Ruling on using trickery in hunting
Fatwa No: 263620

Question

Assalamu alaykum, Some people told me that its not a good idea to fish with live bait/artificial lures. I wanted to ask whether fishing with an artificial lure which imitates the live fish is allowed and not considered as cheating (lying)? How about fishing with live bait?. I'm asking it on the basis of the following story: I once heard a story where Imam Bukhari went to collect a Hadith from a man, and when he got to this man's house, he saw that the man's donkey won't come to him. So what the man did was pick up his clothes and pretend that there was food in it to trick the donkey into coming. So Imam Bukhari got back on his horse and left without accepting a Hadith from this man. Jazakallohu Khoyr for your answer.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

It is permissible to fish or hunt an animal by using a trick as Allaah permitted us to hunt but He did not make it a condition that we hunt with dead bait and He did not forbid us from hunting with live bait or from using a trick. So one should not make things difficult while Allaah has made them easy. Ibn 'Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated: “Allaah has sent His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and sent down His Book, and what Allaah has made lawful is lawful and what He has made forbidden is forbidden, and concerning that which He says nothing about, it is pardoned." [Abu Daawood]

As regards the story about Imaam Al-Bukhari, if it is authentic, it is not acceptable to cite it as evidence for the prohibition of hunting (or fishing) by using a trick. First of all, the way Imaam Al-Bukhari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him acted does not stand as evidence in the sight of Sharee‘ah. Moreover, the donkey is not a game [animal hunted for food]. Furthermore, he decided not to learn Hadeeth from that man out of excessive prudence and cautiousness concerning the Ahaadeeth of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

Allaah Knows best.

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