Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Islamic lecturer and author, states:
“There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, in keeping animals for which there is no prohibition on keeping them (such as dogs and pigs). It is reported that some of the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) were in the habit of keeping animals for farming purposes or for fun and pleasure. It is reported that Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) had a young brother who had a nughayr (a small bird or nightingale). The bird died, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) noticed that the Anas’ younger brother was so sad and grieved, so he joked with him, and said to him words which implied approval of his keeping this bird. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him, “O Abu `Umayr, what happened to the nughayr?”
In another hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings of be upon him) is reported to have stated that a woman is doomed to enter Hell because of a cat “which she neither fed nor let it eat from the vermin of the earth.” It is clear from the above hadith that if the woman had fed the cat, she would have been spared from Hell.
It was also narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) was called so because of a cat, which used to accompany him. Therefore, it becomes clear that keeping animals, so long as you do not neglect them, is something which is permitted and it may even be one of the means of earning reward, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “In every living being there is reward.”
In conclusion, we would like to say that the care and concern for human beings should take higher priority over the care of animals, and that the reward for that is greater.
Unfortunately, some people do pay a great deal of attention to their cats and spend large amounts of money on them when there are millions of needy Muslims all over the world who are in need of a single penny that is luxuriously spent on those pets.
It is better for us Muslims to pay attention to making the best use of our time in that which is beneficial and good. Some people spend more on their cats and dogs than they spend on their own sons and daughters, let alone the poor and needy. They may even bring their pets to stay in luxurious hotels and bequeath large amounts of money to them.”