Kindness To Animals in Quran | 2024

You are correct that Islam places a significant emphasis on the humane treatment of animals and respect for nature. The Quran and Hadith (sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad) contain numerous references and teachings that underscore the importance of kindness to animals and the natural world. Let’s explore the verses you mentioned in detail:

  1. All Creatures on Earth Are Partners (Quran 55:10):
  • The verse you referenced, “And the earth, He has assigned it to all living creatures,” emphasizes that the earth is shared by all living beings, humans and animals alike. This suggests a form of partnership and shared responsibility in the stewardship of the earth. Arabic: وَٱلْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ
    Transliteration: Wal-arḍa waḍaʿahā lil-anām. This verse is part of Surah Ar-Rahman, which highlights the many blessings of Allah and His mercy. By stating that the earth is for all creatures, it implies that humans should consider the welfare of other creatures in their use and management of the earth’s resources.
  1. All Creatures Are Nations (Quran 6:38):
  • The verse, “And there is not a moving (living) creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its two wings except [that they are/form] communities like you,” indicates that animals form their own communities or nations, similar to humans. Arabic: وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍۢ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَا طَـٰٓئِرٍۢ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلَّآ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم
    Transliteration: Wa mā min dābbatin fī l-arḍi walā ṭā’irin yaṭīru bijanāḥayhi illā umamun amthālukum. This verse from Surah Al-An’am highlights that animals have their own ways of life, social structures, and inherent value. It encourages humans to respect animals as part of the larger creation of Allah.
  1. All Creatures Are From the Same Essence (Quran 24:45):
  • The verse, “And Allah has created from water every living creature. Some of them crawl on their bellies, some walk on two legs, and some walk on four. Allah creates whatever He wills. Surely Allah is Most Capable of everything,” signifies the common origin of all living beings, emphasizing their interconnectedness and shared source. Arabic: وَٱللَّهُ خَلَقَ كُلَّ دَآبَّةٍۢ مِّن مَّآءٍۢ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِى عَلَىٰ بَطْنِهِۦ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِى عَلَىٰ رِجْلَيْنِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَمْشِى عَلَىٰٓ أَرْبَعٍۢ ۚ يَخْلُقُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ
    Transliteration: Wa Llāhu khalaqa kulla dābbatin min mā’in fa-minhum man yamshī ʿalā baṭnihi wa-minhum man yamshī ʿalā rijlayni wa-minhum man yamshī ʿalā arbaʿ. Yakhluqu Llāhu mā yashā’. ‘Inna Llāha ‘alā kulli shay’in qadīr. This verse from Surah An-Nur underscores the diversity of life forms and their creation from a common element, water. It suggests a sense of unity and equality among all creatures, which should inspire humans to treat animals with compassion and respect.

In addition to these Quranic verses, there are numerous Hadiths that further emphasize the importance of treating animals kindly. For example, the Prophet Muhammad said: “Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Islamic teachings promote a holistic approach to life, where mercy and compassion extend to all of creation. This perspective encourages Muslims to be mindful of their treatment of animals and the environment, recognizing their intrinsic value and rights.

4. Animals Worship Allah Too


Both the Qur’an (the word of Allah) and Sunnah (the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him) emphasize that animals also worship Allah. Allah states in the Qur’an:

“Do you not see that Allah is exalted by whomever is within the heavens and the earth and [by] the birds with wings spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has known his [means of] prayer and exalting [Him], and Allah is Knowing of what they do.”
[Quran/24/41]

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5. Both Humans and Animals Will Be Judged on the Day of Judgment


Humans are held accountable for their deeds on the Day of Judgment before God. Non-human creatures are also judged, but in a minor form, as they do not possess free will. After being judged, they turn into dust and cease to exist.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) as saying:
“The claimants will get their claims on the Day of Resurrection, so much so that the hornless sheep will get its claim from the horned sheep.”
[Sahih Muslim]

Although animals are not accountable as humans and jinn are, all of God’s creations submit to Him.

6. Prophet Muhammad’s Love for Animals


Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) exhibited great love and kindness towards animals. Islam rewards merciful behavior towards animals and strictly forbids cruelty. This includes prohibitions against cutting off an animal’s mane or tail, torturing, neglecting, sport hunting, and abusing animals.

Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Do not use the backs of your animals as chairs. Allah has made them subject to you so that by them you can reach places that you would not otherwise be able to reach except with great fatigue.”
[Sunan Abi Dawud]

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) also said:
“A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being. Fear Allah in these beasts which cannot speak.”
[Sunan Abi Dawud]

One of the Prophet’s Companions asked:
“O Allah’s Messenger! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He replied: “There is a reward for serving any living being.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari]

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7. Mercy as the Basis of Relationship Between Humans and Animals


Humans are created by Allah, the Almighty, to be the custodians and guardians of the Earth, and all other creatures are subjected to them. The rules of conduct in Islam are based on mercy, enjoining good, and forbidding evil towards every human and non-human. For example, in Islam, killing animals without need, such as for fun or sport, is not permissible.

In cases of killing for food, Islamic slaughtering has special manners characterized by “Ihsan” (performing acts perfectly according to divine guidance).

Abu Ya’la Shaddad bin Aws reported that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“Verily Allah has prescribed Ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. So if you hunt, then hunt well [without causing unnecessary suffering to the game]; and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.”
[Sahih Muslim]

“Ihsan” during slaughtering means minimizing the animal’s suffering as one is taking life only by the permission of Allah to meet the need for food.

8. Names of Animals Mentioned in the Quran


It is interesting to note that several animals, birds, and even insects are mentioned in the Qur’an—around 27 species. These include:

Cow, Camel, Horse, Mule, Dog, Pig, Donkey, Monkey, Ewe, Lion, Sheep, Goat, Wolf, Calf, Elephant, Whale, Birds, Crow, Hoopoe, Swallow, Quail, Frog, Snake, Worm, Ant, Honeybee, Butterfly, Spider, Lice, Mosquito, and Locust.

These creatures are all mentioned as being creations of Allah that worship Him and fulfill their roles instinctively.

Surahs Named After Animals


Several chapters in the Qur’an are named after animals and insects, containing information about their nature, habits, and incidents. Examples include:

  • Al-Baqarah (The Cow)
  • An-Naml (The Ant)
  • Al-‘Ankabut (The Spider)
  • Al-Fil (The Elephant)
  • An-Nahl (The Bee)

Rules of Slaughtering Animals in Islam

  • The blade must be sharpened (not in sight of the animal) before slaughtering to minimize pain.
  • The knife blade must be free from blemishes that might tear the wound.
  • The animal must be in a comfortable position for slaughtering.
  • The slaughterer must say the name of God before starting.
  • The animal must be killed by cutting the throat with a single continuous back-and-forth motion of a sharp knife.
  • The slaughterer must sever at least three of the trachea, esophagus, and the two blood vessels on either side of the throat.
  • The spinal cord must not be cut.
  • Animals must not see other animals being slaughtered.
  • The animal must be allowed to bleed out..

Harmony in the world is the divine will of Allah, and it is only disrupted by human misbehavior straying from the righteous path revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the last divine message of God to humanity, “The Quran.”

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How to Treat Animals


Prophet Muhammad’s teachings and actions make it clear that causing pain and suffering to defenseless creatures is entirely unacceptable, and we will be accountable to Allah the Almighty for such actions. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“Whoever kills a sparrow or anything larger without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.”

The listeners asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is a just cause?”

He replied, “That he kills it to eat, not simply to chop off its head and then throw it away.” (An-Nasa’i)

Islam expects humankind to treat all animals (including birds, sea creatures, and insects) with respect and dignity. Prophet Muhammad continuously advised people to show kindness towards animals.

He forbade the practice of cutting the tails and manes of horses, branding animals at any soft spot, and keeping horses saddled unnecessarily (Muslim). If the Prophet saw any animal overburdened or ill-fed, he would speak gently to the owner and say, “Fear Allah in your treatment of animals.” (Abu Dawud)

Condemnation of Cruelty

In pre-Islamic times, pagan superstitions and polytheistic practices included acts of torture and cruelty to animals. Islam condemned these practices and put a stop to all such acts.

When Prophet Muhammad and his Companions migrated to Madinah, they observed people cutting off camels’ humps and the fat tails of sheep for food. The Prophet forbade them from doing this and said,

“Whatever is cut off an animal while it is still alive, is carrion (i.e., unlawful to eat).” (At-Tirmidhi)

In Islam, the rules regarding the slaughtering of animals are very strict. Protecting animals from pain and undue suffering is paramount:

“Allah has ordained kindness (and excellence) in everything. If the killing (of animals) is to be done, do it in the best manner, and when you slaughter, do it in the best manner, sharpen the knife and put the animal at ease.” (Muslim)

Humankind must strike a balance in their treatment of animals. All living creatures were put on this earth by Allah for our benefit. They are not at the same level as human beings but should not be treated cruelly.

It is humankind’s responsibility to ensure that animals have food, water, and shelter from the elements. Living creatures must not be overburdened, abused, or tortured, and doing so will surely result in Allah’s just punishment.

A true believer in Allah demonstrates their faith by respecting all of creation. Prophet Muhammad’s character and actions serve as a shining example of respect for all that exists.

Care for Animals’ Emotions: Defusing Civil War in Madinah

Refraining from physical cruelty is crucial, but abstaining from mental cruelty is equally important.

Even the emotional distress of a bird should be taken seriously. A Companion of Prophet Muhammad narrated an incident:

“We were on a journey, and during the Prophet’s absence, we came across a bird with its two chicks; we took them. The mother bird circled above us in the air, beating its wings in grief.

When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) returned, he inquired, ‘Who has distressed this bird by taking its chicks? Return them to her.'” (Reported by Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani)

This incident illustrates Prophet Muhammad’s compassion and concern for the emotional well-being of all creatures, no matter how small. His actions emphasize the importance of treating animals with kindness and respect, not just avoiding physical harm but also considering their emotional welfare.

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Conclusion

What Allah Teaches Us About Animals
All creatures are part of nations and communities similar to humans, each with its own nature, instinct, order, laws, and language. They all have their own forms of worship of Allah Almighty (prayer, prostration, praise, and exaltation) even if humans do not comprehend them. Being subjected to humans does not entitle humans to be cruel towards them

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