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Humane treatment of animals in Islam



God, the Creator of human beings and animals, has made animals subservient to us. We depend on animals for the food we eat and the milk we drink.

We bring animals into our homes for love and companionship. We survive critical illness and live longer because of biomedical research on animals.

We visit to zoos and aquariums to gain an appreciation for the spectacular diversity of life on earth.


We benefit from specially trained dogs that detect drugs, guide the blind, and assist the disabled.

The mercy of Islam extends beyond human beings to all living creations of God. Islam prohibits cruelty to animals.

Fourteen hundred years ago, long before the modern animal rights movement began with the publication of Peter Singer’s book, “Animal Liberation,” in 1975, Islam required kindness to animals and cruelty to them a sufficient reason for a person to be thrown into the Fire!

Once, the Prophet of Mercy spoke of God’s forgiveness due to the humane treatment of animals.

He told his companions the story of a man who got thirsty on his way.

He found a well, climbed down inside it to the water, and quenched his thirst.


When he came out he saw a panting dog licking on mud out of extreme thirst. The man thought to himself, ‘The dog has become as thirsty as I was!’

The man went down the well again and got some water for the dog. God appreciated his good work and forgave him.

The companions asked, ‘O Prophet of God, do we get rewarded on humane treatment of animals?’ .

He said, ‘There is a reward in (doing good to) every living being.’

On another occasion, Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, described God’s punishment of a woman who was sent to Hell because of a cat.

She kept her locked up, neither feeding her nor setting her free to feed herself.

Islam laid down humane slaughtering regulations. Islam insists that the manner of slaughter should be that which is least painful to the animal.

Islam requires that the slaughtering instrument not be sharpened in front of the animal.

Islam also prohibits the slaughtering of one animal in front of another. Never, prior to Islam, had the world witnessed such concern for animals.

Humane Islamic treatment of animals can be summarized by the following points:

First, Islam requires that pets or farm animals be provided with proper food, water, and a place to live.

Second, an animal should not be beaten or tortured. Once the Prophet of Mercy passed by an animal branded on his face.
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