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Is It Sinful To Kill Spiders in One’s House?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
I’m unfortunately quite nervous with spiders. I’m able to pick up very small spiders and throw them out of the window. However, I’m too nervous and also unable to pick up larger spiders. Is it sinful if I squash and kill them?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, it would not be sinful to kill a spider in your house as there is no specific prohibition not to do so.
However, some contemporary scholars have affirmed that it may be superior to avoid killing them, when they are not harmful, and remove them by using some other means.
Please see also: The Ruling on Killing Pests & Harmful Insects
And Allah knows best.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is it Permissible to Keep a Watchdog Inside The House? (Maliki)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: Is one allowed to have a watch dog inside the house in the Maliki school? What are the conditions for having such a dog, if any? Are there specific criteria that need to be met concerning the *need* of this type of dog besides one’s own subjective interpretation of needing a watch dog?
Answer: If there is a reasonable cause to own a watchdog, then it would be permissible to own one. If there is a reasonable need to have that dog inside the house, then it would be permissible to keep the dog in the house.
What is ‘reasonable’ would be defined by the people of a certain area and the experts in that field. So, a person should ask the opinion of local enforcement as well as pious Muslims in that area to determine what is reasonable.
The criteria for owning a dog would be that one feeds it food that is not impure (najasa). Therefore, one would have to buy vegetarian food or use meat that is from a properly slaughtered source.
Another reason for not purchasing conventional dog food would be that Muslims should not support the modern, mass meat processing industry that is inhumane. The torture of animals is prohibited, and the modern meat industry has extreme torture in the raising and processing of animals for meat.
Another criteria for owning a dog is to make sure that the impurities of the dog, do not affect the clothing and area of prayer. The bulb of the hair of animals that falls out or is plucked is impure.
[Mukhtasar Khalil]

The Ruling on Killing Pests & Harmful Insects

Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja

Question: I recently discovered we have bedbugs in our house. We had someone come in and spray our house since squashing them doesn’t really work. The spray slows them down at first but then they die within a few minutes. Will we be forgiven for this as I know we are meant to use a method that will kill pests instantly? Further, there was some blood on the sheets from when they had sucked blood and then were squashed. I didn’t notice this until after I washed the sheets. So now are all the clothes considered filthy?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Amongst the compassionate teachings of our religion is kind treatment towards animals. Many narrations (ahadith) testify to this, including the care of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) towards cats and riding mounts, as well as his reminder of the man who was forgiven of his sins because he quenched the thirst of a dog and the woman who was punished for harming and neglecting a cat.

The general rule is that all living things should be treated in a goodly manner. However, if an animal or insect is harmful towards one, then it is permissible (and possibly recommended or necessary depending on circumstance) to kill it, in an appropriate manner. You have mentioned that hitting or squashing the bedbugs is not a successful method of eradicating them. If there is not another successful method other than the spray, then using it would be permissible. Similarly, some scholars have stated the permissibility of using the electric neon light bug killers, since they do not actually kill by way of fire, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade to use as a means of fighting or killing.

Regarding putting filthy clothes in the washing machine, please search for the answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani on the SeekersGuidance Answer Blog.

And Allah knows best.

wassalam,
Sulma Badrudduja

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani