Importance of Animals in Islam
Islam sets the creation of animals at a very high pedestal. However, time and again, Muslims have refused to acknowledge this importance.
“He is the One who created for you all that is in the earth.” (Quran: 2: 29)
It seems that this verse has been widely misunderstood by Muslims. When somebody is gifted with something, he is supposed to cherish, nurture and take care of that gift and is not to misuse or destroy it. But it seems that generally Muslims are not inclined to cherish and protect the innumerable species of animals gifted to them in this world.
There are six surahs in the Quran whose titles are based on the names of animals. Besides, the mention of animals is found throughout the Book. In Surah Al-Anaam it is said, “There is no animal walking on the earth nor a bird flying on its two wings, except that they are (part of) communities like you” (6: 38). God, in His infinite wisdom, has organized even the most humble of creatures, like the birds, the bees and the ants into communities so that they can work, communicate and survive according to strict ethical and organizational rules, without any de- viation. All the creatures in the world, including the animals, glorify their Lord and “sing His praises” (17: 44). The living sing with their tongues, while the non-living with the tacit acquiescence of their condition.
Prophet Nuh was asked to build a large boat under divine instructions: “Construct a boat under Our supervision and by Our inspiration” (11: 38). The ones to be saved from the flood were the believers as well as a pair of every species of animals: “… We said, ‘Load aboard (animals), of every pair