Should I Buy Halal Food for My Cats? [Shafi’i]

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

I am taking care of 3 cats. Do we need to buy halal food for them?

Answer:Wa alaykum al-Salam

There are two areas of concern relating to your question. One is feeding animals carrion or non-slaughtered meat and the other is purchasing of such meat.

Feeding animals carrion:

Non-slaughtered fish is permissible for both human and animal consumption. The Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said regarding the Ocean, “Its water is pure and its carrion halal.”

Meat and chicken carrion however, even though considered impure may be given as feed to animals. Imam al-Nawawi stated, “It is permitted to feed bees with impure honey and to feed dogs and birds carrion.”

Buying and selling carrion:

According to the Shafi’i school, the selling or purchasing of carrion is impermissible. One may consider the carrion to be a minority ingredient in cat food and thus consider its purchasing permissible such as in the case of one purchasing a home that has been plastered in impure mud, but this analogy may not be accepted by all.

After consulting our teacher, Maulana Taha Karaan, he advised adopting the Hanafi position that considers the sale of anything holding legal benefit as valid (kullu ma fihi manfa’ah tahillu shar’an fa inna bay’ahu yajuz).

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz–a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan – the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur – the current Mufti of Tarim, Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani – the Shafi’i Mufti of Makkah, Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi, Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf, Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh, Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki, Sh. Ala ad- Dind al-Afghani, Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

How Can I Kill Rats to Feed Them to My Snakes?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I own snakes and feed them live rats. Feeding live rats is very dangerous for the snakes because the rats tend to fight back. What is a permissible way to kill the rats?

Some people slam the rats. Some people put the rats in a container and leak in CO2 to put them to sleep and then kill them.

assalamu alaykum

The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) forbade making animals suffers as related from Abu Hurayra by al-Bukhari. Due to this, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami listed hitting animals in a painful manner without a sound reasons to be a major sin. [Ibn Hajar, al-Zawajir (2:140)]

You should certainly avoid slamming the rats to kill them as this is clearly problematic. The CO2 method that you mention seems less painful and is the method approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you are able to utilize it soundly, it should be given preference over the other one you mention.

I am unsure of other methods given my lack of experience in the area. The upshot, however, is that you should take all reasonable means to ensure that the animal is killed in a manner causing the least amount of harm.


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can I Live With Roomates Who Are Owning Dogs?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I have been looking for apartments for almost four months. The only options I seem to receive is all female roommates. However, most of the roommates have dogs.

I know that keeping animals as dogs is only permissible under certain circumstances. However, would is be possible that an exception applies to my situation?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits. May Allah facilitate your search!

While it is not permissible to keep that dog indoors as a pet, you are not responsible for others keeping such a pet.

Thus, you can move-in to such an apartment, and simply observe the relatively straightforward guidelines related to dogs and purity.

Note, of course, that as Muslims we have nothing “against” dogs, and should treat them with the mercy and concern that we have for all of Allah’ creation.

Please see: Are Muslims Allowed to Have Pet Dogs? and: Possible Residual Impurities from Dog Saliva or Marital Relations; Should I Wash Everything? and: Can I Pray in Clothes that Were Licked by a Dog? and: The Reward for Feeding Animals and: What is the Islamic Stance on Having a Dog?

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And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

Faraz Rabbani