An incident took place in Saur cave where Prophet and Abu Bakkar Siddique(Peace be upon them)were hiding to escape from enemies.A spider web hid the cave.But a lizard made a noise and broke the web,which would have helped enemies to find our Prophet and Siddique(Peace be upon them).Based on this there is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim that we should kill Lizards.Is this true?I do not know the Hadith No.,but since you are Scholars it will be easy for you to find out I hope Insha Allah.
As for the story you mentioned about a lizard breaking the web, I was not able to find it. On the contrary, the reports about spider webs (as mentioned in some of the history books) narrate that a spider made web by God’s order and that the web was one of the main reasons that Mushrekeen did not enter the cave, thinking that no one could be in the cave (refer to Arryaz Annazra, vol. 1, pp. 457, Dala’el Annabowwa, vol. 1, pp. 66, 76, Akhbar Makka, vol. 4, pp. 83).
Disregarding the story you mentioned; in terms of ‘killing lizard’, you first need to appreciate the difference between lizards and salamanders. The first is typically referred to as, “Al-Zabba” in Arabic while the latter is what is mostly referred to as “Al-Wazaq” in Arabic. Lizards are reptiles, while salamanders are amphibians.
It is the killing of salamanders (and not lizard) that is a matter of debate. It is true that there are Ahadith encouraging killing salamanders. Some of these are as follows:
Narrated ‘Aisha: Allah’s Apostle called the salamander a bad animal, but I did not hear him ordering it to be killed.” (Bukhari – Volume 3, Book 29, Number 57)
Narrated Aisha: The Prophet called the Salamander, a mischief-doer. I have not heard him ordering that it should be killed. Sad bin Waqqas says that the Prophet ordered that it should be killed. (Bukhari – Volume 4, Book 54, Number 525)
Narrated Um Sharik: Allah’s Apostle ordered that the salamander should be killed and said, “It (i.e. the salamander) blew (the fire) on Ibrahim.” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 579)
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who killed a Salamander with the first stroke for him is such and such a reward, and he who killed it with a second stroke for him is such and such reward less than the first one, and he who killed it with the third stroke for him is such and such a reward less than the second one. (Muslim Book 026, Number 5564)
The first thing that can be seen in the above Ahadith is that there are reports suggesting that Ayesha (RA) was not aware of any orders from the Prophet (PBUH) about killing salamander. This is important because Ayesha (RA) was very close to the Prophet (PBUH) and used to spend a lot of time in his company. The above point aside, the most that can be said about the above Ahadith and other similar Ahadith is that the Prophet (pbuh) as an elder of the community, advised his companions to kill salamanders, just as any other human being may advise people to kill some animals that are considered harmful, dangerous and dirty. In other words, if we can derive from these Ahadith that the Prophet (pbuh) did advise his companions to kill salamanders, this advice should not be seen as a religious order, but as an advice that is inline with the natural desire of human beings to be on the safe side, undisturbed and clean. If this was a religious order, it would have been established among all the companions (including Ayesha – RA) as such and would have reached us as the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). Obviously this is not the case. It is therefore not correct to say “we should kill salamanders”. There are two things mentioned in some of the above Ahadith that might need further explanation:
Reported rewards for killing salamanders- Assuming these are exact words of the Prophet (pbuh) and given that we do not consider killing salamanders as part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), the mentioned rewards can be seen as encouragement to take away causes of disturbance from fellow human beings (which of course is a rewarding act).
That a salamander blew fire on Ibrahim (pbuh)- As a general rule, we cannot derive any conclusions from a Hadith that is apparently against established known facts. We know that salamanders do not generate fire. Accordingly, this part of the narrated Hadith (assuming it is the exact words of the Prophet) can be seen as an illustration of the harmful nature of the animal against human being in a metaphorical way. It is also possible that there is something in the nature of salamander that associates it with evil features, thus mentioning blowing fire to Ibrahim. However, if this is the case, it is beyond our accessible knowledge and we cannot conclude any rulings based on it.
For your information, the Ahadith about lizard are mostly about its meat being Mubah (permissible to consume) while indicating that the Prophet (pbuh) personally disliked it.
June 9, 2006