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03 January 2014

Humane treatment of animals

First, Islam requires that pets or farm animals be provided with proper food, water, and a place to live. Once the Prophet passed by an emaciated camel due to hunger, he said:

Fear God in regards to these animals who can not speak their will. If you ride them, treat them accordingly (by making them strong and fit for that), and if you (plan to) eat them, treat them accordingly (by making them fat and healthy).(Abu Dawud)

Second, an animal should not be beaten or tortured. Once the Prophet of Mercy passed by an animal branded on his face. He said, “Has it not reached you that I have cursed the one who brands an animal’s face or hits it on its face?”

The Prophet of Mercy advised his wife to treat an unruly camel that she was riding kindly. Making animals fight one another for entertainment was also forbidden by the Prophet.

Third, Islam forbids using animals or birds for targets when practicing shooting. When Ibn Umar, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad saw some people practicing archery using a hen as a target, he said:

“The Prophet cursed anyone who made a living thing into a target (for practice).”

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said:

“‘Whoever kills a bird or anything else without its due right, God would ask him about it.’ It was said: ‘O Messenger of God! What is its due right?’ He said: ‘To kill it for food…and do not sever its head, and throw it!’” (Targheeb)

Shooting at live pigeons was once an Olympic event and today dove shooting is allowed in many places.

Fourth, separating nestling birds from their mothers is not allowed in Islam.
Fifth, it is forbidden to mutilate an animal by cutting off its ears, tails or other body parts without just reason.

Sixth, a sick animal under one’s care should be treated properly.

Through these rules and regulations legislated in regards to animals, the Muslims gains the respect and understanding that other creatures are not to be used and abused as one wills, but that they, like humans, have rights which must be given in order to ensure that the justice and mercy of Islam be met to all which inhabit this earth.

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