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I Accidentally Killed a Pigeon: Is Ihram Still Valid?

01 July, 2022
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Let me first give the background of my questions. I wore ihram clothes last week with the intention to perform Umrah. When I entered Makkah al-Mukaramah, a bird (pigeon) came under the wheel of my car and died. I did not intend to kill it; this happened accidentally. I performed Umrah and removed my ihram clothes after trimming my hair. Please, tell me if my Umrah is valid or not? Do I have to pay any compensation for accidentally killing a bird while being in the state of ihram? If so, did I have to pay the compensation in Makkah while I was in ihram or I can pay it now?


Wa` alaykum as-salamu warahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

You bear no sin for killing this pigeon and you are not obligated to pay any compensation.

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In his response to the question, Dr. `Abdul-Fattah Idrees, a professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, states:

Hajj and Umrah are so significant that a Muslim should be completely devoted to the noble goal that he/she is seeking; namely, drawing closer to Allah the Almighty through perfect and sincere performance of the ritual observances of Hajj.

There are some restrictions and prohibitions of a special nature for Hajj and Umrah.  To have the full benefit of Hajj or Umrah, the person should always be on his or her guard regarding such limits.

However, to err is human. One of the great merits of this religion is that Muslims have been promised to be forgiven and exonerated for the unintentional mistakes they make due to their human nature.

Generally speaking, this pigeon is part of the game prohibited to be hunted while the person is in the state of ihram. However, as you mentioned in your question, you did not intend to kill it. The obligation of the compensation for hunting or killing game while in the state of ihram would have become due if this was done deliberately and intentionally.

Things are determined by intentions and purposes. Almighty Allah says: {And there is no blame on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, but (concerning) that which your hearts do purposely (blame may rest on you).} (Al-Ahzab 33:5)

Thus, Almighty Allah holds us accountable for what is determined and resolved in the heart to be made or done. Almighty Allah said concerning the obligation of compensation for killing game, {O you who believe! Do not kill game while you are on pilgrimage, and whoever among you shall kill it intentionally, the compensation (of it) is the like of what he killed, from the cattle…} (Al-Ma’idah 5:95)

Accordingly, you bear no sin for killing this pigeon and you are not obligated to pay any compensation.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.