins, if one of them identifies as homosexual, there is a 24% chance that the other twin will also self-identify as homosexual according to a large study of 4901 twins (there are studies that report higher rates).1 This suggests that about 24% of sexual preference may be genetically-mediated and and 76% of it environmentally-and-psychologically-mediated. While we should not dismiss the existence of built-in factors (genetic, epigenetic) that promote homosexuality, the fact that monozygotic twins only have a 24% chance of both identifying as gay shows that there is a lot of fluidity in sexual preference, meaning that most people with homosexual genes are likely to be able to enjoy relationships with people of the opposite sex.

There is a small minority of homosexuals who find the very idea of touching a person of the opposite sex repulsive. Such people often have a history of sexual abuse if the reports I have seen are representative. This minority likely does not represent the majority of people with genes that promote homosexuality. The majority are likely to be able to enjoy relationships with both sexes.

So a Muslim child who “comes out” as gay should be told that they will likely be able to enjoy life with the right person of the opposite sex. But if they are completely opposed to that idea, they should be told that their only other option is celibacy. There is nothing wrong with homosexual desires in themselves as long as they do not act on them.

Many people are born with far worse conditions than not feeling attracted to the opposite sex–such as being born blind. There are also millions of heterosexual Muslims who desire marriage but cannot marry due to not having enough money or not having suitors. A Muslim who believes they are homosexual is just another Muslim who is unable to marry. If they want to please God, they would either choose celibacy or wait until they find the right person of the opposite sex.

For a discussion of why Islam forbids homosexual relationships please see this essay.

If the child wishes to live a homosexual lifestyle

Now, if one’s child wishes to break Islamic law and engage in homosexual relationships, their treatment is similar to a heterosexual child who engages in sexual activity outside of marriage. According to a fatwa by the Qatari Fatwa Authority, it is permitted to maintain familial contacts with such a person. The recommendation is actually to maintain contact (while advising them to stop what they are doing). According to Dr. Suʿād Ṣāliḥ of Al-Azhar University the treatment of such a person is similar to the treatment of a family member who has become a disbeliever. The Quran says regarding treating parents who are disbelievers:

We have advised the human being to be good to his parents. But if they urge you to associate with Me something you have no knowledge of, do not obey them. To Me is your return; and I will inform you of what you used to do. (The Quran, verse 29:8)

The Quran does not recommend any action against them other than not obeying them. Many other scholars from Al-Azhar University also expressed the opinion that sinful family members should not be shunned but treated with kindness, knowing that God is forgiving and that they may one day change.

So Islam does not recommend disowning such a child. They should instead be treated with love and respect while it should be made clear to them that their behavior is unacceptable. But harassment of them is not a good idea either and may only lead to their feeling oppressed and misunderstood. So if they mention that they think they are gay, they should be told that their only options are either celibacy or finding a person of the opposite sex that they find attractive. After this the issue should be left alone. If the child does not bring it up again, the parents should not bring it up either. Perhaps the child will change his/her mind in five or ten years. It is not the job of the parents to force the child to stop desiring their own sex, and once they get older they are free what life they lead.

The Qatari Fatwa Authority also says that it is obligatory for parents to give a living allowance to a child who has renounced Islam. Parents are also entitled to a son’s wealth if they are poor even if they are disbelievers. The same would apply to a child who lives a homosexual lifestyle; their homosexual lifestyle does not cause them to lose their rights to the help and support of their families.

According to a Saudi fatwa, fathers are obligated to give a living allowance to their unmarried daughters even if they live a sinful lifestyle.

IslamQA: The Sunni stance toward Shia Muslims

Could you tell us what you know about Shia Muslims? I completely have no knowledge about them, rather that the Sunni Muslims in Indonesia telling us that they are misguided, but the one I followed on Twitter seems to be A-OK and talks about wisdom and the truth all the time. Thank you.

The main difference between Shia Islam and Sunni Islam is that Shia Muslims believe in a number of imams that are thought to be infallible and whose sayings are as authoritative as the Prophet’s sayings PBUH. So this leads to the fact that they follow different hadith collections filled with information from their imams that is rejected by Sunni Muslims as unauthentic.

Shia Muslims still follow the Quran, which is a source of guidance to whoever reads it, whether Sunni or Shia. So while as Sunni Muslims we consider certain elements of Shia Islam to be false, we should not say that Shia Muslims are misguided. There are many extremely pious people among them. Both Sunni Islam and Shia Islam are paths to God’s guidance and we believe Sunni Islam to be more accurate and freer from falsehoods. But both paths can still lead to guidance.

So there is no surprise in some Shia scholars and preachers being extremely sensible and pious. They still have access to many of the truths of Islam especially the most important truth which is the Quran. So it is an insult against the Quran to say Shia Muslims are completely misguided. They rather follow some truths and some what we consider to be falsehoods. But since they follow the Quran, those of them who follow the Quran most closely can be very well-guided.

There are also Shia extremists who believe in an ideology of hate against Sunnis and ignore the Quran in favor of their non-Sunni hadith collections. But we should not judge all of them by the extremists among them just like we Sunnis do not like to be judged by the extremists among Sunnis.

So while we consider Sunni Islam to be a more authentic version of Islam, we believe that the Quran can guide whoever truly believes in it and follows it, so this should be our stance toward the Shia; they are Quran-followers just like us and God can make the Quran a cause for guidance and piety for everyone who truly follows it. A Shia Muslim who follows the Quran and has heard nothing that convinces them Sunni Islam is better is not responsible for thinking that Shia Islam is the correct choice. God judges all humans according to what they believe to be true in their hearts. We should not hate Shia Muslims or insult them but politely disagree with them on matters having to do with their imams and their hadiths.

Follow-up question:

Assalamu aleikom. Having read your post about sunni vs shia muslims, I was wondering if you could tell more (or share reliable sources) about their differences and why one is more right than the other? Also, is it possible to be just muslim, without following one of the islamic branches? Thank you for your blog, it has really helped me to understand islam from a rational/philosophical perspective.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is not possible to just be Muslim without being Sunni or Shia. Since Shia Muslims believe that they have divinely-guided imams, the imams’ teachings are as important as the Prophet’s (PBUH). So if a person chooses the Shia path they will have to accept the divine authority of the imams and the tens of thousands of hadith narrations that come from them.

The reason we consider Sunni Islam better is that there is no evidence in the Quran or (authentic) Prophetic tradition that tells us the family of the Prophet PBUH were meant to be the divinely chosen leaders of the Muslims. It makes more sense to us that the Prophet PBUH was just a human and that the teaching of Islam ended with him. But the Shia believe that his descendants were also meant to be divinely-guided semi-prophets, so they have a massive amount of non-Prophetic literature that comes from those descendants (the imams) which they believe are authentic additions to Islam.

So as a Muslim you either have to choose the “minimalist” Sunni version of history (God sent Muhammad to be a prophet like any other prophet) or the Shia version which adds the imamate to Islam and believes that Muslims cannot understand the Quran or the Prophet’s teachings except with the help of the imams.

I do not really know any reliable sources to read more about these issues. If you already know about Sunni Islam, you can find many books on Shia Islam on sites like Amazon.

IslamQA: When life’s difficulties cause you to doubt God

Salaam, I feel like everything in my life seems to be going wrong. I am losing my faith in Allah and his plan for me. I am a good and genuine person, all I want is to build for my future etc, I cannot find a job although I have two good degrees, I started my own business and that is not seeing any success either. These past 3-5 years I feel like I have been tested in so many ways and I keep getting told to trust in Allah's plan. I just feel so broken, every glimmer of hope I get it's taken away

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I have been in similar situations. The point is to show you your weakness and powerlessness in order to make you truly submit to God. True submission means there should be nothing that God does to you that would make you dislike Him or question His wisdom and mercy. When you reach this stage, you will know that no good or bad can reach you except with God’s permission. You will stop being impatient for change knowing God is already fully in charge.

You wish for change because you feel your present situation is wrong and unfit for you. It is very common for us to feel this way, but it is the wrong attitude to have. The correct attitude is to fully settle your heart to you present situation and be fully ready for it to continue this way for the foreseeable future. When you know in your heart that everything that happens to you is from God, you will stop being impatient for change. You feel like you are in a bus controlled by God and you will leave it to Him to take you where He wants.

It is very difficult to maintain such a state for long, which is why I recommend an hour of Quran-reading every day which helps maintain our awareness of God’s power and closeness. I always remind myself that nothing that happens should reduce my love for God. Accept life as it is and love God whether good or bad befalls you. This is true submission.

It is good to work to change your situation for the better. I am not saying that we should give up and do nothing. But our starting point should always be love and acceptance of God and acceptance of our situation as it is. We can work for change, but we are never guaranteed success. Everything comes from God, so we might as well attach our hearts to Him and leave it to Him to take care of our fate.

You have not achieved true submission until you fully feel in your heart that nothing that befalls you can reduce your love for God. It is a favor from God to put you in such a difficult situation that forces you to fully submit to Him in this way. Those who always have it easy never get this chance to truly submit. So consider it God’s love for you. He wants you to detach from everything so that your heart is attached to nothing but Him. And once you reach that stage, God can open all His doors to you in an instant and completely change your life.

So do not lose hope in God. Always try to be in state where nothing that befalls you can reduce your love for Him. And when you are this close to God, you will stop worrying much about your worldly failures and concerns. You will feel as if you have already achieved the greatest success and you will leave it to God to take care of your future.

Please also see my essay below:

Islam and Depression: A Survival Guide

Best wishes.

IslamQA: Is it haram or sinful to spend money on movies?

Salam, I heard a lecture it said going to the movies is bad because you are wasting your money and you will be accountable for such a thing. What are your thoughts? Jzk

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Spending money on entertainment is not forbidden, so spending money on a wholesome movie is not forbidden in itself and it is wrong to call it a waste. It is similar to spending extra money on tasty food instead of keeping your money and only choosing cheap foods. Islam does not forbid you from enjoying yourself every now and then as long as this is not taken to an extreme. 

But when it comes to Hollywood movies, there is an unrelated problem with spending money on them which is the fact that you would be contributing to the profits of a corrupt and abusive system and helping it continue what it does. So it is more ethical to avoid supporting Hollywood as much as you can. The same applies to spending money on any other thing that supports corrupt corporations and systems. Going to the occasional Hollywood movie is not a big deal, but ideally we should avoid them and spend our money in more wholesome ways. 

IslamQA: Can a wife demand her owed living allowance after divorce?

Salam alaykum. May I ask? How is the law about a wife who demands divorce (khulu'), then May she collect a living allowance that has never been given by her husband? During the 6 months of marriage, her husband only gave her a living allowance once. Syukron . Jazaakallah khayr

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

According to the Mālikī, Shafiʿī and Ḥanbalī schools the nafaqa (living allowance”) is a debt on the husband that he is required to pay unless the wife forgives the debt. This means that if the husband fails to pay it for a certain number of months, the wife is allowed to request full payment (I am not sure if the divorce affects this, it appears like it should not). The Ḥanafīs however say that it is not a debt unless the couple agreed together to consider it a debt.

So according to the aforementioned three schools your husband would have to pay the living allowance that he owes you. I am not exactly sure about the Ḥanafī position in your specific case.

It would be best if both of you agree to ask a scholar or imam that both of you respect and see what he says regarding your case.


IslamQA: Rolling sleeves and pants in prayer

Salamu alaikum. Brother, I want to ask that I read somewhere a very long time ago that we are not suppose to roll our shirt's sleeves or our pants to pray. Is it true and what does that mean? Shukran.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

There is a hadith mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim that says it should not be done:

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

I have been commanded to prostrate myself on seven bones:" forehead," and then pointed with his hand towards his nose, hands, feet, and the extremities of the feet; and we were forbidden to fold back clothing and hair.

Sahih al-Bukhari Book 10, Hadith 207; Sahih Muslim 490 d

The meaning of the hadith is somewhat vague regarding folding clothes. The word it uses is kaff, which means “to gather together”, “to fold together” according to Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani. It is not entirely clear if this applies to sleeves and pants as it may have been a reference to folding together one’s robes and holding it with one’s hand in prayer. But just to be safe, it is best to avoid all kinds of folding and rolling.

However, it does not nullify the prayer if someone prays in such a state as it is considered makruh (“disliked”) rather than forbidden.


IslamQA: Superficial knowledge versus true knowledge

Assalamualaikum. A few days ago you posted a quote "Superficial knowledge breeds arrogance; true knowledge induces humility." by Sh. Dr. Yasir Qadhi. Since you have dealt with lots of knowledge, may I know your opinion of this quote? Thank you very much and have a blessed day.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Knowledge is like other blessings; the more we have of it the more likely we are to consider ourselves self-sufficient and superior to others. Knowledge can also cause a person to attain a higher status and gain the respect and admiration of others. Both of these create the danger that a person will become arrogant as their knowledge increases. In the Middle East I have seen this most clearly among university professors, many of whom unfortunately consider themselves extremely superior to everyone around them. They are often extremely proud and narrow-minded.

The true knowledge that Yasir Qadhi refers to is knowledge of our human limits and our status compared to God’s greatness. This knowledge unfortunately leaves the mind rather quickly. We always tend toward feelings of arrogance and self-sufficiency unless we have constant reminders of our status. The best reminder in my view is the Quran. A person who reads it daily is likely to be protected from the danger of arrogance and various other dangers. I believe there is no way for a person to remain truly balanced, steadfast and pious unless they read the Quran daily.

IslamQA: Is it permitted to ask shaykhs for prayers?

Part one :: salamu alaykom, my parents are refusing to let me get married bc they have decided that someone isnt muslim enough or the right race. my friend is saying she’s having sheikhs who are awliyah in Africa read Quran and make dua to “fix the situation” and i have constant arguments with her about how this is shirk & to not bc Allah is the only one who fixes things and she argues that all they do is read Quran and do nightly zikr for the person and they do it through Allah (cont)

Part two:: and payments they ask for go to the Islamic khalwa schools that mainly house orphans but it doesn’t sit right with me bc it seems shady. I’ve read Islamic articles that say these kinds of ppl are magicians and that its shirk. she says that they live in mosque/are righteous and I just keep telling her I’d rather her not. I don’t want her to be committing shirk and I’m scared. I also don’t want to be saying that ppl are mushrikeen if they aren’t bc that makes me feel bad. Is this shirk?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Sorry to read about your parents not letting you marry the person you choice. May Allah make things easy for you. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with having others pray for you. And if the payments are for charity then that is fine too, although if they refuse to pray for someone unless they get paid then that is more questionable. Unfortunately I cannot find any fatwas that deal directly with the issue of payment for prayer.

The concept of certain shaykhs having karāmāt (the ability to intercede with God and sometimes perform miraculous acts) is widely supported by scholars. Fatwas by the Jordanian Fatwa Authority and the Qatari Fatwa Authority support it. These karāmāt are only privileges that is granted by God due to a person’s piety. Believing in karāmāt is not shirk because a person admits that it is only a grace from God, it is not some unique power that the person possesses.

So asking shaykhs for karāmāt is not idolatry and it is considered acceptable by most scholars. So if the people are truly pious then there is no issue with what your friend is doing.

Now, I am not the type of person to do what your friend is doing (making a donation in order to get prayers). But if a person does that, we cannot condemn it since there is nothing prohibited about it. Perhaps it will have a benefit.


IslamQA: Is it permitted to make a snowman in Islam?

Is it haram to build a snow man?

It is a complicated issue because of the existing Prophetic statements that say statues should not be made. But scholars generally permit children’s toys even if they depict humans. We also know that Aisha, may God be pleased with her, had a toy horse with wings and the Prophet PBUH laughed about it without saying anything against it.

The contradictory evidence we have therefore leaves no space for coming up with an answer that completely satisfies. I personally see nothing wrong with snowmen and perhaps we can think of them as similar to toys in that they are a plaything for children.

For more details on these issues please see this page: drawings, paintings and statues in Islam

IslamQA: Is it permitted in Islam to jokingly call others insulting names?

Is it haraam to call each other insulting names even as a joke say like between friends?

The Quran forbids using insulting names:

Nor shall you slander one another, nor shall you insult one another with names. (From verse 49:11)

The above appears to refer to instances of using insulting names with the aim of hurting others. But even if it is done jokingly, the above verse may still apply to it because the way it is worded keeps things vague. For this reason it is best to avoid using insulting names even if it is not done with malicious intent.