Islamic doll

A faceless doll wearing a hijab has been created for Muslims girls in Britain, news service Asian Image has reported.

The featureless doll was designed that way to comply with Sharia law, which forbids graphic representation of God, the prophet Mohammed, his wife, family, friends and all living things - in roughly that order. The doll costs £25 ($40).

What is aniconism?

Aniconism refers to the practice of shunning images of gods, divine beings or prophets. However, in the case of some monotheistic religions, such as Islam, this can be extended to graphic representations of humans and all living things.

The depiction of all humans and animals is discouraged in the hadith and by a long tradition of Islamic authorities, especially Sunni ones. This has led to Islamic art being dominated by geometric patterns and calligraphy.

This proscription is important to Islam, which was first instantiated as a reaction to "pernicious idolatry". One way that prophets and missionaries chose to fight this was through the prohibition of material representations.

The "Deeni Doll" was manufactured in China and designed in the UK by Ridhwana B, a former teacher at a Lancashire Muslim school.

"I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features," she said.

"Some parents won't leave the doll with their children at night because you are not allowed to have any eyes in the room.

"There is an Islamic ruling which forbids the depiction of facial features of any kind and that includes pictures, sculptures and, in this case, dolls.

"I spoke to a religious scholar in Leicester who guided me through what was and what was not permissible when producing the product.

"The Islamic range in kids toys is quite limited at the moment with few choices. Although this project took a while, I am looking at researching other ideas in the future," she said.

Ridhwana added that some people might find the doll strange, but she has had a positive response from many parents.

"We have produced a limited amount at the moment but already I have had parents take up the order."