RULING ON KEEPING PETS

Praise be to Allaah.

In Islam keeping and raising pets is permissible and allowed and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Al-Bukhaari (6203) and Muslim (2150) narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the best of people in attitude. I had a brother who was called Abu ‘Umayr. He (the narrator) said: I think he said: He was a weanling. When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came and saw him, he said: “Abu ‘Umayr, what happened to the nughayr (nightingale)?” He used to play with it.

From this hadith, we come to know that it is permissible for children to play with birds and it is permissible to spend money on things that will entertain children. It is also permissible to keep birds in cages and like in case of Abu Umayr, clip the wings of the bird, whichever is the case, the other comes under the same ruling. End quote.

With regard to the conditions and guidelines on keeping animals, these include the following:

1. A pet can be any animal that doesn't cause harm to the human being. The animal that is kept must not be a dog as in Islam it is forbidden to keep a dog except guard dogs and hunting dogs. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3225) and Muslim (2106). Would the Muslim be happy for the angels of mercy not to accompany him in his house because of an animal he is keeping?

2. Do not go too far in keeping the animals so that the level.reaches the blameworthy extravagance. Many people pay millions on buying and taking care of some animals and also celebrate parties for them. In some countries, there are festivals and shows for all kinds of animals, on which huge amounts of money are spent. All of this is foolishness and lack of common sense.

3. The animal that is kept must be treated kindly and not with cruelty. The animal must be provided with proper food and drink and a person must not cause it any harm or injury. Never use it for target practice or make animals fight each other.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was walking on the road, he became very thirsty. He found a well so he went down into it and drank, then he came out. There he saw a dog that was panting and biting the ground out of thirst. The man said: this dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt. So he went back down into the well and filled his shoe with water, then he held it in his mouth until he climbed back up, and he gave the water to the dog. Allaah appreciated (his action) and forgave him.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, will we have reward with regard to these animals? He said: “In every living thing there is a reward.”

By this hadith, it is understood that there is a reward for taking care of animals. A person may even enter paradise because of his kindness to animals. Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, loves those who do good.

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has told us of a woman who went to Hell because of her neglect of a cat which she detained and it died of hunger; she did not feed it or let it go and eat of the vermin of the earth.

And Allaah knows best.
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