Killing Pests in Islam Explained [Haram or Halal]

Every Muslim wants to remain pure before Allah by protecting his creation. One of you asked me if killing pests like cockroaches or rats is haram or halal in Islam.

Killing harmful pests or insects is halal in Islam because it is okay to protect yourself against any potential danger posed to you and your family. In fact, the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said it is permissible to kill some pests like rats and stray dogs that are mad because they cause more harm than good.

However, Muslims should always remember that it is haram to kill anything that is living by burning it. They should therefore find alternatives ways like the use of pesticides.

Can muslims kill pests, is it haram or halal
Can Muslims kill pests like cockroach, mosquitoes, rats? haram or halal

Other pests that the prophet (PBUH) said it is permissible to kill even when a Muslim is in consecration include the following:

  1. Crows
  2. Mad stray harmful dogs
  3. Harmful rodents (Rats)
  4. Kites
  5. The harmful desert scorpions

The idea here is that those were harmful pests and it was okay to get rid of them even in places that hunting was not allowed. This included the Holy Mosque because those pests could cause great harm and danger to society.

In regards to that, it is also permissible in Islam to kill any harmful household pests in Islam. Those are the ones that destroy your food or bring diseases to you and your children. It is therefore not haram to kill insects like:

  1. Mosquitoes
  2. Cockroaches
  3. Dangerous ants
  4. Bed bugs
  5. Fleas and lice
  6. Beetles

It is not a sin to kill any crawling or flying insects in Islam as long as it is a danger to you.

This is as simple as if you can protect yourself from danger, then you should do it. According to Dar Al-Ifta, it is halal to kill any harmful “hasharat” and this includes arachnids as well.

Is it haram to kill mosquitoes and other flying insects with electric rackets?

Killing mosquitoes with electric rackets or other devices that electrocute the insects in Islam is a topic that is still under debate.

However, some scholars say that this is prohibited because it is burning and we know that without any doubt that the Prophet (PBUH) prohibited burning living creatures.

The prophet clearly stated that it is only Allah who is allowed to punish any living creature by burning it. This is why there is hell for the sinners and may Allah protect us from that grave punishment.  

However, some scholars say that electrocution is not burning but rather it is a shock.

This is because it induces and leads to the death of mosquitoes or an insect through electrical polarization of the system. This is different from lighting and burning the pests alive.

Electrocuting mosquitoes and other flying insects in Islam is therefore not haram because in this case, they are not tied and subjected into a burning fire.

Electrocuting insects in Islam is not haram because it kills them instantly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this when we carefully look at it.

Why is it haram to burn pests in Islam?

When Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) gathered those who worshipped him, he told them to stop doing so.

They did not listen and they kept on worshipping him. When he got mad, he threw them in fire and burnt them to death.

They told him that it was the biggest sin that he had done in his life because it is only Allah who is allowed to burn any living creature.

Nobody torches with fire in Islam except Allah and you’re torturing us. After they died, Ali’s cousin came and told him that this was prohibited.

The above teaching is just to remind us that it is haram to kill any living creature by burning it alive.

It is only Allah that has the authority to do so. Muslims should therefore avoid burning anything but find other ways of getting rid of the pests.

Conclusion on killing pests in Islam

To conclude, it is therefore haram to kill anything that is not harmful to you in Islam.

This is because you do not have a right to take away life in any form especially if you do not have a reason to. When getting rid of pests in Islam, you should also find safe ways.

If you can repel them, then this is much better. For example, you could look for the smells that rats hate and use this to repel them instead of killing them. You should only kill them if they keep coming back and they refuse to go away.

We all know that there are situations where it is not really necessary to kill any living thing.

However, that does not mean that you should let it harm your neighbor. As long as it is a threat to your life or anyone around you, then it is okay to kill them.

But if you can use other means to keep them away, then that is really okay. You should use that to get rid of them. Even killing cockroaches is not a sin in Islam and you should never worry about that.

In whatever you do, do not burn them whatsoever because this is against Islam and you will be judged harshly if you do that in Islam.