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Is there any proof for warning a lizard before killing it in Shariah?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

We have always been told that before killing a lizard in a house it should be warned three times that “if you are jinn go away otherwise I will kill you”.  After warning it three times it does not disappear then the lizard should be killed.

Is this a sound practice of warning a lizard before killing it?  Is there is a sunnah/hadeeth/quranic proof for this?  I am referring to lizards found in houses in Pakistan.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. 

The hadith instructing us to kill lizards is general and not conditional on warning the lizard. Consider the following hadith:

أَنَّ أُمَّ شَرِيكٍ، أَخْبَرَتْهُ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَمَرَهَا بِقَتْلِ الأَوْزَاغِ‏.

‏It is narrated by Umme Sharik (Radiallahu Anha) that the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) ordered her to kill geckos/lizards.(Bukhari-3307)

However, the following hadith regarding killing snakes is conditional on warning the snake before killing it. Consider the following hadith:

عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي يَحْيَى، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي أَنَّهُ، انْطَلَقَ هُوَ وَصَاحِبٌ لَهُ إِلَى أَبِي سَعِيدٍ يَعُودَانِهِ فَخَرَجْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ فَلَقِينَا صَاحِبًا لَنَا وَهُوَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ عَلَيْهِ فَأَقْبَلْنَا نَحْنُ فَجَلَسْنَا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَجَاءَ فَأَخْبَرَنَا أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيَّ يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنَّ الْهَوَامَّ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَمَنْ رَأَى فِي بَيْتِهِ شَيْئًا فَلْيُحَرِّجْ عَلَيْهِ ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ فَإِنْ عَادَ فَلْيَقْتُلْهُ فَإِنَّهُ شَيْطَانٌ

Muhammad ibn AbuYahya (Rahimahullah) said that his father told him that he and his companion went to Abu Saeed al-Khudri (Radiallahu Anhu) to pay a sick visit to him. He said: Then we came out from him (from his house). We met a companion of ours who wanted to go in to visit him. We went ahead and sat in the Masjid. He then came back and told us that he heard Abu Saeed al-Khudri (Radiallahu Anhu) say: The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: Some snakes are jinn; so when anyone sees one of them in his house, he should give it a warning three times. If it returns (after that), he should kill it, for it is a devil. (Abu Dawood- 5256)

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Ismail Dawoodjee

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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