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Keeping Certain Animals as Pets

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman


Can I keep hamsters, hedgehogs, guinea pigs (itโ€™s not pigs), mice, rats, ferrets, raccoons, monkeys, owls, kites foxes inside the house (some foxes cannot harm humans but do they fall under the same category as dogs) turtles, tarantulas, geckos, Chameleons, Iguanas, Bearded dragon, scorpions (non-venomous), snakes and other reptiles (non-venomous) as pets if theyโ€™re not harmful or venomous?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


There are guidelines on keeping pets in Islam. Firstly it must be mentioned that in Islam specific pets havenโ€™t been forbidden to keep.

There is a Hadeeth narrated by Anas which indicates one can have pets:

ุงู†ูŽ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูŽุจููŠู‘ู ุตู„ู‰ ุงู„ู„ู‡ ุนู„ูŠู‡ ูˆุณู„ู… ุฃูŽุญู’ุณูŽู†ูŽ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูŽุงุณู ุฎูู„ูู‚ู‹ุงุŒ ูˆูŽูƒูŽุงู†ูŽ ู„ููŠ ุฃูŽุฎูŒ ูŠูู‚ูŽุงู„ู ู„ูŽู‡ู ุฃูŽุจููˆ ุนูู…ูŽูŠู’ุฑู ู€ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุฃูŽุญู’ุณูุจูู‡ู ููŽุทููŠู…ูŒ ู€ ูˆูŽูƒูŽุงู†ูŽ ุฅูุฐูŽุง ุฌูŽุงุกูŽ ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ โ€ย โ€œโ€ ูŠูŽุง ุฃูŽุจูŽุง ุนูู…ูŽูŠู’ุฑู ู…ูŽุง ููŽุนูŽู„ูŽ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูุบูŽูŠู’ุฑู โ€โ€โ€โ€.โ€ ู†ูุบูŽุฑูŒ ูƒูŽุงู†ูŽ ูŠูŽู„ู’ุนูŽุจู ุจูู‡ู

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (SAW) was the best of people in attitude. Abu โ€˜Umayr was the name of my brother. I believe he was a weanling (at that time). โ€œAbu โ€˜Umayr, what happened to the nughair (nightingale)?โ€ asked the Messenger of Allah (SAW) when he saw him. He used to have a lot of fun with it. [Bukhari Hadeeth no: 6203 and Muslim Hadeeth no: 2150]

There are certain conditions that must be met for keeping pets at home:

1) Because dogs are specifically prohibited in Islam, except for guard dogs and hunting dogs, the animal kept should not be a dog.

Our beloved prophet (SAW) has mentioned:

ู„ูŽุง ุชูŽุฏู’ุฎูู„ู ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽู„ุงูŽุฆููƒูŽุฉู ุจูŽูŠู’ุชู‹ุง ูููŠู‡ู ูƒูŽู„ู’ุจูŒ ูˆูŽู„ุงูŽ ุตููˆุฑูŽุฉู ุชูŽู…ูŽุงุซููŠู„ูŽ

โ€œThe angels do not enter a house where there is a dog,โ€ the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated. [Bukhari Hadeeth no: 3225/Muslim Hadeeth no: 2106].

Keeping dogs as a guard or security for crops and sheep (other farm animals etc.) is allowed:

ู…ูŽู†ู ุงู‚ู’ุชูŽู†ูŽู‰ ูƒูŽู„ู’ุจู‹ุง ู„ูŽูŠู’ุณูŽ ุจููƒูŽู„ู’ุจู ุตูŽูŠู’ุฏู ูˆูŽู„ุงูŽ ู…ูŽุงุดููŠูŽุฉู ูˆูŽู„ุงูŽ ุฃูŽุฑู’ุถู ููŽุฅูู†ู‘ูŽู‡ู ูŠูŽู†ู’ู‚ูุตู ู…ูู†ู’ ุฃูŽุฌู’ุฑูู‡ู ู‚ููŠุฑูŽุงุทูŽุงู†ู ูƒูู„ู‘ูŽ ูŠูŽูˆู’ู…ู

โ€œWhoever keeps a dog which is neither meant for hunting nor for herding livestock nor for watching the fields, shall lose two qeerat (portions) of reward every day.โ€[Muslim no.1575]

2) The animal must be treated with compassion. If a Muslim owns an animal, he must feed and water it properly and not hurt or injure it by mistreating it, doing absurd things like forcing animals to fight one another or exposing it to extreme temperatures and not taking care of it. Our beloved prophet (SAW) mentioned a man showing compassion to a dog:

ูŠู’ู†ู…ูŽุง ุฑูŽุฌูู„ูŒ ูŠูŽู…ู’ุดููŠ ุจุทูŽุฑูŠู‚ู ุงุดู’ุชูŽุฏู‘ูŽ ุนู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ุงู„ู’ุนูŽุทุดูุŒ ููŽูˆุฌุฏ ุจูุฆุฑุงู‹ ููŽู†ุฒูŽู„ูŽ ูููŠู‡ูŽุง ููŽุดูŽุฑุจูŽุŒ ุซูู…ู‘ูŽ ุฎูŽุฑูŽุฌูŽ ูุฅูุฐุง ูƒู„ู’ุจูŒ ูŠู„ู‡ุซู ูŠูŽุฃู’ูƒูู„ู ุงู„ุซู‘ูŽุฑูŽู‰ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุนูŽุทูŽุดูุŒ ููŽู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุงู„ุฑู‘ูŽุฌูู„ู: ู„ูŽู‚ูŽุฏู’ ุจู„ูŽุบูŽ ู‡ูŽุฐูŽุง ุงู„ู’ูƒูŽู„ู’ุจู ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ุนุทุดู ู…ูุซู’ู„ูŽ ุงู„ู‘ูŽุฐููŠ ูƒูŽุงู†ูŽ ู‚ูŽุฏู’ ุจูŽู„ูŽุบูŽ ู…ูู†ู‘ููŠุŒ ููŽู†ูŽุฒูŽู„ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุจูุฆู’ุฑูŽ ููŽู…ู„ุฃูŽ ุฎููู‘ูŽู‡ ู…ูŽุงุกู‹ ุซูู…ู‘ูŽ ุฃูŽู…ู’ุณูŽูƒูŽู‡ ุจูููŠู‡ูุŒ ุญุชู‘ูŽู‰ ุฑู‚ููŠูŽ ููŽุณูŽู‚ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ูƒูŽู„ู’ุจูŽุŒ ููŽุดูŽูƒูŽุฑูŽ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ู„ูŽู‡ ููŽุบูŽููŽุฑูŽ ู„ูŽู‡. ู‚ูŽุงู„ููˆุง: ูŠูŽุง ุฑุณูˆู„ูŽ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ ุฅูู†ู‘ูŽ ู„ูŽู†ูŽุง ููŠ ุงู„ู’ุจูŽู‡ูŽุงุฆูู… ุฃูŽุฌู’ุฑุงู‹ุŸ ููŽู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ: โ€œููŠ ูƒูู„ู‘ู ูƒูŽุจูุฏู ุฑูŽุทู’ุจุฉู ุฃูŽุฌู’ุฑูŒ

โ€œA man was walking along the street when he grew really thirsty. He discovered a well and went down to drink from it before returning. He noticed a dog panting and biting the ground because it was thirsty. The man stated, โ€œThis dog is thirsty in the same way that I am.โ€ So he returned to the well and filled his shoe with water, which he then retained in his mouth till he climbed back up and delivered it to the dog. Allah was pleased with (his deed) and pardoned him.โ€ They said to Allahโ€™s Messenger, โ€œWill we receive a reward for these animals?โ€ โ€œEvery living thing has a reward,โ€ he remarked. [Bukhari Hadeeth no: 6009]

Although the man was helping a dog, at the end of the hadeeth it mentions any creature/animal/mammal that you help will gain your reward.

3) The animal should not be such that it harms you and others. Keeping oneโ€™s self safe and ensuring other people are safe as well as part of our religion as our beloved prophet (SAW) has mentioned:

ู„ุง ุถุฑุฑ ูˆู„ุง ุถุฑุงุฑ

โ€œThere should be neither harming nor reciprocating harmโ€ [Sunan Ibn Maฬ„jah Hadeeth no: 2340].

So donโ€™t start keeping wild animals that have wild behaviours and you yourself know that itโ€™ll bring around harm and damage.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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