Ruling on treating using snakes

Question:

Someone uses snakes in treatment and claims that this is permissible when necessary. He puts a live snake into a pot with boiling fat. He then uses the fat cooked with the snake in the treatment. The one who is treated in this manner falls into a state of slight drunkenness. Is it permissible to use this method of treatment, if it has proved useful? Is it permissible to put the snake in boiling fat?

Answer:

First: It is impermissible to put a living animal in boiling liquid, as it entails causing torture of animals which is prohibited by the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said, “When you kill, kill in a good way.1

Second: It is impermissible to use snakes or the fat cooked with it in treatment. According to the preponderant view, eating the flesh of snakes is impermissible and the flesh of a dead snake is considered Najis (ritually impure). Therefore, using the forbidden things in treatment is Haram (prohibited).

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.


  1. Muslim, Sahih, Book on the game, slaughtered animals, and animals that may be eaten, no. 1955; Al-Tirmidhy, Sunan, Book on blood money, no. 1409; Al-Nasa’i, Sunan, Book on sacrifices, no. 4413; Abu Dawud, Sunan, Book on sacrifices, no. 2815; Ibn Majah, Sunan, Book on the slaughtered animals, no. 3170; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 125; and Al-Darimy, Sunan, Book on sacrifices, no. 1970. 

  • Date: Muharram 15, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Al-Da'imah no. 6990-1
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify