Keeping a Snake as a Pet

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 3 Jamad-ul-Awwal 1423, 14 July 2002

Q.) Is it allowed for a Muslim to keep a rattle snake at home as a pet? I have one cousin who is having a snake and family members would like to know what does Islam says about it. Please also list animals that a Muslim can keep as a pet. [Tahir Khan, Canada]

A.) To keep a snake as a pet is not permissible. Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has commanded the killing of snakes. (Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim). Mirqat Vol. 7 Pg: 712 [Maktaba Haqqaaniyya] Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has also discouraged keeping dogs as pets (Mirqaat Vol. 7 Pg. 697) To keep harmful animals or animals deemed impure in the Shariah eg. pigs , as pets would not be permissible. Other animals such as cats, sheep, goats, birds, fish etc. are permissible to keep as pets. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.