Branding a camel on the cheek

Q: Please note that branding camels in the face is widely-spread in our land to distinguish them from other camels and to protect them from getting lost or being stolen. I want to know the ruling on branding camels on the cheek, as people hold different opinions in this regard. Is the cheek part of the face or not? Some say that the face is only the part seen by anyone facing the camel and the cheek cannot be seen from this direction. Others say that the face includes the cheeks, chin and nose.Respected shaykh, I want to ask: Is it permissible to brand camels on the cheek? Is the cheek part of the face? Is there any necessity that makes branding camels in the face permissible? Please give us your Fatwa (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) and may Allah reward you well!

A: It is permissible to brand beasts of cattle anywhere apart from the face when it becomes necessary, such as to distinguish them from others' and to make the Hady (sacrificial animal offered by pilgrims) known. Branding can be done by cauterizing or making a cut in any part of the animal with the exception of the face, such as the camel's hump and the like. Marking an animal by making a cut in it is also permissible when it is needed and when it does not exceed the limits. The evidence supporting its permissibility is what is related in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) on the authority of (Part No. 26; Page No. 162)  Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, I took `Abdullah ibn Abu Talhah to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to perform Tahnik for him (chew a piece of date and put its juice in the child's mouth). When I arrived, he (peace be upon him) had the branding iron in his hand and was branding the camels of Zakah (obligatory charity). In another narration by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Majah, it is reported that Anas said, I went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while he was cauterizing some sheep in their ears. This is also supported by what is related by Al-Bukhari in his "Sahih" on the authority of Al-Miswar ibn Makhramah and Marwan (may Allah be pleased with them both) who narrated, The Prophet (peace be upon him) set out in the company of more than one-thousand of his Companions, and when they reached Dhul-Hulayfah, he (peace be upon him) garlanded the Hady and marked it. However, cauterizing animals in the face is not permissible, since the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade it and cursed its doer. The face is the most honored part of the animal's or the human's body. The cheek of a camel or any beast of cattle is part of the face and it is not permissible to make a mark on it.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.