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Obligation of Kindness to Animals

Obligation of Kindness to Animals

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Published by zaki77
An important subject that hasn't had much coverage in the main media.
An important subject that hasn't had much coverage in the main media.

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Published by: zaki77 on Feb 04, 2010
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Obligation of Kindness to Animals
From ‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz
To my dear respected brother, As-salamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings beupon you!)I read your message dated 24/1/1982 asking me to write on the issue of transporting animalsfrom your country,
to the Middle East. You mentioned the bad shipping conditions and theconditions on the ships that are used to transport animals, which results in overcrowding, etc. Iask Allah to guide me, you, and all Muslims to His Straight Path. I really want to thank you foryour concern for this important issue and it is my pleasure to answer your question in the light of the Qur’an and the purified Sunnah, which urge complete kindness in the treatment of animals,whether they are eatable or non-eatable. I will also mention a number of authentic Hadith thatwarn of severe punishment for torturing animals, whether by letting them starve or neglectingthem when transporting them or otherwise.The following Ayah (Qur’anic verse) enjoins doing good in its broadest sense, whether to animalsor otherwise. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: And do good. Truly, Allâh loves Al-Muhsinûn (thegood-doers). He (may He be Exalted) also says: Verily, Allah orders justice and kindness Also,the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him)reported by
and the Compilers of the Sunan(Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa’y and Ibn Majah)in which he (peace be upon him) said:
“Verily, Allah has enjoined Ihsan (perfection and excellence) in all things. So when you kill, kill in a good way and when youslaughter, slaughter in a good way. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animalhe slaughters.” 
In another narration
“Make your slaughter in the best manner. Let each one of you sharpen hisblade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” 
Regarding giving relief to the animals who need it, there are authentic Hadith promising thosewho relieve them a great reward, Allah’s forgiveness of their sins and thankfulness for their kinddeed. It was narrated on the authority of 
Abu Hurayrah
(may Allah be pleased with him) that theMessenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “A man became very thirsty while walking down aroad. There, he found a well, so he went down into it, drank (his fill) and came out. Then he sawa dog panting, eating mud out of thirst. The man said (to himself), ‘This dog is as thirsty as Iwas.’ So he went back down into the well, filled his shoe with water, caught hold of it with hismouth until he ascended and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for it (his good deed) andforgave him.” They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Is there a reward for us regarding these animals?’ He said, ‘Regarding every wet liver (i.e. animate being) there is a reward.’” 
( Part No : 4,Page No:298)
 It is also related from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said,
“A dog was walking around a well, about to die of thirst. One of the prostitutes from the Children of Israel saw it, soshe took off her shoe, drew water with it for it and gave it to the dog to drink. So she was forgiven because of that.” 
(Related by
in his "Sahih [Book of Authentic Hadith]")As Islam encourages andobligates extension of kindness to those who need it, it forbids its antithesis, which is oppressionand transgression. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: And fight in the Way of Allâh those who fightyou, but transgress not the limits. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. He (may He beExalted) also says: And whoever among you does wrong, We shall make him taste a greattorment. It is recorded in"Sahih
Muslim" thatIbn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) passed by a
group of men who had tied a hen up and were firing arrows at it. When they saw Ibn ‘Umar, they dispersed awayfrom it. Ibn ‘Umar said, “Who did this? The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) cursed those who do this.” 
Concerning this issue, it is related on the authority of 
(may Allah be pleased with him) whosaid,
“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade that any beast should be tied alive and made a targetof, until it is killed.” 
In other words, confined until it dies. In another narration the Prophet (peacebe upon him) said,
“Do not take anything in which there is a soul as a target (for marksmanship) .” 
It wasnarrated on the authority of 
Ibn ‘Abbas
(may Allah be pleased with them both) that
The Prophet(peace be upon him) prohibited the killing of four creatures: The ant, the bee, the hoopoe, and the sparrow-hawk.
(Related by
Abu Dawud
through an Isnad [chain of transmission] that is Sahih [that has beentransmitted by people known for their uprightness and exactitude; free from eccentricity andblemish])It is also related in "Sahih
that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“A womanwas tortured (in the Hereafter) because of a cat which she had imprisoned until it died; thus she entered the Firebecause of it. She neither fed it nor watered it when she locked it up; nor did she leave it to eat from the vermin of the earth.” 
It is related in "Sunan
Abu Dawud"
on the authority of 
Abu Waqid
(may Allah be pleasedwith him)that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
“Whatever is cut off an animal, while itis alive, is dead meat.” 
Related by
with the wording:
“Whatever is cut off the living is dead.” 
( Part No : 4,Page No:299)
 It is related on the authority of 
Abu Mas‘ud
that he said,
“We were traveling with the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him); he went to relieve himself when it happened that we saw a little bird with two chicks, so wetook its two chicks. The little bird came and began to flap its wings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) came andasked, ‘Who grieved this over its young ones? Return its young ones to it.’ Then he (peace be upon him) saw an antvillage which we had burnt. So he (peace be upon him) asked, ‘Who burnt this?’ We replied, ‘We did.’ He (peace beupon him) said, ‘None should punish with fire except the Lord of the Fire.’” 
