Why are Muslims so cruel to animals?

Why are Muslims so cruel to animals? What does a Muslim do when he sees a dog? He picks up a stone and throws it at the poor creature. I once owned a salt works in the coastal area of Karachi. There was plenty of wild life there in 1978, but a few years later, most of it had disappeared. I remember large lizards (more than three feet in length) and colored snakes, all which had been wiped out by humans before 1991 (when I left the salt trade).

One day I came across a worker trying to kill a chameleon. “Why do you want to kill it? What harm has he done to you?” I asked. “Why does he keep changing colors?” the man retorted. I managed to convince him not to kill the poor creature, but I know that the minute I left the place, he went ahead and killed it anyway. Back in 2003, when I went to live in Block 5 of Clifton, a couple of dogs in the street outside the apartment complex became very friendly with me. They would accompany us whenever I and my wife went for a walk. Maybe they thought I cared about animals because apparently I was the only one who hadn’t tried to hit them with stones. The watchmen at the gate would be appalled when they saw me petting the dogs (who, according to their primitive way of thinking, are unclean creatures). A few days later, the dogs disappeared. Someone had shot the dogs, said the guards. I am fairly certain it was one of them.

I know there is a Hadith about angels staying away from houses where dogs are kept, but no one knew this when I was growing up. We had a couple of dogs, as well as exotic birds and peacocks (which we kept in a large cage). And I knew many other families who also kept dogs as pets. I have also heard another Hadith about a prostitute going straight to heaven because she fed a hungry dog, but apparently this one is ignored by Muslims. In Saudi Arabia, the only dog I saw was one being taken for a walk by an American (in Jeddah). In practically all countries where Muslims live, no one cares for animals.

47 thoughts on “Why are Muslims so cruel to animals?”

  1. I forgot to mention this but in Islam keeping a dog as an animals is something you stay away from cuz they can sense angels and keep them away by barking. Also the drool is considered dirty. That doesn’t mean we hate dogs tho. There was a dog on my mom’s street that used to walk her and her brothers to school and made sure my grandma got to work safely.

  2. I feel like people misunderstand. It isn’t Muslims but cultural differences. I am from Pakistan (where Karachi is) but I’m born in America and the thing is Pakistan is a third world country. It’s not like America so we can’t compare. Islam teaches not to be cruel to animals or humans. It’s not a religious thing but a cultural thing.

  3. Mr. Lakhani, firstly accusing only muslims of being cruel to animals in this article is highly inappropriate.

    Yes, there are amjor parts of our society which are still suffering the effects of illiteracy and henceforth idiocy, to such an extent that their religio-social background can be defined as barbarianism.

    However, this is not the case with everyone. Coming to the point of why lizards are killed, if you are a muslim then believing in the Sunnah and the Hadeeth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is wajib. If you look at the Hadeeth, it is mentioned, quite a few times that lizards are noxious creatures and should be killed. It has also been stated in the Hadeeth, that the lizard blew air into the fire of Nimrod ignited to Naudhubillah burn Ibrahim (AS) in.

    This is from a religious point of view, from a scientific point of view, the skin of lizards and their feces have been known to cause various skin and digestive ailments, at points even being fatal to human beings. Therefore killing them to avoid them spreading disease and ailments in your house (specially if you have children) is by far a logical thing lest they have already started multiplying even if you have driven them out of your house.

    But, judging by your statement regarding dogs saliva to be very clean and pure, I take it that you don’t have any consideration for the Hadeeth od the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), for it has been stated in the Hadeeth that from the dish which a dog drinks out of, needs to be washed at least 7 times before it can be declared as being clean and this too has been proven scientifically, that the germs from a dogs saliva do not die out until after the 7th washing. Dogs are haram if you keep them as pets, since according Hadeeth, angels do not enter the house where a dog is housed as a pet.

    However, even the Quran mentions that dogs are very good guards, as is stated in Sura Al-Kahaf about the sleepers of the cave who were guarded by a dog during their sleep. Dogs can be used for hunting and as guards, provided you have a garden area to house them outside of your home.

    Regarding killing of dogs, only the black dog which has spots over it’s eyes has been declared to be wajib ul qatal, as according to Hadeeth it is the devil himself.

    Liking or loving dogs does not mean that one should become prejudiced against any nation or any religion. Particularly if it’s your own. If you have the knowledge and the tools to research it, then one should try to teach the uneducated people of what is right and wrong rather than start publicly accusing them of being bad because of their religion or their nation.

  4. Hi, Shakir: Sure, the earth avenges our transgressions. For instance, if one man cuts down a tree, the next man doesn’t have it to cut and does without; earth has had its revenge by not replacing the tree quickly enough. We humans do too much too fast. I wonder sometimes if the flus and AIDS etc. were not actually man-made.

    We humans do lots of things to trip each other up, and since we’re part of the planet too, you can argue that the “planet” is taking its vengeance. Wars, whew, a biggie. Restrictions on each other, laws, we dish each other out barricades and punishments non-stop.

    A, if not THE, major problem among humanity is I believe the human tendency to form “food chains” and peculiar, materialistic value systems among ourselves, in the form of “pecking orders.” The ones near the top of the ladder somehow manage to weasel more than their fair share, whilst the ones nearer the bottom are scrambling just to stay alive, and therefore couldn’t care less about rules that the upper class implements.

    The lower classes’ only real vengeance upon the upper classes is between their legs, so they overbreed, probably hoping that with enough little “soldiers” of their own they’ll someday be able to overthrow the “upper class” and get their come-uppance second-hand through their children. Lower classes will tolerate a lot of abuse from management, but there is a limit: note that the one rule that no government can implement for long is that of controlling its subjects’ number of offspring.

    Who’s the greater fool, upper class or lower class, is an interesting question. It’s said that if you have a million dollars, you need another million to protect it from your sticky-fingered fellow humans who smell meat and want a piece. In the ownership of things, if you own more than you can use, your things start to own you, and become not a blessing but a burden. Don’t you have days when you’d like to just chuck all this junk and hit the road? 🙂

    We probably should do more to limit/cripple/harass each other. The poor trees and wildlife are helpless before us, and it’s a coward’s fight to make them pay for our voraciousness, collateral damage in our war against ourselves. Have you shot a filthy rich guy or hanged a poacher lately? No hunting in parts of India now; we’ll see if the wildlife recover. What’ll you bet?

  5. James, is it possible that the earth is avenging the damage we have done to it? Swine flu, AIDS, and other dreadful diseases may be the planet’s answer to limit the population. Since the planet is overcrowded, why should governments spend so much on health care? I know this sounds bad, but this is one way the population can be controlled. Extremists aren’t going to practice birth control, they’ll father as many kids as they can.

  6. Carolina, I don’t think we humans can limit ourselves to not spreading out. Our numbers are increasing faster than we are evolving, and it’s in our nature to go a-venturing. The main problem is the speed at which we are breeding; the population of the planet has doubled–more than doubled–since I was born, and our rate of growth is unsustainable. When I was born there were still vast areas of the planet that no human foot had ever trod; now you find cigarette butts and pop-tops in Antarctica, and there’s no inch that can’t be looked at by satellite.

    We are not vegetarians, either; look at your teeth–you will see four that are exclusively a carnivore’s teeth, and the rest of our bodies are calibrated to match. We require animal protein for proper brain function, among other things.

    I can foresee a time when we will be eating each other (it’s been done before, and humans can rationalize anything), as in Soylent Green, if something isn’t done, and soon. There should be a license to qualify for the right to breed already; China set a precedent with its “one family, one child” policy, although it’s mostly only for cities and people cheat on it anyway. They have too many boys.

    We need to be working at getting into space; we’re out-growing Earth, or will at some point. But there’s a big bottleneck–space programs must be sacrificial (HUGE expense made huge mostly by bureaucratic inflation) until they pay off. There was the same bottleneck in 1492, too; ships were expensive then, too. The existence of the New World had been known for 1000 years, but how to make it PAY held all the scrambling profit-makers back, consumed by easier business. We MUST make the jump. There are already plans to terra-form Mars; it will take several hundred years to kick-start the atmosphere, which is almost non-existent, then green-house effect, greenery, animal life, probably genetically tailored to survive.

    I don’t really think our planet’s dying–it’s just that the biomass is being shifted from fewer of them to more of us. The question is open whether humans are a parasitic species or a viral one; the parasite doesn’t kill the host. I’m hoping we’re not that collectively stupid. We’ll keep our animals, and not all in zoos. Even big predators like lions and bears live free in the wild, and we work, albeit grudgingly, to save them because we admire them. They’re all kind of like us.


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