Islam is a deen of love and this “love” includes every creature from the tiniest leaf to the biggest sun. Animals take their own special place in this as well. Loving animals in Islam is considered as a sign of iman and a way to forgiveness of sins. Put all the animals on one side, cats carry special importance for Muslims because of Muazza, that is our beloved prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) pet cat. Our Prophet (pbuh) loved him so much that once the call to prayers was heard, but Muezza was asleep on one of the Prophet’s robes. Rather than disrupt Muezza’s slumber, the Prophet cut off part of his sleeve to leave him in peace. Throughout his life, the Prophet was seen to always practice immense care for Muezza.
Cats are clean animals and as in the narrations, one may make ablution for prayer with the same water that a cat drank from, if there is no visible impurity seen in the cat’s mouth. Also, cats groom themselves often to make sure their fur and body are clean and smooth. This grooming behavior also helps them regulate their body temperature, prevent hairballs, and eliminate parasites and infections. Allah created cats as another miracle like every other living in nature.
So, are Muslim free to live with cats? The answer is yes! If we want to have a cat at home, we must treat cats well. We should make sure that they are fed enough and given roaming time. Also, cats are required to be granted freedom of movement.
Having cats at home might be a way of teaching kids about responsibilities, love and compassion for animals, and having empathy and understanding for other creatures living around us. It will be a natural play-mate to the little ones, a stress reliever for the working members of the family after a long day, and a cause to smile for everyone with its cute&pure behaviors.
If we are talking about cats in Islam, we should definitely mention Abu Hurayrah as well. although he had his own name -Abdu Shams before Islam and Abdu Rahman after converting, he is known as Abu Hurayrah “the father of kittens” because, like the Prophet (pbuh), he was fond of cats and since his childhood often had a cat to play with. He was our Prophet’s (pbuh) companion on his journeys and trips, and he narrated more than 5000 hadiths. Muslims owe a debt of gratitude to Abu Hurayrah for helping to preserve and transmit the valuable legacy of the Prophet (pbuh).
Ultimately, cats bring lots of joy, blessings, and sunnah into the home. If you have a suitable place and time to have a pet cat, be sure that it will be the best friend for life for all the members of the family!