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Is It Permissible in Islam to Keep a Kitten as a Pet?

09 May, 2022
Q I brought a kitten home without my father’s permission. Everyone in the house including my mother would like to keep the kitten. I did not know he would be so upset since he likes cats and we had one before.I should have consulted him before but since he likes cats, he was open to the idea, I am paying for the expenses and I do not rely on him to look after the kitten, I assumed he would not react this way.I have apologized for my wrongdoing and my mother and I have begged him to have mercy and allow us to keep the kitten. He insists that the kitten is haram because I disobeyed him and he is the leader of the household who holds complete authority. He regularly comes to my room, shouts, scares the kitten and tells me to leave the house as I am doing haram. I am so miserable. Is the kitten really haram, and is my father well within his rights to ignore the whole family’s emotional well-being and send the kitten away because he is the leader of the household?

Answer

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:

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  1. Although you made the mistake of not consulting your father, you never intended to disobey him.
  2. Perhaps you should talk to the local imam to speak to your father. He may be willing to change his behavior.
  3. There is nothing in the sources of Islam to say keeping a cat as a pet is not permissible.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

I am sorry to hear about your predicament. Your father is not acting compassionately. As a Muslim, he should follow the Prophetic counsel: “The best of you is the one who is most kind to his family.” 

In other words, a person’s character is judged by Allah by how he treats his family. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Show mercy to those on earth; you will receive the mercy of Allah.”  (At-Tirmidhi) And, “He who has no mercy shall not receive the mercy of Allah.” (Ahmad)

Although you made the mistake of not consulting him, you never intended to disobey him; you assumed he would not object to your decision as he used to love cats. So, it is not an intentional act of disobedience on your part. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Allah judges actions based on their intentions.” (Al-Bukhari)

So, your father’s attitude is not Islamic. Moreover, he is also wrong in saying that it is haram to have a kitten as a pet.

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In Islam, no one has the authority to declare something as haram without evidence. There is nothing in the sources of Islam to say keeping a cat as a pet haram. No scholar that I know has made such a ruling.

Perhaps you should talk to the local imam to speak to your father. He may be willing to change his behavior.

I pray to Allah to inspire your father to act kindly and allow you to keep the cat and bring peace to your home.

Almighty Allah knows best.

Source: www.askthescholar.net