Ruling of Keeping Animal

keeping animals

Keeping Animal

Assalamu’alaikum.

I’d like to submit several questions:
1. What kinds of animal that are allowed to keep? Please give me a complete list.
2. Is it allowed to keep a turtle of a hamster?
3. Are the unlawful, permitted, or detested animals should not be kept?
4. Is it permissible to lock an animal inside a cage?
Thank you.
Assalamu’alaikum.

Answer:

Wa’alaikumussalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

May Allah bestow His graces upon us all.

Keeping animal – whatever species it is- is originally permissible. Whether it is animal that could be eaten, such as chicken, goat, cow, etc, or the ones that couldn’t be eaten such as cat; whether it is tame or wild. However, regarding wild animal, it is required that the animal shouldn’t inflict any harm to its owner and other people as well. If it turns out to be dangerous, then it is unlawful to keep it. The similar term applied for animals that has been scientifically identified as source of disease, or are able to spread disease, or could bring harm to others, physically or non-physically, such as pig; it is unlawful to keep such kind of animal.

As for animals that cannot be kept, those are animals that we’re ordered to kill it. As mentioned in the hadith below:

خَمْسٌ مِنْ الدَّوَابِّ لا حَرَجَ عَلَى مَنْ قَتَلَهُنَّ الْغُرَابُ وَالْحِدَأَةُ وَالْفَأْرَةُ وَالْعَقْرَبُ وَالْكَلْبُ الْعَقُورُ).

There are five animals for which there is no sin on the one who kill them: Scorpions, crows, kites, mice and vicious dogs.'” (Narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim)

These five animals are not allowed to be kept, instead, we’re ordered to kill them.

As for a tame dog, if the owner-to-be doesn’t have necessity towards it, such as keeping it in order to watch his farm, to guide the blind, to hunt, etc, then it is forbidden to keep it. Because the angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog, as mentioned in a hadith below:

(لاَ تَدْخُلُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ كَلْبٌ)

“The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog.” (Narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim).

Furthermore, it is important for people who want to keep a pet to pay attention to several requirements below:
1. It is not allowed to spend extravagantly when purchasing it, thus spending a lot of money just to buy it.
The owner must take care of its food and drink, be nice and not harsh to it. The Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- once said about a woman who kept a cat, )

(عُذِّبَتِ امْرَأَةٌ فِي هِرَّةٍ حَبَسَتْهَا حَتَّى مَاتَتْ جُوعًا فَدَخَلَتْ فِيهَا النَّارَ.)

“A woman was tortured because of a cat. She locked it up until it died of starvation. Because of that, she entered the hell.” (Narrated by al Bukhari and Muslim).

1. It should not be entered into competition or pitted against another animal, that will lead to gambling or another forbidden act.

2. The keeping of that animal doesn’t make the owner wasting his time or neglecting his worship.
As for the ruling of keeping a hamster, Allah knows best. I am still in doubt to answer it and I’m currently studying the origin of the said animal, whether or not it could be likened to rat. By Allah’s permission, when I’ve get a certain answer, I’ll tell you. As for a turtle, it is alright to keep it.

Keeping animals in a cage or aquarium or the like is permissible, as long as it fulfills the requirements that we’ve mentioned earlier. The indication that the scholars used to support the claim that it is permissible to keep animal is the general meaning of a hadith below,

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يَدْخُلُ عَلَيْنَا وَلِى أَخٌ صَغِيرٌ يُكْنَى أَبَا عُمَيْرٍ وَكَانَ لَهُ نُغَرٌ يَلْعَبُ بِهِ فَمَاتَ فَدَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ النَّبِىُّ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ فَرَآهُ حَزِينًا فَقَالَ « مَا شَأْنُهُ ». قَالُوا مَاتَ نُغَرُهُ فَقَالَ « يَا أَبَا عُمَيْرٍ مَا فَعَلَ النُّغَيْرُ ».

It is narrated from Anas Ibn Malik –may Allah be pleased with him-, that he said, “In the past, the Messenger of Allah –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- used to mix with us (children). I have a little brother who was called Abu ‘Umair. He used to have a little bird that he always played with. And Then the bird died. The Prophet –peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- came to him one day and he saw him in deep sorrow. He said, “What’s with him?”. They said, “His little bird has died.” Then he (Allah’s messenger) greeted him, “O Abu Umair, what have An Nughair (the little bird) done?”. (Narrated by al Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Daud. The text belongs to Abu Daud).

Some scholars said that it is detested or forbidden to keep animal in cage, with the reason that enjoying the beauty of the animal is a necessity, even it is considered as foolishness, waste of time, etc.

And Allah knows best. And guidance is with Him

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