to the Holy Qur’an, there are two ways of advancement
- through increasing the propensity to enjoy and decreasing
the propensity to enjoy. On the path of decreasing attachment,
the killing of animals is not recommended.
the Holy Qur’an we can find following ayats: “Beautified
for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and offspring,
and stored-up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded (with
their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life
of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode.
Shall I inform you of something better than that? For the righteous
are Gardens in nearness to their Lord with rivers flowing beneath.
Therein is their eternal home with pure companions and the good
pleasure of Allah. Allah is Seer of His servants.” (3.14-15)
“Some of you desired the world, and some of you desired
the Hereafter.” (3.152) Thus the Holy Qur’an described
two class of people: 1. Those who are attached to sense gratification
and desire of the heavenly enjoyment; and 2. Those who renounce
everything and strive for the love of God.
the general masses of people who are still unable to control
their senses (tongue) provision for eating meat has been granted
but it is not recommended so rules and regulations exist to
slowly help one give up such bad habit (taste). But for those
who desire the highest perfection of life, love of God, meat
eating is forbidden.
example, we can find the following ayats in the Holy Qur’an:
“Forbidden to you (for food) are meat of dead animals,
blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which has been invoked
the name of other than Allah; and the dead through beating;
that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow,
or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which
has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able
to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone
(altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling
with arrows: that is impiety.” (5.3)
we can understand from this verse of the Holy Qur’an that
not every meat is permitted to eat. Only meat of an animal which
is expressly killed for food with the Takbir, or the solemn
mode of slaughter (zabh) in the name of Allah duly pronounced
on it. This means that killing animals for food is a personal
affair. It does not suggest opening slaughterhouses and killing
hundreds of thousands of animals in an organized way, everyday.
Those who want to eat meat, should do this the proper way individually,
because everyone needs to take responsibility for his own actions.
On the Day of Judgment, all dead creatures will come to life
and will take vengeance on those who had either teased them
or killed them. This concession is given by Allah to those who
cannot restrain from meat eating. By eating halal, lawful meat
they will gradually subdue their passion and give up meat eating.
This will help to develop fine spiritual sentiments, namely
love for Allah.
this it is mentioned in sura “Al-Ma’ida” that
within the limits of Mecca, most holy place, slaughtering of
animals is prohibited:
“Animals of the chase are forbidden while you are in the
Sacred Precincts or in the state of pilgrimage.” (5.1)
means that hunting and the use of game are forbidden “while
you are hurumun,” i.e., while you are
in the Sacred Precincts, Mecca or
2. in the special pilgrimage garb (ihram).
is also explained in the sura “Al-Ma’ida”
“O you who believe! Kill not game while in the Sacred
Precincts or in the state of pilgrimage. If any of you does
so intentionally, the compensation is an offering, brought to
the Ka’ba, of a domestic animal equivalent to the one
he killed. As adjudged by two just men among you; or by way
of atonement, the feeding of the poor persons; or its equivalent
in fasts: that he may taste of the penalty of his deed. Allah
forgives what has past; but for repetition Allah will punish
him for Allah is Exalted, and Lord of Retribution.” (5.95)
means that if someone kills an animal inadvertently within the
limits of Mecca, one should then leave one of his pet animals
there. In case one has no pet animals, one should give in charity
food equivalent in value to the price of the killed animal.
Otherwise the offender must fast as many days as the number
of the poor who would have been fed under the second alternative.
Thus killing animals is a sin and therefore, it is prohibited
in a holy place like Mecca.
sura “As-Saffat” of the Holy Qur’an there
are following narration:
“He (Ibrahim) said: ‘I will go to my Lord! He will
surely guide me! O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!’
So We gave him the good news of forbearing son.
Then, when (his son) was old enough to work with him, (Ibrahim)
said: ‘O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must
sacrifice you. Now see what is your view!’ (The son) said:
‘O my father! Do as you are commanded. You will find me,
if Allah so wills one of the steadfast.’ So when they
both submitted (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on
his forehead (for sacrifice),
We called out to him, ‘O Ibrahim!
You has already fulfilled the dream!’ Thus indeed do We
reward those who do right.
For this was a clear test.
Then we ransomed him with a tremendous victim.
And We left for him among generations (to come) in later times:
‘Peace and salutation to Ibrahim!’” (37.99-109)
Ibrahim (Abraham) was born in Ur of the Chaldees, a place on
the lower reaches of the Euphrates, not a hundred miles from
the Persian Gulf. Where the worship of the sun, moon and stars
was the prevailing form of religion. Ibrahim revolted against
this quite early in life. They also had deities in their temples,
which probably represented heavenly bodies and celestial winged
creatures. He was still a youth when he broke the false deities.
After this he was marked down as a rebel and persecuted. He
was thrown into the fire. But the fire became cool by the order
of Allah and Ibrahim was saved. Then he left his ancestral lands,
and avoiding the Syrian desert, came to the fertile lands of
Aram or Syria. This was the Hijrat (Flight) of Ibrahim. He left
his people and his land, because the Truth was dearer to him
than the ancestral falsehoods of his people. He trusted himself
to Allah, and under Allah’s guidance he laid the foundations
for great people.
was in the fertile land of Syria and Palestine when a boy was
born, the first-born son of Ibrahim, namely Ismail. The name
itself is from the root Sami’a, to hear, because Allah
had heard Ibrahim’s prayer (The Qur’an. 37.100).
Ibrahim’s age when Ismail was born from his maidservant
Hajar was 86 (Gen. 16.16). The boy’s character was to
be Halim, “forbearing”. This title is also applied
to Ibrahim (The Qur’an. 9.114; 11.75). It refers to the
patient way in which both father and son cheerfully offered
to suffer any self-sacrifice in order to obey the command of
after Ismail had grown up to the age of discretion, Ibrahim
had a dream that he now had to offer his only son in sacrifice.
The command was conveyed to him via a dream. It was a test of
the devotion for both father and son. Ibrahim consulted his
son. The son readily consented, and offered to stand true to
his promis if his self-sacrifice was really required. Actually,
the trial and sacrifice was demanded of both Ibrahim and Ismail.
Ibrahim had to sacrifice his only dearmost son and Ismail had
to sacrifice his dear life. Finally this sacrifice was about
to take place in the valley of Mina, six miles north of Mecca.
Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his son but his hand did not
act. Then he covered his eyes with cloth took a knife in his
hand, and tried to kill Ismail. But at that moment Allah replaced
Ismail with a fine sheep or ram. So there was a ram instead
of his son. Thus the son was saved and the ram was sacrificed
(some scholars say that the ram was also saved).
that day, the ‘Id Day or Day of Sacrifice came into practice.
On this day in the valley of Mina, six miles north of Mecca,
a commemoration sacrifice is annually celebrated as a rite of
the Hajj on the tenth of Zul-Hijjah in Memory of this Sacrifice
of Ibrahim and Ismail. This festival is also celebrated by all
Muslims around the world. Hundreds of thousands of animals are
annually slaughtered on this day. But let us carefully consider
what was the main object of Allah’s teaching on that occasion.
Did Allah ask for Ibrahim’s dearmost thing or did He ask
for a ram. If Allah-Taala had liked a ram, He would have asked
the ram itself. But merely to examine the devotion of Ibrahim
and Ismail, He had ordered this sacrifice to test them both,
and to save the son of Ibrahim, He had replaced a ram for Ismail.
Now, just think carefully, to try to please Allah-Taala, instead
of dedicating one’s dearmost object, to kill a ram is
whole event is symbolical. As it is proclaimed in the Holy Qur’an:
“It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah;
it is your piety that reaches Him.” (22.37) Thus Allah
does not require the flesh and blood of animals, much less of
human beings. No one should suppose that meat or blood is acceptable
to God. It was a Pagan fancy that Allah could be pleased by
blood sacrifice. But Allah does accept the offering of our hearts.
Allah does not delight in flesh and blood. But He does desire
the giving of our whole being to Allah, the practical symbol
of which is that we should give up something which is very dear
to us, if duty requires that sacrifice. It was indeed a great
occasion, when two men, the father and the son, showed the example
of self-sacrifice in the service of Allah which is needed to
qualify one for the supreme goal of life. This example made
it clear that the only sacrifice which God requires from man
is the Surrender of his will and purpose - i.e. Al-Islam.
qurban, the animal slaughtering process ordained for Muslims,
have an esoteric and exoteric meaning. While qurban externally
refers only to Muslim dietary laws, inwardly qurban requires
that we sacrifice our life to the devotion and service of God,
and that we sacrifice our beastly qualities instead of the life
of an animal. “Qurban is not slaughtering chickens and
cows and goats,” explains Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. “There
are four hundred trillion, ten thousand beasts here in the heart
which must be slaughtered. They must be slaughtered in the qalb
[the inner heart]. After these things have been slaughtered,
what is eaten can then be distinguished as either halal [permissible]
or haram [forbidden].” Ultimately, the great ustad [preceptor]
concludes, “everything that is seen in the world is haram.
