عن ابن عباس قال: إن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نهى عن قتل أربع من الدواب النملة، والنحلة، والهدهد، والصرد
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) relates, “Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prohibited killing four animals/creatures; Ants, bees, hoopoes and a [type of bird whose half body is white and the other half is black and has a lot of feathers].”
Does this mean that we are not allowed to kill ants that are in our homes?
Imams Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and other Muhaddithun have recorded this Hadith.
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 5225, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 3224)
‘Allamah Khattabi and Imam Baghawi (rahimahumallah) have stated that this refers to a specific type of ant, a large ant with long legs, as this type of ant does not cause any inconvenience or harm. ‘Allamah Munawi and Mulla ‘Ali Al Qari (rahimahumallah) have also cited this explanation.
(Refer: Sharh Ibn Raslan, Hadith: 5267, Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 9498, Mirqat, Hadith: 4145. Also see: Badhlul Majhud, Hadith: 5267)
Based on the above, the common household ant will not fall under this Hadith. However, we still are prohibited from aimlessly killing animals/creatures if they are not causing inconvenience.
Kindly contact a Mufti/Darul Ifta for further clarification and for a fatwa on this issue.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar