CARE FOR ANIMALS

A man once came to Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) carrying with him his belongings and a box. He said, “O Prophet! While I was passing through a jungle, I heard the voice of some bird’s babies. I took them and put them in this box. The moment I did that, their mother came fluttering round my head.”

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, “Put them down.” When the man put the box on the ground, the mother of the young birds joined them. Seeing this, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked the man who now had a look of surprise on his face, “Are you surprised by the affection of the mother towards her young? I swear by Him (Almighty God) who has sent me, surely, God is more loving to his servants than the mother to these young birds. Return these baby birds to the place from where you took them, and let their mother be with them.”

“Fear God with regard to animals”, said the Prophet of Islam (pbuh), “ride them when they are fit to be ridden, and get off their backs when they are tired; surely, there are rewards for being kind and gentle to animals, and for giving them water to drink.”

Islam has taught that in the eyes of Almighty God, animals also have rights in the same way as man has. They should not be treated badly, tortured or left to starve without food or water.

The Prophet of Islam (pbuh) was once performing ablution (Wudhu) for prayers from a pot of water. A Cat passed there and turned its eyes at the pot of water with a thirsty look. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) realized at once that the Cat was very thirsty, so he stopped the ablution
(Wudhu) and placed the pot before the Cat.

Only after the Cat had fully quenched its thirst, did the Holy Prophet (pbuh) resume the ablution (Wudhu). By this action, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has shown that quenching the thirst of even a small dumb animal is a noble act full of virtue and should be given first attention before one prepares for offering prayers to Almighty God.

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