Can monkeys be kept as pets?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam was merciful and very loving towards animals.
Saaiduna Ibn Umar Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said ‘A women entered Hell because of a cat which she tied up and did not feed, nor did she let it loose to feed upon the vermin of the earth’ (Sahih Bukhari)
Furthermore, the great Sahabi Abu Hurairah Radiallahu Anhu (Father of the kitten) was so-called because he used to love cats and keep them.
The conclusion we could deduce is that all animals in Islam are to be treated with care and love.
Sahl bin Al-Hanzaliyaah Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam saw a camel which was carrying a huge load to the extent that one could neither see its back nor its belly, so he said ‘Fear Allah when you deal with these beasts of burden. They must be healthy for riding and eating’. (Sunan Abi Dawud)
With regards to your question, those animals, which are considered as vicious, dangerous and reprehensible, we as Muslims would not be allowed to keep them as pets. For example, the hadith narrated by Saaidah Aisha Radiallahu Anha that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, “Five animals are considered as vicious. They should be killed in the Haram and outside the Haram. They are the crow, kite, scorpion, rat and the ferocious dog.” (Sahih Bukhari p.246 v.1 and Sahih Muslim)
In another hadith, Saaiduna Jabir Bin Abdullah narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said, "Cover your utensils and tie your water skins, and close your doors and keep your children close to you at night, as the Jinns spread out at such time and snatch things away. When you go to bed, put out your lights, for the mischief-doer (i.e. the rat) may drag away the wick of the candle and burn the dwellers of the house." Ata said, "The devils." instead of the Jinns.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Dogs can be kept for hunting, farming and guarding properties. They can also be kept to guide the blind. It is not permissible to keep dogs as pets in the homes of Muslims. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.362 v.5)
Saaiduna Ibn Umar Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said, ‘Whoever keeps a dog which is neither a watch dog nor a hunting dog, will get a daily deduction of two Qiraat from his good deeds’. (Sahih Bukhari p.312 v.1)
Keeping the aforementioned discussion in mind, we can conclude that it is permissible to keep cats, rabbits, parrots, pigeons and other domestic birds as pets.
A monkey is considered to be a reprehensible animal in Islam Allah (SWA) in the Holy Quran has told us that he had changed the Children of Israaeel into monkeys as punishment for their disobedience towards Allah (SWA). Therefore, it would not be permissible to keep monkeys as pets.
- ‘And certainly you have known among you who transgressed in (the matter of) Sabbath. So, we said to them, “Become apes, living in disgrace’’. Thus we made it a deterrent for those around and after them and a lesson for the God-fearing’. (Surah Al-Baqarah v.65-v.66)
- “(The way of) the one whom Allah has subjected to His curse and to his wrath, and made some of them apes and swine, and who has worshipped the ‘Thaghut’, those are worse situated and far more astray from the straight path”. (Surah Al-Maaidah v.60)
- ‘And ask them about the town which was situated by the sea, when they used to transgress in the matter of Sabbath, when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath, and did not come when they did not have Sabbath. In this was we put them to a test because they used to act sinfully. And when a group of them said, “Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is going o destroy or punish with a severe punishment?” They said “To absolve ourselves before you Lord, and in order that they may fear Allah”. When they forgot the advice they were given, we saved those who used to forbid evil and seized those who transgressed, with a bitter punishment, because they had been disobeying. So when they persisted in doing what they were forbidden from, we said to them “become apes, humiliated”. (Surah Al-Araf v.163-v.166)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham