Since pigs are regarded as filthy animals, should we allow our children to see them at zoos and at farms, where they might become too familiar with these animals? Is it alright to allow our children to watch nature programs and television dramas featuring pigs? Is it permissible to allow them to watch animated cartoons featuring pig-like cartoon characters?
Since pigs and dogs are impure and should not be kept in the house as pets, is it wrong to allow our children to play with plush toys in the shape of pigs and dogs?
Pigs and dogs are creations of Allah. They are animals. They take the same ruling as other animals except where Islam provided special rulings for them. There are rulings regarding the impurity of pigs and the saliva of dogs, and that it is prohibited to eat the flesh of these animals.
However, these rulings do not extend beyond that limit. It is not prohibited to look at these animals, to watch shows about them, or even to show kindness to them.
Indeed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) informed us that a prostitute was forgiven and granted Paradise because she showed mercy to a dog that was dying of thirst and filled her shoe with water and gave it to the dog to drink. [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (3467) and Sahîh Muslim (2245)]
Toy pigs and dogs take the same ruling as toys made in the shape of other animals. They are permissible.
The proof that toys in the image of people and animals are permissible comes in the hadîth where `Aishah said: “I used to play with dolls in front of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) with my friends …” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6130) and Sahîh Muslim (2440)]
And Allah knows best.