Friday 17 Jumada al-ula 1445 - 1 December 2023

Do the pigeons of Madeenah bid farewell to the Ka’bah before they die?


I heard one of the pilgrims who visited the House of Allaah say that any pigeon of Madeenah, when the time of its death approaches, flies to Makkah and soars above the Ka’bah as a farewell, then it dies after flying a few miles away. Is this true or not?


Praise be to Allah.

There is nothing special about the pigeons of Madeenah or Makkah , and they are no different from any other pigeons, apart from the fact that it is haraam to hunt them or disturb them when one is in ihraam for Hajj or ‘Umrah or not, so long as one is within the haram (sanctuary) of Makkah or Madeenah. If one goes outside the limits of the sanctuary, then it is permissible to hunt them for those who are not in ihraam for Hajj or ‘Umrah, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Kill not the game while you are in a state of Ihraam [for Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage)]…”

[al-Maa’idah 5:95]

-- and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has made Makkah a sanctuary and fighting in it has not been made lawful for anybody before me or after me, except for one hour of one day [i.e., on the day of the Conquest of Makkah – Translator]. Its thorns shall not be cut, its trees shall not be chopped down, and its animals shall not be disturbed…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari).

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Ibraaheem made Makkah a sanctuary and I have made Madeenah a sanctuary, the area between its two tracts of black stones. Its trees should not be cut down and its animals should not be hunted.” (Narrated by Muslim).

 Whoever claims that the pigeons of Madeenah fly to Makkah when the time of their death approaches and fly over the Ka’bah is an ignorant person who is making a claim that has no basis of truth. No one knows when any creature will die except Allaah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and no person [lit. no soul] knows in what land he will die…”

[Luqmaan 31:34]

 Bidding farewell to the Ka’bah is only done by doing Tawaaf al-Wadaa’ (Farewell Tawaaf) when one has performed Hajj or ‘Umrah. The claim that pigeons know when they will die and that they bid farewell to the Ka’bah by flying over it is a false claim, which no one would dare to say but an ignorant person who fabricates lies against Allaah and His slaves. And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek.

 And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

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Source:  Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/64