What is the Islamic ruling on plucking flowers? Is it a sin to do so?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If the flowers are the property of someone or if the authorities take care of them, then it appears that it is not permissible to pluck them unless it is known that the owner or the authorities give permission to this effect.
It appears to us that plucking flowers is not included in the concession that is reported about eating from trees owned by others – according to the scholars who are of the view that such a concession is permitted – as in the hadeeth reported by Imaam Ahmad in which it was related that the Prophet was asked about fruit and taking it while in its sheath? He replied, “If anyone ate with his mouth and did not take them away with him, carrying in his clothes or in a container, then he is not sinful, but whoever carries fruits away with him, he must pay its price twice, and he should be beaten and punished.”
This is because in principle this is forbidden, and the permission that is mentioned about eating is a concession, but a concession should not exceed its proper circumstances. Plucking flowers resembles carrying away fruit, which is forbidden. Moreover, some scholars prevent the person who is not in need from eating from the fruits owned by others in principle.
Al-Fawaakih ad-Dawaani (a Maaliki book) reads:
“The scholars differed in opinion about eating from what a person passes by in the street, such as broad beans, fruits, and the milk of sheep, without the permission of the owner. In brief, it is permissible for the needy, without any difference of opinion. As regards a person who is not in need, then it was said that he is permitted to do so, and it was also said that he is not permitted. A third view is that it is permitted for a friend (of the owner) but not for others. A fourth view is that it is permissible with concerning milk but not fruits.
I say: It appears from the statements of the scholars that it is forbidden, pursuant to the general meaning of the hadeeth that reads, 'The property of a Muslim is not lawful (for others) except with his own proper consent.' This is the apparent meaning of the general statement, as witnessed in practical life at this time and age, that people put guards over crops such as beans, corn and all other fruits.” [End of quote]
Based on this view, there is no ambiguity regarding the forbiddance to pluck flowers owned by others or which are taken care of by the authorities.
However, if the flowers are in public places that are not owned by anyone, and the authorities are not taking care of them, then there is nothing wrong with plucking them.
For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 90231.
Allaah knows best.
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