Can I keep a snake as a pet?
A. Hereunder are a few rulings pertaining to keeping pets:
1. It is not permissible to keep dogs as pets. The reason behind this is that dogs repel the Mala’ikah (angels) of mercy. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said:
“The angels of mercy do not enter a home in which there is a dog, pictures of animate objects or statues” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith #: 3225, Narrated by Abu Talhah)
2. It is permissible to keep dogs in one’s yard for security purposes. The dog should not be kept in the house itself. Rather, a kennel or shelter should be erected outside the house for the dog and the owner should take good care of it.
3. It is Makrooh to keep as pets animals/reptiles/insects towards which people of sound temperament have a natural dislike for e.g. spiders, rats, iguanas etc.
4. It is not permissible to keep such animals as pets that the Hadith has encouraged to kill e.g. lizards, chameleons and snakes. The same ruling applies to animals/creatures that are potentially harmful and dangerous like scorpions. Similarly, it is prohibited to keep impure animals as pets such as swine.
5. It is permissible to keep domesticated animals as pets like cats, birds, rabbits, ducks, chickens, hamsters, fish etc.
6. Owners of pets should ensure that they take good care of their pets. When a person adopts a pet, he is responsible to provide for it the necessary care and attention. Neglecting this duty is a major sin for which one will be held accountable on the day of Qiyamah.
Answered By: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani