THE BLESSINGS OF ANIMALS - AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE
Snake Hunters is very passionate about teaching multicultural communities about Australian animals, ecology and conservation. We have a particular focus in promoting animal welfare in the Muslim community so they can better appreciate the diverse and beautiful creatures of Australia. As such you will find several articles about animals in Islam. Today our focus is on an Islamic perspective on the blessings of animals.
ANIMALS ARE A BLESSING FOR US
Allah speaks about how he distributes animals for us in the Qur’an 55:10:
“And the earth: He has put down for the creatures”.
Further Allah says in Surah 31 Verse 10:
“He has created the heavens without any pillars that you see, and has set on the earth firm mountains lest it should shake with you. And he has scattered therein moving creations of all kinds. And we send down water from the sky and We cause (plants) of every goodly kind to grow therein in pairs.”
Further, Allah puts creatures on this earth as He is the Most Beneficient for us in that we obtain benefit from these animals in many ways. Two examples in the Qur'an are:
Qur’an 16:5 – CATTLE
”And the cattle, He has created them for you; in them there is warmth and numerous benefits, and of them you eat.”
Qur’an 16:68-69 – BEES
“And your Lord inspired the bees, saying: “Take your habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. Then eat of all the fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you.” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.”
Many who take animals and the Earth for granted would look at the above verses and feel a sense of entitlement. Honey, milk and meat are so readily available in the Western world that we forget the difficult process used to extract these foods. However for those who think deeply, we are aware that animals provide significant benefit and are a blessing for humans.
ANIMALS ARE A SIGN FROM GOD
Allah states in Surah 45:4 -
“And in your creation, and what He scattered of moving creatures are signs for people who have Faith with certainty”.
In addition, Allah says in Surah 24 Verse 45:
“Allah has created every moving (living) creature from water. Of them there are some that creep on their bellies, and some that walk on two legs, and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills. Verily Allah is Able to do all things.”
As we can clearly see from the above verses, animals are proof from God for those who have faith that He is able to do all things.
Australia is one of the places of Earth where we can truly see the above verses take effect. We have among the most diverse and unique populations of native fauna on Earth. Our animals are so beautiful, deadly and distinctive (e.g. the Koala, the Kangaroo, the Platypus) that they are symbols of Australia known around the world. When a Muslim attends one of my animal shows or events, I only hear the same words over and over again when they marvel at the extraordinarily genius of Allah's creation: "Subhanallah" (Glory be to God).
ANIMALS ARE MUSLIM & WORSHIP GOD
It is not just Muslim humans on Earth that worship God. The very definition of Muslim is the "submission to the Will of Allah" as guided by the books of Allah and prophets and messengers sent to mankind.
Animals by the same definition, are Muslim. Allah’s creatures submit to the Will of Allah as they obey Allah's commands exactly in fulfilling their purpose on this world. Birds fly by Allah’s command. Bees create honey as they are instructed, beasts of burden work for the benefit of mankind. There are many other examples of how animals are listed in the Qur’an and their benefit (See below article – List of animals in the Qur’an).
Not only are animals Muslim because they submit to Allah's Will, but animals also worship Allah just as Muslims do. This is evidenced in the Qur’an, Surah 22 Verse 18 mentions:
“See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawabb (moving creatures, beasts), and many of mankind, prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honour him. Verily, Allah does what He wills.”
Further, Surah 24 Verse 41 of the Qur’an explains:
“See you not that Allah, He it is Whom glorify whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, and the birds with wings out spread? Of each one He (Allah) knows indeed his Salat (prayer) and his glorification; and Allah is All-Aware of what they do.”
Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 7 page 101 comments on this above ayat that Allah tells us that whosoever is in the heaves and on the earth, including animals, all glorify Him. Though humans don’t understand it, when the birds fly, they glorify Allah with which they are inspired and with which they are guided. Allah alone understands their prayer and glorification of what they do.
Finally, in Surah 17 Verse 44 of the Qur’an which states:
“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.”
Tafsir Ibn Kathir Volume 6, page 21 specifically points to the hadith narrated in Ahmed 3:439 who recorded that Muadh Bin Anas said that The Messenger of Allah ﷺ came upon some people where were sitting on their mounts and talking to one another. He said: “Ride them safely, then leave them safely. Do not use them as chairs for you to have conversations in the streets and marketplaces, because the one that is ridden may be better than the one who rides it, and may remember Allah more than he does.”
As such, Muhammad ﷺ warned people that mounted animals can be more fearing of Allah and remember Allah better than humans do. Our beloved prophet ﷺ also directly warns Muslims to have a duty of responsibility and care over Allah’s creation.
It is my hope that you can see better an Islamic perspective of animals. Contact Snake Hunters on 0403 875 409 to learn more.