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The Prophet (peace be upon him) with all other types of creation


The Prophet (peace be upon him) passed by some people when they were sitting on their [riding] animals, talking to each other. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Ride it (the animal) when it is in a good state and leave it in a good state. And do not use it as a chair to sit on when talking to each other on the road or in the market place. Maybe what is ridden (the animal) is better than the rider as it remembers Allah more than him» [related by Ahmed].

There are many ways to be merciful and gentle with animals. These include:

Letting the animals rest while travelling

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Allah is gentle and loves gentleness, and is pleased with it. He gives, for one to be gentle, help that He does not give for one to be harsh. If you ride these animals that cannot speak (or complain), let them rest where you stop for rest during your trip» [related by Malik].

 

Being good to animals when slaughtering them

It has been reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a man who had laid down a sheep, ready to slaughter, and was sharpening his knife [in front of it]. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered the man to be gentle with it, saying,

«Do you want to kill it twice. Why do you not sharpen you knife before laying the sheep down to slaughter it?» [related by Al-Hakim].

Similarly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to the one who was merciful to the sheep when slaughtering it,

«[With regards to] Sheep, if you are merciful to any of them, Allah will be merciful to you. [With regards to] Sheep, if you are merciful to any of them, Allah will be merciful to you» [related by Ahmed].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to be merciful to animals and he ordered his followers to be good to them, even when slaughtering them. Explain this fact referring to the Prophet’s biography.

Giving animals what they need of food and drink

The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentioned the story of a man who became very thirsty after he went out on a walk. As a result, the man climbed into a well to drink water from it. When he climbed out of the well, he saw a dog that was so thirsty it was licking the ground. Therefore, he filled his shoe [with water] to give the dog water to drink. As a result, Allah forgave him his sins. A Companion asked the Prophet (peace be upon him),

«‘Is there a reward for [how we treat] animals?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, ‘For everything that has a moist liver (i.e. is alive) , there is a reward [for you if you treat them well]’» [related by Muslim].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us from oppressing animals and said it was a reason for entering hell-fire

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, warning us from torturing or starving animals,

«A woman was punished due to a cat which she locked up until it died; she entered hell-fire [because of it]. [The reason was] she did not feed it or give it water to drink when it was locked up, and she did not leave it free to eat the insects of the earth» [related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Truly, Allah (Glorified is He) has enjoined proficiency in everything. If you kill, kill in a good way, and if you slaughter, slaughter in a good way; everyone should sharpen his knife to make the slaughtered animal die comfortably» [related by Muslim].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was merciful with birds and prohibited us from scaring them

An example of the Prophet’s gentleness and mercy with birds is that he prohibited us from scaring or alarming them. Abdullah ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

«When we were travelling with the Prophet and he had gone out to releave himself, we saw a small bird that had two chicks. We took the chicks and as a result the small bird started to flap its wings out of worry for its chicks. The Prophet (peace be upon him) came and said, ‘Who made this [bird] worried over its young?! Give its young back to it» [related by Abu Dawood].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited his followers from harming birds and scaring them. What is the evidence that supports this?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us not to make the animals do more than they could bear

The Prophet (peace be upon him) entered the garden of one of the Ansars (Helpers of Medinah) and found a camel there. When the camel saw the Prophet (peace be upon him), it started to whine and tears flowed profusely from its eyes. Consequently, the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to it and stroked the back of its ears, so it became quiet. Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked about its owner. A young girl from the Ansars came and said, ‘I am its owner, Oh Prophet.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

«Do you not fear Allah (Glorified is He) with regards to this animal which Allah has given you?! It has complained to me that you do not give it food and that you give it heavy loads which tires it» [related by Abu Dawood].

Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

«The Prophet prohibited us from making animals fight each other» [related by Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi].

What is the proof that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to be good to riding animals and to not burden them with more than they can bear?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited us from using animals in games and from taking them as a target to hit [with an arrow etc.]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us from taking animals or anything that has a soul as a target to hit [with an arrow etc.].

«Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) passed by two youths of Quraish who had tied up a bird at which they were shooting arrows. Every arrow which did not hit the bird came into the possession of the owner of the bird. When they saw Ibn Umar, they dispersed. Ibn Umar then said, "Who has done this?! May Allah curse the one who did this. The Prophet has cursed the one who takes anything which has a soul as a target» [related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

What is the ruling about cockfights or bullfights in which people make the animals annoyed? But what do these evil communities think about such fights?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us strongly about oppressing animals. In fact, he explained that it could be a reason for entering the hell-fire. What is the proof that supports this? Explain your answer referring to the Prophet’s biography.

How can you take the Prophet (peace be upon him) as an example to follow?

1.Follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) by being gentle with animals and treating them well, as the Prophet used to do.

2.If you have a riding animal, let it rest and do not burden it with more than it can bear, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited us from doing that.

3.Keeping an animal or bird in your house means you have to fulfill its needs of food and water, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered us to do. Therefore, be sure you give them all their needs.

4.Beware of harming anything which has a soul, whether a bird or an animal. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited us from harming them.

5.Beware of taking birds, animals and anything which has a soul as a target to hit with an arrow as a past-time. The Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited us from doing that.

6.Know that making the animal comfortable before slaughtering it and sharpening the blade of the knife are some of the good acts which the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered us to do when slaughtering. Therefore, take care to do these, following the Prophet’s sunnah (ways).