Al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad said: I heard ‘Aa’ishah, the wife of the Prophet :saw: say: I heard the Messenger of Allaah say: “There are four things which are faasiq (corrupt) and may be killed at all times, whether one is in a state of ihraam [for Hajj and ‘Umrah] or not: kites*, crows, mice/rats and mad dogs.” Narrated by Muslim, 1198.
*A Kite is a hawk from the Accipitridae family. They are well known for their long, pointed wings and feeding on insects and small animals.
Mice and rats are harmful creatures, as the Prophet :saw: explained: Ibn ‘Abbaas said: a mouse (or rat) came and started dragging the wick (of the lamp). It threw it in front of the Messenger of Allaah, onto the mat on which he was sitting, and it burnt a hole the size of a dirham. He said, “When you go to sleep, extinguish your lamps, for the Shaytaan will tell creatures like this to do something like this so that you will be burned.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 5427.
The mice or rats that may live in people’s houses are among the harmful creatures or vermin (fuwaysiqah
) which the Prophet :saw: commanded us to kill in all situations, whether we are in ihraam
or not. The root of the word fuwaysiqah
) means to deviate from the right way and to do harm; hence a sinner is described as “faasiq
”, and these animals are called fawaasiq
, as a metaphor for their evil nature; or it was said that it is because it is not haraam
to kill them, whether one is in ihraam
or not, for they have no sanctity or protection in any circumstances. Al-Tahaawi narrated in Ahkaam al-Qur’aan with his isnaad from Yazeed ibn Abu Nu’aym that he [Yazeed] asked Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri why mice/rats were called fuwaysiqah
. He said: the Prophet woke up one night and saw that a mouse/rat had taken the wick of the lamp to burn down the house of the Messenger of Allaah so he got up and killed it, and said that it was permissible to kill them whether one is in ihraam or not. This was mentioned by al-‘Allaamah al-Dumayri.
Al-Bukhaari narrated that Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah said: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Cover the vessels, for the mouse/rat may drag out the wick (of the lamp) and burn the occupants of the house.”
Something similar was narrated by Muslim, in which he says: “For the fuwaysiqah may start a fire and burn the house and its occupants.”