Heaving my luggage onto the bus, I sit down on one of those snap-back seats. An African brother looking at me as I get comfortable. A middle aged man sat right across me a dog between his thighs. Reminded me a bit of Roxy (in Egypt), I wonder if she’s alright.
2 stations further the driver admits an elderly lady. I hesitate slightly before making the decision to offer my seat, thinking that my seat isn’t that suitable, making eye-contact with the middle-aged man across. Before I could offer, the man offers his seat, already standing up guiding his dog to sit a seat over to my right. The dog slightly surprising the lady as it bumps into her, he apologises.
The bus now driving again, a few minutes lapse as the lady asks the dog owner if the dog was born blind. He replies, “No she was born with one eye only. No one wanted her, so we decided to take her on as well.” Now I notice that her right eye is closed up.
They talk some more about dogs, about animal abuse, and about her daughter being mean to her granddaughter in not letting her have a dog. He explains that dog maintenance is time consuming and a responsibility to take serious, that he understands why people might not be able to take that responsibility.
The whole exchange brought a smile to my face, and I began thinking of the role of animals in Islam.
There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings, but they are communities like you…
As I said in a previous post, every creature on this earth, except those that decide not to be (from the jin and mankind) are Muslims.
It is forbidden to be anything but merciful to animals, even when slaughtering them for food.
“If someone kills a sparrow for fun, the sparrow will cry out on the Day of Judgment, ‘O Lord! That person killed me in vain! He did not kill me for any useful purpose.'” (An-Nasa’i)
When the Prophet saw. saw a person over-burdening his animal he said: “Fear Allah in your treatment of animals.” (Abu Dawud) Again and again we are shown to be kind to animals to treat them well.
Countless times as a child I heard the Ahadith about the woman who imprisoned a cat.
Narated By ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar : Allah’s Apostle said, “”A lady was punished because of a cat which she had imprisoned till it died. She entered the (Hell) Fire because of it, for she neither gave it food nor water as she had imprisoned it, nor set it free to eat from the vermin of the earth.” – [Bukhari Vol.4, Book 56, #689]
About the man walking in the desert, being so thirsty he climbed down a well. As he comes up he saw a thirsting dog, thinking about how he was so thirsty, he went back down and gave it to drink. Because of this act, he was granted entrance to Paradise.