(Related by
Abu Dawud)
 It is related on the authority of 
Ibn ‘Umar
(may Allah be pleased with them both) that theMessenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,
 “Any person who kills a sparrow or anything smaller than itwithout a just cause, Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) will ask them about it (on the Day of Judgment).” Hewas asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What is the just cause for it?” He replied, “To slaughter in order to eat, and not tochop its head off and then throw it away.” 
(Related by
Al-Nasa’y and Al-Hakim,
who graded it as Sahih)It is also related on the authority of 
Ibn ‘Abbas
(may Allah be pleased with them both):
“A donkey,branded on its face, passed before the Prophet (peace be upon him). He (peace be upon him) said, ‘May Allah cursethe one who branded it.’” 
(Related by
 According to another narration related by Muslim,
TheMessenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade beating on the face or branding on the face.
This includes bothhumans and animals.These Nas (Islamic texts from the Qur’an or the Sunnah) and others holding the same meaningindicate the prohibition of any torturing of any animal, even those animals which the Shari‘ah(Islamic law) permitted killing them. The meaning and connotation of these proofs show the careof Islam for animals in what benefits them and protects them against harm. It is obligatory tokeep before our eyes the Islamic teachings that urge kind treatment of animals and warn againsttorturing them, in whatever is related to them, and pay close attention to them. This is especiallyso in relation to the above-mentioned type of animals, which are respected in themselves as bothfood and property. In addition, some rules of the Shari‘ah are connected with these animalspertaining to offering them as sacrifices and employing them in acts of pity and charity. This isapart from the many hardships that animals will be subjected to during shipping and transportingthem in large quantities over long distances. This may result in them being so overcrowded thatthe weak among them cannot survive, they may suffer hunger and thirst, diseases may spreadamong them, or they may face other perilous situations.
( Part No : 4,Page No:300)
 Therefore, all these aspects require prompt consideration and serious investigation on the part of the authorities to make sure that comfortable arrangements are made for transporting, moving,and sustenance, in terms of feeding, watering, ventilation, treatment, separating the weak fromthose who are dangerously strong, and the ill from those who are well, in all stages, as far aspossible, until they are sold. This can be done today by the investing authorities and theindividuals and companies that are importing and exporting the animals. It is part of the expensesthat must be paid on reasonable basis by their owners or the persons under whose care they areheld.What is to be regretted and is obligatory to be condemned and warned against are the methodsthat are now used in slaughtering animals whose meat is eaten in most foreign countries, and thedifferent types of torment they face when being prepared for slaughter. Some of these include:electrical shocks being passed through their brains to anesthetize them and hooks passing theanimals and snatching them, and hanging them upside-down while they are still alive. In someslaughterhouses, animals are carried on conveyer belts to the person who will slaughter them,and the feathers of chickens and birds are plucked while they are alive or they are plunged aliveinto very hot water or steam is used on them to remove their feathers. They claim that thesemethods are kinder to the animals that need to be slaughtered, which is what is wrongly believedabout some of them. Certainly, the torture these ways involve are in clear contradiction to the Nasof the noble Shari‘ah that prescribe and encourage kindness to animals. Every act that contradictsthe Shari‘ah is a transgression and wrongdoing that will have to be accounted for, due to thereasons mentioned above as well as the following authentic Hadith:
“Verily, rights shall be fulfilled totheir owners on the Day of Resurrection, until the hornless sheep is avenged of the horned sheep.” 
If this is sowith animals, then how much more so with humans who understand the meaning of injustice andits bad consequences and still commit it?Based on the Nas of the Shari‘ah and their requirements, the Fuqaha’ (Muslim jurists) of Islamiclaw have classified what is Wajib (obligatory) , Mustahab (desirable), Haram (prohibited) andMakruh (reprehensible) , in relation to animals in general and in relation to slaughtering animalswhose meat is permitted to be eaten in particular, in detail. We will mention some of the matterspertaining to the kindness that should be shown to animals when slaughtering them. Thefollowing are Mustahab acts:
( Part No : 4,Page No:301)
 1. Offering water to an animal that is to be slaughtered, acting upon the above-mentioned Hadith:
“Verily, Allah has enjoined Ihsan in all things.” 
2. The implement used for slaughtering must be sharp and in a good condition. The slaughterershould pass it powerfully and quickly over the prescribed parts of the animal’s body for executingslaughtering. The camels are slaughtered by cutting the carotid arteries at the root of the neck,while all other animals that can be easily slaughtered by cutting the throat.3. Camels are to be slaughtered standing, with their left front leg tied, if this is possible, and whilefacing the Qiblah (direction faced for Prayer towards the Ka‘bah)4. Animals other than camels are to be slaughtered lying on their left side facing the Qiblah. Theslaughterer should put his leg on the side of the animal’s neck, without the front or back legsbeing tied and without twisting or breaking it before its life has ended and its movements havestopped. It is Makruh to cut the head off before this time and also to slaughter an animal whileanother animal is looking at it.

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