Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
Is it permissible to test newly made vaccines and other chemicals on animals? Does it violate animal rights?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
All praise belongs to “He who created for you all of that which is on the earth.” [Qur’an 2:29]
Harming animals is prohibited unless there is a justifiable need for it, in which case, it is permitted only to the slightest degree required.
Cruelty to Animals
It is strictly forbidden to harm any living creature in Islam without justification. Remember that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) informed us that a woman entered Hell because of a cat she detained and did not feed it nor allow it to hunt, i.e., insects and the like. [Agreed Upon]
In another incident, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) passed by a donkey with branding on its face and said: “Haven’t you heard that I have cursed whoever brands or strikes the faces of livestock?” -and he forbade it. [Abu Dawud]
Animals Created for Humankind
Islam holds that Allah created the earth and the animals to serve the needs of humankind. Allah says: “It is He (Allah) Who created for you (humans) all that is on earth.’ [Qur’an 2:29]
Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate, said: “And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest and made for you from the hides of the animals, tents which you find light on your day of travel and your day of encampment; and from their wool, fur, and hair is furnishing and enjoyment for a time.” [Qur’an 16:80]
Preservation of Human Life
The preservation of human life (hifz al-nafs) is one of the five primary objectives of the Sacred Law (shariʿa) and is thus a necessity. When there is a need to kill an animal for consumption or research to preserve human life, it is perfectly permissible.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.