I know a dear elderly Muslimah who keeps goats, chickens, and a pet dog at her small rural home. The goats and chickens are well looked after, healthy, and content.
One day one of her grandsons brought her yoghourt as a gift. As much as she loved yoghourt, she gave it to her dog so he could enjoy a rare treat.
Those who know her see her love and tenderness toward animals as a kind of light that shines from her inner deen lamp.
Let’s have a look at why kindness toward animals is supported in the Quran.
1. Allah Guides, Protects, and Helps Animals . . .
Allah didn’t just make a marvelous eco-system filled with incredible beauty and complexity; He also keeps it going! His love, wisdom, and power are freely distributed to the animals He’s made, every second of every day.
Do they not see the birds controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up except Allah. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe. [Quran, 16:79]
2. . . . and So Should We!
We can take a lesson from Prophet Musa on how to be a loving shepherd:
He said, ‘It is my staff; I lean upon it, and I bring down leaves for my sheep and I have therein other uses.’ [Quran, 20:18]
3. Animals Are Precious Gifts Sent to Aid Us and Beautify Our World
Even though our final destination is with Allah, we should be deeply grateful that on earth He hasn’t just provided for the sustenance of our bodies; He has also adorned living things with beauty to delight our hearts.
Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of gold and silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilled land . . . [Quran, 3:14]
And Allah has made for you from your homes a place of rest and made for you from the hides of the animals tents which you find light on your day of travel and your day of encampment; and from their wool, fur and hair is furnishing and enjoyment for a time. [Quran, 16:80]
4. Allah Detests Cruelty to Animals
The story of the she-camel Allah testifies to the blind and pointless cruelty of some human beings— and Allah’s response to such heartlessness.
And to the Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. This is the she-camel of Allah [sent] to you as a sign. So leave her to eat within Allah ‘s land and do not touch her with harm, lest there seize you a painful punishment. [Quran, 7:73]
5. Animals Love and Exalt Allah
Doesn’t it stir your heart to know that animals are aware of Allah even when so many humans are not? That they praise Him even when we forget?
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]
6. Animals Are Our Companions Even in Our Deens
A dog who guarded the cave’s entrance was counted among the Companions of the Cave.
And you would think them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror. [Quran, 18:18]
They will say there were three, the fourth of them being their dog; and they will say there were five, the sixth of them being their dog – guessing at the unseen; and they will say there were seven, and the eighth of them was their dog. Say, [O Muhammad], ‘My Lord is most knowing of their number . . .’ [Quran, 18:22]
However we may feel about certain animals being haram, we must never forget to revere these beautiful gifts from our creator and to show them the care and mercy that should come from our close relationship with Allah.
May your heart and mind be opened and enriched,
The Understand Quran Academy Team