13 November 2018|05 Rabi ul Awwal 1440| Ayesha Ismail
Allah created every single thing in this Dunya for a reason and man is expected to treat all living beings with respect and dignity. Just as it is a sin to hurt a fellow human being, cruelty toward animals is also considered a sin.
Everything has a purpose in this world and Allah in his infinite wisdom created man and animals in different ways. The Holy Quran also teaches us to respect the rights of animals.
In our daily interactions with people on a daily basis we try to be as courteous and friendly as possible because but have we stopped and pondered about the way we treat animals? We see people harming animals, hurling abusive words at them, kicking and sometimes even injuring them.
We need to remember that even animals are a part of Allah’s creation and belong to Allah. Yes, they are not at the same level as human beings but they should not be treated cruelly. There’s no need for any living creature to be abused or tortured. Doing so will only derive Allah’s displeasure.
Of course, we have to be cautious around animals, and yes some animals are considered napaak (impure) as well and with this in mind we should also consider how our pets live and interact with us.
Let’s take a crocodile or a lion for example, it is a dangerous creature, but it is a creation of Allah. Allah has a purpose for it and a reason for creating it. Each animal forms part of an ecosystem that Allah has placed on this earth and they all fulfill their own roles in this ecosystem.
So while we may not cross paths with a lion, tiger or crocodile,human interaction with regular domestic animals like dogs, cats, birds should be kind and compassionate.
Traditionally, the saliva of dogs is seen as impure and indeed as Muslims we are advised against keeping a dog inside our homes, as angels do not enter our homes. But this doesn’t mean that these animals or any other have to be cursed or mistreated.
“The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or an animate picture.'” —Bukhari Sharif
Sadly, animal abuse and neglect form part of the many social ills plaguing our communities today.
We tend to forget that they are as much a creation of Allah Taa’la as are we. How will we answer to Allah on the day of Qiyamah for ill-treating these innocent creatures?
Imam Ahmad and Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated with the Sahih chain of narration from the route of Ya’la ibnu Murrah ath-Thaqafiyy ( يَعْلَى بن مُرّةَ الثَّقَفِيّ ) that he said “Once while we were walking with the Prophet, Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, a camel carrying water passed by us. When the camel saw the Prophet, Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, it made a sound from its throat and lowered its neck. The Prophet, Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, stopped by the camel and said “Where is the owner of this camel?” The owner arrived. The Prophet said “Sell it to me.” The owner said “We would rather give it to you as a gift, O Prophet of Allah, although we are a family whose only way of earning a living is by working with this camel.” The Prophet said “Then I would not take it. But the camel complained to me that you made it work a lot and you do not give it enough food. So treat this camel in the proper way.”
Whether it’s a pet or a random animal that you come across, show it kindness for the sake of Allah. Such is the world we live in that people feel no guilt when an animal is hurt or abused.
“Fear Allah in your treatment of animals.” [Abu Dawood]
Nabi Muhammad (SAW) showed compassion to all those around him. He also treated animals with respect and mercy and taught his followers that animals should be treated with dignity and care.
Abu Hurayrah R.A said: “The Messenger of Allah, May Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘While a man was walking on a road he became very thirsty. He found a well, went into it, drank, and came out. [Upon exiting he met] a dog panting and eating the dirt out of thirst. The man said: ‘This dog has become stricken with the same degree of thirst which had stricken me.’ He went down into the well and filled his shoe and then held it in his mouth until he climbed out and gave the dog water to drink. Allah thanked him (for his good deed) and forgave him.’ They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, are we rewarded for taking care of beasts?’ He said, ‘There is a reward [for you] in every creature with a moist liver.'”(Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Malik)
The above hadith reiterates the virtue of saving the life of a dog by giving it water and quenching its thirst.
Abu Hurayrah R.A said: “Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: ‘A woman was punished because of a cat. She neither provided it with food nor drink, nor set it free so that it might eat the insects of the earth.’ ” (Narrated by Muslim and Al-Bukhari).
So think about it, If Jannah was achieved just by one act of kindness to a dog, then imagine what we can achieve just by caring for Allah’s defenseless creation.
Let us reflect upon this and beware of our duty towards animals as they too have rights over us and are entitled to our good treatment.
DON’T JEOPARDISE YOUR JANNAH
Kindness and compassion towards these creatures never goes unnoticed by Allah Taa’la. In fact, Allah appreciates every act of mercy and kindness we show for animals so much that it can result in the forgiveness of our sins. Imagine standing on the day of Qiyamah and needing just one more aa’mal (good deed) to get into Jannah and along comes a little bird or cat that speaks on our behalf.
Nabi SAW said: “Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal.”
Start today. Let us teach our children the importance of being kind to all of Allah’s creations. Leave a bowl of milk for a stray cat, slow down when you see a dog or even feed the birds that visit your backyard. It could be this one sincere act of kindness towards an animal that is our ticket to Jannah?
WRITTEN BY: AYESHA ISMAIL