On the prohibition against cursing a man or an animal

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

264. Chapter: On the prohibition against cursing a man or an animal

1551. Abu Zayd Thabit ibn ad-Dahhak al-Ansari, one of the people of the Pledge of Ridwan, said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who deliberately swears a false oath that he will adopt another religion than Islam [if he is not telling the truth], it will be as he said. Anyone who kills himself with something, will be punished with that thing on the Day of Rising. An oath which is a man is incapable of fulfilling is not binding on him. Cursing a believer is like killing him." [Agreed upon]

1552. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is not fitting for a truthful man to be someone who curses." [Muslim]

1553. Abu'd-Darda' reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "People who curse will not be intercessors nor witnesses on the Day of Rising." [Muslim]

1554. Samura ibn Jundub reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Do not curse one another with Allah's curse or His anger or the Fire." [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

1555. Ibn Mas'ud reported said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A believer is not an attacker nor a curser nor someone obscene or abusive." [at-Tirmidhi]

1556. Abu'd-Darda' reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If a slave of Allah curses something, the curse rises to the heaven and the gates of heaven are locked against it. Then it falls to the earth and the gates of the earth are locked against it and then it goes to the right and to the left and when it does not find any entrance, it returns to that which was cursed if it deserves it. Otherwise it returns to the one who said it." [Abu Dawud]

1557. 'Imran ibn al-Husayn said, "On one of the journeys of the Messenger of Allah there was a woman of the Ansar on a she-camel. It was recalcitrant and she cursed it. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, heard that and said, 'Take off what is on it and let it go. It is cursed.'" 'Imran said, "It is as if I could see it now walking among the people and no one turned to it." [Muslim]

1558. Abu Barza Nadla ibn 'Ubayd al-Aslami said, "On one occasion a slavegirl was on a camel with some people's goods and she saw the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The mountains were hemming them in and she said, 'Move! O Allah, curse it!' The Prophet said, 'A she-camel bearing a curse will not accompany us.'" [Muslim]

The meaning of this hadith is unclear even if there is no unambiguity in it. What is meant is that that camel was forbidden to accompany them. It is not a prohibition against selling it, slaughtering it or riding it not in the company of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. All those uses are permitted and not forbidden with the sole exception of being in his company. Allah knows best.