Is it haraam to charge money to look at animals in zoos and wildlife parks?

Asalaam Alaikam

Fuqaha say if someone keeps an animal on display and charges a fee it is not a valid transaction. Zoos and wildlife parks charge money as it is a business but also donations will go to reintroducing animals back into the wild and saving them from extinction.

My question is there a reference saying it’s haraam to charge money to look, would these apply to zoos and wildlife parks or does it only apply to something else. Jazak Allah Khair.

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

Monies are paid towards something that is given in return, whether it is a product, work or service done. Paying to see an animal does not include any of the above. In other words, if you have a camel at your home (for example) and you charge people to look at the camel, this is not permissible, because they get nothing in return for the monies paid.

With respect to zoos and wildlife parks, a fee is charged so that they can offset their expenses. This is understandable because those in charge of the zoo must pay workers to look after the animals, they must pay for the food to feed the animals and all other bills and services done for the upkeep of the place. The fees are not really for viewing the animals. Instead it helps towards offsetting the cost of having /maintaining a zoo or wildlife park.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.