Rulings On Possessing Birds In Cage And Some Animals

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

 Q: What is the ruling on keeping birds in a cage and giving them food, drink, and medication?

A:

It is permissible to raise birds, whether in cages or not, on the condition of giving them food, drink, and similar requirements. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about a cat: A woman entered the Fire because of a cat which she had kept locked, neither giving it food or drink, nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth. Since this is applicable to a cat, it is also applicable to birds and the like.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Member – Member – Member – Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd – `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh – Salih Al-Fawzan – `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Fatwa no. 18807

Q: I would like to ask your Eminence about the ruling on trading in and possessing animals and birds for the purpose of having a hobby or for decorative purposes. These include for example: 1- Decorative birds such as parrots and other colorful birds 2- Reptiles such as snakes and lizards 3- Predators such as wolves, lions, foxes, and so on.

These animals and birds are possessed either for their beauty or for their fur.

It should be noted that they are very expensive and will be kept behind bars, but dealing in them is very profitable.

A: First, selling decorative birds like parrots, colorful birds and nightingales for their voices is permissible because looking at and listening to them is permissible. There is no text in the Shari`ah which forbids selling or possessing them; at the same time, there are texts which may be understood to mean that it is permissible to keep them in cages, as long as they are fed and watered and given all the care that is needed.

Among these texts is the Hadith narrated by Al-Bukhari on the authority of Anas who said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the best of people in attitude. I had a brother called Abu `Umayr who had just been weaned, I think. When he (peace be upon him) came, he would say, ‘O Abu `Umayr what happened to the nughayr?’ – a nughar [young sparrow or small bird] with which he used to play… Al-Hafez Ibn Hajar said in his commentary Fath al-Bary, when enumerating the things that we learn from this Hadith: “… it is permissible for children to play with birds; it is permissible for parents to allow their children to play with things with which it is permissible to play; it is permissible to spend money on permissible things to entertain children; it is permissible to keep a bird in a cage and it is permissible to clip a birds’ wings – for one of these matters must have been the case with Abu `Umayr,and whichever one it was, the other is also implied in the ruling. There is also the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: A woman entered Hell because of a cat which she detained but she did not give it food or water, and she did not let it free so that it could eat of the vermin of the earth.

If this is permissible in the case of cats, then it is also permissible in the case of birds and the like. Some scholars saw that it is makruh (reprehensible) to keep them in cages. Others saw that this is not permissible because people do not need to listen to their voices and look at them. This is an unnecessary luxury and soft living, and it is also foolishness because it means that one is enjoying the voice of a creature that is calling out longing to be allowed to fly and grieving that it cannot fly freely in the open air. This view was stated in Al-Furu`, its Footnotes (4/9) and Al-Insaf (4/275) by Al-Marudy.

Second, among the conditions of valid sales is that the sold object should be something which is permissible to use and benefit from, even if there is no necessity as such. There is no benefit in snakes, which are indeed harmful, so it is not permissible to buy or sell them. The same applies to lizards – there is no benefit in them, so it is not permissible to sell or buy them.

Third, it is not permissible to sell predators such as wolves, lions, foxes or any other fanged carnivore, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade that, and because it is a waste of money, which was also forbidden by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’
Member Member Deputy Chairman Chairman
Bakr Abu Zayd Salih Al-Fawzan `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

Extract from Fatwa no. 1692
http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=3983&PageNo=1&BookID=7

…… According to the sound Hadith:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a bird called “Al-Naghir” in the hand of Abu `Umayr Al-Ansary. Thereupon, he said: O Abu `Umayr, what did the bird do? He did not command him to release the bird and that was in the Sanctuary of Al-Madinah. Hisham ibn `Urwah said: The commander of the believers, `Abdullah ibn Al-Zubayr stayed in Makkah for nine years and saw birds in cages while the Companions of the Messenger (peace be upon him) used to come to Makkah and see them and they did not forbid that. …… 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’!
Member-Deputy Chairman – Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan – `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify – `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz