From Issue: 499 [Read full issue]
Kindness to Animals
Kind treatment and tender-heartedness was meted out to animals by the Islamic State and other welfare institutions of Islamic Civilization. Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz issued instructions to the common people not to cause animals hardship nor trouble them, but to treat them kindly. The law in this regard was as follows: "People should not be allowed to load their animals with loads heavier than their capacity, nor can they be permitted to goad them to great speed when they are carrying heavy loads. They should be made to desist from beating them. All these practices are against the Islamic Shariah. It is the duty of the owners of the animals to be God-fearing in the matter of their feed. The fodder should be enough to fully satisfy the animal's hunger. It should be neither of a poor quality nor meagre in quantity."
A very charming example of such kind treatment of animals is that presented by a high-ranking Companion - Abu al-Darda. At the time of his death he said to his camel, "O my camel! Do not quarrel with me before our Lord and Cherisher, for I never made you work beyond your capacity." There was another companion by the name Adi ibn Hatim who crushed the bread into fine powder for the ants and said, "These are our neighbours, therefore they have a right over us." The great Imam Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi was one day going along with his friends when a dog confronted him. Its master tried to drive it away from his path, but the Imam prevented him from doing so, saying, "Do you not know that the roads are common between us humans and dogs."
"The Islamic Civilization" - Mustafa Sibai, pp. 127-129