I really need to reread Talbeesul Iblees
(Satan’s Deception) by Ibnul Jawzi. In fact, all Muslims need to. I do not know which deception was most prevalent in Baghdad in those days, but these days Satan seems to have perfected the art of turning worship into sin, whilst the worshipper still deludes himself into thinking that he will be rewarded. A relevant issue is Udhiyyah (sacrifice of 10 Zul Hijjah).
The South African SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has graphic footage of Muslims completely ignoring the noble teachings of their religion and acting most viciously during Udhiyyah. Our usual knee-jerk reaction can be, “That is just more Islamophobia. They hate us. It’s a Jewish conspiracy!” or we can be mature, admit there is a problem and rectify ourselves.
We are the followers of that Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam who showed us how to be human. Never mind abandonment of finer teachings of not letting one animal see another being slaughtered, footage shows Muslim breaking the tails of beasts as they force them to face Qiblah; beating them with metal pipes and even inserting sticks into the anus to make them move; and other horrors.
These poor souls not only give Satan a share in their “worship,” but disgrace Islam in front of the Kuffar. Let us remind ourselves who it was that taught the world to be kind to animals. What an utter disgrace that they should teach us what is in our Hadith.
“Verily Allāh Most Honourable and Majestic has written kindness for everything. So when you kill, kill in a kind way. When you slaughter, slaughter in a kind way. You should sharpen your knife and put the slaughter-animal at ease.” [Ibn Mājah]
Thus spoke Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam
and thus is the way of the Muslim – kindness to all of creation including animals. Let alone being rewarded for fulfilling the rights of Allāh and humans, a Muslim is rewarded for showing kindness to “every living animal”. [al-Bukahri, Muslim]
Allāh does not overlook any good deed, however insignificant the deed or the recipient. Whilst the dog is unclean, Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, “A dog was circling a well. It was close to death due to thirst. A prostitute from the Children of Israel saw it and removed her leather sock to give it water. Because of that, she was forgiven.” [al-Bukhari]
Conversely Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam showed great concern over abusing the weak and defenceless, be they orphans, women, slaves or animals. He forbade hunting [including fishing] for mere entertainment, “If someone kills a sparrow for sport, the sparrow will cry out on the Day of Judgment, “O Rabb! That person killed me in vain! He did not kill me for any useful purpose.” [an-Nasaai]
Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was greatly distressed to see an undernourished camel. He exclaimed, “Fear Allāh in regards to these beasts which cannot speak [for themselves]. Ride them kindly, eat them kindly.” [Abū Dāwūd]
Even slight misuse is not allowed. Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam passed by people sitting on their mounts, not riding. He said, “Ride them healthily and leave them healthily. Do not make them into seats for your chatter in the roads and markets. Some mounts are better than their riders. They remember Allāh Most Blessed and High more than the rider.” [Aḥmad]
Let alone physical mistreatment, Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was even distressed at emotional trauma of animals. Once some men removed two chicks from a nest. The mother circled them, beating her wings in grief. Upon determining what happened, Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wa sallam ordered them to return the chicks to their mother.” [Muslim]
May the day come when once again we are emulators of Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and examples unto the rest of the world instead of embarrassments.