What is the ruling of the learned Ulama regarding whether it is permissible to keep dogs or not? Is it permissible to keep pigeons without the intention of racing them? What about the ruling regarding quail fighting and cock fighting? Also what is the rule regarding the keeping of falcons and eagles and to use them for hunting and to then to eat which they have hunted?
The Answer: It is permissible to keep falcons and eagles and to use it for hunting is also allowed and to eat which they have hunted is also allowed. Almighty Allah says, “And which hunting animals have you trained for hunting” (Surah Maida, verse 4).
It must however be noted that the animal must be hunted for the purpose of attaining food, for medicinal purpose or for any beneficial reason. It should not be just for sport and for fun. This is a waste of time and is haraam and those who do this are sinful. That animal that is killed by them is halaal if they have been well trained to hunt and bismillah was said when releasing them. It is clear that to release if for the sake of game hunting (for sport) is haraam and this does not interfere which the Zibah according to Sharia just as to take Allah’s name and then strike a sheep from the neck (nape) is a haraam action, but to eat such an animal is halaal.
Quail fights, cock fighting, and getting any other animal to fight, like the way people fight rams, little birds and some even fight haraam animals such as elephants and bears are all haraam as this is to cause pain to animals without reason. It has been mentioned in the Hadith Shareef that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) has prohibited us from fighting animals (against one another). (Ref: Abu Dawood and Tirmizi from Ibn Abbas radi Allahu anhu and Tirmizi has categorized it as Hassan Sahih)
To keep pigeons just for the sake of comforting ones heart and not for any impermissible reason is allowed. To fly pigeons from rooftops so that one may go on the rooftops and look at our Muslims females, or to throw stones at the pigeons, causing windows to break and the danger of injuring someone’s eye, to fly pigeons to capture the pigeons belonging to others or to fly them the entire day absolutely hungry, and to enjoy seeing them fly in this way, not even allowing them to land when they need are all improper and to keep the pigeons for these reasons is haraam. It is in Durr-e-Mukhtar as follows: “It is Makrooh (to keep the pigeons caged) even if it is in their special enclosure (if this is to harm others). This is when this harm is caused through looking (at what is not allowed) and by trapping the pigeons of others. Thus, if one flies them from a rooftop and this causes disclosure of females, and if one throws stones, causing windows to break, then the person who threw the stones will be answerable and he will be stopped from doing this very sternly. If he does not abstain from this, then the chief police officer of the town has the right to make them (the pigeons) zibah. If they are not for flying, then this is doing what is best due to feeling for the pigeons and this is Mubah (permitted).”
It is in Sahih Bukhari etc. on the authority of Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and in the Sahih of Ibn Hibaan on the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhu) that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “A lady went into hell because of a cat. She kept the cat tied up. Neither did she feed it nor did she release it, so that she may be free and eat the mice etc.” It has been mentioned in the narration of ibn Hibaan that the said cat has been appointed to punish the woman in hell and it bites her with its teeth from in front and from behind.
It has been mentioned in one Hadith that if you have an animal (pet), then offer it food and water seventy times in a day. We should not leave them hungry for the entire day, and when they wish to land (like birds) then we do not allow them to do so. The learned Ulama have mentioned that it is worse to make Zulm (cruelty) upon an animal than on a zimmi Kaafir and to make zulm on a zimmi Kaafir is worse than making zulm on a Muslim. (This has been mentioned in Durr-e-Mukhtar etc). The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Zulm will be awarded with the same on the day of Qayamat.”
Almighty Allah says, “Listen Well! The curse of Allah is upon those who inflict cruelty.” (Surah Hud)
It is haraam to keep dogs. The Angels of mercy do not enter that house in which there are dogs. The good deed of such a person (who keeps dogs) diminishes every day. The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “The Angels of mercy do not enter that house in which there are dogs and pictures (of living things).” (Reported by Ahmed; Shaikhain; Tirmizi; Nis’ai and ibn Majah from Abu Talha radi Allahu anhu).
The Holy Prophet (Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam) also said, “One who keeps dogs except for hunting and for protection of crop etc, will loose two qeerat daily from his good deeds.” Allah and His Rasool Sall Allaho Alaihi Wa Sallam know best what is the amount of one qeerat) (Ref: Ahmed, Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi and Nisa’i from Abdullah ibn Umar radi Allahu anhu)
Thus, one is only allowed to keep dogs for two reasons. The first is for hunting. This is if the animal is hunted for food, for medicinal reasons or other beneficial reasons. The second is to keep a dog for the protection of ones crop, farm, or house and this is only where there is a definite need to keep it for protection. However, if one keeps the dog without such reasons, in other words one knows that there is no valuables in his home, or the house is in a very secure location where there is no fear of burglaries or if one knows that truly that there is no need for the dog, but it is being kept just as a pet because one likes keeping dogs, then this is not permissible. Even those houses around you need protection and if they felt that keeping a dog was the only means of protection, then they too would have kept dogs. In brief is must noted that one should not look for excuses in the laws of Allah, for Allah knows well the thoughts of the heart. والله تعالٰی اعلم
كتبه عبده المذنب احمد رضا عفى عنه
بمحمّد ن المصطفى صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم
- Imam Ahmed Raza Khan radi allahu anhu addresses a dis-respecter of the Prophet [sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam] on the issue of Ilm al Ghayb (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
- To recite Durood before and after Adhan (madinasharif.wordpress.com)
- Imam Ahmed RiDa radi allahu anhu: Subjects of the Fatawah (madinasharif.wordpress.com)