Just as how Allah created human beings, he created animals and plants. Each with a distinctive way of life but however, share certain characteristics such as the ability to feel.
Humans solely depend on animals and plants as a source of nutrition and health by extension.
In other words, plants and animals are essential for the life and well-being of human beings.
Much of human medication is drawn from plants and animals. Animals are also made the subjects of bio-medical research trials, before being declared safe for human consumption.
Islam generally prohibits the cruelty of human beings on animals. This includes mistreatment, when hunting or using animals to practice shooting skills.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is said to have narrated the story of the woman and the cat. The story tells the tale of a cruel woman who locked her cat in a cage without providing food nor water till the cat eventually starved to death. The woman was then punished by being sent to hell upon her death for her inhumane cruelty.
Islam advocates the right treatment of animals. One such example is the annual Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, for which Islam gives a guide on how the sheep or other sacrificial animal is to be slaughtered without causing the animal to suffer.
Below are various ways to treat animals with kindness:
#1. Treat animals like human beings
Humans share some characteristics with animals; This includes emotions. If you know you can’t treat an animal with the care it deserves, always avoid contact with animals and simply walk away.
#2. Help an animal in need
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) narrated a story which centered on God’s forgiveness about a man who got thirsty on his way and found a well. He climbed down to drink, on his way back he saw a dog licking mud and appeared weak as a result of thirst. He climbed back down in the well to find water for the dog. God appreciated his act of kindness and decided to reward him by forgiving him.
#3. Keep animals as pets
To have an animal as a pet means to feed and provide shelter; in general terms, it means to care for the well-being of the animal involved. If mistreating an animal can lead to a person going to hell after life, imagine what treating an animal right can do for you.
#4. Avoid beating animals
Put yourself in that poor animals shoes. Think about the effect it will have on you, the pain it will cause you both emotionally and physically if you were constantly beaten.
#5. If you ride them, treat them accordingly
Some animals are used for transportation. We’ve seen where animals are mistreated for getting too tired to move from a particular location to another. We’ve also seen people who make money from using animals for transportation, mistreat these animals and not provide certain basics such as a simple health check.:
Also note that in Islam whenever an animal is killed it should be for feeding purposes or that the animal is on the verge of death and to help minimize the pain that it is going through, it is best to put it to rest.
Animals are part of life and are important to the well-being of human beings. Treat them the way they should be treated.