Animal rights in Islam

It is not only humanity that was liberated by the coming of Islam but Animals too. Animals had rights, owning an animal never meant it was absolutely your property any more. Britain’s oldest animal shelter was formed in the nineteenth century, whilst 1200 years ago Muslims set up the first animal welfare centres.

There is a popular but often neglected Hadith where:  

A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being

Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)

Humans are custodians of this beautiful planet, which also means giving something back, like the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) had done, always caring for Animals and the environment. The words of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) were never uttered to be taken lightly, he wanted the compassion he had for Animals to be reflected by the whole Muslim Nation. The Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) reprimanded those who sat idly on their camels and horses with the warning: “Do not treat the backs of animals as chairs”. Muslims know that, the way they treat Animals will be accounted for on the the day of Judgement.

Mercy to animals goes hand in hand with faith

Historian Gustave le Bon writes animals enjoyed a ‘paradise’ in the Muslim world. In Cairo, Muslims set up bread and water foundations for dogs. In Damascus, a municipal area was dedicated to aging horses where they could pasture in dignity until the end of their lives. Animal rights weren’t taken lightly, It is incumbent upon all Muslims who own animals, whether for farming or work purposes or as pets, to provide adequate shelter, water, and, when needed, veterinary care for their animals. Arrangements must be made, if one is going to be away from home, to have one’s animals taken care of as well.

Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) advised people to take the life of an animal only for food (as ordained by Allah), and to be as humane as possible, urging that the creature should not see the blade and should not be killed in front of other animals. Just comparing the way Animals are slaughtered, shows how Islamic Slaughtering is far more merciful and superior to the current capitalistic way of slaughter (or stunning) practised in the west.


He who takes pity even on a sparrow and spares its life, God will be merciful to him on the Day of Judgment.”

Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)

Abd al-Rahman, a well-known companion and a major authority of Hadith was nicknamed Abu Hurayra; The name literally translates to the “father of cats” to denote his love for cats. He would take care of stray cats and make sure they were all fed.

This form of treatment is practised in the 21st century but Muslims were keen on giving Animals the best care centuries earlier. This ethic is still alive today around the Muslim world.

Related links: – Animal Rights In Islam
Dr Raza Gharezebi – Animal Rights in Islam


Always begin with the name of Allah, Do you really understand the meaning of of Bismillah Hirrahman Nirrahim? Check out this post on: The Power of Bismillah

Check out this beautiful analogy of life by Imam Ghazali

What do you think about having more than one wife? Check out my Post on Polygamy

BEFORE YOU GO: Please check out some of my other posts.I have some intriguing topics that i’d like to discuss, if you would like to be notified just pop your email in to the form on the right hand column.

28 thoughts on “Animal rights in Islam

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  6. Greetings from Egypt, thanks for visiting my blog and introducing your blog to me! Excellent post, here, I like reading the comments and replies, too.

    Regarding halal butchering, there are so many non-Muslim hunters who can verify for any complainer that butchering an animal in the islamic method of slitting the throat to allow the animals blood to drain is a time-honored method every hunter in the field uses, and has used since probably the invention of knives, and certainly before the arrival of Islam.

    Join the discussion here, if you like:

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  8. I just stumbled on your blog and I love it. This is a great post masha allah very informative. It would have been handy if you left a reference list at the end and cited the quotes etc. But overall it is so very interesting 🙂

    Btw do you know where this hadeeth is from is it Sahih Muslim? “A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being.” thanks

    1. Jazaka’allah, Im trying to keep it clean & easy to read, however the research I carry is sound and the view of the mainstream scholars. Dont get confused with sahih hadith etc, the weaker ones also count. Its like a grading system, just coz a certain hadith is graded a daeef, it doesnt mean we should disregard; its just not as strong as the others.

      Mishkat al-Masabih; Book 6; Chapter 7, 8:178

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  13. Having an animal (at all) goes against “animal rights” they do not believe we should interact with animals in any way, No pets, no livestock, no service animals such as guide dogs for the blind, drug sniffing dogs, guard dogs for livestock or humans= nothing.

    What you have described are the “Animal Welfare” goals of humane treatment for all animals.

    There is a huge difference between Animal rights and animal welfare,

    1. I guess thats a question of philosophy, what animals are to us, and what their role is. Historically Animals haven’t been seen as our equal therefore in this context and looking at the real world today, I based the above post.

      The roles of Animals in the world is up for discussion though.

  14. “Slaughtering is far more merciful and superior to the current capitalistic way of slaughter (or stunning) practiced in the west”.
    This is your Islamic view only and doesn’t prove to be superior! How do you derive at such knowing the teachings and open action of beheading human beings in the name of “Allah or Muhammad” to this example of so-called mercy? How absurd and truly stunning.

    1. In relation to how the Animal is slaughtered yes it is. Its been proved that the way Muslims slaughter causes minimal pain. The animal is respected. Its not slaughtered for money but for food. In Britain we have a staggering amount of injustice as researched by BBC Panorama.

      Muslims don’t behead in the name of Allah or Muhammed?

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