Islam teaches benevolence and clemency to animals

Islam means "submission to the will of God". Islam states that Allah sent messengers and prophets throughout the ages with the message of Unity of God and accountability in the Hereafter. Muslims accept the Qur’an, as the word of God revealed to his last prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Islam makes it an article of faith to believe in all the earlier prophets, starting with Adam. All prophets honoured, believed and followed the path of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) which was a pathway towards Jannatul-firdous

So it’s the duty of every Muslim to follow set of  Islamic laws  which were taught to us by  Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W). Islam is a standard of living that promotes freedom from strife, dignity, esteem, tolerance, justice and mercy and all of these qualities are tempered with serenity that comes from submission to God. Perhaps the greatest of these qualities is mercy.  It is one of the paramount themes throughout the holy Quran. God said ‘Wamma Arsalnaka Ila Rehmatal Lilalameen’ that prophet Muhammad was a mercy for all of the creation not just for his family, friends or the Arab nation, and not for human beings alone.  Prophet Muhammad was the quintessence of mercy. He showed compassion to all those around him, family, children, orphans, friends, strangers and even enemies like Yahoods. 

Prophet Muhammad treated the environment and animals including insects with respect and mercy.  He taught his followers that animals should be treated with gravity and due care and respect. Words and behaviour of Prophet Muhammad make it lucid that causing pain to deaf and dumb creatures is not only unacceptable, but we will also be answerable to Allah for such actions and will have to face the chastisement also.

Islam the religion of peace expects humankind to treat all living creatures - birds, sea creatures, and insects with respect and dignity.  Prophet Muhammad continuously advised people to show kindness and mercy.  He forbade the practice of docking of horses, branding of animals by heat, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily.   If the Prophet saw, any animal over-burdened or ill fed he would speak mildly.

“Fear God in your treatment of animals,” the Prophet told his companions of a serf who was sanctified by Allah for saving the life of a dog by giving it water to drink and quenching its thirst. To catch birds and imprison them in cages without any special purpose is considered abominable in Islam. No advantages and no urgency of human needs would justify the kind of calculated violence that is being done these days against animals, especially through international trade of livestock and meat.

One of the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad tells us: "If you must kill, kill without torture."  While pronouncing this dictum, he did not name any animal as an exception — not even any noxious or venomous creature, such as scorpions and snakes or venomous insects. Some Hadith’s forbid the disfiguration of the body of an animal also. So, it shows us that that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy for all of the creation. So, humankind must ensure a balance in their treatment of animals. 

As we know that all living creatures were put on this earth by God for our benefit not for harm.  They are not equivalent with human beings but neither should they be treated cruelly.  It is humankind’s responsibility to see that they have food, water, and shelter.  Living creatures must not be overburdened, abused, or tormented and doing so will surely result in God’s punishment. 

To kill animals to satisfy the human thirst is a contradiction within the Islamic tradition. Let us hope a day will dawn when the great religious teachings may at last begin to bear fruit; when we shall see the start of a new era, when man accords to animals the respect and status they have long deserved and for so long have been denied.

So remember: Serving the Animals is Serving the God.

Dr Abrar-ul -Haq Wani
Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Ethics & Jurisprudence
[email protected]


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