Answered by: Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed
Is it permissible to cremate animals? Or should they be buried?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
There are no explicit guidelines on how to deal with dead animals, however, we can deduce from related texts that the better way would be to bury them. For example, Allah Azzawajjal tells us in the Qur’an in the story of Habil and Qabil that a crow showed Qabil how to bury his dead brother: “Then Allah sent a crow digging ˹a grave˺ in the ground ˹for a dead crow˺, in order to show him how to bury the corpse of his brother. He cried, “Alas! Have I ˹even˺ failed to be like this crow and bury the corpse of my brother?” So he became regretful.” [Maa’idah: 31]
Furthermore, the erudite Hanafi scholar Ibn Abideen [r] mentions in his Raddul Muhtaar under the chapter of sacrificial animals regarding an animal that requires disposing of: “… then it is considered a dog which is to be buried.”
Therefore, we can deduce that the better way of dealing with dead animals would be to bury them. However, if there is a valid reason for cremating, such as lack of means to bury, then cremation would be permissible.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Safiyya-Maryam Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
وان اشكلت فاذبح فان كرشها بدا فعنز والّا فهو كلب فيُطمر – والطمر: الدفن في الأرض (رد المحتار, كتاب الذبائح, الجلد التاسع, صفحة ٤٥١, دار عالم الكتب)