What is seen in Allah [God] alone is halal. Please eat that.”
(M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Asma’ ul-Husna: The 99 Beautiful
Names of Allah, 1979, p. 181)
the traditional qurban, the prayer known as the Kalimah is recited
to remove the baser qualities of the animal. The recitation
of the powerful Third Kalimah will not only purify the animal
slaughtered for consumption, but also all those involved with
the sacrifice, so that they will no longer want to slaughter
animals. This will only work, however, if the prayer is said
with pure devotion.
Islam, sacrificial animal slaughter is a detailed process. Factually
the whole procedure is meant to minimize the killing of animals.
Thus, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen explains:
“While you recite the Kalimah, you must complete the severing
in three strokes of the knife, one for each recitation. The
knife has to be swept around three times, and it must not touch
the bone. It must be extremely sharp, and the length is prescribed
according to each animal - so much for a fowl, so much for a
goat, so much for a cow. ... Also, the animal must not regurgitate
any food, and it must not make any noise; otherwise, it becomes
person who holds the animal and the person who cuts it must
always observe the five times prayer. Therefore, it must be
the Imam and the mu’azzin who perform the qurban, because
very often they are the only ones who regularly observe the
five times prayer. This also means that the qurban must take
place near a mosque where two such people can always be found.
Before beginning the slaughter, they must first perform their
ablutions, and then they must recite the kalimah three times
and feed water to the animal which is to be sacrificed. The
neck of the animal must be turned in the direction of the Qiblah
[Mecca], so that the eyes of the sacrificial animal look into
the eyes of the person who is doing the sacrifice. The person
must look into the eyes of the animal and then, saying the kalimah,
he must cut the neck. And he must continue to look into the
eyes of the animal until its soul departs, repeating the Zikr
all the while. Then after the soul has departed, he must say
the kalimah once again and wash the knife. Only then can he
move on to the next animal. He has to look into the animal’s
eyes, he has to watch the tears of the animal, and he has to
watch the animal’s eyes until it dies - hopefully, his
heart will change.” (M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Asma’
ul-Husna: The 99 Beautiful Names of Allah, 1979, p. 182)
Allah told the Holy Prophet Muhammad, “With this qurban
the killing will be greatly reduced, for where they used to
kill 1,000 or 2,000 in one day, they will now be able to slaughter
only ten or fifteen animals. If they started after morning prayers,
it would be ten o’clock by the time they are ready to
begin, and they could slaughter only until eleven o’clock
when they must prepare for the next prayer. In addition, it
takes about fifteen or twenty minutes for each animal, because
he has to wait until the soul has departed.” This is how
Allah instructed the Holy Prophet.
the people complained, “How can we do this? We can kill
only so few! Our enjoyments and our festivals are being curtailed.”
Allah said, “Each one of you does not need to sacrifice
one animal; you do not need to sacrifice one animal for each
family. In place of forty fowls, kill one goat. In place of
forty goats, kill ten cows. And in place of forty cows, kill
ten camels. Sacrifice ten camels and then share the meat among
the different families.” So in place of four hundred animals
only forty might be killed. The killing was reduced by that
much. Thus, Allah passed down the commands to the Holy Prophet
to reduce the taking of lives.
the conclusion is that if one understand the qurban from within
with wisdom, its purpose is to reduce killing the poor animals.
But if one look at it from outside, it is meant to supply desire
with food, to supply the craving of the base desires.
the esoteric imperative behind Islamic dietary laws is that
Muslims aspire after compassion and mercy, first by minimizing
the amount of animals one is able to kill (by following all
the regulations), and then, it is to be hoped, by giving it
is mentioned in sura “Al-An’am,” or “Cattle”
“There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature
flying on two wings, but they are people like unto you.”
“animals living on the earth” include those living
in the water - fishes, reptiles, crustaceans, insects, as well
as four-footed beasts. Life on the wing separately mentioned.
“Tair,” which is ordinarily translated as “bird,”
is anything that flies, including mammals like bats. In our
pride we may exclude animals from our purview, but they all
live a life, social and individual, like ourselves, and all
life is subject to the Plan and Will of Allah. We have no right
to destroy or kill these creatures, even flies and insects what
to speak of birds and beasts. We never creates them to destroy.
The Holy Qur’an said that they are people like you. They
are also citizens of this planet and different countries. They
are also under the protection of God and Governments. It is
the duty of government to protect it’s subjects, which
includes the innocent helpless animals, and punish those who
torture and kill them.
is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an what kind of food
Allah creates for the human beings: “Therewith He causes
corn to grow for you, and the olive and date-palm and grapes
and all kinds of fruit. Truly, in this is a sign for people
who reflect.” (16.11)
“A sign for them is the dead earth. We revive it and We
bring forth from it grain so that they eat thereof.
We produce therein gardens of the date-palm and grapes, and
We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein.
they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not.
Will they not, then, give thanks?” (36.33-35)
“It is God Who sends down water out of the sky, and with
it quickens the earth after it is dead. Surely, in that is a
sign for people who have ears to hear. In cattle, too, there
is a lesson for you: We give you to drink of what is in their
bellies, between filth and blood - pure milk, sweet to those
who drink. And we give you the fruits of the date-palms and
the vines from which you derive sweet-tasting liquid and fair
provision. Indeed, this is a sign for men of understanding.
And your Lord inspires the bees, saying, ‘Build your homes
in the mountains, in the trees and in the thatch of roots; then
feed on every kind of fruit and follow the ways of your Lord,
so easy to go upon.’ Then there comes forth out of their
bellies a liquid of various colors wherein is healing for men.
Truly, in this a sign for people who reflect.” (16.65-69)
these ayats it is obvious that Allah creates milk, honey, corn,
grain, olive, dates, grapes and all kinds of fruit as food for
mankind. Verily it is a sign for people who have an understanding.
We should be thankful to -- .Allah for His mercy and not ungratefully
shed blood of innocent helpless animals simply to please the
Holy Qur’an offers concessions as intermediary stages
toward a pure and spiritual diet: “O you who believe!
Eat of the good things with which we have supplied you, and
give God thanks if you are His worshippers. Only that which
dies of itself, blood, and swine’s flesh, and that over
which any others name than that of God’s has been invoked,
has God forbidden you.” (Qur’an 5.1) Here the Qur’an
clearly states that pork is impure and that animal blood is
not fit for human consumption. The Muslims, then, run into a
dietary contradiction: blood is forbidden - it is impossible
to completely separate blood from animal flesh - so if one eats
meat, blood is being consumed as well. In the words of the Holy
Qur’an, this, indeed, is a “portent for people who
the Holy Qur’an encourages Muslims to eat wholesome, healthful
foods. In describing lawful and unlawful foods, the Holy Qur’an
emphasizes that “He [the Holy Prophet] makes lawful to
them the good things of life and he forbids them the bad things.”
(Qur’an 7.157) Once the Holy Prophet Muhammad orders Hazrat
Ali: “Don’t make your stomach a grave yard of innocent
birds and animals.” From that day Hazrat Ali had faithfully
followed this instruction. Another time the Holy Prophet Muhammad
“Whoever is kind to the lesser creatures is kind to himself.”
Man milking a cow who sheds a tear as she loses the milk intended for the calf tied to her leg.
Sunk relief on the sarcophagus of Queen Kawit.
From the temple of
Mentuhotep II in Deir al-Bahari,
West Thebes. 11th Dynasty
is explained in the Hadith (traditions):
the Prophet passed by certain people who were shooting arrows
at a ram, and hated that, saying, “Maim not the brute
time, the Prophet, seen wiping the face of his horse with his
wrapper, and being questioned in regard to it, said, “At
night I received a reprimand from God in regard to my horse.”
man once robbed some eggs from the nest of a bird, whereupon
the Prophet had them restored to the nest. “Fear God in
these dumb animals,” said the Prophet, “and ride
them when they are fit to be ridden - and get off them when
they are tired.”
are there rewards for our doing good to quadrupeds and giving
them water to drink?” asked the followers. And the Prophet
answered, “There are rewards for benefiting every animal
having a moist liver.” (M. Hafiz Syed, Thus Speak Muhammed,
Madras, 1962, p. 6.) The Holy Prophet Muhammad always stressed
the importance to show mercy to the lesser creatures. We should
deal with them as if they are our younger brothers. If younger
brother is less intelligent, it does not mean that we have right
to kill him but more so we have a duty to protect him. The father
will never be happy if his elder, more intelligent son will
kill the youngest son because he is less intelligent and more
weak. Similarly Allah is never happy when He observes humans
killing and giving pain, and suffering to His lesser creatures.
According to the Hadith, the Holy Prophet Muhammad said:
“One who kills unnecessarily, even a sparrow will be questioned
by Allah on the day of Judgment.”
