Q&A (Fatwa)

#1034: On What To Do With A Food In Which A Wall Gecko Has Fallen

A gecko fell into our pot of hot food while we’re serving for Iftar. It died immediately. Although we plan on throwing all the food away as we do not know if it’s safe to eat it anymore. Are we right because some said we should just remove the part it fell on and eat the rest? Jazaakumu Llaahu khayran



Assalam Alaykum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh.

Imam Bukhari mentions a chapter in his Sahih titled; Chapter on Impurity (najas) that falls into solidified butter or liquid. Under it he transmitted the hadith of Maimuna radiyallahu anha that:

“Allah’s Messenger alaihi salaam was asked regarding ghee (cooking butter) in which a mouse had fallen. He said, take out the mouse and throw away the ghee around it and use the rest”.

The Imam Abu Muhammad Badrudeen Al-eini Al Hanafi said while commenting on this hadith:

“It is known from this narration that the cooking butter was solidified just as it was clearly stated in another version of this narration. As regarding if the butter is in a liquid state, then all of it will be regarded as what is around it.” (Umdah Al-Qaari).

Based on this the majority of the jurist are of the opinion of making a distinction between the two states of the butter.

However, as in your case of the food being hot, it is known that as temperature is increased, the process of diffusion occurs more rapidly and the faster molecules spread out or mix with other molecules more quickly. This fact can make the ruling different even if the food is solid. This is because what surrounds the food cannot be accurately determined in this case. As it is a function of three things, the temperature of the food, the time the impurity has stayed in the hot food and the solubility of the impurity. In this case, the gecko is known to have a very delicate skin.

So based on these facts, it can be said that if it was immediately discovered at the time of falling into the hot food and the food was fully solid, then, what is around the food that has been affected can easily be decided. However, if the food is in liquid form, then it can be concluded that the whole of the food has been affected. If it cannot be determined when the gecko fell and the food was very hot and in solid form, then it will be advised to throw all of it away.

As regarding the relationship between the gecko and the mouse, Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih from Sa‘ad, from his father, that the Prophet alaihi salam enjoined killing the gecko and called it a noxious little creature. The reason why it is to be killed is that it is harmful.

Ad-Dumayri said:

“With regard to calling the gecko a noxious little creature [fuwaysiq], it is similar to the five vermin (al-fawaasiq al-khams) that may be killed both outside and within the Haram zone. The root meaning of fisq (from which the word fuwaysiq (noxious little creature) is derived) is to drift away, and these creatures have drifted away from the characteristics of most other similar animals, because they cause much greater harm.” (Hayaat al-Haywaan).

Imam An-Nawawi alaihi rahmatullah said in his commentary of Sahih Muslim, explaining the reason for killing it:

The scholars are agreed that the gecko comes under the heading of harmful vermin. The Prophet alaihi salaam enjoined killing it, and urged and encouraged people to do so, because it is harmful.

And Allah knows best.

Barakallahu Fikum
Jazakumullahu Khayran.

Abū Hafs

16th Shawwāl, 1441AH.

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