Cats In Islam: 7 Ahadith About Cats

Cats In Islam: 7 Ahadith About Cats

Today’s topic is on domestic cats in Islam.

I’m unashamedly a huge cat-lover. I’ve always grown up with pet cats and I fall in love with every single one I meet. I love their playfulness and independence – they act like they don’t need anybody, until they come to you wanting a warm lap to sleep on.

As well as being entertaining to have around, they’re also very useful to us. They do a good job of protecting us from vermin such as mice and rats.

So when I reverted to Islam and started to learn about the deen (religion), the treatment of cats in Islam was important to me. To my contentment, my findings didn’t disappoint me.

To find out more about the importance of cats in Islam then keep on reading.

Abu Hurairah – Father Of Kittens

Abu Hurairah was a close sahabi (companion) of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

The name Abu Hurairah is Arabic for “father of kittens”. This wasn’t his real name though. This was just a kunya (nickname) that was given to him because of his fondness for cats.

He became so well-known by his kunya, that his real name was almost forgotten. One opinion is that his real name was ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Sakhr.

Abu Hurairah narrated a few ahadith about cats, which you can read below.

Ahadith About Cats

Treatment Of Cats In Islam

Cats in Islam
Cat outside Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul [Brian Gratwicke / CC BY 2.0]
Ill-treatment of cats can lead a person to Jahannam (Hellfire).

Narrated Ibn `Umar:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A woman entered the (Hell) Fire because of a cat which she had tied, neither giving it food nor setting it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” Sahih al-Bukhari

Narrated Asma’ bint Abi Bakr:
The Prophet (ﷺ) prayed the eclipse prayer, and then said, “Hell was displayed so close that I said, ‘O my Lord! Am I going to be one of its inhabitants?”‘ Suddenly he saw a woman. I think he said, who was being scratched by a cat. He said, “What is wrong with her?” He was told, “She had imprisoned it (i.e. the cat) till it died of hunger.” Sahih al-Bukhari

Cleanliness

Cats are well-known for their cleanliness. Food and water touched by a cat doesn’t become najis (impure). Food which a cat has eaten from is halal. Water which a cat has drunk from can still be used for wudu (ablution).

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:
Dawud ibn Salih ibn Dinar at-Tammar quoted his mother as saying that her mistress sent her with some pudding (harisah) to Aisha who was offering prayer. She made a sign to me to place it down. A cat came and ate some of it, but when Aisha finished her prayer, she ate from the place where the cat had eaten. She stated: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: It is not unclean: it is one of those who go round among you. She added: I saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) performing ablution from the water left over by the cat. Sunan Abi Dawud

It was narrated from Kabshah bint Ka’b, who was married to one of the sons of Ab Qatadah, that:
She poured water for Abu Qatadah to perform ablution. A cat came and drank the water, and he tilted the vessel for it. She started looking at it (in surprise) and he said: “O daughter of my brother, do you find it strange? The Messenger of Allah said: ‘They (cats) are not impure, they are of those who go around among you.'” Sunan Ibn Majah

Washing Vessels

When it comes to washing vessels that a cat has drank from, its best to wash it once.

Abu Hurairah narrated that:
the Prophet said: “Wash the vessel the dog has drunk from seven times: the first or the last of them with dirt. And when the cat drinks out of it, wash it once.” Jami` at-Tirmidhi

Selling Cats

Its permissible to keep cats but its not permissible to buy or sell them.

Abu Zubair said:
I asked Jabir about the price of a dog and a cat; he said: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) disapproved of that. Sahih Muslim

Cats In Mosques

Due to their cleanliness, cats are allowed to enter mosques. Even Masjid al-Haram, the grand mosque of Mecca that surrounds the Ka’bah.

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that:
The Messenger of Allah said: “Cats do not invalidate the prayer, because they are one of the things that are useful in the house.” Sunan Ibn Majah

Here’s a cute video of a Muslim playing with a cat in Al Azhar Mosque, Cairo.

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