𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐡, 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐈𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐦 𝐓𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐊𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐋𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 (𝐆𝐞𝐜𝐤𝐨𝐬)?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
An incident took place in Saur cave where Prophet and Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (Peace be upon them) were hiding to escape from enemies. A spider web hid the cave entrance
But a lizard made a noise and broke the web, which would have helped enemies to find our Prophet and Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (Peace be upon them).
Based on this there is a Hadith in Sahih Muslim that we should kill Lizards. Is this true?
-Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him in the above-mentioned- Authentic statement (Hadith) said that Salamander blew fire at Prophet Ibrahim while he was thrown in the fire by idol worshippers.
– The same above-mentioned- Authentic statement (Hadith) implies that Islam acknowledges the original sin by advising Muslims to kill Salamander and its progeny.
𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐭 𝐌𝐮𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐮𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐲 𝐆𝐞𝐜𝐤𝐨?
𝐀𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐭 𝐌𝐮𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐆𝐞𝐜𝐤𝐨𝐬 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟒𝟎𝟎 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐠𝐨 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭.
𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐥𝐢𝐦 𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡
𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐋𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐌𝐮𝐬𝐥𝐢𝐦 𝐒𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡
Some translators have used different words such as the salamander or chameleon to Refer to The Arabic word is Wazag=وزغ which basically means the Domestic Lizard commonly known as Gecko.
At the End of the Day, all these words are referring to this type of lizard in Arabic Wazag=وزغ
Prophet Muhammed warns us against anything that will harm us, and this is one of the harmful reptiles simply because it is a germ transmitter.
And if it goes into your kitchen and breathes into your food you can get sick because that type of creature usually eats bad things such as flies, and many other dirty things.
If you insist that there is a discrepancy between the multiple hadith that warn us against the Domestic Lizard commonly known by Gecko.
We invite you to learn Arabic Language or Hire a professional Arabic translator to examine those multiple hadiths in Arabic and cut the lying story short about Prophet Muhammed Hadith.
For detailed article
It is an important terminology to start with before we get into details and for the purpose of this article, when we use the word Salamander this refers to house lizards and alike such as Geico lizard
For the story you mentioned about a lizard breaking the spider cobweb, we were not able to find authentic Islamic sources confirming that a lizard or salamander broke the spider cobweb at the entrance of Saur cave while our beloved Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him and his companion Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq may Allah be pleased with him were in Saur cave.
On the contrary, the reports about spider cobwebs (as mentioned in some of the Islamic history books) narrate that a spider-made cobweb by Allah’s order existed and that the cobweb was one of the main reasons that deterred the Arab Pagan polytheists from entering Saur cave, thinking that no one could be in the cave. Some scholars consider this story to be good (Hasan) and others consider it to be weak.
Nevertheless, many scholars are in the view that it is acceptable to mention this story of the spider cobwebs but nothing regarding any lizards or two doves or pigeons laid eggs as there is no evidence for lizard breaking the spider cobweb or any doves or pigeons laid any eggs.
(Refer to Arryaz Annazra, vol. 1, pp. 457, Dala’el Annabowwa, vol. 1, pp. 66, 76, Akhbar Makka, vol. 4, pp. 83).
Regarding the ‘killing lizard’, First you need to appreciate the difference between lizards and salamanders.
The first (Lizards) are typically referred to as, “Al-Zabba” in Arabic while the latter (the salamanders) 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 the killing of salamanders.
Some of these Hadith 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 Lady Ayesha (RA) was not aware of any orders from the Prophet (peace be upon him) about killing the salamander.
This is important because Ayesha (RA) was very close to the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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 (peace be upon him) not only as the last and final Prophet and Messenger of Allah wants all the good for us in both worlds. But also, his advice to kill the Salamander is to safeguard and protect us.
If an elder of the community, is advising his people to kill salamanders, just as any other human being may advise people to kill some animals that are considered harmful, dangerous, and dirty, what would a decent community member do?
Obviously, almost everyone would endeavor to follow that useful advice to protect themselves and loved ones.
Killing the House Lizard
The Prophet advises us:
Imagine how important to kill salamander when you can, especially when this is an order, advice and recommendation from our beloved Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him.
In other words, if we can derive from these Ahadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did advise his companions to kill salamanders, this advice should be seen as a religious order, recommendations, and an advice that is not only in line with the natural desire of human beings to be on the safe side, undisturbed and clean.
But also order from our Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him, the mercy for mankind, who never uttered a word out of a desire.
“By the stars when they fade away! your fellow man (Prophet Muhammed) is neither misguided nor astray, nor does he speak of his own whims. Quran (53:1-3)
There are two things mentioned in some of the above Ahadith that might need further explanation:
Reported rewards for killing salamanders- Building on the fact, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said these above-mentioned hadiths, and given that, we consider killing salamanders as part of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
The mentioned rewards can be seen also as encouragement to take away causes of harm and disturbance not only for Muslims but also to fellow human beings (which of course is a rewarding act).
If a Muslim did not kill a salamander, we pray to Allah he does not get punished, unless if that Muslim decide with the intention to deliberately ignore one of Prophet Muhammed sunnah, which is the case regarding any order in Islam.
As for the salamander that blew AIR on fire while Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was in it, we know that salamanders do not generate fire.
Accordingly, this part of the narrated Hadith, can be seen as an illustration of the harmful nature of the animal against a human beings in a bad way.
It is also possible that there is something in the nature of salamander that associates it with harmful features such as consuming certain bad things and any waste it produces can be harmful, thus mentioning blowing Air on the fire while Prophet Ibrahim was in it.
The story of Prophet Ibrahim being thrown in the fire by the Polytheist pagans has been mentioned in the Glorious Quran.
“They concluded, “Burn him up to avenge your gods if you must act. We ordered, “O fire! Be cool and safe for Abraham! They had sought to harm him, but We made them the worst losers. Then We delivered him, along with Lot, to the land We had showered with blessings for all people” Quran (21:68-71)
“No soul burdened with sin will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return” Quran (6:164)
“No soul burdened with sin will bear the burden of another. And if a sin-burdened soul cries for help with its burden, none of it will be carried—even by a close relative.” Quran (35:18)
We need to clarify, explain, and emphasis that in no way any of the above-mentioned hadith Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him meant that we need to kill the salamander solely or simply because the Salamander used to blow air to the fire where Prophet Ibrahim was in.
Islam emphatically and in absolute words does not approve of the original sin or the inheritance of sin at all.
While the reason for killing the salamander is not the fact that it used to blow air on the fire that Prophet Ibrahim was in the fire, as stated above. The Prophet also advised us too to kill harmful reptiles and animals despite they did not blow any air or done anything before.
So, the common theme here is that those animals or reptiles are being killed for being harmful and nothing do with any original sin.
The reason main reason our beloved Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him advised us to kill the salamander is because of their harm, similarly as he advised us to kill other harmful animals such as mice, snakes, and some types of crows, as stated in the above-mentioned video.
The Salamander (wazagh) is not to be killed because of the sin of its ancestor; rather it is to be killed because it is harmful. Those that are found in houses and those that are found on farms are the same.
Regarding the reward for killing this noxious little creature, as stated in the above-mentioned Hadith.
Critical Note regarding Mastigure= name in Arabic is Dabb=ضب
Do not confuse between the above-mentioned Salamanders, Geckos, Chameleon, and Mastigure= name in Arabic is Dabb=ضب which Ancient Arabs used to eat which in “my personal view” akin to people who eat is crocodile. Diffrenet is crocodile haram=forbidden to eat. People in Saudi Arabia almost stopped eating Mastigure= name in Arabic is Dabb=ضب
Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him did NOT like eating it as he was NOT used to eating it despite it is not forbidden to eat.
Comment to Christians:
Criticising the above-mentioned hadith about the Salamander would expose your ignorance about what the Bible states, the Bible states that harmful animals need to be killed such as the serpent. The Bible has been portraying the serpent as a helper to Satan in pushing Adam to commit sin.
Yet the Bible advice to kill the serpent and its generational offspring which according to the Bible committed sin by helping the Satan
New International Version
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”
The Salamander blew Air at the Fir while Prophet Ibrahim was in it and did not blow fire.
Prophet Muhammed ordered us to kill any harmful animals and reptiles and stating that the salamander blew Air at the fire of Prophet Ibrahim does not constitute any doctrine of original sin in Islam as explained in the above-mentioned evidence section.
Allah knows best.