“One who takes pity on cutting the head even of a sparrow,
and feels compassion towards the sparrow, Allah will similarly
show mercy towards him on the day of Judgment.”
“Killing any living beings besides those who are inflicting
pain is forbidden.” (O. Gudratov, N. Gudratov, Muhammad
Peygambarin: Hayati va Kalamlari, Baki, 1990, p. 114, 147) “If
the beasts will know about their inevitable death, as humans
do, they will not eat flesh.” (Mahammad Ali, Muhammad
Peygambarin Hayati, Baki, 1993, p. 150)
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad include narrations that clearly
depict his love for animals. For instance, Margoliouth, one
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s chief biographers, writes,
“His humanity extended itself to the lower creation. He
forbade the employment of towing birds as targets for marksmen
and remonstrated with those who ill-treated their camels. When
some of his followers had set fire to an ant-hill he compelled
them to extinguish it. . . . Acts of cruelty were swept away
by him.” (V. A. Holmes-Gore, These We Have Not Loved,
London, 1946, pp.6-7.)
biographers, such as Dr. M. Hafiz Syed, point out that the Holy
Prophet Muhammad instructed those who eat meat to wash out their
mouth before going to pray. While it is certainly a Muslim custom
to clean one’s mouth before going to prayer, many biographers
say that only meat is emphasized in this connection and not
any other food. (M. Hafiz Syed, Thus Spake Muhammed, Madras,
1962, p. 6)
Holy Prophet Muhammad always showed the greatest compassion
- “universal compassion” - and he exhorted his followers
to do the same. A touching example from his life shows how far
his empathy extended. Awaking from a nap one afternoon, he found
a small, sick cat fast asleep on the edge of his cloak. The
Holy Prophet cut off his garment so that the cat could sleep
undisturbed. Is this a man who would advocate the unnecessary
slaughter of harmless beasts? “Show sympathy to others,”
the Holy Prophet Muhammad taught, “especially to those
who are weaker than you.” (Bilkiz Alladin, The Story of
Mohammed The Prophet, Delhi, 1979, pp. 12-13)
one popular Hadith (tradition), the Holy Prophet Muhammad is
depicted as having rebuked his followers for not showing universal
compassion. “But we do show compassion,” they insisted,”
- to our wives, children and relatives.” The Holy Prophet
Muhammad responded, “It is not this to which I refer.
I am speaking of universal mercy.”
Holy Prophet Muhammad’s earliest biographers indicate
that he preferred vegetarian foods, saying that he liked milk
diluted with water, yogurt with butter or nuts, and cucumbers
with dates. His favorite fruits, which he was known to subsist
on for weeks at a time, were pomegranates, grapes and figs,
and he liked a morning drink of soaked, crushed dates. He was
particularly fond of honey, often eating it mixed with vinegar,
and he is quoted as saying that in a house where there is vinegar
and honey, there will certainly be the blessings of the Lord.
He also liked a preparation called hees, made from butter, dates
and yogurt. According to extensive biographical accounts, furthermore,
the Holy Prophet Muhammad has been quoted as saying, “Where
there is an abundance of vegetables, hosts of angels will descend
on that place.”
Holy Prophet Muhammad’s death emphasizes the harmfulness
of meat-eating. The story goes that a non-Muslim woman invited
the Holy Prophet and some of his companions to a meal and served
them poisoned meat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad knew by spiritual
insight that the meat was poisoned, for he spat out piece of
meat which he chewed, but one of his companions died on the
spot. Although it was not his custom to eat any food prepared
by non-Muslim, on this occasion, mysteriously, he did. The poisoned
meat put him in a sickbed for about two years, and finally,
in A.D. 632, he died. According to some scholars, the Holy Prophet
Muhammad ate the poisoned meat just to show the stubborn masses
the harmfulness of meat-eating.
Muslims who go for Haj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, wear a simple
garment of unstitched cloth in two pieces which is called ihram.
The putting on of the pilgrim garb (ihram) is symbolical of
his renouncing the vanities of the world. From the time he put
on this religious dress, absolutely no killing is allowed: not
mosquitoes, bugs, grasshoppers, or any other living creatures.
If a pilgrim sees an insect on the ground, he will gesture to
stop his comrades from inadvertently stepping on it. After this
and until the end of the pilgrimage he must not wear other clothes,
or ornaments, anoint his hair, use perfumes, hunt, or do other
prohibited acts. If any louse appears on that ihram it is not
thrown on the ground but allowed to remain where it is. If the
throwing away of a insignificant living being like louse is
forbidden in Islam just think how much inauspicious is killing
is said in Aine-Akbari that on several occasions such as from
Friday to Sunday and eclipse days Akbar abstained from taking
of Islam have laid great stress on leading a noble life, a life
of renunciation and compassion, eating simple foods and abstaining
from meat. They themselves avoided any meat eating. Sheikh Ismail,
Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, Hazrat Nizammuddin Aulia, Bu Ali Qalandas,
Shah Inayat, Mir Dad, Shah Abdul Karim etc., were
saints whose path was pious living, centered on self-restraint,
love and affection for all and vegetarian eating. They said:
“Ta bayabin dar bahishte aden ja, shafkate banumaye ba
khalke Khuda” -
“If you want to live in heaven for all time to come, then
behave in a spirit of compassion and sympathy with the entire
creation of God.
famous Muslim saint, Mir Dad, said that anyone who eats the
flesh of any living being shall have to repay it with his own
flesh. He who breaks another living being’s bone shall
have his own bones broken. Every drop of blood shed, will have
to be accounted for by one’s own. Because that is the
great Muslim saint Sarmad condemned meat-eating by saying that
the light of life is asleep in metals, is dreaming in plants,
is awake in animals and is completely alert in human beings.
Kabir, addressing Muslims, makes it clear that even fasting
(Roza) is in vain if its practitioner lets his tongue dictate
the killing of living beings for the sake of its taste. Allah
will not be pleased this way.
Silloh also no meat is taken, because it is said, that meat
is a bad food which disturbs the prayers. Everyone knows that
meat eating increases passion. It is very difficult to pray
and concentrate the mind on Allah in a passionate condition.
Therefore it is recommended by great saints of all ages that
vegetarian food is much more appropriate for spiritual practices.
If one wants to increase peace of mind and concentration on
Allah he should decrease or, better, stop meat eating. It is
practical advise from which everyone will get immense benefit.
the above mentioned statements, we can easily and naturally
conclude that meat eating is a great impediment on the path
of self-realization. Those who are sincerely trying for spiritual
progress should restrain from meat eating. On the path of decreasing
material attachments and increasing spiritual attachment to
Allah, restraining meat eating is compulsory.
Burk-E-Albani / Buraq : Islamic Kamadhenu?
Is this the representation of the horse Harak, climbing which
prophet mohammed is supposed to have visited different worlds?
Or some other motif mentioned in Islamic books? I am amazed
at the ease with this artist from India (Ravi Varma Press) has blended motifs and icons from different
cultures and religions.
Kamadhenu- कामधेनू - The wishfulfilling cow
The Goddess Shri Kamadhenu is sometimes depicted as a cow, but sometimes also as a mystical winged cow with a peacock's tail and the head of a beautiful woman. This iconography is very similar to that of Al Buraq, the feminine angelic being who carried the Prophet Muhammad on Her back on the Night Journey, and who is an example of the Divine Feminine in Islam.
While mystic Kamadhenu is described as a winged cow, the Al-Buraq is described as a winged horse.
Al Buraq is an angelic female being with the head of a woman, the body of a horse and a peacock's tail, who carried the Prophet Muhammad, on the Miraj, the Night Journey, through the Seven Heavens to Jerusalem.
the Qur’an not one single verse allows killing cows or
bulls. But very clear instruction is given about what is intended
for human as food:
We (Allah ) said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Garden,
and eat you freely of the fruits thereof where you will." (2.35)
give glad tidings (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good
works, that theirs are Gardens beneath which rivers flow; every
time they are fed with fruits therefrom." (2.25)
is He Who created the heavens and the earth, and causes water
to descend from the sky, thereby producing fruits as food for
“Who has appointed the earth a resting-place for you,
and the sky a canopy; and causes water to pour down from the
sky, thereby producing fruits as food for you.” (2.22)
these four ayats of the Qur‘an it is obvious that when
Allah created Adam and Eve, He gave them in food, the fruits.
And when the pious will go to paradise they will have their
food in the form of fruits. Then when Allah created earth He
"produced fruits as food for" mankind. Also from the very life
of the Hazrat Muhammad, we can see His daily food was bread,
milk and palm-dates. Sometimes in His life he sacrificed sheep
or camels, but never cows or bulls.
is only one story in the Holy Qur’an which describes the
sacrifice of a cow: “When Moses said to his people: ‘Allah
commands you that you sacrifice a cow.’ They said: ‘Does
you make game of us?’ He answered: ‘Allah forbid
that I should be among the foolish!’ They said: ‘Pray
for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she
is.’ (Moses) answered: ‘He says, that the cow should
be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age; now do
what you are commanded!’ They said: ‘Pray for us
unto your Lord that He make clear to us of what color she is.’
