Is it a sin to kill the insects, mosquitoes, ants and other animal in our houses?

The Details of the Question

- Is it permissible to kill mosquitoes and other insects with electrical devices? - Is it permissible to kill mice and other animals?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1- We should try to find ways of sending the living things out of the house without killing them. We should try to protect the lives of living things.

2- However, if we cannot prevent them and if they harm us, it is permissible to kill them; it is not haram.

3- It is not appropriate to kill the animals that do not harm us outside the house. It is makruh (abominable).

4. It is necessary to keep harmful animals such as mice away from home. If there is no way of keeping them away, there is no objection to killing them. The best way to do it is to have a cat (for mice) at home.

God Almighty created the creatures for three essential purposes. They are as follows:

1- To be mirrors for the names of Allah and to show Allah’s jamal (beauty) and kamal (perfection).

2- To serve as a means for the contemplation of humans, angels and jinn, who have consciousness.

3- To meet the needs of human beings, to continue their lives and to worship.

The loftiest and holiest reason of the creation of the creatures and beings is to manifest Allah’s beauty, perfection and grandeur, which is the first purpose. Even if there existed no man, or any conscious being that could understand it or a creature that could eat them, the main purpose of creation would be realized.    

In addition, the second cause of the creation, the understanding of the conscious beings, is very important because Allah regards it important that all of the conscious beings, especially human beings, in the universe contemplate and look at the beings on behalf of Allah. He created the beings in the perfect form so that the contemplation would take place. When it is realized, the beings are regarded to have fulfilled their duties.

The third purpose has two aspects. They are as follows:

a- to fulfill the duty of worshipping and glorifying Allah in a way that is suitable for that creature; every creature fulfills this duty properly.

b- To meet the needs of human beings; in this case, Allah’s name of all-generous can be uttered. That is, Allah, who creates more than human beings needs and who grants them bounties. It is necessary to utter various names and attributes in each case, not only one name and attribute.

The verse regarding the mosquito:

In the Quran, man is called to search the nature and see the “signs” created there because all of the living and non-living beings in the universe are full of signs showing that they are beings that were created; and they exist in order to show the power, knowledge and art of the One that created them. Allah informed us about these miraculous signs in the Quran, which He sent down centuries ago as a guide. Man is responsible for using his mind, seeing those signs and knowing Allah.

All of the living things are like that, but there are some living things that Allah attracts attention to. The mosquito is one of them. Allah states the issue as follows in the Quran:

“Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: "What means Allah by this similitude?" By it He causes many to stray and many He leads into the right path but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path).” (al-Baqara, 26)

According to the verse, even a mosquito that seems like a worthless and ordinary living thing is an animal that needs to be paid attention to, studied and contemplated since it has the signs of Allah on it. Therefore, Allah does not disdain to give the “mosquito” or something superior to it as an example.    

What is generally known about the mosquito is that it is a blood-sucking animal and that it feeds on blood. However, it is not quite correct. Only the female mosquito, not all of them, sucks blood. Besides, the reason why the female mosquito sucks blood is not the need of feeding. The food of both the female and male mosquito is essential oil. The reason why the female sucks blood is the fact that it needs proteins so that the eggs it carries will mature. In other words, the female mosquito sucks blood in order to continue its species. Before starting to suck blood, the mosquito injects the special liquid that it secretes into the hole it opens in the vein of the living being it stings. That liquid neutralizes the enzyme that enables coagulation. Thus, the mosquito can reach its food without facing the problem of coagulation. What causes itching and swelling in the place where the mosquito stings is this liquid, which prevents coagulation.    

When the systems like feeding, reproduction, respiratory, circulatory systems of a small mosquito are taken into consideration, the infinity of Allah’s signs are understood better. The perfect design and conscious acts observed in this living thing that Allah attracts attention to show us clearly the truth that mosquitoes cannot form coincidentally. It is Allah Almighty, who created all of the living things and who is the Lord of the skies, the earth and those between them, who created the mosquito with such a superior and wonderful system.

We are including the writing of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, one of the scholars of the last century, about flies. Please read it carefully. It is like a lesson of wisdom.

A Small Point Concerning an Important Verse

It was autumn and approaching the time when flies are discharged from their duties, and because of their minor annoyance, selfish humans were employing chemicals in my prison cell in order to eliminate them. It aroused a sharp pity in me. There was a washing-line in my cell. However, in order to thwart the humans the flies multiplied even more. In the evening those miniature birds would be lined up in most orderly fashion on the line. When he wanted to hang up the washing, I said to Rüshtü: “Don’t disturb those little birds; hang it somewhere else.” To which he replied, completely seriously: “We need the line; let the flies find somewhere else for themselves.”

Anyhow... In the early morning a discussion started in connection with this exchange about the very numerous small creatures like flies and ants. I said the following to him:

The species whose copies are thus numerous have important duties and great value, like the copies of a book are multiplied in relation to the book’s importance. That is to say, the species of flies have important duties and great value so that the All-Wise Creator has greatly multiplied those tiny missives of Divine Determining and copies of the words of Divine power. The All-Wise Qur’an states:

O men! Here is a parable set forth; listen to it! Those on whom you call besides God cannot create [even] a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition!2

That is to say, if those things claimed to be gods by the people of misguidance were to gather together all causes and false gods apart from God Almighty, they would be unable to create even a fly. That is, the creation of a fly is such a dominical miracle and clear sign to the act of creation that even if all causes were to assemble they would be unable to make anything like it or to duplicate it, and would be unable to dispute that dominical sign.

Flies, which form an important subject in the above verse, defeated Nimrod, and when Moses (Upon whom be peace) complained about their bothering him, saying: “O my Sustainer! Why have You so greatly increased the numbers of these irritating creatures?”, the following answer came to him through inspiration:

“You have objected about the flies once while the flies have asked many times: ‘O our Sustainer! This man has a huge head, yet he praises You with only one tongue. And sometimes he neglects to do that. If you had created us out of only his head, there would have been creatures like us praising You with thousands of tongues!’”

Moreover the flies, which thus defended the wisdom in their creation against Moses’ complaint with sufficent power to withstand a thousand such objections, also pursue great cleanliness. These insects continually wash their faces, eyes, and wings as though taking ablutions, and have important duties. The common view is short-sighted; it is still unable to comprehend those duties.

Indeed, Almighty God has created a most orderly group of carniverous beings which are sorts of public health officials; they cleanse the seas by gathering up the corpses of other sea-creatures3 that die every day in their millions, and prevent the sea from becoming polluted and disgusting with their corpses. If those public health officals of the sea did not carry out their extremely regular duties, the sea would not sparkle like a mirror; it would rather display a sad and touching turbidity.

Also, Almighty God has created carniverous and carrion-eating birds, and wild animals to be like cleansing and public health officials which collect the corpses of wild animals and birds that die every day in their millions, cleanse the face of the earth of those putrid remains, and save other animate beings from such sad and touching sights. Some, like eagles for example, through a Divine impulse, wonderfully perceive the location of a corpse from a distance of five or six hours, though hidden and distant, and go and remove it. If these health officals of the land were not extremely efficient and orderly in carrying out their official duties, the face of the earth would take on a form fit to make all weep.

The licit food of carniverous animals is the flesh of dead animals. The flesh of living animals is unlawful for them. If they eat it, they receive punishment. The Hadith which states that: “Retaliation shall be made for the hornless sheep on the horned on Resurrection Day” points out that although their bodies perish, among animals whose spirits are immortal there is reward and punishment in a manner appropriate for them in an eternal realm. As a consequence of this it may be said that the flesh of live animals is unlawful for wild animals.

Furthermore, ants are employed as cleansing officials to collect the corpses of tiny creatures and small particles and fragments of bounty. And they are given duties as public health officals to preserve tiny particles of Divine bounty from waste, being trodden underfoot, contempt and futility, and to gather up the corpses of other small creatures.

And in just the same way, flies are charged with duties of cleaning away poisonous substances and microbes which breed disease and are invisible to the human eye. They do not transmit microbes, on the contrary, through sucking up and imbibing harmful microbes they destroy them and cause them to be transformed into a different state; they prevent the spread of many contagious diseases. A sign that they are both health workers and cleansing officials and chemists and that they exhibit extensive wisdom is the fact that they are extremely numerous. For valuable and beneficial things are multiplied.4

O you self-centred human being! Apart from the thousands of instances of wisdom in the creation of flies, consider the following small benefit that concerns you and leave off your hostility towards them. For just as they offer you some familiarity in your exile, solitude and loneliness, so do they also warn you against sliding into heedlessness and your thought wandering. You see flies that through their delicate manner and their washing their faces and eyes as though taking ablutions are giving you a lesson and reminding you of human duties like action and cleanliness.

Moreover, bees, which may be thought of as a sort of fly, give you honey to eat, which is the sweetest and most delicate of bounties. And since, as is stated by the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, they have been distinguished by receiving Divine inspiration, to be hostile towards them while they should be loved, rather to be hostile towards creatures that suffer all sorts of difficulties in always hastening in friendship to assist man is wrongful and unjust. We may combat harmful creatures only to repel their harm. We fight wolves to protect sheep from their attack, for example.

Mosquitoes and fleas fall upon the turbid blood flowing in the veins polluted by harmful substances, indeed they are charged with consuming the polluted blood, so in hot weather when there is blood surplus to the body’s needs, why should they not be natural cuppers? It is possible...

Glory be to Him at Whose art the mind is bewildered!

At one time when I was struggling with my evil-commanding soul, imagining the bounties which it saw in itself to be its own property, my soul became conceited, proud and boastful. I said to it: “This property is not yours; it is in trust.” So then the soul gave up its conceit and pride but became lazy, it said: “Why should I bother about someone who is not mine? Let him perish, what is it to me?” Suddenly I saw that a fly had alighted on my hand and had started to thoroughly clean its eyes, face, and wings, which were its trust from God. The fly was washing itself just like a soldier cleans his rifle and uniform thoroughly, which belong to the state. I said to my soul: “You look at that!” It looked and learned a good lesson. As for the fly, it became my conceited and lazy soul’s teacher and instructor.

Fly excretion is not harmful medically; in fact, sometimes it is sweet syrup. For it is not distant from dominical wisdom, it is indeed a function of that wisdom, that while flies contain thousands of different harmful substances, microbes, and poisons through what they have eaten, they are like tiny transforming and purifying machines. Apart from bees, there are other species of flying insects5 that eat various putrid substances and then continuously excrete droplets of syrup in place of the filth. Transforming those rotten, poisonous substances into a sweet and healing syrup like a confection of Divine power that rains onto the leaves of trees, they prove that they are machines for transmuting one substance into another. They demonstrate before the eyes what a mighty nation and group are these tiny individuals. Through the tongues of their beings they say: “Do not look at our smallness, consider the vastness of our species, and declare, ‘All Glory be to God!’”


1. Süleyman Rüshtü Çakin, 1899-1974. He was born in Isparta, where he was the Director of the Tax Assessment Office. He became one of Bediuzzaman’s close students, and was imprisoned together with him in Eskishehir and Denizli.

2. Qur’an, 22:73.

3. One fish produces thousands of eggs and thousands of young. Therefore, so that the equilibrium with the seas is maintained, sometimes from the number of young fish hatching from a roe consisting of a million eggs those that survive will equal the fish that die. Furthermore, it is a manifestation of Divine compassion that because of the great difference in size between the mother fish and her young, she is unable to superintend them; she cannot enter the places they hide. And so, the All-Wise and Compassionate One promotes from among the young one to be their supervisor, and employs that tiny creature in the duties of the mother.

4. How beautifully and subtly the following lines by the celebrated Yunus Emre allude to the wonderful works of dominical art that are the fly’s wings and body: “I loaded a single fly’s wing onto forty ox carts; Forty of them could not haul it; it remainded thus decreed.”

5. At the end of spring there is one species of small fly which is created in the form of a black mass that becomes stuck to the branches of almond and wild apricot trees, and remains there. In place of waste matter, droplets continously flow from the flies. These drops are like honey and other species of flies gather round them suck them up.

Yet another species are employed in the pollination of the flowers of plants and some trees, like the fig. Just as the fire-fly, which is a sort of fly that flashes, sparkles, and is luminous, is worthy of observation, so do other species that are gilded and glisten like gold deserve notice. Also, we must not forget flies armed with lances, and wild bees, which are like brigands. If the All-Merciful Creator had not pulled in their reins, if they attacked human beings like fleas, in the same way that those armed species killed Nimrod, so would have they also assailed the human race and expounded the implicit meaning of the verse, And if the fly should snatch away anything from them. Thus, the hundred famous species of flies like these bearing special qualities are of great importance so that this mighty verse makes them its subject:

O men! Here is a parable set forth; listen to it! Those on whom you call besides God cannot create [even] a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition!

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