Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Is fishing for sport or leisure permissible? I do not give away or eat the fish I catch. I remove the hooks and return the animal to the water. The hooks I use cause minimal damage.
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
I pray you are well.
Yes, fishing and hunting for sport are permissible – as long as there is no harm caused to the animal. Otherwise, it would not be permissible if the animal or fish were harmed. (Imam Muhammad Hashim al-Harithi al-Sindi, Fakihatu al Bustan)
See if you can find a means of fishing that does not harm the fish. We were taught by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) to minimize the distress of the animals we slaughter – and that’s for the necessity of food. The case would be stronger for sport.
He said, “Indeed, Allah has strongly commanded excellence to all things. When you kill, do the killing well; and when you slaughter, slaughter well. You should sharpen your knife and put your sacrificial animal at ease.“ (Muslim)
These animals have been created for us, as a blessing, for our necessity to consume them. This necessity does not, however, mean that they have to needlessly suffer. If you can’t continue your hobby without harming the fish, it’s probably time to look for another hobby.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History, he moved to Damascus in 2007, where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital. He was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.