Pets are one of the most common ways to fill your house with joy. There are many types of pets; the most common is a cat. However, there are many misconceptions regarding keeping cats in the house. Keeping this in mind, this blog will discuss the ruling regarding this furry friend and other things Islam has said about cats.
Islam is the religion of justice; that’s why if you keep any pets, you must ensure that they are taken care of and all their rights are respected. Neglecting them, such as not giving them food at the right time or restricting them without any reason, is prohibited in Islam. Animal abuse is strictly forbidden, and whoever commits it will be punished.
Sa’id b. Jubair narrated that Ibn Umar happened to pass by some men who had tied a hen and were shooting arrows at it. When the men saw Hazrat Umar RA, they scattered away. Shortly after that, Ibn Umar questioned, ‘Who had done this?’ and further said, ‘truly, the Prophet PBUH has invoked curse upon the person who does this.’
This hadith shows the importance of treating animals with love and care. The Prophet PBUH also talked about a woman who went to hell because she neglected her cat. The woman didn’t give her cat food and kept her tied up, restricting her from eating the creatures of the earth. (i.e., insects and mice.)
As Muslims, some animals are not permissible in homes. One thing to note here is that the inside and outside of the home are two different things when keeping pets in Islam. Let’s take a look at these animals below:
- All kinds of birds
- Turtles and more
According to some sources, a general rule of thumb is that whatever animals are halal to eat can be kept as pets.
Keeping cats is completely permissible in Islam because they are not najis (impure). Moreover, cats have been mentioned in several hadiths, such as:
Abu Hurairah RA narrated that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH said, ‘Cats don’t invalidate the prayer because they are among the things that are useful for the house.’
Ayesha RA said that the Prophet PBUH and her used to wudu (half ablution) from a single vessel from which a cat had drunk water.
This hadith should eradicate any uncertainty about the cleanliness of cats because wudu is valid only if it is performed with pure water.
In a hadith, it is narrated that Ayesha RA was sent some hari (a dish made with cooked meat and wheat). But she was praying at the time. A cat came and ate from the dish.
After Ayesha RA had finished praying, she ate from the same place the cat had eaten, stating that the Prophet PBUH said that a cat is not unclean as it is among the things that go around among you.
She also added that she had seen the Prophet PBUH perform ablution with the water the cat had left.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah RA, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad and a preserver of hadith, loved cats dearly. He loved cats so much that people nicknamed him Abu Hurairah (literally meaning father of the kitten).
Many Muslims believe that the Prophet PBUH had a cat named Muezza. This event has no scriptural basis and is thus considered completely false.
Keeping cats as pets in Islam is permissible as long as they are cared for. Not only cats but Islam teaches us to be kind to every animal, even the ones who are najis.