(Moses) answered: ‘He says, that she is a yellow cow.
Bright is her color; gladdening beholders.’ They said:
‘Pray for us unto your Lord that He make clear to us what
(cow) she is. To us are all cows alike; if Allah wills, we may
led aright.’ (Moses) answered: ‘He says, that she
is a cow not trained to till the soil or water the fields; whole
and without a mark.’ They said: ‘Now has you brought
the truth.’ Then they sacrificed her; though they scarcely
did it.’ (2.67-71)
story was accepted in Jewish traditions, which are themselves
based on certain sacrificial directions in the Old Testament.
The cow story of Jewish tradition is based on Num. 19.1-10,
in which Moses and Aaron ordered the Israelites to sacrifice
a red cow without a spot. Thus Moses announced the sacrifice
to the Israelites, and they treated it as a jest. When Moses
continued solemnly to ask for the sacrifice, they put him off
on one pretext followed by another, asking a number of questions
which they could have answered themselves if they had listened
to Moses’s directions. Their questions were carping criticisms
rather than the result of a desire for information. It was a
mere thin pretence that they were genuinely seeking for guidance.
When at last they were driven into a corner, they made the sacrifice,
but if they did this willingly then the sacrifice would have
been more efficacious for their purification from sin. The cow’s
body was to be burnt and the ashes were to be kept for the purification
of the congregation from sin.
can see and learn from this narration that the killing of a
cow was very dangerous and not part of the teachings. So much
so that the people were very hesitant to commit such an act
even when the order came from the high authorities, Prophet
Moses. So this particular sacrifice was not carried whimsically
but with due consideration. We should understand also, the cow
was not simply killed for the sake of eating but the body of
the cow was burnt and the ashes were to be used for the higher
purpose of purifying the people from their sins. It is very
important to mention that in the present age also, cow sacrifices
is forbidden, because no qualified persons are available to
conduct such a sacrifices.
by reading the Holy Qur’an we can conclude that cow killing
is not sanctioned in the Holy Qur’an and the only cow
sacrifice which has been described was not meant for meat eating
but for purification from the sins.
Iranian scholar Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111 AD) was one of the most
brilliant philosophers of Islam. He has stated that besides
pieces of bread whatever we eat is simply to satisfy our urges.
At the age of 28, he headed the institute of Islam at Baghdad.
His main book, Ihya Ulum ul-Din - The Revival of Religious Sciences
is highly respected. In this book (part 2, page 23, lines 17-19)
the detrimental effects of beef, and the virtues of ghee and
milk from a cow are stated as follows:
“The meat of cow is marz (disease), it’s milk is
safa (health) and it’s ghee is dava (medicine).”
Is it not more intelligent to protect cows and use their milk
and ghee for our benefit? The cow is considered a mother of
mankind because she gives us a valuable product such as milk.
As a mother feeds her child with her breast milk similarly the
cow feeds mankind with her milk. It has been scientifically
proven that if one regularly drinks cow milk his fine brain
tissues develop. As a result of this one’s memory capacity
increases, favoring remembrance of Allah. Therefore the cow
and it’s milk is very important for proper development
of human society and killing the cow is the greatest sin. Those
who are eager to eat meat, they can eat less important animals
like sheep and goats but cows should be protected.
Imam of the Shah Jehan Mosque in London, England, Al Hafiz B.
A. Masri says that the Qur’an itself is very specific
about prevention of cruelty to animals. Muslims, who form one-third
of the world’s total population, need to begin a movement
for the prevention of cruelty to animals based on Islamic tenets.
It was time to ensure that all precepts laid down in the Qur’an
against cruelty to animals were followed strictly everywhere
in the world. Therefore he wants to start a unite of the Society
for Protection of Cruelty to Animals in the Islamic world. Animal
welfare worker Al Hafiz Masri would love to see the world embrace
his book Islamic concern for Animals, Al Hafiz Marsi has expressed
sorrow about the excessive killing of animals in the name of
religion. Quoting from the Holy Qur’an Majeed and the
teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, he described all acts
of torturing of animals, and even keeping birds in cages as
sinful. According to him even the cutting of trees is prohibited
On page 18 the Imam Saheb has repeated the saying
of the Holy Prophet Muhammad: “There is no one who kills
even a sparrow or anything smaller, without its deserving it,
but God will question him about it.” “He who takes
pity even on a sparrow and spares its life. Allah will be merciful
on him on the day of Judgment.”
The Imam Marsi is himself
a vegetarian and advises everyone to adopt vegetarianism.
The Koran teaches compassion and mercy.
Each of its 114 chapters, except one, begin, "Allah is merciful and compassionate."
The name of God used most often in the Koran is "al-Rahim," which means
"the All-Compassionate." Mohammed taught love and respect for nature,
compassion for animals and condemned the needless suffering and death of other
living creatures. Vegetarianism and animal rights are consistent with Islam.
COMPASSION TOWARDS ANIMALS
"The Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked by his copmpanions
if kindness to animals was rewarded in the life hereafter. He replied: 'Yes, there
is a meritorious reward for kindness to every living creature'." (Bukhari)
STATUS OF ANIMALS
All creatures on earth are sentient beings. "There is not an animal on earth,
nor a bird that flies on its wings - but they are communities like you." (The Quran, 6:38)
"The Holy Prophet forbade the beating or the branding of animals. Once he
saw a donkey branded on its face and said: 'may Allah condemn the one who branded
ANIMAL BAITING AND BLOOD SPORTS
"The Holy Prophet forbade the setting up of animals to fight against each
other." (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
"The Holy Prophet condemned those who pinion or restrain
animals in any other way for the purpose of target shooting. (Al-Masburah and Al-Mujaththamah)." (Muslim)
"The Holy Prophet said: 'It is a great sin for man to imprison those animals
which are in his power'." (Muslim)
There are numerous Islamic laws forbidding vivisection (Al-muthia) on a live animal. IBn Umar reported the Holy Prophet (S) as having condemned those
who mutilate any part of an animals body while it is alive. (Ahmad and other
Islam teaches that in Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed, no
creature can be slaughtered and that perfect harmony should exist between all
living beings. Muslim pilgrims approach Mecca wearing a shroud ("ihram").
From the moment they wear this religious cloth, absolutely no killing is allowed.
Mosquitos, lice, grasshoppers, and other living creatures must also be protected.
If a pilgrim sees an insect on the ground, he will motion to stop his comrades
from accidentally stepping on it. Islam teaches respect for animals and nature.
A pamphlet protesting the Muslim practice of beef-eating. The demon Kali (far right) attempts to slaughter the sacred cow, represented by "the mother of cows"Kamadhenu in whose body all deities and gods are believed to reside. The color version ran by the Ravi Varma Press (c. 1912).
The following books, CDs & DVDs are also available:
1. Srila Prabhupada on Islam (Everything Srila Prabhupada ever said about Islam)
2. Bhakti Yoga and Islam (Frequently asked questions
and answers )
3. The Hidden Treasure of Al-Qur'an (the HOLY QURAN as explained by
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu)
4. Comparative Cosmology (Study of modern
science, the Qur'an, the Bible and the Vedas)
5. Enlightenment of Chand Kazi: (Teachings of Lord Chaitanya
to the Muslim leader Chand Kazi)
6. Krsna Consciousness & Islam (A
20 hour double MP3 CD presentation, for the Muslim commumity)
7. Arabic Bhagavad Gita BOOK (complete in ARABIC, Delux edition, hard bound. Very few left)
8. Arabic Bhagavad Gita AUDIO CDs (The whole 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita in Arabic, 2 audio Cds)
9. Bhagavad Gita TUrkce, 900 pages complete with Sanskrit texts & word for word.
10. All of Prabhupada’s DVDs are now in Turkish.
The books are designed to help Krishna-conscious devotees present a Vedic
viewpoint to members of the Muslim community in a non-argumentative way, as
well as to encourage Muslim readers to deepen and strengthen their efforts
at God-realisation. Our goal is to build a strong foundation of mutual
understanding so that everyone's love and devotion towards the Supreme Lord
whom we call Krsna and whom Muslims call Allah -- can be ignited and
Srila Prabhupada: "Kisi Krishna bilinli hale geldigi zaman herkesi sever. YŸksek sesle Hare Krsna'yi zikrederseniz, duyan karincalar ve bšcekler bile kurtulur ŸnkŸ bu ruhsal titresimdir." HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE...be happy!
Srila Prabhupada: "When one becomes Krsna consciousness, he loves everyone. If you chant loudly Hare Krsna, even the ants & insects who is hearing, he'll be delivered, because it is spiritual vibration"