Question: Oh virtuous Shaikh! Some schools do competitions and the prize for these competitions is a cup. So what is the ruling on this cup?
Shaikh: What is the cup?
Questioner: an iron cup
Shaikh: Is this cup made from glass or clay?
Questioner: No, Oh Shaikh. It is made of iron and sometimes it is from gold, however the school has an iron cup.
Shaikh: There is no harm in that, however, why is it not something that can benefit because this cup can be made from nylon. That is better. Why is the prize not something beneficial either a watch, or pen, or book. This is better.
Questioner: Oh Shaikh, this cup is given to the entire class. So they give every student a specific prize of either a tape or a book, then they give the entire class a cup to put in the classroom.
Shaikh: I say: the origin of this cup is apparently from the non-Muslims, this is what I understand. The cup that you speak of is not a cup to drink with
Questioner: It is not used, Oh Shaikh, for eating, drinking, or anything
Shaikh: It is not used and it does not benefit?
Questioner: It is only for adornment
Shaikh: Adornment, substitute this. We bring something other than this cup. This is what I see
Questioner: Is this permissible Oh Shaikh?
Shaikh: I do not say it is prohibited. Prohibition is difficult, however, I say give something that benefits
[Taken from: Liqaa Bab al-Maftooh no. 234]
Faisal ibn Abdul Qaadir ibn Hassan