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Opinion: Islamic Ideology and Animal Welfare During Transport & Slaughter


Islamic View on Animals

Islam is the only religion which guides its followers in every aspect of life through Quran and the Hadith suplimented by the Sunnah (practices)  of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It’s obligatory to fulfill the commandments of Allah through the guidance of Quran and Sunnah.

Islamic Teachings on Treating Animals

Islam allows Muslims to use animals for their benefits like using them for transport, producing dairy products, meat and other needs in humanely manners. There are many ocasions where Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has stated in Hadith to be kind to the animals

For example:

  • “And they carry your heavy loads to lands that ye could not (otherwise) reach except with souls distressed: for your Lord is indeed Most“And cattle He has created for you (men); from them ye derive warmth and numerous benefits, and of their (meat) ye eat.”  Kind, Most Merciful.” Surrah An-Nahl 16:7
  • “And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and as an adornment; And he has created other things of which ye have no knowledge.” Surrah An-Nahl 16:8
  • “We have made animals subject to you, that ye may be grateful.” Surrah Al Haj 22:36
  • “There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, and then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered.” Surrah Al-Anam 6:38
  • “Seest thou not that it is Allah whose praise all beings in the heavens and on earth do celebrate, and the birds (of the air) with wings outspread? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise, and Allah knows well all that they do.” Surrah An-Noor 24:41

Islam teaches Muslims that animals are not just the source of food but they are living creatures of Allah (The Deity). They also have feelings of joy and sadness, they can feel things and have souls just like we humans do, they also praise Allah.

Not only Quran but Muhammad (PBUH) has also taught Muslims to show kindness to your animals

For example, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

  • Condemned the beating of animals and forbade striking, branding, or marking them on the face.
  • He cursed and chastised those who mistreat animals and gave praise to those who showed kindness;
  • He also instituted radical changes against the practice of cutting off the tails and humps of living animals for food.

One Hadith quotes Muhammad (PBUH) as saying:

A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was especially vocal in his disapproval of the cruel practices of notching and slitting of ears of animals and the practice of putting painful rings around the necks of camels.

Below are just a few well-known examples from the Hadith (traditions):

  • “There is a reward (ajr) for helping any living creature.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
  • “It is a great sin for man to imprison those animals which are in his power.” (Muslim)
  • “The worst of shepherds is the ungentle, who causes the beasts to crush or bruise one another.” (Muslim)
  • “You will not have secure faith until you love one another and have mercy on those who live upon the earth.” (Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud)
  • “Fear God in these mute animals, and ride them when they are fit to be ridden, and let them go free when … they [need to] rest.” (Abu Dawud)
  • “There is no man who kills a sparrow or anything beyond that, without its deserving it, but God will ask him about it.” (Ahmad and al-Nasai)
  • The grievous things are: shirk (polytheism); disobedience to parents; the killing of breathing beings …” (Bukhari and Muslim)
  • “May god curse anyone who maims animals.” (ibn al-Athir)
  • “Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself.”

About Waleed Ahmed