Should I Buy Halal Food for My Cats? [Shafi’i]
Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
I am taking care of 3 cats. Do we need to buy halal food for them?
Answer:Wa alaykum al-Salam
There are two areas of concern relating to your question. One is feeding animals carrion or non-slaughtered meat and the other is purchasing of such meat.
Feeding animals carrion:
Non-slaughtered fish is permissible for both human and animal consumption. The Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said regarding the Ocean, “Its water is pure and its carrion halal.”
Meat and chicken carrion however, even though considered impure may be given as feed to animals. Imam al-Nawawi stated, “It is permitted to feed bees with impure honey and to feed dogs and birds carrion.”
Buying and selling carrion:
According to the Shafi’i school, the selling or purchasing of carrion is impermissible. One may consider the carrion to be a minority ingredient in cat food and thus consider its purchasing permissible such as in the case of one purchasing a home that has been plastered in impure mud, but this analogy may not be accepted by all.
After consulting our teacher, Maulana Taha Karaan, he advised adopting the Hanafi position that considers the sale of anything holding legal benefit as valid (kullu ma fihi manfa’ah tahillu shar’an fa inna bay’ahu yajuz).
And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz–a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan – the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur – the current Mufti of Tarim, Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani – the Shafi’i Mufti of Makkah, Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi, Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf, Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh, Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki, Sh. Ala ad- Dind al-Afghani, Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.