Must I Listen to My Father in Locking Our Kitten Away?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

Recently we got a kitten and my tyrannical dad keeps him locked in the laundry room. He tells us that we’re not allowed to take him out. Our kitten gets scared when the laundry machine turns. We try to let him out secretly but we’re sometimes caught and yelled at or beaten up. Is it haram to listen to my dad in this situation? 

Answer

I pray Allah resolves this situation very soon.

Yes, it is impermissible for you to obey your father in a matter that will cause harm to the kitten. This is a matter of oppression, and Allah hates oppression. The matter is simple: either take care of this kitten in a kind and gentle manner or give the kitten to someone will treat it well. 

Keeping the kitten only for it to unnecessarily endure such pain is wrong, and your father should be very worried. If a person finds himself wronging another he should do his best to get out of that situation as soon as possible. Wronging others is not a matter that disappears.

I’m sure you’ll have heard of the famous hadith about the woman who wronged a cat: “A woman was tormented because of a cat. She locked it up until it died, and so she entered the Hellfire because of it. She did not feed it and give it anything to drink when it was imprisoned, nor did she let it eat the insects of the ground.“ (Bukhari)

If you can’t convince your father to let you keep it with kindness, convince him to let it go or give it to someone else. There is no point in continuing such cruel treatment – unless he really wants to go to Hell like the woman in the hadith.

There is no shortage of people who will take a kitten in. If he refuses then take some other means to get the kitten out of that situation. Also, learn a lesson from this, and keep vulnerable beings away from him.

May Allah facilitate the matter for you.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
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.