Islam Cares for Animals

Islam Cares for AnimalsWorkshop of "Animal Welfare in Islam" had been held for 2 (two) days, on 22-23 May 2010 in two locations, namely Al-Hikam campus and Petungsewu Wildlife Education Center (P-WEC- ProFauna's education centre). The workshop was jointly organized by ProFauna Indonesia, P-WEC, and Al-Hikam Islamic Boarding School, with funding provided by Animalia Foundation and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

The workshop participants were representatives from the Islamic Boarding Schools and Islamic regular schools in East Java. It was attended by 80 participants coming from 35 different institutions.

The result of the workshop in general is that Islam is very concerned about the animals, both cattle and wildlife. Some of the issues addressed in the workshop include:

Islam teaches the followers to love animals

The doctrine of Islam teaches the followers to love and care for animals as written in the Holy Quran and Hadith of Muhammad prophet, such as:

  • A story in hadith which tells a woman that her sins were forgiven for giving a drink to a thirsty dog.
  • The story of Prophet Sulaiman/Solomon who would leave for war (according to Islam, Prophet Solomon could communicate with animals) asked groups of ants to enter into the nest because the prophet was afraid that the ants would be stomped by his troops.
  • The story of a woman who would go to hell for having locked a cat and not feeding it.

Islam cares for species conservation

Islam's concerns of species conservation were stated in Quran 11:36-48 (surah Hud) telling moslem followers Allah punished the wicked people during Noah time by the great flood. Before the flood came, the Allah ordered Noah to make an ark to save the believers including animals in pair (male and female). This shows that Islam cares for species conservation and prevent the animals to be extinct.

Livestock animal issues

Basically, Islam allows the use of animals including livestock animals unless the use harms the animals. The Islamic conditions for moslem people to use the animals should meet the following:

  • If an animal is owned by a moslem, it is the moslem's responsibility to fulfill the animal needs, both physically and psychologically. If a moslem is not able to meet the needs of the animal, s/he then should not keep it
  • Moslems should provide enough food and drink for the animals they keep, even though the animal is old or ill or no longer profitable for the owner.
  • Moslems should not burden the animal beyond its capabilities.
    Sayyidina'Ali ra Bin Abi Talib, the fourth caliph, said, "Be kind to beasts of burden; do not hurt them, and do not load them with the burden exceeding their ability."
  • Moslems are prohibited to put an animal together with anything that could hurt it, whether of the same or different species, that may break bones, gore or bite it.
  • Slaughtering should be done in a way minimizing the suffering of the animals, such as: not skinning, not breaking the bones while the animals alive. The slaughterer must use a tool which immediately kills the animals so that they do not experience necessary suffering. The conditions of slaughtering based on Islam are:
    • Slaughterer is a Moslem, adult/mature, smart, and intend to slaughter.
    • Slaughterer must sharpen the tool before slaughtering, and slaughtering process is not performed in front of the animal to be slaughtered
    • Before slaughtering an animal, the animal should be fed with enough food and water.
    • When slaughtering, the slaughterer should mention the name of Allah first.
    • Slaughtering should be done during the day.
    • Slaughterer and slaughtered animals should face Qibla direction.
    • Slaughterer should cut all the neck veins and make it fast.
    • Slaughterer should treat the animals gently.
    • The slaughtering should not be performed before other animals.
    • Slaughterer should not skin the recently slaughtered animals until the body temperature cools down.
    • Slaughterer should not pick an animal/ mother which still breast feeds its babies.
    • It is forbidden to slaughter an animal which is still tied or confined.

  • Moslems should provide the animals with appropriate place to rest and enough food and water.
  • Moslems should put male and female together in a place during mating season.
  • It is forbidden to let go an animal then hunt it like a game.
  • Moslems are not allowed to shoot an animal which causes broken bones.
  • It is forbidden to hit an animal or brand on the face.

Hunting and wildlife trade issues

Animal hunting for meat or food is allowed by Islam as long as the process minimises unnecessary suffering. For the trade of endangered species which is already protected by the government is Haram or forbidden. If a species is listed by the government to be a protected one, it is obligatory for Moslems to abide the government.

The use of endangered animal's body parts for medicine

The use of wildlife body parts basically allowed by Islam, but when it comes to endangered species, the provisions as follow:

  • There is no alternative medicine.
  • It is prescribed by medical expert
  • According to a script found by Hanafi Mazhab (School of Hanafi, 699 year), a medicine made from animal body parts is believed (not based on prejudice only) to be haram (forbidden).

The participants of the workshop have agreed that if the government has listed a species as protected, it means that the use of the animal body parts as medicine is also haram.

The use of animals in circus

Basically, the use of animals for the circus is allowed by Islam unless the animals suffer. If the circus animals suffer then it is not allowed. The use of animals for circus must meet the following criteria:

  • The circus will not alter the natural behaviour of animals
  • During the training, the animals should not suffer.
  • During the show, the animals should also not suffer.

Animal Fight

Islam is against animal fight because it make unnecessary suffering for the animals. Moreover, Islam is strongly against animal fight which involves gambling.

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats